Monet’s Garden in Giverny has always been something I wanted to see while living in Paris. I remember coming across some photos awhile back and couldn’t believe how beautiful the gardens were. When a friend asked me if I wanted to go with her last week i immediately said yes.
It was fairly easy to get from Paris to Giverny. We started off at Gare Saint Lazare, one of the train stations in Paris and bought tickets (15€ each way) to Vernon. It takes about an hour to get to Vernon, and once there you have to take a bus or a little train called Givernon to Giverny. The bus is 5€ each way and takes about 10 minutes. The Givernon train only sells round trip tickets for 8€ and takes 20 minutes, but gives you a little tour around Vernon. Both the Givernon train and bus are connected to the main trains coming in from Paris in terms of departure times. This means they do not run very often which we learned this the hard way. My friends and I wanted to have a picnic so we went to the supermarket in Vernon when we arrived, but this was a mistake as we had to wait 1 hour to take the next Givernon train or bus to Giverny.
I would definitely recommend taking the bus instead of the Givernon train since it’s faster, bigger, and runs more frequently. The Givernon train is a lot smaller and is subject to availability, so you risk the chance of not being about to board. An even better option would be renting a bike. We did not know this beforehand but apparently you can rent bicycles in Vernon. Seems like it would be the best way to get between the two towns and explore surrounding areas.
I’d also suggest taking the 8:00am train from Saint Lazare so you can get to the garden as soon as it opens at 9:30am to avoid the crowd. We left Paris at 9:15am but because of our little mishap with the bus, we did not enter the garden until 11:45am. By this time it was super crowded inside.
When we were finally inside, we passed the house and upper gardens and headed straight to the lily pads and water garden. We were hoping we would surpass the next large flow of people that were entering. The lily pads were my favorite and them alone made the trip worth it. After enjoying the water garden we made our way back to Claude Monet’s house and the upper gardens. This was where he lived and painted for the last 40 years of his life. Inside the house you can find brightly colored rooms, many of his paintings, and painting that were given to him by his famous artist friends.
The upper gardens are also extremely beautiful and were designed by Monet himself. It is home to about 100 different flowers which bloom at different times of the year making the garden beautiful all year-long.
We originally wanted to have our lunch in the gardens but you are not allowed to eat inside, so after out visit we walked around Giverny and found a perfect little grass area to relax in. It was an absolutely beautiful day so we were happy to be able to enjoy our lunch and relax in the sun. The day ended with us exploring Giverny a little and then heading back to Paris. If you get to Giverny early it can easily be a half day trip allowing you to get back to Paris and enjoy the rest of the day.