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Giverny: Is an audio guide or good guidebook available?

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May 8th, 2016, 03:11 PM
  #1
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Giverny: Is an audio guide or good guidebook available?

We will be in Giverny the weekend after next and had hoped to join a group tour at that time. So far, however, we have learned that the only tours available would be private . . . and expensive. In the alternative, we are wondering if there is an audio guide, audio tape or good guide book available to provide insights beyond those we would gain by just walking around. All suggestions greatly appreciated.
nrwayne is offline  
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May 8th, 2016, 05:30 PM
  #2
 
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You didn't say in your post if you were aware or not but it is quite easy to do Monet's house and gardens on your own taking a train from Paris to Vernon and then the shuttle bus from there to Giverny (then back to the train station). It would be much cheaper than a tour. There is info about this on the official website, if you weren't aware:

http://fondation-monet.com/en/

There is also some info on the website about Monet and Giverny, though not extensive. As far as I know there are no audio guides on site when you visit. There is ample info (again not extensive) about Monet and his association with Giverny on the internet that will give you decent background......

http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm

http://vernon-visite.org/index_gb.shtml

http://giverny.org/

......but unless you are really super interested I don't see the need for a guided tour or knowing extensive amounts of history to visit. It's really about looking at a pretty water lily pond, seeing pretty flowers and walking through his house. I would say the average visitor spends 1 to 1-1/2 hours in the house and gardens.
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May 8th, 2016, 07:28 PM
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Dont' even consider a tour! Take F-M's sage advice in the post above. My wife and I visited in 2009 and it was easy.

2 things I would do differently... we bought our train tickets at Gare St Lazare the morning we headed to Giverny.
Because of a long line at the ticket counter we cut it really close. In fact, once the SNCF agent handed over the tickets she said "Now RUN!" And we did. We just made it. So stop by any SNCF station in Paris and pick up your tickets before your day to travel.

The other thing is to buy your tickets for the house and gardens in advance. You can buy online or at a FNAC store in Paris. It will save a line when you get there and you can also enter by the group entrance. Then find the tunnel under the road and you can get to the pond and Japanese bridge before the hordes if you've taken the early train from Paris.

Allow time and budget for shopping... the gift shop is one of the best we've ever seen.
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May 9th, 2016, 04:43 AM
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Good idea to get train tickets in advance. I went last week and we bought tickets for the 8:20 train, and an open ticket for our return because we weren't sure how long we might want to stay.

I advise taking that early train to avoid the crowds.

Advance tickets to the garden are probably a good idea, but there was no line for tickets last Wednesday morning when we arrived.
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May 9th, 2016, 04:45 AM
  #5
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We already have our train tickets and will buy our entry tickets in advance. Having been there once before, I agree that just enjoying the surroundings is the point. And, yes, an hour or two should be sufficient. Many thanks.
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May 9th, 2016, 10:08 AM
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YOu don't really need a tour IMO, it's just not that much to tour or know. It has gardens, which you look at and wander around, and a small house with some furnishings where he lived. If you want to know more about Monet and when he lived there or what he painted there, that kind of stuff, Michelin green guides usually do a good job of that kind of info for historical sites. But they don't even have much info for this site, not a lot to say. His house as some reproductions of his works and some prints he collected, that's all. Kind of nice to see a small country home from that period, mainly.

I agree with FMT that just reading the info on the website is about the best you can do and should suffice.
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May 9th, 2016, 01:12 PM
  #7
 
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As already mentioned just tour on your own, wandering through the garden and house and up to the grave. Is there a cruise from Paris for the day?
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