Tips for your trip to GIVERNY (home village of Claude MONET, where he lived for 43 years)
- Here are my few tips to help you organize your visit to Giverny (Monet’s gardens).
- My suggestion is that you can easily go to Giverny and visit the place on your own, especially if you’re staying in Paris long enough and don’t have to rush to see all what you’ve planned to see in Paris and around.
- Giverny is surely among the top sites to visit during your first or second stay in Paris. It’s one of the most visited attractions around Paris and a great option for a day trip from Paris.
At the bottom of this page : A VIDEO (by Ann Jeanne in Paris)
A few words about Giverny (Monet’s gardens) –
More about Giverny ? : Please check out my other article : CLICK here
- Giverny is the home village of Claude Monet where he lived and worked from the age of 43, in 1883 to his death in 1926.
- It’s located, 50 miles (75 kilometers) North-West from Paris in Normandy, in the Eure department.
The gardens are real works of art. Walking throught Monet’s garden is just like walking through Monet’s paintings. Flourished, peaceful and quiet, despite of all the visitors who are coming everyday. His work was inspired by these gardens that he created here in Giverny. And his gardens are featured at every season in his impressionist paintings
- The place is divided into two parts : the main garden where the house is located, and the Water lily garden with the Japenese bridge
Best time to come : any season and avoid weekends
Any season (from end of March to end of October): The gardens are always beautiful. It’s never the same setting. At each season, the flowers are different. In any case, you’ll always see a wonderfully florished garden : daffodils, roses, marigolds, hydrangea and other beautiful species…
- If possible avoid weekends as there is many more people
- May and June are the most busy monthes because of the schools coming to visit. During these months, better to come on a Wednesday (weekday of school break)
- Early in the morning, as close as possible to the opening time (9.30am) as to avoid the tourists coming by coach.
- Plan a minimum of HALF a DAY visit. If possible a WHOLE DAY in order to have the opportunity to enjoy the place and its surrounding peacefully.
- If possible a non-rainy day : Check the weather forecast ahead of making your plans.
How to get to Giverny : On your own (Easy : train + shuttle) or with a tour operator ?
On your own – By train and shuttle : this is what I recommend. Giverny is very accessible and it’s very simple to do this independently and you’ll be free to arrive and leave whenever you wish.
And in addition, you’ll save the money. On the site, you don’t really need a guide : It’s nice to wander around and take photos and imagine what the life would have been like, to lookout of the windows and see the flowers. You are free to explore the house and the grounds at you leisure. Here is the way to get to Giverny by train : Train from St Lazare station to Vernon train station + shuttle from Vernon to Monet’s gardens
- Get your entrance ticket to Monet’s gardens in advance (otherwise, you may have to wait in line for quite long) :
- on Giverny website or on La Fnac website (La Fnac is a renown French chain of shops). Normal fare : 10.20 € Children under 7 : free of charge.
- Your ticket is valid for the date you select.
- This is the best way to avoid the serious queues for tickets. If you don’t get your ticket ahead, you’ll probably have to wait in line to purchase tickets.
- Warning : your ticket is available on the day you choose only.
- Book your round trip train ticket (Saint Lazare train station – Vernon train station) ahead of time (45 minutes transportation – 12.50€ each way)
- On line for specific departure and return times (though it’s possible to get the round trip tickets at the train station too. In that case, you purchase the train tickets at one of the yellow ticket machines in the train terminal. It requires a EU credit card.).
- Check the time tables (below, a time table so as to give you an idea of how it works.But get the latest updated timetable as there might have some slight changes this year). Choose a trip with no change. Take a ticket for a Rouen-bound train. Better take a train around 8.20am
- There is roughly a train every one hour and about 20 trains going to Giverny per day.
- Price : 12.50 euros each way.
- The trains are confortable and very punctual. No seat booking. You can seat anywhere. Click here for details about the weekdays times of departure Click here for details about the weekends times of departure
- Reach SAINT LAZARE train station : Get to the train station (end of Metro line 14).
- Go to the departures board to locate your platform (20 minutes before the departure) Give your tickets to a machine, to stamp them.
- Take the train from Gare Saint Lazare (25 euros return ticket – 75 kilometers – 45 minutes train ride). A train to Vernon leave the station roughly every hour. The train ride is 45 minutes.
- Get off at VERNON train station :
- SHUTTLE (Round trip : 8 euros – 5 kms – 15 minutes bus ride) : Catch the shuttle dedicated to Giverny’s visitors at the exit of Vernon train station.
- The shuttle buses are timed to meet the trains. The transition is very easy and stress free. You’ll have time to catch the shuttle as it takes time for all the people to pay the driver.
- The bus will probably be packed but you should have a seat and it’s a short ride (around 7 minutes)… !
- Warning : Be careful you can only pay for tickets with cash. Make sure you have some small change for the bus.
There is at least one bus (sometimes 2 or 3 buses) waiting for the visitors at Vernon train station. It will take you right to Monet’s house and gardens. The ticket you purchase will be valid for the trip back to the train station.
- Instead of the Shuttle, you can hire a taxi (around 17 euros – 6.6 kms – around 7 minutes) – Taxis 0232511024 – Please check this number before you go as it may have changed). Most of the time, you find a taxi in front of the train station. To return from Monet’s gardens to Vernon train station by taxi, go at the Tourism office/Information center of Giverny. They can call a taxi for you. But the Shuttle is such an easy way to take you to Monet’s gardens that the shuttle is probably the best option to choose. Or you can rent a bike (at one of the 2 cafés across from the train station).
How much time must I plan for this visit ?
What I suggest is a minimum of a half-day trip.
