I’d like to introduce the charming French village of Giverny, which is only an hour away from the busy streets of Paris. Making a Giverny day trip from Paris the perfect activity to add to your itinerary!
If you’re longing for a respite from the city’s endless energy, let me assure you that Giverny is your answer, wrapped in vibrant colours and serene vibes.
Just take a short train ride from Paris St-Lazare station, and in about 1 hour, you’ll be swapping urban skyscrapers for sprawling gardens and storybook landscapes. Getting there is so easy that you’ll wonder why you never escaped to this pastoral paradise before!
Giverny is synonymous with the legendary Impressionist painter Claude Monet, and entering this picturesque town is like stepping into one of his masterpieces. His iconic house and gardens, where he painted the famous Water Lilies series, are the crown jewels of Giverny.
The explosion of colour in Monet’s house will enchant you at every turn. From the delicate flowers of the Clos Normand to the dreamy water garden with its green-draped Japanese bridge, it’s an intoxicating display that perfectly captures the essence of Impressionism.
But that’s not all. Giverny is much more than Monet’s legacy. The town is dotted with charming art galleries, cozy eateries and the remarkable “Musée des Impressionnismes de Giverny”, which offers a deeper insight into the art movement that changed the world.
Related read: What Makes France so Special?
Here is an overview of the best tips for a Giverny day trip from Paris:
How To Get to Giverny From Paris
Start planning your Giverny day trip from Paris by figuring out your preferred transport.
From Paris, you can head to Giverny by train.
You should head to St Lazare train station and take a train to Vernon. The train ride takes about 1 hour. Vernon is a small town with a small train station.
Then, from Vernon, you should get bus 10, which heads to Giverny. Get off at La Musardiere (5 stops, 13 mns) and then you should follow people who are also heading to Giverny.
You can check the schedule of the train to Vernon, and then the bus from Vernon to Giverny here.
By car, you should head to the village of Giverny. You should put in your GPS, Maps, Waze, Maison de Claude Monet Giverny.
There is another house of Claude Monet nearby in the village of Vetheuil, but this one is not open to the public. This is where he lived with his first wife before he could rent the house at Giverny. It’s much smaller.
As you leave Highway A13, the road after Vernon becomes quite tight, and there are some tricky, narrow turns. Slow down and pay attention. This is actually the same road Monet and his friends used when they came to Giverny from Paris by car.
Yes, Claude Monet and his kids, Michel and Jean, loved cars. He even owned a garage in the town of Vernon where he had his cars fixed. They were very expensive custom-made vehicles back then. One of his friends, Stephane Mallarmé, even said, that “if he hadn’t had a talent for painting and gardening he might have become a car mechanic.“
There is parking by the house where you should find a spot any time of the year. The restrooms are just by the parking. There are also restrooms in the house, just before the gift shop.
Related read: What to Expect on a Versailles Day Trip from Paris
Home of Claude Monet
Claude Monet lived in Giverny from 1897 until his death in 1927. Claude modernized the house and extended the gardens, creating a pond where he planted waterlilies and exotic plants to give him the inspiration he needed so much. At the same time, Europe and many of his friends were taken by the terrible World War I.
After his death, the gardens could not be maintained, and in the mid-1970s, Gerard von der Kemp and fellow American philanthropic institutions financed the restoration of the house and gardens to their former glory.
It opened to the public in 1982, and in the first year, more than one million visitors visited the house and gardens.
Opening hours: GIVERNY House and Gardens is open from April 1st till November 1st from 9.30AM to 5.30PM.
Buy Your Tickets Well in Advance!
Giverny tends to be quite busy year-round, so buying your skip-the-line tickets is really the best advice I can give you.
The sooner the better, this way, you’ll be sure to have your timing and also to skip the line.
Then try to get there as early as possible, as the gardens look even better in the morning before anyone gets there. I once had as a client a famous photographer from the US who managed to enter the garden at 5.30PM when it was closing, and he had the place just for himself. He was quite a big star.
With your skip-the-line tickets, you will enter through the Group entrance, Sente Leroy, not the main entrance. When arriving, turn to your right just before you see people waiting in line. You’ll see a sign with SENTE LEROY. This is a very small alley, and then show your tickets at the gate when entering the gardens.
You should start your visit with the gardens facing the house, the Clos Normand. The gardens you see there facing the house to your left, represent all the colors available by nature for a painter.
To your right, closer to the hens and rabbits house, are the fruit and vegetable gardens. As a savvy person responsible for a large family, Monet took great pride in growing his own fruits and vegetables.
After visiting the house, you should head to the part where there is a pond with the famous waterlilies. There are many wonderful places around the pond for taking great pictures.
You might want to have lunch after visiting the house and gardens.
Where to Eat in Giverny
As you get out of the house, the best place for a nice lunch and a glass of wine is:
At Les Nympheas, you’ll find a large dining room where group and individual visitors can enjoy good homemade French food. There is also a fantastic selection of pastries and some delicious coffee.
There are many other places to eat outside Claude Monet’s house, but this is really the best one by far, just in front of the house of Claude Monet.
For groups of up to 45 people, you’ll have to book online by emailing.
