While there are tons of things to do in Paris, sometimes it’s nice to take a day trip out of the city. Versailles may be the most popular option, but for fans of Claude Monet, a day trip to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny is a great choice. Located about an hour and a half from Paris, you can visit Giverny in the morning and be back in time for a late lunch! Here’s what you need to know about taking a day trip to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny from Paris.
Getting to Giverny from Paris
You have several options for visiting Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny from Paris.
Train to Vernon
You can take a train from Paris directly to the town of Vernon. The ride to Vernon is about 50 minutes. The train station is a 15 minute drive to Monet’s house. You can take a taxi or bus. It’s even possible to walk (about three miles) or rent a bike.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is somewhat unnecessary for a day trip to Giverny. If you have plans to visit other points of interest in Normandy, this is a good option.
Take a Tour
Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to figure out public transportation, I find it’s easier to book a tour. Most of the tours are really just charging for the transportation since your entrance to Monet’s house includes an audio tour. The downside of taking a tour is that you will be visiting Giverny at the same time as a giant bus full of other people in your tour group.
Things to Do in Giverny
Giverny is a tiny town in Normandy so there is really not much to do besides visiting Monet’s house and gardens.
Tour Monet’s House
Start with an audio tour of Monet’s house. There’s an easy footpath to follow throughout the house.
Highlights include the kitchen, bedrooms, and a replica of Monet’s studio. On the tour, you’ll learn more about the life of Claude Monet and his family.
Walk Around Monet’s Gardens
Right outside of the house are Monet’s gardens. These are the traditional gardens rather than the water garden where he painted his famous Water Lilies.
We visited in the fall and still found the flora to be colorful though I hear it’s amazing in the spring.
Monet’s Water Garden
Follow the signs across the street to see Monet’s famous water garden. You’ll notice the calming Japanese aesthetic of the water garden. Be sure to get a photo of the Japanese footbridge and, of course, the water lilies.
You can also visit Monet’s grave which is located off-site in the village cemetery. It’s about a 10 minute walk from his house.
Tips for Visiting Giverny
Here are some tips for visiting Giverny:
- Buy tickets online: This isn’t one of the busiest attractions, but I always feel that it saves time to buy online when possible.
- Arrive early: We arrived right before a giant tour bus and were certainly glad to be ahead of them while touring Monet’s house! You can also get better shots of the water garden with fewer people around.
- Spend more time in Normandy: While Giverny is an easy day trip from Paris, it’s also the perfect first stop on a Normandy itinerary. You can even visit other stops in Normandy that inspired Monet (see itinerary here).
Whether you’re an art fan or not, visiting Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny is a great way to get out of Paris. At less than two hours from Paris, it’s easily accessible by car or train. When visiting Monet’s house, you’ll learn more about the life of the artist while getting to see the inspiration for his most famous paintings. If only my 5th grade art teacher could see me now!