I don’ t really know a lot about art but I know who Monet was. That Monet lived near Paris and that one can visit his famous garden I was told by the daughter of a friend. She recommended a trip and followed her advice. Thanks, it was awesome!
There is a train to Vernon-Giverny that departs from Paris St. Lazare. We found the correct tickets for the train – trains in the Normandy are run by a different provider – and purchased a single ticket each. A return ticket would have been cheaper but we didn’t know how long we would stay so we didn’t want to make arrangements just yet. A single ticket for the 40-minute journey was 14,70€ per person.
The train left the station on time and we sat back, relaxed and watched the landscape fly past our window. After our arrival in Vernon-Giverny, we proceeded to the shuttle bus that brought us to Giverny. We originally thought that we wanted to walk but it was the right call to take the bus. Even with the shuttle, it took a while to get there. Our bus left about 15 minutes after our train pulled into the station and a return ticket was 8€ per person.
The bus stopped at a big and busy car park. From there the return shuttle would depart later in the day. We checked the departure times to be able to make a rough plan for the day and before we knew it, we followed a big herd of people hoping that one of them would know the way. There are also signposts that visitors can follow instead of the herd.
Claude Monet’s lily pond
After a short walk, we arrived at the end of a long queue. Was that the queue for the tickets for the garden? One of us started to queue and the other one went to the front to check out what the queue was for. And yes, it indeed was the queue for the tickets and there were about 150 people in front of us. We braced ourselves for a long wait. But we were lucky. The ticket booth for group tickets was empty and one of the very friendly ladies came over and explained in multiple languages that we could come over and purchase our tickets there. That’s exactly what we did and how we cut our waiting time down to five minutes. A lucky coincidence!
The group entrance is in between the lily pond and the garden by Monet’s house. We headed towards the lily pond first. A winding path took us through a wonderful garden, past trees, flowers and hedges. Bees are buzzing in the air.
One can walk around the famous lily pond. It is truly magnificent and I can very well imagine how the artist stood or sat here and painted. The view of the little lake is relaxing and inspiring if you are able to blank out the many other people around you. It is really busy and getting a picture of the pond without any other people in it is pure luck.
Connoisseurs of Monet’s work will have a picture in their heads of the little bridge across the pond. There are, in fact, two bridges in Monet’s garden that span across the little lake. Both of them are hotspots where visitors gather to get a picture. There was even a couple in the garden that was trying to take their wedding pictures there. Of course, I also took some pictures of the bridges.
Monet’s house and the garden
After walking around the lake we went over to Monet’s house. Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926. The little house is open to visitors.
To me, it looked exactly like I always pictured typical French houses of the Normandy. Inside, visitors get to walk through some of the rooms where many of Monet’s works are on display. We can see the garden through the wide-open windows.
Narrow paths lead through the different areas of the garden. It seems as if everything is left to wildly grow as it pleases. But that is a false assumption. Gardeners maintain the premises and plant seasonal flowers.
We really enjoyed our trip to Giverny. Monet’s garden and the lily pond are beautiful. A lovely day trip from Paris!
84 Rue Claude Monet
Opening Hours (2017):
End of March to end of October: daily 09.30 – 18.00
Train from Paris to Vernon-Giverny
Single ticket adult: 14.70€
Shuttlebus to Giverny
Return ticket: 8€
Monet’s house, garden and lily pond