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Giverny & Versailles- both doable in 1 day?

Giverny & Versailles- both doable in 1 day?

Jul 4th, 2007, 10:52 PM
  #1  
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Giverny & Versailles- both doable in 1 day?

I have an upcoming trip to Paris, 7 days there total, and I'm planning on doing a day trip to Brussels, 5 days for Paris itself, and then the 7th day spent between Giverny and Versailles. Giverny by all appearances looks like it can be covered in a couple of hours and the train ride is 45 minutes from Paris. Do you think I can squeeze them both in if I get an early start? Is Versailles a 1/2 day experience?
savannah is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 10:53 PM
  #2  
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With regards to my previous post, I know that there are tours available, but I prefer to go about it on my own using the trains. I don't want to go on a tourbus since the prices are really inflated, and I don't want to be on other people's schedules.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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ira
 
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HI S,

I'm sure that you could, but why?

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Jul 5th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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I'm thinking that if you have never been to Paris...2 day trips is, IMHO, not something I would recommend.

First day you land, by the time you clear customs and get to hotel, probably around noon...and you may have jet lag...so 1st day is not a whole day. Last day, when are you leaving? Allow for getting to airport 2-4 hrs early, so big chunk (all?) of that day is used up....so your 5 days become....

Some people have always dreamed of seeing Versailles, so a day trip there during a short visit to Paris makes sense.

I, for example, have been 9/10 times. I'm going back,I must go back. I still have things to see and do, restaurants to try, cafes to while away my time...Paris can easily keep you busy, and to get the "full" experience takes time. You may be shortchanging the city.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Ditto the previous posts - yes, technically you could do this but unless there is absolutely no chance that you will ever again return to Paris it is probably not the best use of your time.
See http://tinyurl.com/329m7v
Seamus is online now  
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Only if you start early - say 8:00 train to Vernon, three miles from Giverny - ar 8:45 - wait for shuttle - shuttle - ar Giverny 9:30 - could even by then have tour groups there entailing a long wait in line (investigate advance booking if possible) - a few hours for the gardens, house, etc. - not to mention the acclaimed fairly new American Impressionists Museum and a stroll to the cemetery to pay hommage to the maestro at his grave and wander the cute village streets.

back to train by 1pm - have to go back to Paris by train to get to Versailles - Saint Lazare serves both Vernon and Versailles. But check schedules because French trains do not run on an hourly interval as most countries and there are often gaps, especially in early afternoon.

But say you get back to Paris by 2:30pm - then hop train to Versailles - 30 mins or so very frequent service.

arr 3:30 - walk from Versailles Rive Droit station to palace - 4pm - have a tour booked or you may not get in but can wander the fabulous gardens, etc.

I think the two in one day is a daunting prospect. Both are closed on Mondays - mobbed on weekends.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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But...if you must...
I checked to see if there is a train from Versailles to Vernon (www.sncf.com)
The routing is to return to Paris (Gare St Lazare) then go to Vernon.

So, early RER train to Versailles, come back, train to Vernon, cab to Giverny. But...it will mean you won't be able to spend a lot of time in the gardens of Versailles (massive area) and when you get to Giverny, it may be "peak hours".

Both places are not very far from Paris. renting a car might be an option but I'm not sure I'd recommend since you would probably want to pick it up outside of central Paris (to avoid xcity traffic) and, unless you get car with GPS, some time spent wandering.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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Six days in Paris, and you want to make two short-range excursions: that seems okay.

You want to make the two excursions on the same day: bad idea.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Ok, I have 6.5 days of travel time there. The morning that I arrive, I get in around 7am. So I'm not planning on doing anything more than wandering through my local area since the probability of jet lag is high. The 3rd will be travel day, and I'm not planning anything tourist related at all. This is my first trip to Paris, and I expect to fall in love and return again and again. I really LOVE Monet's art and this is a must. I'm not as sure about Versailles. Do you think I should reserve this for a future trip?
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Jul 5th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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I consider Versailles to be a must component of a Paris trip - practically in Paris - 30 min ride to gates - you could do an equally long metro ride somewhere - the park and gardens at Versailles to me are fantastic even if don't go in the stuffy palace.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Have you booked Brussels, or is that an idea?

