Day Trip to Giverny - The Home and Gardens of Monet

One of the Most Popular Side Trips from Paris

Author: The Traveling Professor/Saturday, October 19, 2013/Categories: Paris

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When on a tour to Paris, a side trip to the home and gardens of the famous Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, is a worthwhile journey.

Getting there involves a 45-minute train ride from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon, the closest train station to the house and gardens.

I've seen other people on tours to Paris spend about €175 euro to take the big bus to Giverny.  But if planned on your own, a trip to Giverny can be done for much less, and on your own schedule.

I recommend getting to Giverny early in the morning, preferably before the armada of tour busses arrive.   I take the train that arrives in Vernon about 9:05 a.m. since the gardens and home open at 9:30.

Once arriving in Vernon, walk through the underpass then through the train ticket office.   This is where a decision needs to be made on how to get to Giverny:

  • Bus:  Busses wait along the street parallel to the train tracks about 75 yards from the ticket office.  Tickets are €4 each way, purchased on board.  After the bus is all loaded up, the 6km journey drops passengers off at an area that is another 10-minute walk to the house/gardens ticket office.   When it is all said and done, if arriving at Vernon at 9:05 a.m., expect to finally enter just before 10 a.m., a few minutes before every other Monet pilgrim arrives.  The bus schedule coordinates with the train schedule to get back to the train station for the trip back to Paris.
  • Taxi:  There are a limited number of taxis in Vernon, so scurry over to the taxi stand in front of the train station.  €20 gets you deposited steps away from the ticket office, probably in time for the 9:30 a.m. opening.   Make arrangements with the driver to get back to the train station.  
  • Bike:  At a small restaurant across the street from the busses to Giverny, bike rentals are available.
  • Walk:  It’s a long 6km stroll, partly along a paved pathway.
Once getting in, walk directly back through an underpass to the water gardens to the famous Japanese bridge and water lilies and start filling up the camera’s memory card.  Stroll back to the gardens for more snapshots before heading into the house.   

The home and gardens are open daily from 9:30 to 6 p.m. April through October.  Admission is €9.50, reduced to €7 for children and students.  Disabled persons are €4. 

Opt to purchase tickets at Gare Saint-Lazare the day before since experience has shown me sometimes there is an hour or more wait at the ticket desk.  The automated kiosks don’t accept non-European credit cards.

Before boarding the train, validate the train ticket by having it stamped by one of the yellow machines.

You probably want the 12:53 or 2:53 (14:53) back to Paris from Vernon.  Your train ticket will most likely be a “flexible” ticket that allows travel on either train.  Tickets are about €40 R/T.

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