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Savvy Travel Tips to Tour Giverny and the Monet Gardens in France

Updated: Mar 12

What To Know to Visit

Monet's Gardens, House and Museum

in Giverny, France

In 1883, Claude Monet, considered the Father of the Impressionist Movement, "retired" to the small village of Giverny, near Vernon, in the Upper Normandy region of France, about 80km/50 miles from Paris. He eventually bought a lovely farm style house and designed and planted the gardens he would make famous through his paintings he created until his death in 1926. The property was inherited by his son, who, in turn, bequeathed it to the Academie des Beaux-Artes in 1966. The house and gardens were declared public in 1980 after extensive renovations with the creation of The Foundation Claude Monet.

What to Know to Visit Giverny and the Monet Gardens in France

1. It doesn't matter what you see first, the gardens, the house or even his artwork in other museums. If you have seen any of Monet's works, such as the massive room-sized murals at the Musee de l'Orangerie, this experience will be awesome. If you visit Giverny before you see any of the paintings, you will understand the inspiration. Either order is OK.

Travel to Giverny
Museum of Modern Art, New York

2. Plan your trip carefully. Take the SCNF train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Vernon. Planned train strikes are frequent and, in today's world, there are terrorist threats. Buy your round trip tickets on the day of your visit at the station. Don't forget to check the weather. (And don’t forget to validate your ticket before boarding!)

Travel to Giverny
Check the timetable (Giverny, France

In Vernon, you will have to take a bus to Giverny. Once you arrive in Vernon, immediately double check the timetable for the bus from Giverny to Vernon and the train back to Paris.

What to Know to Visit Giverny and the Monet Gardens in France

3. It may be crowded. In fact, it's almost a guarantee. It’s best to pre-purchase your tickets online. If not, get there very early (greatly advised), stand on the queue and purchase your tickets. There are tickets for the gardens, Monet’s house and the museum, Musee des Impressionmisme, down the street. You can buy a combo ticket. Currently, this attraction is not covered by the Paris Museum Pass. Always check their website for the latest info.

Travel to Giverny
Check the website for current prices

4. If the gardens look familiar, it’s said that these gardens inspired botanical gardens throughout the world. The gardens will vary depending on the season. The famous lily pond may not be in bloom until May or June but it's impressive just the same. Monet planned for the fact that the lilies are not in bloom all the time and has plenty of trees, some benches and other flora for you to admire, including the famous Japanese bridge.

Travel to Giverny
Monet's Gardens, Giverny, France

5. Even if you're not into art, you'll love the architecture and the era of the house. Monet loved Giverny and lived there from 1883 until he died in 1926. It seems as if the past and present are in the house at the same time, even almost 100 years later. Monet helped to inspire the Giverny Colony of impressionist artists who started living there circa 1887. If you're inspired to create, the gift shop will help you get started. You can also take home a little bit of Monet with you in many forms from socks to umbrellas.

Travel to Giverny
Musee des Impressionmisme, Giverny, France

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