Bonjour mes amis! Happy Friday! Can you believe it’s mid-November already? Where are the months going??
It’s crazy to think that six months ago my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary in Paris enjoying the warm spring weather and the chic culture of that beautiful city. I’ve been able to relive our time there with each of my Paris posts. I hope you’ve been enjoying them?! 🙂 If you’ve missed my previous posts about all that you can do in this city, you can check them out here. (Enjoy!)
Today is my last post in this Paris series and it’s actually not about what you can do within the city but just outside. My husband and I took a quick little trip outside of Paris to Giverny. Giverny is a tiny village in the region of Normandy where Monet resided later in life with his wife and kids. His most famous paintings, Water Lilies, were inspired here.
I’m not sure how familiar you are with the French Impressionist artist, Claude Monet, but I’m pretty obsessed with his paintings. Have you ever been to Musée de l’Orangerie?? If it’s your first time to Paris then you HAVE to check it out. You will see Monet’s Water Lilies and they are spectacular. I always knew I wanted to check out Monet’s gardens once I saw these paintings.
Giverny is open during the spring and summer but closes for the winter (check the website for specific dates). It’s about a 45 minute train ride from Paris which makes it a perfect day-trip location.
How to get to Giverny from Paris:
Take the train from Paris-Gare-St.-Lazare Station to Vernon. I recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time so you have your ticket directly on your phone, ready to go. Easy peasy.
Once you arrive in Vernon you will need to make your way to Giverny which is about a three mile trek. You can cram into a bus with a bunch of people (which is what we witnessed) or you can take the road less traveled (no pun intended ;)) and rent a bike. Let the wind blow in your hair and soak up that Vitamin D! Trust me, it’s totally worth it!
The bike rentals are right across the street from the train station in a cafe. It costs €12 for the day and you leave your drivers license (or other ID) with them to make sure you don’t steal the bike! 😉
Before we hopped on our bikes we purchased a cappuccino because why not?
Then we got on our bikes and headed to Giverny. Just follow the arrows.
Of course we had to stop and take some pictures. We were crossing the Seine!
Biking was the perfect mode of transportation. The weather could not have been more perfect. It was such a fun way to see the town. You really are in the countryside!
A quick little bike ride and we were there!
This was the line waiting to get inside. Yikes.
Okay, quick little tip: purchase your tickets online ahead of time (€10.20/adult ticket). Have them printed or saved to your phone. If you do this, you can skip this crazy ticket line and go in a different entrance for pre-paid tickets!
I had purchased our tickets ahead of time and knew that we weren’t supposed to be in this line, but for some reason we waited in this like for like 30 minutes!! I finally asked an attendant and he directed me to where we should have been. DO NOT do what we did. The alternate line/entrance is located just past the pink building to the left, down a little alleyway. There’s a side garden entrance on the left once we make this turn. You will be thanking yourself that you did this. Trust me.
Once inside the garden walls you’re transported to flowers and foliage galore. It’s so beautiful. :)
Unfortunately, since it was prime tourist time, the grounds were pretty crowded. There was a line to get into Monet’s house so we opted to skip this and just enjoy the gardens.
After checking out the flower garden, we made our way to the Japanese water garden which inspired Monet’s Water Lilies. It’s so neat to think that he lived here and used nature as his inspiration. How peaceful!
You’re transported to a Japanese garden with bamboo and weeping willows and of course water lilies.
I couldn’t get over how pretty it was. I wish I lived here.
We made our way around the pond and then decided it was time to head back to Paris. We grabbed a quick bite to eat (there are a few options outside the grounds), hopped on our bikes and headed back to the train station. The trains run fairly often, so just check the schedule beforehand so you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy Giverny and bike back (and also check out Vernon!).
Giverny was a fun little break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just follow the tips I provided and I think you’ll have a really enjoyable experience. 🙂
Like I’ve mentioned before, Paris holds a very special place in our hearts and we are already talking about when we can go back. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and if you’ve never been to Paris, I hope these posts have inspired you to check it out or just travel in general. Feel free to leave any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you!
xo, Jenneke Rose