Hello again! While we were in Paris, we were able to take a day trip to Giverny to visit Claude Monet’s house. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we planned this trip, but it was incredible! The gardens were in full bloom, it smelled amazing and the house looked like something out of a fairy-tale. I truly understand where Monet got his inspiration.
To get from Paris to Giverny is relatively simple. You can take a metro to St. Lazare Train Station and from there catch a train going to Vernon. They run frequently, about every hour or so, and you can buy your tickets at a machine or the information desk. It costs anywhere from 8 – 15 euros for a one way ticket, depending the time of day. To guarantee the time you want, you can order your tickets online in advance here.
Once you arrive in Vernon, there should be some nearby busses ready to take you to Giverny. We rode on the SN Go Shuttle bus, which cost 10 euros round trip and brought us within 10 minutes walking to his house. (You can see the 2017 bus schedule here). The journey is another 10-15 minutes but the scenery is wonderful!
Once you arrive in Giverny, follow the signs to Claude Monet’s house. It costs 10.20 euros to go inside (7.20 euros for students). You can buy your tickets at the window when you arrive. If there is a line, don’t worry, it moves fairly quickly. We went later in the day and it didn’t seem too bad. (There was also conveniently an ice cream cart outside so we were able to have a snack while waiting!) You can also book “skip the line tickets” online here.
Now you might not know a lot about Claude Monet, but let me fill you in on a few facts. He is known as the father of impressionism, a form of art that depicts visual movement, usually in light. He was married to a woman named Camille Donieux and had two sons with her. For the beginning of their lives together, they lived in poverty, like many artists do at the start. Camille was the model for many of his early works. After 7 years of marriage, Camille died. Later, Monet remarried a woman named Alice Hoschedé, who had 6 children of her own. Together with their 8 children in total, they lived in the house in Giverny.
Monet planted a lot of gardens at his house, which inspired many of his paintings. Some of his most famous works were painted there. Monet enjoyed painting nature and would often paint the same scene multiple times, to capture it in different lights. This is evident in his famous large scale Water Lilly paintings, which consumed almost 20 years of his life. They can now be seen at the Museé de l’Orangerie in Paris. Monet lived in the house in Giverny for 43 years from 1883 – 1926, until he died. He is actually buried in Giverny next to the church.
Now that you understand a little about the famous painter, you can see how important this house and these gardens were to his work. Once past the ticket booth you are free to explore as long as you’d like! It’s truly a magnificent place. If you follow a trail to the back of the gardens, you will be lead under a road to the ponds which have the famous water lilies.
This area is so tranquil and serene. If you’re lucky enough to find a free bench, take the time to sit and truly enjoy the view. It seriously feels as though you’ve walked straight into a Monet painting!!
After exploring the gardens, be sure to make your way into the house. You can see how Monet lived with his family, and even go in his studio where he did a lot of his painting.
After exploring Monet’s house and gardens, there’s no doubt in my mind that this should be on your bucket list when visiting Paris. It’s a great day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy the afternoon in the peaceful countryside.
We hope this video blog is able to transport you to Monet’s gardens! Stay tuned for some great tips on visiting Paris!
Au Revoir! Amanda