Pink and white waterlilies in Monet's Water garden at Giverny. Visiting Giverny is a special experience and is not to be missed in any season. Giverny is the perfect day trip from Paris

Visiting Giverny, France and Monet’s Gardens

If you have any interest in Monet, art history, impressionism, or just beautiful gardens, visiting Giverny is the perfect day trip from Paris. Here’s your full guide to visiting Monet’s Giverny Gardens.

Giverny is the source of inspiration behind some of Claude Monet’s most famous paintings. This includes the waterlilies series that you can see in the specially designed L’Orangerie museum in Paris. Giverny is where Monet retired and curated one of the most famous gardens in France.

I visited as part of a road trip to Normandy, but you can also visit easily from Paris either independently or as part of a tour.

Arches over the Clos Normand garden at Giverny House in Normandy, France

When to Visit Giverny and Monet’s Gardens

The garden is designed so that from spring to autumn you can experience beautiful flowers. Every season at Giverny brings colourful blooms. If you are visiting Paris between April and October, this is a fantastic day trip option.

Visit in April to experience cherry blossoms, tulips, and daffodils. May will bring peonies, rhododendrons, and wisteria. June is known for roses and poppies.

July is the beginning of the waterlily season, which lasts until the end of August. August is my recommendation for when to visit. In August, you can experience the waterlilies as well as gorgeous dahlias and cosmos.

September and October have a variety of flowers as well as the changing colours of the leaves.

Getting to Giverny

Monet’s Gardens at Giverny are located in the small town of Vernon in Normandy. Vernon is close to Paris as it is about a 1 hour 15-minute drive, although traffic can make it as long as 2 hours.

I visited as part of a road trip so if you are driving, you could combine a visit to Giverny with Versailles or like I did, drove from Bayeux and stopped in Honfleur and then Giverny before ending up in Paris.

By Train If you are traveling to Giverny independently, my pick would be to take the train. From the Saint-Lazare station in Paris to Vernon-Giverny is a 50-minute train ride. From the train station to the gardens it is an hour’s walk so you can either get a taxi or the tourist train to the gardens. The Giverny Tourist Train goes between the train station and Monet’s Gardens and takes only 20 minutes and costs 10 euros.

The train is a fantastic way to do day trips from Paris, here are other day trips by train from Paris.

Claude Monet's Giverny House with pink brick and green shutters with vines growing all over it.

Buying Tickets for Giverny

If you know when you are visiting Giverny, I recommend buying your tickets in advance as it is quite popular. Entry is time-based so make sure you know you will be able to make the scheduled time. You can purchase your tickets through several different platforms through the Giverny Organization website.

If you would like a guided tour, the Giverny Organization does offer official guided tours at a flat rate per group. You can find more information here.

Day Tours to Giverny from Paris

If you don’t want to worry about transport or booking your own tickets, there are several day trip options from Paris that would be perfect for a visit to Giverny.

From Paris: Giverny Day Trip: This half-day tour from Paris gives you plenty of time to wander the gardens and visit Monet’s house. It’s highly reviewed and would be my pick for a day trip from Paris.

Giverny and Versaille Palace from Paris: If you are short on time, this is the perfect day trip as it combines two of Paris’s day trips into a single day. With a morning visit to Giverny and the gardens and an afternoon in Versailles, this is a great option.

Monet’s Garden Bike Tour from Paris: This tour will take you from Paris to Vernon where you will start your cycling tour. Visit a farmers market to purchase picnic supplies and then bike along bike paths the 5 km to Giverny where you will have 1.5 hours to explore the gardens.

Weeping willow with blooming waterlilies in Claude Monet's Giverny water gardens. Visiting Giverny is the perfect day trip from Paris.

Where to Stay in Giverny

If you want a break from bigger cities in France, Giverny is a very charming town. It was so charming the Monet saw the town from the train and decided to move there so it’s not surprising if you want to spend more than a day trip in Giverny.

If you are looking for something only a 15-minute walk from Monet’s Gardens, look no further than La Pluie de Roses. This charming bed and breakfast has its own gardens to explore and is one of the highest-rated hotels in Giverny.

Visiting Monet’s Gardens at Giverny

When you visit Giverny your visit is divided into three main sections: the house, the front garden of Clos Normand, and the water gardens with a Japanese bridge.

