Giverny gardens lake nenuphars

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Giverny: The Cradle of Impressionism! Imagine a small village nestled in the heart of Normandy, where every street corner, every water reflection, seems to have come straight out of an Impressionist canvas. Welcome to Giverny, the luminous sanctuary that seduced and inspired Claude Monet, one of the founding fathers of Impressionism.

When the fine weather arrives, a visit to Giverny, its house and above all its gardens, is a must. Why? I’m not necessarily a big fan of painting, but I appreciate Monet’s work and what emerges from it, without being passionate about it. I went there for the place, the gardens. And frankly, it’s great. Lots of flowers, an interesting museum, Claude Monet’s little lake with its water lilies, it’s calm, soothing.

Well, the only problem is: how do you get to Giverny? by car it’s easy (careful, there’s just one trap), but if you don’t have a car, there aren’t many options. However, it is possible by train, or with a tour that will pick you up from Paris.

Let’s take a look!

house claude monet giverny flowers garden
bridge garden claude monet giverny

Getting to Giverny by train from Paris

Going to Giverny by train may seem like the easiest option. But no. There is a train that goes not too far, to the Vernon – Giverny station, from the Saint Lazare train station. Then things get a bit tricky, because we’re not even close to the village. We’re 5km away, so you either have to walk (it’s an hour, but it’s not a bad journey), or take the bus. There’s a bus that runs between Vernon station and Giverny <–> Giverny village, but it only runs a few times a day. Mostly in the morning in the direction Gare –> Village, and mostly in the afternoon in the direction Village –> Gare.

Here’s how to get from Paris Saint Lazare to Giverny:

  • go to Gare Saint Lazare (full of metros: 3, 9, 12, 13, 14)
  • From there, there are several options, depending on timetables (which you can consult here):
    • transilien J (1h24)
      • 8 trains a day
      • the navigo pass works on this line
    • TER Paris – Rouen, 4th station (1h33)
      • more than 20 journeys per day
      • costs €16 per journey (sometimes €9, but this is rare)

And then, after about 1h30 from Saint Lazare, you arrive at the Vernon – Giverny station

Bus from Vernon station to Giverny village

Then, either walk there (allow a good hour) or take the bus.Direction Vernon station –> Giverny

  • Monday to Friday: 9h25, 11h10, 13h10, 15h10, 18h
  • Saturday, Sunday, public holidays, school vacations: 9h15, 11h15, 12h10, 13h15, 15h15, 18h10

Direction Giverny (parking lot) –> Vernon station

  • Monday to Friday: 10h25, 11h, 12h, 13h30, 15h, 15h30, 16h25, 17h25, 18h25, 19h25
  • Saturday, Sunday, public holidays, school vacations: 10h25, 11h35, 12h30, 13h35, 14h25, 15h35, 16h25, 17h25, 18h30

The journey costs 5€ or 10€ return, tickets are bought inside the bus, by card or cash.

bus vernon giverny schedule

Go to Giverny with a tour from Paris

If you don’t want to take the train and take care of the organization, you can use a tour that will take care of everything:

  • bus transport from Paris
  • guide or audioguide to Claude Monet’s house
  • visit to the gardens
  • visit to Claude Monet’s tomb (depending on the operator chosen)
  • return to Paris by bus

The only downside is that there’s no visit to the Impressionist Museum, which is a bit of a shame. But if you’ve got a bit of free time on your hands, you can make the jump!

You have two options. ParisCityVision does it pretty fast, too fast for some, but has a good reputation all the same and an affordable price (79€). Blue Fox Travel, on the other hand, is a little more expensive (110€), but takes a little longer, is a minibus, and has a passage through the village to the tomb.

house claude monet giverny impressionnists
gardens claude monet giverny

Driving to Giverny from Paris

Well, it’s super simple. It’s on the A13 freeway towards Rouen, 80km west of Paris. Basically, 1 hour out of Paris is fine, but there’s a catch. You’ll often be asked to take the A14 first, so don’t do that! Because the small section of the A14 has an excessively expensive toll. 10€ (or 7€ in rare off-peak hours) for around twenty kilometers. So go south on the A13. You’ll lose 10 km, 10 minutes, but you’ll save money.

There’s another toll on the way to Vernon, which costs €2.90. If you want to avoid it, exit at Mantes la Jolie and take the smaller roads.

Once in Giverny, there are large free parking lots right next to the museum.

bridge gardens claude monet lake giverny
Bridge Gardens claude monet lake giverny

A guided tour of Giverny

Because it’s a place with a history, it can be interesting to discover it with a local guide. The idea is to meet him directly in Giverny (and not to come with him from Paris as with the previous options) to learn more about the history of Claude Monet, his gardens and how they inspired his paintings. The guided tour covers the house and gardens, and lasts about 1h30, but after that you have plenty of time to stay in the gardens or visit the museum.

4 recommended accommodations in Giverny

hotel logement gite pas cher giverny


  • Super pleasant
  • 9.4/10 on Booking
  • From €140


  • Super location
  • 8.8/10 on Booking
  • From 195€ onwards


  • Beautiful house
  • 8.8/10 on Booking
  • From €115


  • Very good restaurant
  • 8.2/10 on Booking!
  • From €185

In conclusion

Now you know everything! I hope! With a car it’s easy, but as soon as you have to take public transport, it’s immediately very time-consuming. But we could see that it was possible with the train and then, once in Vernon, either with the little bus or by walking a bit. Anyway, all that to say that you have no excuse not to go to Giverny because it’s really a beautiful place, the gardens are really, really magnificent and if you ever go there when there aren’t many people, the atmosphere of its little lake with the water lilies is really top!

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