If you’re not in a rush, the best would be to give Giverny a full day or almost !
- Go as early as you can : The 8.20am train at Saint Lazare train station will take you to Giverny at the opening (9.30am). Both gardens and house get super crowded within an hour of opening.
- and to plan a return around 4 pm. This is what I did the last time I went to Giverny
- This will allow you to wander around in the nice village of Giverny, have a break, a light lunch (at the Nympheas for instance), visit the grave of Monet, about 10 minutes walk from Monet’s home, in the village cemetery and maybe visit the museum of Impressionism which is located in the village too.
Practical details :
Address : Fondation Claude Monet, rue Claude Monet 27620 Giverny
2 gardens : There are in fact 2 gardens separated by the D5 road. The first one is called the Clos Normand. The second one is where you’ll see the Water lily pond.
Opening days and time :
- Open daily from Friday 23d of March 2018 to the 1st of November
- from 9.30am to 6 pm – Last entrance at 5.30 pm
Entrance fees (2017) house and gardens : (Please, check the fees, it may change over the years)
- Adults : 10,20€
- Child (from 7 and students) : 7,20€
- Child under 7 : free
Booking your entrance tickets : (3 reliable websites to book your tickets)
Want a guided visit ?
- Coming on your own + a guided visit organized by Claude Monet’s site (Booking in advance mandatory) : Click here
- Coming on your own + a guided tour with Ariane ? (= Guided tour option offered by Giverny official website – Booking in advance mandatory) : Click here
- Warning : no guided visit can be booked on the site. You’ve got to book it ahead of time
Trains timetables and SNCF (train company) website:
- Weekdays timetable: Click here
- Weekends timetable : Click here
- SNCF website (trains company)
What’s to see in the village :
- The Grave of Monet : about 10 minutes walk from Monet’s home
- The Church : a church dating back to the Middle Ages
- A museum of Impressionnism opened in 1992. Opened from 10am to 6pm – Admission 6.50€
- Numerous cafés and quaint small streets
Other useful links :
- Fondation Claude Monet : Official website (website for the House of Cl. Monet)
- Map of the house and gardens
- Giverny – Official website
- More about Monet’s house and gardens ? Check out my other article : CLICK here
- Shop and online shop : http://fondation-monet.com/boutique (Just next to the house, there is a great bookstore (n° 3 on the map below) which has many nice postcards and calendars.)
- Les Nymphéas tearoom (n°6 on the map below – very close to Monet’s house) – In front of Claude Monet’s house and garden you just have to cross the street to take seat . It is a nice little outdoor café where you can have a drink and a light lunch. Particularly enjoyable on a sunny day. You can relax in this peaceful and unformal place. You cannot picnic in the Monet’s gardens themselves.
- Boutique Emilio Robba : gifts, flower seeds…
- Email : email@example.com
- Facebook Fondation Claude Monet :
- The Nymphéas tearoom (n°6 on the map below) :
Map of Claude Monet’s house and around : Click here for a larger format
If you choose to go with a group : here is some suggestions
- By bus from Paris (= options offered by Giverny official site) : from 61 € ( with an audioguide) to 115 € /person (with a tourist guide) : Click here for more details . But you won’t be able to stay more than half a day and you’ll be in a group.
- Paris Visions : this tour operator offer bus or mini-van tours available from Paris (Air conditioned coaches)
- Departing from the center of Paris, about 400 meters from Le Louvre – Paris city vision : 2 rue des Pyramides – Paris 1 (near Joan of Arc statue) – Morning or afternoon departure time when booking.
- You’ll arrive about 1 hour and a half later in Giverny
- You’ll be returned to the starting point in Paris 5 hours later.
- Different options ranging form 70-89 euros. For instance 83 euros (transportation, entrance tickets, services of a tour guide included). Another option includes the transportation and an audioguide for the visit to Monet’s house and gardens. Click here for more details
- A bike ride : Another option offered by Fat Tire Bike Tours. You meet the group at the train station in Paris. The guide takes you onto the train. At Vernon train station, the group walks about a block and gets bikes. The bike ride is very easy. You stop to pick up picnic supplies then after a very short ride you stop on banks of the river for lunch. Then a nice ride on level bike trail to Monets Gardens. A small group of about 20 . Fees : 65 euros Click here for more details
My recommendations :
- Half a day for a visit of Monet’s house, garden and the village is nice but maybe a bit too short
- If you’re going on your own, book the entrance tickets and your train tickets in advance. Take an early train and avoid the weekends.
- After your visit of the house and gardens, take a walk in the village and browse around the giftshops/bookshops
- Take a peaceful break (drink or light lunch) at the Nympheas tearoom (or another of the several restaurants nearby).You cannot picnic in the Monet’s gardens themselves.
- Don’t combine a visit of Giverny and a visit of Versailles in the same day. It’s really too much if you want to enjoy the places. It would be a rush and exhausting.
- If you’d choose the “Paris visions” half day tour option, this means that you’ll be 2 hours only on the site (a total of 5 hours minus the 2 x 1.5 hours of transportation). If you want to really take your time, do you think this will be long enough ?
- Warning : Bring cash : No ATMs or currency exchange bureaus in the village. And if you have to take the shuttle, you’ll need cash too.
- Other Monet related places to visit in Paris :
- The Orangerie Museum in the Tuileries garden : This is where are located the “Water Lilies” murals. – Metro Stop : Concorde
- The Musee d’Orsay – Metro Stop : Solférino
- Marmottan Monet Museum (near the Bois de Boulogne) – Metro Stop : La Muette – Paris 16
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GIVERNY : a VIDEO by Ann Jeanne in Paris