There are many excellent day trips from Paris you can take. But if you visit the city in spring or summer, Giverny should be included on your Paris itinerary.
This article covers the best time to visit Giverny, how to get to Giverny from Paris, the best Giverny tours and what you can expect in Monet’s House and Gardens.
Is Paris to Giverny Day Trip worth it?
Giverny is a charming French country town in Normandy and has been on my bucket list for a while. I was thrilled to visit Giverny on my recent trip to Paris. Monet’s house, flower garden, and water lily pond were stunning and exceeded my expectations in every way.
There are many reasons why Giverny is one of the most popular day trips from Paris:
- It is located northwest of Paris, just 80km away. It is easy to get there because it takes only one hour via train.
- The beautiful nature of Giverny inspired the French impressionist painter Claude Monet. He had lived 40 years in Giverny and painted many of his masterpieces, including the Water Lilies series.
- The main attraction here is Monet’s House and Gardens. If you are a fan of Monet or Impressionism, Giverny is a must-visit place. However, even if you are not interested in painting, Monet’s House and Garden is gorgeous, and you won’t regret it.
Table of Contents
Check out my other articles to plan your perfect trip to the City of Light!
- Start here >> Paris Itinerary for 4 days
- Then this >> Where to Stay in Paris First Time
- Should you buy Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass?
- 10 Trendy Travel Shoes for Paris
- 10 Best Small Museums in Paris Without the Crowds
- 25 Iconic French Desserts in Paris
- Paris Neighborhood Guide >> Hidden Gems in Montmartre
- 7 Most Beautiful Covered Passages in Paris
- How to Survive Overcrowded Palace of Versailles in Summer
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Best Time to Visit Giverny
Monet’s Garden is open seasonally from April 1 to November 1. Anytime during its available months present an excellent opportunity to appreciate the beauty of this luscious garden. (It is closed in winter due to being bare without greenery and flower.)
May and June is the best time to visit. While the busy season has started, the crowd level is better than in July and August. And flowers are in full bloom. You will see cascading wisteria over the Japanese bridge, and the water lily comes out in the morning on the pond.
Expect the massive crowds if you are there in summer (May through August). Try to avoid weekends and get there first thing in the morning.
April is also an excellent time to visit Giverny to avoid the crowds. (I went there at the end of April.) You can start seeing various colors and fragrant flowers in the garden, such as hyacinths, violas, daffodils, tulips, etc. Wisteria on the pond has begun to bloom, but not cascading purple yet.
In September, the weather starts to cool off a bit. The water lily season (May – September) has not been over yet, so you can still see water lilies. Note that the water lilies come out around 10 am and close mid-afternoon. So you will need to be there in the morning to see them
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How to Get to Giverny from Paris
If you are on a road trip through France, renting a car might be worthwhile as you can make pit stops in the French countryside. Or, if you are interested in visiting other Normandy sites besides Giverny, such as D-day landing beach, Mont-Saint-Michel, Rouen, or Étretat, you can do it all in one go.
Take the “Grand Lignes” from Saint Lazare train station in Paris to Vernon (50 mins). Check the routes, schedule and book Paris to Giverny train here.
From the Vernon-Giverny train station, you have four options to get to Monet’s House:
- Hop on a shuttle bus that will take you to Monet’s House and Gardens (look for a sign at the back). The shuttle bus is €5 cash each way.
- Take a Petite Train. It takes 20 minutes to Monet’s House. €10 for a round trip. Depart every two hours, so align the schedule with your train time.
- Rent a bicycle (€10 all day) or e-bike here. Monet’s House is about 6km away and takes about 20-30 minutes.
- You can also take a taxi.
Insider Tip: Book your train ticket as early as possible! There is a limited number of tickets in each time slot. And it fills up quickly. Also, Saint Lazare is one of the central train stations in Paris (the others are Gard de Nord and Gard de l’Est). Get there at least 30 minutes before departure to navigate your way.
By Shared Van
The guided tour is the most convenient way to get to Giverny, and this is what I recommend.
My goal was to get there BEFORE their opening time before it got crowded. I opted for a small group tour because I traveled solo during the Paris strikes in 2023. The group tour was super easy and less stressful as I did not have to sweat about disruptions, re-routing, or getting lost!
It happened to me when I visited the Palace of Versailles, and a 30-minute detour on a train in the morning resulted in devastating 2.5 hours of wait in line. I determined not to take the chance again.
I met with the tour guide at 8 am in Paris. We arrived right on time for the opening of the water garden. There were only two groups in the pond at that time. We could take our time to appreciate the view and take photos. As we left the pond, it got much busier. That 30 minutes can make a world of difference.
See my recommendations for the guided tour below.
Insider Tip: Book the earliest time slot to beat the afternoon crowds and see water lilies in the morning.
Best Giverny Tours from Paris
>> Giverny Half-Day Small Group Tour: A small group of travelers gathers at a meeting point in Paris, then the driver will bring you to Giverny in a comfortable van. The half-day trip takes you to Monet’s House and Garden, and a cemetery where his family is buried.
>> Giverny Monet’s Garden Bike Tour: Travel comfortably from Paris to Giverny in a van. Bicycle your way along the sunflower field to Monet’s Gardens. Swing by the local farmer’s market for your picnic lunch.
