Showcasing artefacts, ideas, priceless art, and pieces of history, museums around the world document and highlight some of the most important pieces of the human story so far. Each with their own specialisms and unique exhibitions, they provide visitors with a fun and engaging day to learn something new and develop a new perspective.
Fortunately for us, Europe boasts some of the finest museum collections found anywhere in the world, and all are just a short flight or coach journey away. Usually found within the heart of most major cities, these museum visits can also be combined with cultural excursions to create a brilliant short city break for any group of students.
If you’re looking for some unique ideas for a museum visit that fits in with your subject, the Equity team have shared some of their favourite European museums below:
Euro Space Centre - Libin, Belgium
As the name suggests, the Euro Space Centre is an interactive, science museum that is solely focussed on space science and astronautics. Featuring rockets, a space shuttle, and a whole host of interactive exhibits, your students will have a fun and educational day getting to experience what it must be like working for NASA or ESA. With a weightless VR experience, you’ll trick your senses into thinking that you are weightless, floating around the International Space Station. Or take the group inside the command module and learn how to fly a rocket.
Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dedicated to Dutch history and art, the Riksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands, and features over 2000 of the finest works from the Dutch golden age, including pieces from Vermeer, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Covering more than 800 years of history, the museum also has an extensive collection of historical artefacts from the Netherlands, and from it’s seafaring past. Located in the heart of Museum Square, you’ll also be a short walk away from the Van Gogh museum, the Concertgebouw, and the Stedelijk Museum.
In Flanders Field Museum - Ypres, Belgium
In the centre of Ypres, you’ll find the In Flanders Field Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of the First World War, and telling the stories of individual soldiers. Every visitor receives a poppy bracelet which not only activates the language of the visitor, but it also activates the personal story of four soldiers and individuals, of which the student can locate around the museum to gain a unique perspective on how the First World War affected different people. By highlighting the stories of different battles and events, the museum encourages visitors to visit the actual sites across Belgium to gain a better understanding of the reality of the war.
The Prado Museum - Madrid, Spain
Housing the world’s finest collection of European art, the Prado Museum builds upon the former Spanish Royal Collection to highlight some of the finest pieces of Spanish, Flemish and Italian art. Featuring works by Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Paul Rubens, your students will be amazed at the details, stories and techniques used in these pieces which date from the 12th century to the early 20th century. If that wasn’t enough, you can also complete Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art with visits to both the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The Uffizi Gallery - Florence, Italy
Located in the historic centre of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery houses the world’s finest pieces of art and sculptures from the Italian Renaissance period, as well as the later Neoclassical period. As well as playing host to some of the most iconic pieces of art, it is also home to some of the finest marble statues from across Italy and the older Roman Empire. The gallery itself is also beautifully adorned with grand staircases, gallery corridors, ornate cornices and fresco painted ceilings. Any art focussed trip to Florence wouldn’t be complete without also experiencing the various museums, galleries, churches and palaces found throughout the historic centre. Our personal favourite outside of the Uffizi would be a visit to Galleria dell’Accademia to see the infamous statue of David by Michelangelo.
National Museum of Natural History - Paris, France
Known as “the Louvre of the Natural Sciences”, the National Museum of Natural History plays host to one of the best displays of Earth’s rich diversity of life. Comprised of four galleries, the museum focusses on different aspects of natural history, including botany, mineralogy & geology, palaeontology, and entomology. However, the main exhibit is the grand gallery of evolution. Featuring an incredible array of both terrestrial and marine animals, the gallery allows visitors to get up close with these rare species and see how evolution has given rise to unique features across the animal kingdom. The museum itself is a set of beautiful buildings, next to the River Seine, and all surrounding the Jardin des Plantes. Here you’ll find a public zoo, geometric formal gardens and greenhouses housing rare plants from around the world.
Deutsches Museum - Munich, Germany
Celebrating the masterpieces of science and technology, the Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest science and technology museum, with its main site being located in Munich. Covering over 50 different fields, it’s easy to focus on a particular learning objective or subject matter. Your students will also be able to find out how many of the modern pieces of technology that we take for granted began and how they have shaped our modern society. Some of the fields in focus include electrical power, music, glass, computers, astronomy, agriculture, radio, navigation, mining, physics, chemistry, and so much more. You’ll also find a huge array of planes, classic cars, boats and machinery, all located on the same little island in the centre of the city.
Cité des Sciences - Paris, France
Built to promote public interest in science, research, and industry, particularly amongst the youth, the City of Science and Industry is one of the largest science museums in the world. Featuring an aquarium, a planetarium, greenhouses, a spherical IMAX theatre, a submarine, and so much more, this museum is a fantastic location in the heart of Paris to enjoy something a bit different. With interactive exhibits that emphasis learning through fun, this museum is perfect for younger students (12 and under) that are interested in the sciences.
Have your own suggestion? Let us know!
If you have your own suggestion for a museum or activity, and you’re curious to find out if we can arrange a school trip for you based around this, be sure to let us know! We have a wide range of destinations available across Europe, and we can organise all of your transport, food, insurance, and everything else that you might need. Our Account Managers are always happy to help and easy to get in touch with. Just give us a call, or follow the link below, fill out the information, and they will be in touch.