With its scenic beauty, contentious history and artistic diversity, it’s no surprise the cities and countries on offer in Europe are popular destinations for school tours of all subjects. Whether you want to immerse your students in the art trip of a lifetime, offer hands-on STEM learning experiences or inspire tomorrow’s political leaders, Europe provides opportunities to suit all learning objectives.
With so much on offer, the best way to plan a school trip is to get in touch with the EA School Tours team. However, here are four cities that might be worth considering on your next school tour to Europe.
Barcelona is a city rich in modern art and architectural splendours spanning more than 2000 years. Many well-known artists throughout history have called Barcelona home, including Antoni Gaudi, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
Barcelona is the perfect destination to give students an immersive art and culture experience they will remember for a lifetime. This seaside Catalan city is brimming with modern art museums. On the top of our list is the Fundació Joan Miró. Inaugurated by the artist himself in the 1970s, Miró wanted to create an international, interdisciplinary centre where art was publicly available. The foundation boasts over 10,000 pieces of work from Miró and other contemporary artists and is a beautiful place to learn more about what inspired the artist and pioneer of surrealism.
We would also recommend visiting the Pablo Picasso Museum. Made up of five interlinked medieval palaces and located in the beautiful Born district, the Picasso Museum, and the 3,800 personal works that reside there, is an art experience like no other.
Don’t forget to include a guided tour of Antoni Gaudi’s UNESCO heritage sites, including Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia, and a paella dinner in the seaside district of Barceloneta.
London is a metropolitan city with a history stretching back to Roman times. One of the best ways to learn more about this city is on a double-decker bus tour that will take you past some of the city’s iconic sites including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. On the other side of the River Thames and a short walk across the historic London Bridge, you can enjoy the sprawling city views on the London Eye or at the top of The Shard.
While it might seem evident that London offers a range of activities ideal for art and history school tours, what is more surprising is the rich STEM-related learning opportunities you can enjoy here. Visit two world-class museums on Kensington's Exhibition Row - the Science Museum and the Museum of Natural History, or check out what's on offer at Cambridge University, including the Cavendish Museum, one of the first research labs in the World, and King’s College.
For teachers and students interested in astronomy, we would highly recommend a visit to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Best known as the location of the prime meridian, here you will learn about the significant role in history this observatory has played, especially in the advancement of astronomy and navigation.
No school tour to Europe is complete without a visit to Geneva. A global hub for diplomacy, no destination is more appropriate for inspiring tomorrow’s political leaders by giving them the opportunity to envision themselves working at one of the many reputable international organisations based here.
Geneva is home to the headquarters of the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, the second-largest branches of the United Nations and the World Bank.
On a school tour in Geneva, we recommend visiting S'Cool LAB at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). This is a full day program of hands-on particle physics experiments at CERN’s dedicated particle physics learning laboratory.
Another “must-see” on a school tour in Geneva is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, which pays homage to the work of Red Cross founder Henry Dunant and the impact these organisations have had all over the world.
Two other worthwhile learning opportunities in Geneva include the Bodmer Foundation, a museum-library that boasts a collection of limited-edition books and original manuscripts, and the International Museum of the Reformation, which was awarded the Council of Europe Museum Award in 2007, in recognition of its role in preserving an essential part of European heritage.
Paris, France's capital, is a major European city known for its monument-lined boulevards which house the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe.
In Paris, you're spoiled for choice with things to do. Visit the Louvre, the world's most substantial art museum home to more than 35,000 pieces of work, or Europe's largest modern art gallery, the Centre Pompidou.
Visit the most famous edifice in the world, the Eiffel Tower and enjoy heart-stopping views over Paris. Take a day trip 20 kilometres southwest of Paris to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palace of Versailles where a guided tour will educate you and your students on the history of the palace and its famous residents.