Feb 24th, 2000, 07:04 AM
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Has anyone been to Giverny? How much time is necessary to spend there? What all is there to see? Thanks.
Feb 24th, 2000, 07:58 AM
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Have been there twice, most recently this past summer. We drove and arrived before it opened to beat the crowds. There is a lovely tea shop with vine covered and flower filled terrace across the road for coffee and/or breakfast or lunch later. The tour of the house (you walk through yourself takes maybe a half hour if you dawdle. The gardens could be covered in another half hour, unless you are caught up in the crowds of bus tours. Beyond the flower gardens behind the house there is a small gate and a walkway/tunnel under the road to the ponds and other gardens --with the famous water lilies and bridge. I understand some people actually miss this --the most important part of the gardens. If you arrive before it opens --10:00 in summer, I would think you'd be there till about noon if you really take time to "smell the roses" which you can do literally as well as figuratively. It is an inspirational place, but can be packed with crowds.
Feb 24th, 2000, 08:35 AM
Bob Brown
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My wife and I freelanced our visit last year. We took the train from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon, and then took a taxi out to Giverny when the bus filled up before we could get on it.
We took the train back at about 6 PM; in all we took 6 hours for the tour, counting getting to St. Lazare, train, taxi, and actual touring of the house and gardens.

The place was crowded. So that slowed our progress. My own assessment is that you could do it faster than we did it, but my wife particularly wanted to see Giverny. I hate to add an anti-Giverny line to this report: but I found it overblown. Nice, but not monumental.
I had rather have spent the time at Musee Marmottan viewing paintings and perhaps going through another place in Paris. But the train ride was interesting.
Feb 24th, 2000, 08:35 AM
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Depends on your level of interest, the
gardens are magnificient the house is
smaller than I had imaginedd but interesting.
There is an American impressionist museum just a hundred yards down the road which shouldn't be missed.
There were four in our group and took
a taxi from the train depot and he came
back and picked us up so we could make
a definite train schedule. Just an

Have a wonderful time.
Feb 24th, 2000, 03:53 PM
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My opinion is you're better off staying in Paris and going to the Orangerie Musuem to see his paintings. Giverny is just a nice garden and a house filled with oriental decorations. You won't see any of his paintings. Besides, the crowds ruin the atmosphere.
Feb 24th, 2000, 04:38 PM
jo ann
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MKS: I would mention that it may depend on your time of year. I have been there 3x: one late May, one early June, and enjoyed the gardens (and certain parts of the house) tremendously -- which is odd, I suppose, since it's too early for the waterlilies to be blooming... But last summer (mid-July) I went back and altho we were there 45 mins before they let anyone in, the bus crowds were overwhelming and (just like in my gardens here at home) many of the flowers blooming there just weren't as pretty as the late spring selection.
On the plus side: I had some delightful quick chats with staff members (even on a hectic day!) which I give them thanks for; also, the day itself was one of our absolute favorites of a great trip, because we rented a cute little French car and toured the rolling countryside, had a spectacular lunch at a restaurant next to a mill about 20 mins away, and then found a little-visited chateaux (open to the public)-- fascinating, since its history began in the 700's, and evolved to being Rommel's headquarters during the WWII. And again, the people working there couldn't have been sweeter!
Hope these thoughts help -- Jo Ann
Feb 24th, 2000, 04:40 PM
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Too bad some don't enjoy it, but standing along that pond looking at the bridge and the waterlilies is sort of like being in a Monet painting come to life. My current wallpaper on my computer desktop is my closest three friends standing on that bridge -- like a modern day Monet I enjoy every day. And while the house is not spectacular, I could live in that tiled kitchen!!
Feb 25th, 2000, 04:53 AM
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I agree that it depends on your personal interest. Monet is one of my favorite artists (I know, it's become a little embarrassing, like saying that I prefer Heinz ketchup, but there you are)and
I have visited Giverny twice, once on my own, and one on a bus tour. The first time, in June, independently, we arrived as early in the morning as possible, and on a day when bus tours didn't go there. For me it was like a pilgrimage, and I will never forget it.
The second time was on a bus tour as I was traveling solo and I opted for convenience. I knew enough to leave the others when we got off the bus--they were led to the house first, I headed straight for the pond and gardens, and got to see them again in relative tranquility, tho not as much serenity as my first trip. I did the house last that time.
The American Impressionist museum is also excellent as mentioned, as long as that also interests you.
If you are indeed a Monet fan, in addition to the Orsay museum in Paris, don't miss the small Marmottan museum which has a large collection of his paintings in a lovely setting.
Feb 25th, 2000, 04:56 AM
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The Orangerie is closed until 2002. I agree with Patrick, visiting Giverny was like jumping into a Monet painting. Yes it is crowded, but I was able to find quiet corners of the garden to just soak it all in and enjoy. If you have any appreciation at all of Monet, you can't miss it.
Feb 26th, 2000, 11:05 PM
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Dear MKS,
I visited Monet's garden in late May and it was the hightlight of our time in Paris. While it was raining in the morning, the sun came out during our time in the garden. I was visiting with my mother, my sister, my husband and two young children. Everyone remembers this as one of our favorite days. My mother and sister were overwhelmed by Paris and loved the beauty and relative calm of Giverny. I love Paris and the Marmotton but I am also a gardener--visiting Monet's garden was awe-inspiring. We did not have unbearable crowds at that time of year. Also, we took the bus from the train station and found it easy to do. Giverny looked like a sweet little town and we wished we had extra time so we could have poked around a bit. If you are short on time and are mostly an art lover, stay in Paris. But if you like to garden or spend time in gardens, make time to visit Giverny.

Feb 22nd, 2001, 07:48 PM
Victor P.
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I am here to give you some lovin'!
And obey the man with the hailer!
Feb 23rd, 2001, 03:23 AM
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The key word here is "gardens". They were recreated in the 1980's according to Monet's detailed landscaping plans. One of the original gardeners was involved in the project. Monet designed each flower bed palette to change with the seasons and to complement each other. Anyone who gardens knows what a huge undertaking this is. We attended a lecture/slide show by a photographer who spends six weeks twice a year there. We have been there twice (drove our rental car) made it a day trip and took tons of photographs. This is truly the place to stop and "smell the roses" for Monet afficienados, gardeners and flower photographers. I wouldn't miss it.
Feb 24th, 2001, 07:16 AM
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Has anyone been to Giverny in early April? Is anything in boom at that time?
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