PARIS – the most enduring school trip destination. Our tips...

Paris, nous t’aimonsParis remains a perennially popular choice for teachers taking a school trip abroad – and it is clear why. Not only does it offer a dazzling array of scientific, artistic and cultural attractions, as well as the opportunity for language students to put their French into practice, but it is also only a few hours’ drive away. There is an excellent choice of budget accommodation, wonderful cuisine … and Disneyland of course! The city deserves more than one blog post so here is the first installment of our love letter to Paris.Unforgettable landmarksNo matter the season, Paris has a timeless familiarity, with more recognisable landmarks than any other city in the world. Not surprisingly, the most popular attractions for our schools groups include Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, Montmartre, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Disneyland® Paris and its wonderfully Gallic cousin, Parc Astérix.  Also highly recommended are Tour Montparnasse with 360° view of Paris, Cité des Sciences, Europe’s largest science museum, and Centre Georges Pompidou, a must-see inside and out for art and design students.Musée RodinThe favourite of our Managing Director, Jamie Gardiner, Musée Rodin is dedicated to the works of Auguste Rodin, sculptor, painter, sketcher, engraver and collector.  Auguste Rodin donated his entire collection to the French state in 1908 on the proviso that they dedicate his former workshop and showroom, the beautiful 1730 Hôtel Biron, to displaying his works. They’re now installed not only in the mansion itself, but in its rose-clambered garden – one of the most peaceful places in central Paris and a wonderful spot to contemplate his famous work The Thinker. Other sculptural highlights are The Gates of Hell, the 180 figures of which comprise an intricate scene from Dante’s Inferno; Rodin’s marble monument to love, The Kiss; and some 15 works by sculptor Camille Claudel, Rodin’s muse. This is a fascinating visit for Art and Design students on a school trip to Paris.  Off the beaten trackOur resident French expert Jennifer Leonard recommends something off the beaten track – a meander through the Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest streets in Paris; believed to date back to the 1st century, when the city was known as Lutetia.  It is also one of the few areas of Paris not to have been affected by Haussman’s redevelopment of the city, which means the delightful medieval atmosphere that helped inspire Victor Hugo to write Les Misérables still remains intact. Located in the 5th arrondissement, it is a long pedestrian street filled with busy bars and restaurants, perfect for people-watching and general “flânerie” and a great way for students to see a slice of real Paris.  It is one of those places that still feels like a village despite being located in the heart of the city: lined with quirky shops, you will find all kinds of amazing cheeses and meat produce, as well as delicious pâtisseries. It is also home to a very lively market, made all the more entertaining by the abundance of street performers – excellent way to spend an afternoon of a school visit with plenty of opportunities to practise your French.The Rue Mouffetard attracts a varied crowd of students, tourists, and Parisians: whatever time of year you go you are guaranteed a pleasant walk around this street, at only a stone’s throw away from the Panthéon and the Jardin du Luxembourg.To book your school trip to Paris, call us on 0121 271 0121.www.diverseschooltravel.co.uk

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