Created as the centrepiece of the Paris’ Exposition Universelle in 1889, the tower has come to symbolise Paris. You can experience wonderful views from every floor and angle over the beautiful and historic French capital. Whilst, of cours,e you can go to the top, most of our groups only venture up to the second floor as the queue for the final lift can often be over an hour. www.tour-eiffel.fr
The Arc de Triomphe commemorates the successes of the Napoleonic War, celebrating the victories and the lives of those who died for its cause. Beneath the 'Arc' lies the tomb of the ‘unknown soldier’ from World War I, reminding visitors of the soldiers who anonymously died in battle during the Great War. After visiting Napoleon’s tribute to the victorious French army, stroll down the Champs-Elysees, still one of the world’s most elegant boulevards, to soak up the Parisian culture and lifestyle.
Ile de la Cite sits at the centre of Paris and is one of only two natural islands that remain on the River Seine (the other being the Ile de Saint Louis). Go there to see the astonishingly impressive Notre Dame with its stunning Rose window, or the Sainte Chapelle, which is considered by some to be the most beautiful church in Paris. The Ile de la Cite also plays host to the Palais de Justice, Le Prefecture de Police and Le Hotel-Dieu Hospital.
Discovery rooms allow hands-on experiments to create an inspiring combination of entertainment and education. Closed Mondays. Visit www.cite-sciences.fr for more information.
Take a guided visit of Europe's 8th largest football stadium that has a capacity for 80,000 people. On the 12th July 1998 France won the Football World Cup trophy at this very stadium against the Brazilian National team, 3-0. The Stade de France is the only stadium in the world to have hosted both a Rugby World Cup and a Football World Cup, so go and find out other facts, myths and legends of this sporting arena.
France’s largest waterpark featuring slides, waves machines and a wide selection of different swimming pools. www.aquaboulevard.com
Take a scenic trip down the River Seine to get an overall feel for Paris, for which the price is included in your overall tour price.
Imagine Disneyland Park where make-believe is real. And Walt Disney Studios Park, where the magic of Disney meets the magic of cinema. Imagine a Disney Village, where fun and entertainment stay open day and night. A Resort as big as the Imagination.
Within easy reach of Paris, the Parc Asterix provides student groups with brilliant day trips from April through to October each year. There are over 50 rides and attractions, live entertainment, arts and special effects, so you're sure to remain well-entertained!
Originally Versailles was a small peasant village that happened to house the royal hunting lodge, but when Louis XIV decided to move the royal court out of Paris and into Versailles, one of the most astonishing architectural creations of all time took place, and so the Palais de Versailles was born. In 1682, Louis XIV officially moved the royal court out of Paris in order to distance himself from his nobles and it was not until October 1789 that the family was forced to return. At one point during its construction, Versailles used up 4% of France's total annual budget, despite the fact that peasants were suffering from severe food shortages! It is nevertheless a magnificent palace transformed by the Sun King, as Louis XIV was often known. Visit the Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles, which officially put an end to WWI, was signed.
Pre-booking required for school groups – 2 months in advance. Closed Mondays. www.chateauversailles.fr
Once home to the French Royal family (before Louis XIV moved the headquarters to Versailles), the Louvre is now one of the largest art museums in the world and certainly the most visited. It houses pieces from ancient history right through to the nineteenth century and boasts such famous works as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. The collection is divided into 8 departments and owing to its size, a visit to the museum should be well-planned in order to get the most out of it. www.louvre.fr
The Musée d'Orsay is most famous for its late nineteenth and early twentieth century artworks, featuring pieces by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Gaugin and Van Gogh. Interestingly it was originally built to be a railway station, but quite quickly it became redundant as trains were built longer and longer and became too long for the platforms that had been built. The purpose of the museum was to bridge the gap between the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou.
Closed Monday. www.musee-orsay.fr
The Centre Pompidou houses the National Museum for Modern Art, a vast public library and a centre for music and acoustic research. It has the biggest collection of Modern Art in Europe and has received over 150 million guests since it opened in 1977. Modern art, scientific exhibitions, working models, not to mention the building itself, combine to create a vivid experience.
The Musée Picasso contains over 3000 pieces of Picasso's work including sketch books, sculptures, ceramics and paintings, as well as pieces from Picasso's own collection including, Cezanne, Degas, Rousseau and Matisse. The building in which the collection is housed was built between 1656 and 1659 and is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais district, one of Paris’s oldest quarters, also home to Victor Hugo’s former residence.
Montmartre is the name of the hill, which boasts the highest point in Paris at a height of 129 metres, and gives its name to the surrounding area in the 18th arrondissement. It has been known as the red-light district, an artist's hangout and the site at which one of Paris' more famous and spectacular landmarks, the Sacre Coeur was built. Go and see the famous artists’ square, Place de Tertre, the Espace Savlador Dali with its collection of artists’ sculptures and illustrations, and of course don’t miss the beautiful white Sacre Coeur. The Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic Basilica dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus, and is doubly symbolic; firstly, as a monument to the excesses of the Second Empire, and secondly as a symbol of a conservative moral order.
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Le Château de la Baudonnière: an alternative to a French exchangePublished in the SATIPS Language Broadsheet"For many years, I organised exchange trips to many different areas of France. The trips lasted between three days and two weeks and I took both boys and girls aged between nine and thirteen. The children were all paired with French children of the same age and interests and were given a real insight into French family life. I organised outings during the day, some of them for the English and French children together, others just for the English children. Each year some of the families decided to continue the exchanges and that first school trip was just the beginning of long and very happy friendships, not just between the children, but also between whole families. At my present school there is no history of French exchanges but the Year 7 pupils have the chance to go to an activity centre in France. As these trips have been heavily subsidised by the sch...