Giverny – to go or not to go…


That is the question…..

Like all famous venues, Monet’s garden at Giverny  has sadly become another tourist mecca . It is always infested with busloads of  foreigners each time I have been.

English: Claude Monet's house, Giverny, France

English: Claude Monet’s house, Giverny, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is very pretty but it is impossible to take an iconic photo of the flowers, the arbour, the bridge or the house without getting foreign bodies in it.

Bridge in Monet's gardens in Giverny

Bridge in Monet’s gardens in Giverny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The trouble is; Monet built this lovely garden for himself.  It is not the spacious botanic gardens that many assume it might be. It is a garden one man could potter in. The pathways are very narrow and so everywhere you have to stop and wait for photographs to be taken and people to pass you.  The house too is on the squeezy side and you can get bogged in doorways waiting for people to get out so you can get in.

Ironically the biggest thing there is the gift shop where you can have a fine time buying souvenirs and looking at immense photos of Monet round the walls. Across the little path outside is a cafe and outside sitting area too. You can’t eat inside Monet’s garden.

Ask yourself if it really is that important for you to see this place and if the answer is still yes, then your options are:

  • You can get on an organised day trip from Paris by bus (not cheap)
  • Catch the train yourself and then taxi or walk from Vernon to Giverny. The earlier the departure from Paris  the better as you will miss the tourist day trip buses. Trains depart from Gare St Lazare (In the Metro, take the ‘SNCF – Grandes Lignes’ exit. Buy a ticket to Vernon. The Rouen line departs from the right side of the platform, in the ‘Grandes Lignes’ section
  • Stay overnight in Vernon or Giverny and be the first there when the doors open
  • You can pre-buy tickets as well. Contact us for bookings. 

The trip on the train from Paris is about an hour-ish to get to Vernon. You then have another hour’s walk from Vernon to Giverny or take a taxi (20 euros) or hopefully the shuttle-bus to Giverny (6,50 euros)

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