Planning a Trip to Giverny, Home of Monet

It's Like Being IN a Monet Painting

Author: The Traveling Professor/Tuesday, September 4, 2018/Categories: Paris

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I always describe a visit to Giverny, the home and gardens of Monet, is like being IN a Monet painting instead of looking at it. One can see Monet's inspiration for his creations, especially the famous Water Lily paintings.  Here are The Professor's tips for planning a trip to Giverny.

First, a little background.  Giverny is located about 45 miles outside of Paris.  There is no train station in Giverny, the closest train station is Vernon, 5 km away from Giverny.  I recommend about 2-3 hours at the Monet house and gardens. Outside the home there is a place for a simple lunch.  Pictures are permitted, even in the house now.  Admission is approximately 9.5 euros. It is open everyday from 0930 to 6 pm from mid-March to November 1.  The official website provides a lot of good info: http://fondation-monet.com/en/

The Professor's tips for planning a trip to Giverny:

By Private Van:  We do this on our small group tours to Paris.  A van rental is about 550 euros and accommodates 8 persons.  We do a pickup at the hotel at 8 am for a 915 am arrival (depending upon traffic) at the entrance.  We arrange for the van to pick us up at a predetermined time for the ride home.  The obvious advantage here is we are on our own schedule.  The disadvantage is the cost. 

By Train:  This involves some planning.  I recommend booking the train in advance on www.trainline.eu.  To get to the admission gate before the massive buses come in, take the 819 train from Paris St. Lazare station to Vernon-Giverny.  It arrives at 906 am. I have seen tickets as low as 9 euro on www.trainline.eu.  I also recommend buying your return ticket in advance since sometimes trains are sold out.  Upon arrival in Vernon, public busses are waiting to take people up to Giverny, but I don't recommend this option because it takes a long time and we have seen situations where seats have run out leaving travelers stranded.  Also, the bus does not drop off (and pick up) at the door of the house, it is about a 3/4 mile walk.  Upon departing the train, I recommend rushing to the taxi stand (there are not many taxis in Vernon) to be whisked directly to the admission point.  As I recall, we paid about 25 euros for a taxi last time we did it this way.  Make sure to make an appointment with the taxi driver to pick you up for the return trip back to the train station.

By Car:  Sure, you can rent a car in Paris and drive to Giverny.  Expensive but it offers maximum flexibility.  Good luck driving in Paris!

By Excursion: Several private companies offer big bus, overpriced, and limited time excursions.  Avoid them.

Be the First to Get In:  Unfortunately, mass tourism is a problem at Giverny.  I recommend presenting yourself at the ticket/admission office about 10 minutes before opening.  As soon as you get in, rush over to the water lily pond before the masses arrive and get your photos.  After that, visit the house and gardens near the house.

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