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Discover Giverny and Monet’s Gardens: Ideal guide for a day

On the outskirts of Paris, there are many charming cities full of stories. One is Giverny, the town where the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived. 75 km from Paris, this small town attracts tourists from all over the world, mainly from Japan. The primary motive is the house where Monet lived and its beautiful gardens.

However, Giverny is not just limited to the Claude Monet Foundation, there are other places to visit, including the rural and quiet alleys. Close to Paris, it is a perfect program to do on a day-trip.

I recommend visiting the city of Monet! I also made this post to give ALL the tips you will need: the best time, ways to get there, things to do, tickets, things to eat, and so on… Come with me !! 😉

Monet’s house and beautiful gardens

Monet’s house and gardens are Giverny’s main point. It inspired many Impressionist works. It is also the second most visited place in Normandy, after Mont Saint Michel. It is a must-stop for those in the region!

To get to know the Monet Foundation, you usually have a queue. However, you can avoid it if you arrive in the mornings or buy tickets online. Upon entering, I suggest starting the garden tour – split into two: Le Clos Normand and Le Jardin d’Eau – and ending at the artist’s house.

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LE CLOS NORMAND

The painter Claude Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 and lived there until his death in 1926. A lover of flowers during this time, he performed beautiful works as a painter and also as a gardener.

What once was an apple orchard and a vegetable garden, was turned by Monet into an open-air work of art. The artist planted cherry trees in place of apple trees and thousands of types of flowers, including daffodils, tulips, irises, peonies, and oriental poppies.

A festival of colors and fragrances that make the atmosphere of the place unique!

LE JARDIN D’EAU

Fascinated by the water mirrors, Monet acquired a field located in front of his house across the road and created a pond to have his own water mirror. Called Water Garden, Jardin d’Eau is present in several paintings by the impressionist artist.

To have an oriental vibe, Monet built a bridge – and painted it green to differ from the red traditionally used in Japan. He also planted many species of Japanese plants, such as bamboo, ginkgo biloba, and Japanese peonies. He also planted several water lilies in the pond and wisteria around the bridge.

I tried to explain more or less how it is, but the truth is that the garden is difficult to explain. It is a magical place that can convey a sense of tranquility and peace, even full of tourists. The experience is unique, and I just say: Get to know it intimately!

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LA MAISON DE MONET

The visit to Monet’s house begins with a small room called the blue room, “salon bleu.” I was used for reading and storing fresh teas, spices, and eggs that were kept in a box hanging on the wall. It is adorable.

Afterward, you go through the artist’s first creative workshop, which underwent a restoration and received replicas of sixty paintings so that space was as close as possible to the original era. These are two so cute and calm corners that surely should super inspire this famous artist.

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On the first floor is the most private part of the house, where are the bedrooms. Just up the stairs, you reach Monet’s room, which still preserves the artist’s original objects. The apartment is cleanly decorated with wooden furniture, some pictures at the head of the bed, and beautiful natural light.

Speaking of paintings, on the way home, you’ll find several replicas of paintings made by Monet’s friends, such as Renoir and Cezanne.

Upstairs, you pass the artist’s bathroom, Alice’s bathroom, and bedroom – which overlooks a small sewing studio – and a third bedroom called “Blanche Hoschedé-Monet,” with flower prints on the decor. This last room was one I liked the most. 🙂

Returning to the ground floor, we can see the dining room all yellow, including the walls and furniture, with various Japanese prints and decorative objects. Just ahead is the blue kitchen, which is a charm too.

◊ Practical Information

Hours: Open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5:30 pm)

Tickets: 9.50 € Adults • 5.50 € Children (+7 years) and Students • Free for children under 7 years

Average time of visit: 1h30

Musée des Impressionnismes

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A small and young museum was created to show the influence of the impressionist movement. Situated on the outskirts of the Claude Monet Foundation, the museum is divided into two environments.

On the lower floor is the exhibition “Autour de Claude Monet,” since 2012, which shows works by this painter and the artists’ colony in Giverny and Seine Valley.

On the ground floor is a space for temporary exhibitions. Even from March 22, you can see the show “Monet-Auburtin. Une Rencontre artistique”, with various works by the painter Jean Francis Auburtin. The exhibition runs until July 14, 2019.

The museum also counts a gift shop, a restaurant/café, and a small garden full of tulips. Besides, admission is free on the first Sunday of each month.

◊ Practical Information

Schedule: Open daily from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5:30 pm)

Tickets: € 8.50 (adult)

⇒ Tip: You can buy combos, such as Fondation Claude Monet + Musée des Impressionnismes for € 16.50 for an adult.