Now, if you want to have an even better experience, you should head to the Baudy restaurant. As you leave the house to your right, pass the parking and walk for about 300 meters. You’ll find to your right the restaurant BAUDY.
Related read: A Foodie Itinerary for Normandy, France
Le Baudy is the place where Claude Monet and his friends used to stay and have a meal when he was young and broke. The Baudy is a quite famous place in Giverny. No reservations are possible. The Baudy does not accept groups.
Back then, there was a small train stopping 200 meters from the house where he would live later. They used to take this small train to find inspiration in the Vexin Normand, the closest part of Normandy to Paris.
Baudy restaurant serves authentic French cuisine, just like at the beginning of the 20th Century when Monet, Manet and Renoir would spend hours discussing the colours for their art. The design of the place, the bar, and even the small studio in the courtyard have not changed since.
All the paintings around you are, of course, copies today. Yet, until the 1950s, there were some authentic ones. Back then, and until 1900, when some rich Americans finally understood the impressionists, no one in Europe had bought Monet yet. Mme Baudy allowed the painters to pay the bill with a painting. Claude Monet owed Mme Baudy quite a bill. Mme Baudy compensated, sold the paintings, and got the bill well settled after WWI.
Monet continued going to the Baudy when some of his friends were not behaving well enough in front of the kids and grandkids. Now that Monet owned the house he had always dreamed of, he wanted to keep a certain attitude. Claude Degas, for example, was rarely sobbing, and he rarely had the same girlfriend … Monet would meet him at the Baudy instead.
I highly recommend the Omelette Monet style with duck breast confits.
The tables inside are really lovely. The round one at the right end of the room is the one Monet preferred.
If you still have some time left, you should keep walking right as you exit the restaurant, and you’ll see above the fill of the small church of Giverny.
There, on the right of the church, you’ll find a couple of graves completely covered by flowers and ivy. These are the graves of Mme Alice Hoschede Monet, the artist’s second wife, one of Claude Monet’s, and his stepdaughter, Blanche.
Next to Claude Monet is buried, Mr Van der Kemp, the curator of the Louvre and then Versailles, who by the 1970s was able to find sponsors to restore the house of Monet and then open it to the public. He passed away in 2001.
Full-Day Tour: Giverny Claude Monet’s Gardens & House + Rouen
On this amazing full-day tour, I (Igor) will take you on a journey to explore Giverny, including Claude Monet’s house and gardens, as well as the beautiful city of Rouen.
Normandy is blessed with ideal weather conditions, allowing almost anything to grow in its stunning gardens.
As someone who splits his time between Paris and Normandy, I deeply understand Monet’s passion for gardening and the Impressionist movement. While my wife cares for the planting aspect, I love helping her maintain the garden and select the perfect flowers and trees.
The ever-changing light in Normandy at different times of day and seasons perfectly captures Monet’s artistic vision.
During our visit to Giverny, I would love to share all the secrets of Monet’s garden and his fascinating life! I’ve shared only a few above.
In Rouen, another of my passions awaits:
Medieval history and architecture. We will explore highlights such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the charming medieval town at its feet. If possible, we’ll even venture up to Gros Horloge for breathtaking views of the skyline.
Price: from $1,372
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes
Languages: English, French, Italian, Polish or Spanish
Here is Our Itinerary for the Giverny Day Trip From Paris
- 8:30 AM: Meet at Le Havre Quai Roger Meunier – Hotel – B&B; Our meeting point can be adapted according to your wishes – it could be a cruise port or any specific address or intersection.
- 10 AM: Visit the Claude Monet House & Gardens at Giverny
- 12 PM: Lunch at The Baudy Restaurant in Giverny
- 2PM: Explore the old town of Rouen and discover its medieval wonders
- 18:30 HRS: Return to Le Havre Quai Roger Meunier – Hotel – B&B
This unforgettable tour lasts approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes, but please bear in mind that traffic and weather conditions may slightly affect the length and route.
You’ll travel comfortably in a Mercedes Class V Max with six spacious leather seats and plenty of luggage space.
If your group consists of more than six people (up to 45), please don’t hesitate to ask me about creating a tailor-made tour to suit your needs.
- Expert guiding throughout the tour
- Private transport in our luxury vehicle
- Entrance fees for all attractions visited
- Complimentary light snacks and fresh water in the vehicle
You should bring around €50 in cash as there will be opportunities to purchase souvenirs at the Claude Monet House and Gardens. In addition, please allow approximately €25 per person for lunch and an extra amount if you wish to purchase a bottle of apple brandy from the distillery (approximately €20 per bottle).
Personal expenses, additional souvenirs, food, drinks and snacks over and above what is provided are not included.
Join me on this incredible journey, where we’ll discover the beauty of Giverny’s gardens and Monet’s artistic inspiration before delving into Rouen’s fascinating medieval history!
Whether you’re an art lover, a gardening enthusiast or just long for a peaceful day in the countryside, Giverny is a blissful escape from Paris that’s too good to miss. Come and see it for yourself.
I wish you a wonderful visit to Claude Monet’s house and gardens.
For more tips on exploring Normandy, check out: