Day Trips From Paris: Giverny


This is the second in a three-part "Day Trips From Paris" series in which we explore day trip options in Versailles, Giverny and Reims.

Day Trip To Giverny, France

Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny rank among the most famous in the world, and their renown is amply justified. The impressionist’s house and gardens were in a sorry state when the French Academy of Fine Arts inherited them in 1966. They were restored and replanted under the direction of French art expert Gérald van der Kemp who, previously, as chief curator for 35 years, had rescued the Château de Versailles—both with funds mostly from American donors.

Monet’s now-pristine pink farmhouse is a joy to discover (or revisit), especially his simply furnished bedroom overlooking the garden, the sunshine-yellow dining room with its yellow and blue china, and the big blue- and white-tiled kitchen gleaming with copper pots and pans. Renovated in 2011, the salon-atelier now displays 60 replicas of paintings shown there in photos taken several years before the artist’s death in 1926.

The two large gardens are joined by an underground passage beneath the town’s main street. The house garden, the Clos Normand, changes with the seasons but is usually lush with color, with irises, tulips, peonies, poppies, dahlias, daffodils, roses, cherry and apricot trees. The water garden, with its big water lily pond, is crossed by an arched Japanese bridge dripping with wisteria. Both were restored to Monet’s original plans.

How to Get There

Monet’s house and gardens are just 55 miles from Paris by car, or take the train from the Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon, and take a taxi from there to Giverny. Visit during the week if possible.

This piece originally appear in the April/May/June 2015 Traveler magazine. Click here to access the full issue.

By Hideaway Report Staff

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