There are many things students can learn from visiting historic locations, including skills that are vital not just for the study of history but for learning in general: looking beyond the surface, analytical thinking, and putting knowledge into context. An educational framework can make any trip immensely valuable for students, while their classmates make the perfect companions to travel with. School outings provide all this and more, no matter where you go, but one of the most rewarding destinations for history is Dublin. Here are three of the city's top attractions.
Dublin's past is full of dramatic changes, and there is no better way to start exploring these changes than by investigating one of the oldest periods of the city's life: Viking Dublin. No matter the age range or historical knowledge of the students you travel with, school visits to Dublin can be enhanced with a trip to Dublinia, the interactive museum that presents the city's past lives in a vivid series of exhibitions that are certain to prove memorable. Visitors can ride on a replica Viking long ship, walk the reconstructed streets of the old city, or put their investigative skills to the test with the museum's own archaeological lab.
One of Ireland's most celebrated attractions, Dublin Castle sits at the heart of the city and has borne witness to the many changes that have occurred all around it since its establishment in 1204 CE. It offers a window into the life of Medieval Dublin, making it a valuable site to visit for those who travel with school groups. Built in Norman times as a defensive fortress, it has remained an important part of the city's political life ever since, most significantly in its transition from a British to an Irish seat of power in the Irish Civil War. Today, it continues to fulfil its central role as a government building, providing the site for official ceremonies and events and a residence for important visitors - while also retaining several preserved historic rooms that students can visit.
National Museum of Ireland
Understanding the history of a place is about far more than memorising lists of dates or reading about the actions of a country's rulers - it requires an appreciation of the place's cultural and social past as well. Students who travel with school groups to Ireland will have the opportunity to learn more about this side of the city's history by visiting the National Museum of Ireland, which has a strong focus on Irish arts and culture, as well as natural history. The museum has three branches: the Archaeology building, which contains the earliest examples of human-made objects found in the country; the Decorative Arts and History building, with extensive collections including ceramics, silverware, folk art and weapons; and the Natural History Museum, which displays animal specimens from around the world.