If you love art, gardens, Impressionism and the French countryside, a trip to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny is not to be missed. Located in Normandy, about one hour north of Paris, it’s easy to reach by train and is incredibly beautiful in any season.
Claude Monet lived and worked in Giverny from 1883 until died in 1926. Like many painters he came here for the light, buying a farmhouse on about 1 acre of gardens. He developed a passion for botany, designing and planting his garden according to colours and perspectives. Many of his most famous and well loved works were painted in his studio in Giverny, as he recreated on canvas the flowers and colours in his garden.
Ten years after his arrival he bought an adjoining piece of land, separated at the time by a railway line. He had his fist pond dug (despite protests from the local peasants who though hs strange plants would poison the water), and began his now famous water garden, based on the Japanese prints that he collected, some of which you can see in the house. His incredible series of 250 water lily paintings – Les Nympheas – see some of them at the Orangerie or in the Musée Marmottan in Paris – were painted here.
You can also visit his house, don’t miss the beautiful blue kitchen and the yellow dining room, and make sure you admire the views from his bedroom windows.
Although best known as a painter, Monet said “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”. At Giverny, in any season, I have to agree that may be true.
Book your ticket online before you go to avoid waiting in line.
- 84 rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny. Open early April – end October 9.30 – 18:00
Take the train from Paris Saint Lazare to Vernon-Giverny (approx 45 minutes). As you exit the station (just follow everybody else!) there will be a shuttle bus parked outside that will take you to Giverny. The bus costs 8€ return, you need to pay in cash.