Celebrated impressionist painter Claude Monet spent nearly 43 years-- from 1883 to his death in 1926-- living in a house he had specially constructed in the peaceful locality of Giverny, about an hour from Paris and at the edge of the Normandy region of France. Today run by the Claude Monet Foundation, the painter's house and breathtaking gardens attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, who come to witness the iconic water garden and bridge which inspired some of Monet's most-loved paintings (including the water lilies series), enjoy the artist's collection of Japanese prints, or explore the brightly-painted and decorated rooms of the house.
An excursion to Giverny makes an ideal day trip from Paris. Whether you're a dedicated admirer of Monet or a newly initiated fan, exploring the house and peaceful gardens will give you an especially intimate sense of the place that inspired so much of Monet's work.
Claude Monet Foundation: Information & Tips For Your Visit
A visit to the Fondation Claude Monet, site of the iconic house and gardens, makes for an ideal and convenient day trip from Paris. Be aware however that the Foundation (including the gardens) are closed between November and the end of March.
Getting There, Location and Contact Information:
The Fondation Claude Monet is located 88km/56mi from Paris, and is accessible by train and shuttle or by car.
To visit from Paris by train, get to the Gare St-Lazare train station (metro lines 3, 12, 13, 14) and take the "SNCF" regional train to the Vernon station. A shuttle regularly transports tourists from Vernon to Giverny; you can also take bus #240 to the house and gardens, or take a taxi.
84 rue Claude Monet
Tel : +33 (0)2 32 51 28 21
Visit the official website
Accessibility information: The gardens are accessible to disabled visitors through the group entrance. Unfortunately, most parts of the house are not accessible at this time. For more information and to make special arrangements, call the museum at the above-listed number.
Opening Times and Tickets:
The Foundation is open from April 1st through November 1st, including bank holidays, from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (ticket office closes at 5:30pm).
Tickets: Check current admission prices here. Admission is free for children under the age of 7.
Eating and Drinking Around the Gardens:
The restaurant "Les Nympheas" is located across the street from the Fondation Claude Monet (at 109 rue Claude Monet), serving hot and cold dishes, snacks, and a daily fixed-price menu.
Tel: +33 (0)2 32 21 20 31
Monet's House and Gardens: Visit Highlights
Visiting the house and gardens at the Fondation Claude Monet takes about an hour and a half to two hours-- and maybe a bit more if you're an avid photographer. These are the main areas we recommend you explore during your visit:
Monet's world-famous gardens are divided into two main sections: the "Clos Normand" and the "Water Gardens".
The Clos Normand is a romantic-style garden featuring elegant metal archways with climbing plants and flowers. Walk along the central path to enjoy countless varieties of flowers (including irises, poppies, daffodils, tulips, and peonies) and trees (primarily apricot and apple). In the spring and summer, watch as bees noisily pollinate the flowers, and enjoy the warmth of the sun.
The Water Garden is instantly recognizable for its graceful Japanese-style footbridge, poetic willows and water lily ponds. Monet designed these expressly in order to create a subtle interplay play of light and shadows, and painted them at different times of day for his celebrated Nympheas series.
The painter, who was a collector and admirer of Japanese art and gardens, built the green footbridge to connect to the Clos Normand. In the Water Garden, plants native to Asia abound: maples, bamboo, Japanese peonies, willow trees and, of course, the iconic water lilies.
Monet's House and Japanese Prints Collection:
The gardens are admittedly the main attraction at Giverny, but for those who want a glimpse of how Monet lived, a tour of the house is essential. Admire the blue sitting room, the kitchen, the artist's studio, or the private apartments. Monet's exceptional collection of Japanese prints grace the walls of the house, providing visitors with glimpses of the styles and aesthetic practices which would so deeply influence his own artistic work.
Read more about the house here
Pictured above: This breathtaking shot shows one of the waterlily ponds and dramatic willows at Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny.
Detail of Water Lily at Giverny
When visiting Giverny, make sure to take plenty of time to admire the dozens of varieties of plants, flowers and trees planted here. The Water garden is a place for contemplation and meditation: here, a detail of a water lily shows that at Giverny, inspiration can be drawn from relatively tiny objects.
Climbing Plants and Vines in the Clos Normand
This detail of the "Clos Normand" garden at Giverny provides another glimpse of the incredible palette of colors visitors encounter in Monet's gardens. It isn't unusual to see aspiring painters gather for workshops here, focusing on the interplay between color and light in the garden and trying their hand at Impressionist techniques.