Giverny is a small village in Normandy, 75 kilometers northwest of Paris (See: Normandy Map). Surrounding Giverny are several forests in which you can walk or bike.
Why travel to Giverny?
Giverny is home to Monet's Gardens, an extremely popular place to visit, especially in spring. You can tour Claude Monet's house, then go out to see the gardens which inspired his paintings and experience Giverny's "special light" that influenced the work of Monet and other impressionists.
Despite its small size, Giverny hosts many festivals throughout the year. In September, the big Giverny Festival comes to town. You can get information and view a short film on the Giverny Festival web site.
When to go to Giverny
Most travelers hit Giverny in the spring--April showers bring May flowers after all--and then the tourists give the gardens a rest in the heat of summer. But fall is also a very active time for the gardens, and there's still a lot to see. Plus, in September there's the Giverny Festival, remember.
Giverny: How to Arrive on the Train
Giverny doesn't have a train station. Four kilometers away is the larger town of Vernon. Vernon has a train station, office of tourism, hotels and bike rentals.
To get to Vernon from Paris, you depart from the Gare St. Lazare. (see: Paris Train Stations) Vernon is on the Paris / Rouen / Le Havre line. If you wish to go directly to Giverny by bus, inquire as to which trains are timed to meet the bus to Giverny in Vernon. Buses only run during the season, from spring to fall.
There is a taxi stand in front of the station, where you can get a taxi to Giverny for under 20 Euro.
Vernon itself isn't a bad place to visit or to stay for a few days. The Vernon Museum is where you can see many of Monet's paintings.
Renting a Bike in Vernon for the ride to Giverny
You can rent a bike at the train station or at the bike shop "Cyclo News" near the hospital. For detailed information, see Giverny Transport.
Biking or Walking to Giverny
There is a special trail that gets you from Vernon to Giverny without having to take the highway. You simply take Albufera street and cross over the Seine, then ignore the signs to Giverny (that's the highway) at the roundabout and go a little past it to the bike and footpath called "Voie Andre Touflet". See the route on a Map of Giverny and Vernon.
Also visible on the map is the parking area for Monet's house and gardens.
Museums in Giverny and Vernon
Musée d’Art Américain Giverny is found on the same street as Monet's house and gardens, at 99, rue Claude Monet. It's open from the first of April to the end of October and closed on Mondays, like many of France's museums.
Musée de Vernon (Musée Alphonse Georges Poulain) is located at 12 rue du Pont in Vernon. It houses everything from an archaeological collection to military and fine arts exhibits.
Office of Tourism in Vernon
The Office of Tourism in Vernon is at 36, rue Carnot near the bridge. Ask them for "le plan de ville de Vernon" (the map of the city). You can also inquire about guided tours of Vernon, Giverny or the surrounding area called "Pacy-sur-Eur". The web site in English is loaded with further information on the area. They will also help you with accomodations.
For a private, licensed guide tour to Monet's house and garden by appointment, try Ariane Cauderlier.
Recommended Lodging - Bed and Breakfasts in Giverny
La Pluie de Roses in right on the Rue de Monet at number 14.
Le Clos Fleuri is a highly rated bed and breakfast in Bonneville La Louvet. You'll need a car to reach it.