Monet...so you will be going to the Marmottan, Orangerie and Orsay. I'd skip Versailles and do an early day trip to Giverny. There are tours, but it is not hard to do on your own. And you could have lunch in town and return and still have time in Paris that day.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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I think if you want to do that, the bus excursions are the most efficient. If you don't want to pay them, I can undestand that, as it is more expensive than doing it yourself, but the idea of not wanting to go by their schedule isn't very pertinent as you aren't going to have much options on your own anyway, and may end up with less time. Also, those tours get in without waiting in line.

But this isn't as do-able as you think just from looking at how long the train route takes. There aren't that many train runs to/from Vernon (for Giverny), for example, so you don't have a lot of options of when to go or leave. So you will then be at the mercy of the train schedule, rather than the day tour schedule. Also, there is no direct train route between Giverny and Versailles. Also, once you get to Vernon, you have to take a bus to Giverny, and so you may have to wait for that (and it has limited times when it returns to the station).

The Cityrama one is rather expensive, I agree ($194) but I think that's because they only have minibus tours with those together, which is maybe only six people. But it's a full nine hours and includes admission, transportation, etc. The Parisvision one is a little less (119 euro) but seems to have about the same schedule -- morning at Giverny, lunch somewhere, then afternoon at Versailles.

Renting a car doesn't make much sense if you don't want to pay the fee for Parisvision.
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Jul 5th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Brussels is just an idea. I'm not above admitting this (to total strangers) but I doubt that I'll ever go back to Belgium and by taking a day trip to Brussels means that I can add the country as a notch in my belt. And I read that Brussels is a good 24 hour city to see. I got the idea from a tour book that I read. But I don't want to short change my Paris trip. So I will sacrifice the "notch" if it comes down to that!
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Jul 5th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

Since both Brussels and Versailles seem to be something that you think you ought to do, rather than want to do, I suggest skipping them both.

Enjoy Giverny.

If you find that you are bored in Paris, you can alway hop on a train to Versailles, or Chartres, or Malmaison, or Fontainbleau,....

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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If you don't want to go on one of the tours I would skip Versailles or make it a day trip on one of your other days. I like Versailles but wouldn't include it as a "must see".

Why a day trip to Brussels?
KTtravel is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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I think there are two questions here relative to seeing both Giverny and Versailles in one day.

Can it be done? Yes
Should it be done? No

If you are a Monet fan, Giverny is one of those places that is like the Holy Land.
If you are not a big Money type, then why bother? It is just another garden among thousands.

If you know anything about French history, Versailles is a focal point.
As a former history major, I nearly fall over when people say that it is just another gaudy building. To me, the palace IS history. So I would put more emphasis on it than most places in and around Paris.

My wife is just the opposite. To her, the Versailles experience was just another hoard of people in a fancy joint that shrieked excesses. Giverny was her number one objective on one of our visits to Paris.

I can understand wanting to do it yourself. We did it on our own for the same reasons you list.

Both places are tour bus magnets. Hoards of them arrive spilling out tourists like a plague of locusts.


bob_brown is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Another possibility...82 euro...

http://www.parisconnection.fr/index.php
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Just a suggestion for Giverny - take the earliest train you can and you'll avoid some of the tour bus crowds. Or go later in the afternoon. I was there at about 4:00 in September and the crowd was not bad, in fact we among only a handful of people around the waterlily ponds.

I would not do both in one day. It could be done but it would be more rushing around than a relaxing visit.

cls2paris is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Visit Giverny and Vernon and save Versailles for another trip. When are you going to be there?
LadyOLeisure is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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The weather is awful here in France at the moment and predicted to be the same all summer. I'd say skip Giverny and do Versailles; There is no realistic way that you can manage Giverny and Versailles in a day unless you are going to run around stressed, not looking at anything and concentrating on getting all the connections back to Paris. Why Brussels anyway??
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