If you need to get out of Paris for a day (I felt like the buildings were closing in on me in the oppressive heat!) then a trip to Monet’s house in the village of Giverny offers a relaxing and inspiring day trip.
Monet, born in 1840, was a founder of Impressionist painting and has many famous paintings now hanging all over the world, including Impression, Soleil Levant and Les Nymphéas.
Monet lived with his family in Giverny from 1883 to 1926, buying the house and gardens in 1890 and later adding the water meadow and pond.
While visiting the famous gardens you can enter into the pink house to see Monet’s studio, dining room, kitchen and bedroom. Unfortunately photographs are not allowed inside. More information can be found on the website.
Tips for visiting Giverny:
Be aware of all the crowds of tourists – this is a very popular day trip!
Where? in Giverny, near to Vernon, in Normandy – get there by train (~45 mins) from Gare Sainte Lazare train station (expect to stand on train) and then bus to Giverny. Finally there is a pleasant 10 minute walk to the house itself.
When? The house and gardens are open from 1st of April to 1st of November every year. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit the gardens. Go early in the day or be prepared to queue, for up to 1 hour or even more.
How much? ~€30 return for the train, €8 for bus and €9.50 for adult entry. There is a 50% student discount.
Other things to do? The village of Giverny is full of cafés, galleries and workshops. There is also the Musée des Impressionismes in the village with a wide range of exhibits on the Impressionist movement.
Take the time to visit the medieval town of Vernon before you get your return train. This is a typical Normandy village with a beautiful river walk on the lower banks of the Seine.