See the Gardens that Inspired Monet in Giverny, France

See the French Impressionist's works come to life - quite literally!

Money's famous waterlilies in Giverny, Normandy
••• Money's famous waterlilies in Giverny, Normandy. Barry King/Getty Images

Giverny is a small village in Normandy, 75 kilometers northwest of Paris. Surrounding Giverny are several forests in which you can walk or bike.

Giverny is home to Monet's Gardens, an extremely popular place to visit, especially in spring. You can tour Claude Monet's house, then go out to see the gardens which inspired his paintings and experience Giverny's 'special light' that influenced the work of Monet and other impressionists.

Read more about Visiting Normandy

When to Go to Giverny

Most travelers hit Giverny in the spring--April showers bring May flowers after all--and then the tourists give the gardens a rest in the heat of summer. But fall is also a very active time for the gardens, and there's still a lot to see.

Despite its small size, Giverny hosts many festivals throughout the year. In September, the big Giverny Festival comes to town.

Guided Tours of Giverny from Paris

As there is no train station in Giverny (see below), those without a car might prefer to take a guided tour. Check out these options:

Visiting Giverny and Versailles on the Same Day

Versailles and Giverny are about an hour apart by car. It is only a slight detour to head west first to Versailles and then north to Giverny. However, there are no trains to connect the two. If you don't have a car, consider this guided tour:

Read more about Visiting Versailles from Paris.

How to Get to Giverny by Train

Giverny doesn't have a train station. The nearest train station is four kilometers away, in Vernon.

To get to Vernon from Paris, you depart from the Gare St. Lazare. (see: Paris Train Stations) Vernon is on the Paris / Rouen / Le Havre line.

If you wish to go directly to Giverny by bus, inquire as to which trains are timed to meet the bus to Giverny in Vernon. Buses only run during the season, from spring to fall.

There is a taxi stand in front of the station, where you can get a taxi to Giverny for under 20 Euro.

See also: Interactive Rail Map of France

Staying in Vernon

Vernon itself isn't a bad place to visit or to stay for a few days. The Vernon Museum is where you can see many of Monet's paintings. It is located at 12 rue du Pont in Vernon. It houses everything from an archaeological collection to military and fine arts exhibits.

Biking or Walking to Giverny

You can rent a bike at the train station or at the bike shop "Cyclo News" near the hospital. For detailed information, see Giverny Transport.

There is a special trail that gets you from Vernon to Giverny without having to take the highway. You simply take Albufera street and cross over the Seine, then ignore the signs to Giverny (that's the highway) at the roundabout and go a little past it to the bike and footpath called "Voie Andre Touflet". See the route on a Map of Giverny and Vernon.

Also visible on the map is the parking area for Monet's house and gardens.

Staying in Giverny

Give yourself a night in Giverny if you'd also like to visit the Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, which is found on the same street as Monet's house and gardens, at 99, rue Claude Monet. It's open from the first of April to the end of October and closed on Mondays, like many of France's museums.

The Office of Tourism in Vernon is at 36 rue Carnot near the bridge. Ask them for "le plan de ville de Vernon" (the map of the city). You can also inquire about guided tours of Vernon, Giverny or the surrounding area called "Pacy-sur-Eur". The web site in English is loaded with further information on the area. 

Some accommodation we can recommend:

  • La Pluie de Roses in right on the Rue de Monet at number 14.
  • Le Clos Fleuri is a highly rated bed and breakfast in Bonneville La Louvet. You'll need a car to reach it.