Visiting Clos Normand

When you start your visit to Giverny you can wander through the 1 hectare of front gardens. The pathways here will take you around gorgeous gardens that were designed originally by Claude Monet in 1883. There are also fruit and ornamental trees mixed in as well as metal arches for climbing roses. You can only go around the edges of the gardens here as the interior paths are roped off. Even still, they are beautiful and when I visited in August were full of cosmos and dahlias.

A path in Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France. This charming garden in Normandy once belonged to Claude Monet who lived there for 43 years, carefully curating and designing the gardens.

Exploring Monet’s Water Garden

The water garden is certainly the star of the show here. The land the water gardens is on was acquired by Monet 10 years after the original front gardens.

From the front gardens of Clos Normand, you will go through a tunnel to reach the water gardens. Here you will find beautiful waterlilies blooming in a pond surrounded by weeping willow trees. It creates a really magical effect and it’s even more special if you’ve had a chance to experience Monet’s waterlily paintings at the L’Orangerie in Paris.

Here you will also find the famous Japanese Bridge with wisterias planted by Monet. It’s probably the most popular photo spot in Giverny.

The water gardens of Claude Monet with the Japanese Bridge in the background

Claude Monet’s Giverny House

After exploring the gardens, make sure to visit the house. The interior is quite interesting as you can see how the rooms are themed after a specific colour. There is also a small room with a collection of Monet’s paintings. Many of the items in the Giverny house belong to Monet as he lived there for 43 years.

The yellow dining room of Claude Monet's Giverny home

With More Time in Giverny and Vernon, France

Visiting the Giverny Museum of Impressionisms

If you have more time after your visit to Monet’s Gardens, visit the Impressionist Museum. It’s extremely close to the gardens, just a 3-minute walk down Rue Claude Monet. Like the gardens, you can also purchase a timed ticket in advance to visit the museum.

The Museum of Impressionisms has a collection of Claude Monet’s paintings as well as other impressionist painters. The museum also has its own gardens that are inspired by Monet’s and are free to explore or be inspired by.

Le Vieux Moulin de Vernon

Close to the town of Vernon is the Le Vieux Moulin de Vernon or the Old Mill of Vernon. It’s worth a quick stop to walk around and see the mill as it is quite picturesque. This half-timbered medieval building sits above the river and is a very interesting architectural sight in Vernon. In the 18th century there were 6 wheat windmill buildings here but after a dam was built downstream in 1849, they could no longer operate. The mill that remains was originally commissioned in 1654 but rebuilt after flood events. It also served as an inn at one point after it could no longer be used as a mill.

The Old Mill of Vernon that sits above the Loire River. This medieval half timbered mill is now closed but used to process wheat

The old mill sits right next to the Tourelles Castle so you will also have a chance to view the outside of the castle that originates from 1196. This castle isn’t as elaborate as some of the chateaux of the Loire Valley, but it’s interesting to see this simple 4 towered castle-keep that was built to defend against England and Richard the Lionheart.

Like the mill next to it, the castle has had other uses over the course of its life. The Chateau Tourelles was used to store wheat during the 1700s, and as such it was a target by starving residents of Vernon during the French Revolution. It then served as a prison during the Reign of Terror during 1793.

Chateau Tourelles in Vernon, France. This small square keep sits next to the river and its an interesting sight in Vernon near Giverny.

Where to Eat in Giverny

Many people try to visit Giverny in the morning so after your visit, you may want to have lunch in the town. A picnic lunch is also a popular option for visiting Giverny. If you are looking for something light, there are quite a few boulangeries in Vernon where you can pick up baked goods.

Creperie Fleur de Seine – Located on the banks of the Seine River this is the perfect place for crepes with a variety of options.

Visiting Giverny

Giverny makes for the perfect day trip from Paris or as a great stop on a road trip in Normandy. You can easily see the highlights of Monet’s gardens in just half a day. I would happily return to Giverny because I think seeing it in a different season would be a completely different experience.

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Visiting Monet's Gardens in Giverny is the perfect day trip from Paris. It's such a relaxing space and full of gorgeous flowers in the gardens and water gardens to inspire.

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  1. Congratulation.
    Brianna, thank you so much for super precision information. It is very useful description especially for travelers…. Lithuania.

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