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Église Sainte Radegonde

The small church of Giverny does not draw attention for its architecture, much less for its interior, because it is modest.

The real reason is the quiet cemetery where Claude Monet is buried, next to Alice, his second wife, and their son Michel Monet.

A little further on is the memorial honoring the six British airmen who died in a plane crash during World War II in Giverny.

Schedule: Open daily from 9am to 6pm

Musée de Mécanique Naturelle

Free museum ideal for motor fans. Created by the Guillemard brothers: Jean-Pierre, René, and Gérard have a collection of steam and combustion engines. Within the museum is the largest and oldest diesel engine in the world. I confess that I was not excited to visit, but it is a tip for those who enjoy it.

Address: 2 rue Blanche Hoschedé-Monet

GIVERNY COFFEE AND RESTAURANT

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La Guinguette – A little further from the tourist area, is located on the banks of a stream. With a pastoral vibe, it has a menu with regional recipes and dishes of the day for 18 €. A delightful place to have lunch on a sunny day, with friendly and bilingual attendants. [13, rue de la Falaise, 27620 – Giverny]

Au Coin du Pain’tre – A place to take a break and have a coffee. The boulangerie and patisserie offer a Café Gourmand (coffee + 3 sweets) for 4,50 €. The location is also tasty and full of birds strolling the terrace between the tables. [73 bis Rue Claude Monet, 27620 – Giverny]

La Musardière – Creperie Restaurant of the Hotel Musardière, is an option for those who want to have a delicious crepe. You can choose a table inside the restaurant or outside on the balcony. Tip: If you wish to dine and it is not too cold, ask for a table outside, as the landscape is even more beautiful with the colors of the sunset. [123 rue Claude Monet, 27620 – Giverny]

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Restaurant Baudy – More than a restaurant, a place above all historical. The place was once frequented by Cezanne, Renoir, Rodin, Mary Cassatt, and of course, Monet.

The restaurant retains details of 1900s decor and offers guests traditional French cuisine and typical Normandy dishes. [81 rue Claude Monet, 27620 – Giverny]

Le Jardin des Plumes – Chic restaurant with 1 Michelin star. The menu signed by chef Eric Guerin can be sampled through the tasting menu titled “Impressionnistes” for 98 €. You can also order the “à la Plume” menu for 48 €, which includes: starter + main course + cheese or dessert. [1 rue du milieu, 27620 – Giverny] 

Les Nymphéas – Located in front of Casa Monet, it features rustic décor and a garden terrace. Popular with tourists, this restaurant offers French dishes, typical Normandy delicacies, and some options for vegetarians. [Square Gérald et Florence Van der Kemp 27620 GIVERNY]

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Can’t you wait to see where Monet lived? So here’s some vital information for organizing your round trip to this city charm. 😉

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Best time to visit Giverny

Monet’s house and gardens are open for visitation from March 22 until November 1. However, it is in spring that the place reaches its peak of beauty, especially in May.

Another good option is in the fall when the tree leaves change color before they fall.

For a more leisurely stroll, I suggest going in the mornings – like as soon as you open – and avoiding the weekends. Also, try to buy your ticket in advance to avoid the entrance queue.

How to get in in the city of Giverny

You have a few options to get to the town of Monet, such as:

♦ TRAIN: From Gare Saint-Lazare station, you take a train from the intercités line towards Le Havre. The journey takes between 45 and 50 minutes, and you get off at the nearby Gare de Vernon station. Then take a bus that will take you directly to Giverny. The train ticket costs a maximum of € 14.70, and the bus ticket leaves € 10 (round trip).

Online shopping: SNCF for train and SNGO for bus.

♦ CAR: With the option to rent a car or hire a private driver, you will arrive in Giverny in approximately 1 hour. The freeway is very quiet and has only one toll on the way. In addition to the speed, you have more convenience and can also know the surrounding cities, such as Vernon, who is just as cute.

♦ GUIDED TOUR: If you don’t want any of the above, I recommend the guided tour of the PARISCityVISION website. It includes round trip transportation to Giverny, multi-language guide-driver, a visit to Casa Monet and the gardens, and the impressionist museum. It is a good option for not wanting to worry about car rental or going by train.

⇒ Read also:
Things to do in Chartres, a beautiful historic city near Paris
Paris in 4 days: Perfect itinerary to enjoy a lot while spending little
How to pack the suitcase: Complete step by step!

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