>> Monet’s House and Gardens Guided Tour: If you want to travel from Paris to Giverny on your own but join a skip-the-line guided tour, this is a great alternative to learning in-depth about Monet’s life and environment.
>> Giverny & Versailles Full-Day Tour: This full-day tour combines two most popular day trips from Paris in a day: Claude Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny and the Palace of Versailles.
>> Giverny & Auvers Full-Day Tour: Monet lived in Giverny for 40+ years, whereas Van Gogh spent his last years in Auvers-sur-Oise. Immerse yourself in two different small towns these two impressionist painters loved. Highly recommended for cultural travelers who love impressionist paintings.
>> Giverny & McArthurGlen Outlet Tour: Visit Monet’s House and Gardens. Then, head out to the new McArthurGlen outlet mall for shopping.
Monet’s House & Gardens
Admission: €11 (Disabled: €5.50) | Age 7 and students : €6.50 | Under 7: free
Location: 84 rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny [Open Google Map]
Hours: The gardens are open from 9:30am to 6pm. Last admission 5:30pm.
Good to Know: The whole town shuts down by 6 pm.
Recommended Order of Visit
Water Garden → Clos Normand → Monet’s House (→ Restroom) → Atelier (Souvenir Shop)
The tour I joined let us visit the Water Garden first. And I recommend visiting here first to immerse yourself in a tranquil nature. It gets crowded, so be there as early as it opens.
Plus, the flow is better that way. Monet’s House and Garden are on the other side of the street. You have to go through an underground tunnel to get to the other side. Then, you walk through the flower garden before entering the house. Once leaving the house, you continue to the left and stop by a restroom before the final stop at his Atelier. Head over to his Atelier, which is converted into a souvenir shop. Once you leave the souvenir shop, you are leaving the site altogether. (That is why I suggested making a bathroom stop before you enter the souvenir shop.)
Water Garden (Jardin D’eau)
Monet spent his final 40 years of life in Giverny. He loved being surrounded by nature. But he needed to make frequent trips to Paris for his projects. So he settled in the property near a train station in Giverny because it allowed him to travel frequently to Paris while enjoying nature in his countryside home.
The Water Garden (a.k.a. Water Lily Pond) came alive ten years after he moved to the Giverny house. He envisioned creating a pond with water lilies, willows and other flowers. The artificial pond was built in 1893.
Initially, his neighbors, mostly farmers, were against the idea because they were concerned about irrigation. He was so determined that he diverted the Ru River to create the pond surrounded by weeping willows. He planted water lilies on the pond and built the Japanese bridge himself, decorated with cascading wisteria.
All things Japanese were in vogue in the late 19th century in Paris. Many impressionists, such as Monet and Van Gogh, were influenced by Japanese prints and architecture. You will soon see his obsession with Japanese art in his cottage, too.
The Water Garden is genuinely stunning. I enjoyed sitting on the bench to take in the serenity of the pond. I took a deep breath to appreciate the fragrant flowers and imagined Monet seated on the same bench to paint his masterpiece, the Water Lilies (Nymphéas) series.
Monet’s Garden (Clos Normand)
Passing through the underground tunnel, you will cross the street to Monet’s Garden. As the fragrance of flowers allures you, you will gasp because it is breathtakingly beautiful!
The garden boasts rows of colorful flowers in front of his cottage house. Monet himself designed and landscaped to create this spectacular scenery. Wait until you go inside the house and look out the window, though.
Now Foundation Monet, a non-profit organization, preserves the property. Imagine how much effort Monet would put into landscaping and maintaining the entire site alone.
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House of Claude Monet
Monet’s House is a pink stucco cottage with green accent colors, surrounded by his flower garden.
It is a very cute house; but it doesn’t take long to look around. There can be a line to enter later in the day.
I love the colors in this house. (Duh, he is an Impressionist.) It is full of light and colors.
His studio wall showcases many of Monet’s paintings. I suspect these are the reproductions for display. Note that the original artworks are in museums all over the world. Nevertheless, you will see water lilies, self-portraits and landscapes he painted.
The second-floor bedrooms overlook the flower garden. Monet would have woken up to this fantastic view from his window:
His bright yellow dining room is whimsical and happy. The fireplace, cabinets, and even the dining chairs are colored in matching yellow. The blue and white China gives a pleasant contrast of colors.
The walls are fully decorated with Japanese art. I noticed many Hokusai creations, the most incredible Japanese woodblock printmakers, painters and book illustrators. You can see here Monet’s obsession with Japanese art.
Behind the dining room, Monet’s kitchen has blue and white tiles all over the wall. He had many copper ware hanging on the wall; I was wondering if Monet used them because they were sparkling clean!
Atelier Des Nympheas
Atelier des Nymphéas used to be Monet’s studio. Now it is converted into a souvenir shop. From the reproduction of Monet’s paintings to books, T-shirts and canvas bags, there are many souvenirs you can browse. They even offer some fragrances and candles.
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Exiting the souvenir shop, you will leave the property. Immediately, you will see a few cafes for coffee or lunch.
A ten-minute drive from Monet’s House is a cemetery where the artist’s family is buried. His family grave is behind Église Sainte-Radegonde de Giverny.
Unlike others, Monet’s tomb resembles a flower bed memorializing his love for flowers. Interestingly, he is buried with his wife, her first husband, and his two sons and their wives. I heard that it was not uncommon back in the day.
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