Day Trip: Giverny

Highlights: Monet's home; gorgeous gardens; water lilies
Duration: Five to six hours
Exertion level: Low to moderate
Accessible by: Train, bus, foot

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Impressionist painter Claude Monet is championed for many things, including the way he used light in his paintings. From 1883 onward, Monet lived in the small town of Giverny, where he landscaped a garden around a pond. In Giverny, Monet painted his famous massive-scale works depicting the play of light across this very pond of water lilies.

Giverny Monet Gardens

Monet's gardens offer the perfect respite from the bustle of Paris. Photo: Carl-Frederic De Celles.

To see

Monet's Giverny gardens are a perfect idyll, and the Monet house on the grounds is a great place for Monet fans to take stock of the painter's life. The only warning we feel compelled to offer is that the garden grounds and house are often packed with tourists in high season. Plan accordingly.

Check out the Fondation Claude Monet site. Admission to the house and gardens costs €9.50. The grounds are open daily from the beginning of April through the end of October.

When you return to Paris, be sure to check out Monet's water lilies at the Musée de l'Orangerie, which has exhibition rooms built specifically for his large paintings of water lilies.

Getting there

To get to Giverny, take the train from Paris St.-Lazare to Vernon and connect via bus 241 from Vernon. The roundtrip train journey costs €27.20 and takes about 45 minutes. The bus journey runs an additional €4 per single journey. Those who enjoy a medium-length walk can traverse the distance between the train station in Vernon and Monet's gardens by foot. It's about a 45-minute leisurely stroll.

For more information, visit the Giverny Web site.

More day trips

Looking for more getaway suggestions? Check out our article on day trips from Paris.

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