Monet's home in Giverny

Jan 21st, 2007, 11:42 PM
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Monet's home in Giverny

What's the best way to see Monet's home in Giverny-an organized tour or on one's own?

How does someone get there on his or her own from Paris?
lovetoseetheworld is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:31 AM
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Train from Gare St Lazare to Vernon in Normandy. A bus meets the train, or you can get a taxi, or it's about 45 minutes' walk. Get an early train - there's one about 8.15 (journey time about an hour) - and you optimise your chances of missing some of the crush of the organised tours. I got an early train in June but walked to Giverny, and delayed getting into the house until after I'd toured the gardens. So by about 11.30 am, I found the crush for the house a bit too daunting.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Two point here. First, you did not say when you were going, therefore make sure the place is open.

Secondly, the train from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon is fairly quick if you take the express to Rouen. (And I cannot say Vernon like the French do. It is not like we say it. Ver naw is what it sounds like to me.)

You can take a taxi or the bus. The day we went, we were a little slow getting to the bus stop and the bus filled up!

We took a taxi with another couple and shared the cost. Our taxi driver could say one word in English: fifty - fifty.

The woman of the of the other two spoke enough French to ask the taxi driver to come back and get us for the 6 pm train.

He got us there just as the train roared in. The train stops for about 2 minutes. While my wife paid the taxi, I ran to the ticket machine and stamped our tickets. We scrambled on the train about 30 seconds before it pulled out of the station.

bob_brown is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Thanks, looks like an organized tour will work better for me.

Can anyone out there recommend a tour company that does a bus tour to Giverny from Paris? I also see that Giverny is open each day but Monday. Any tips on the least busiest weekdays to visit. I'll be going there in mid May.

lovetoseetheworld is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:30 AM
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I went there by rail and local bus as Patrick suggested. No problem at all. The local bus is a shuttle to serve the visitors, so no navigation skills are involved.

I don't know how lovetoseeteworld feels about such things, but the DIY version is far cheaper than any organised tour.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:46 AM
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We did it ourselves via train and bus last year in mid-May, and we don't speak French. It was quite easy, and it was my favorite day of our trip. The wisteria and rhodendron were gorgeous.
carolyn is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Anyone familiar with the tour company
lovetoseetheworld is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Hi - I'm not sure if one day is more busy than the other but time of day certainly makes a difference in the number of other people there at the same time. The problem with the tour is that you are arriving at the same time as all of the other tour busses, that's a lot of people all at once.

I've been there right when they opened and had the water lily pond area to myself for about 20 minutes. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I have gorgeous photos. I've also arrived at about 3:30 and there was just a small crowd.

But, OTOH, just being able to see this beautiful place is such a wonderful experience that you should get there however you want. I'm sure you'll enjoy your visit.
cls2paris is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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We once rented a car just for the day from Paris, starting out early before a lot of traffic and arriving at Giverny before it opened but in time for a lovely little breakfast in the garden cafe across the street. After touring the house and gardens, we headed to Honfleur where we had a splendid lunch on the harbor. Afterwards we drove to see the beautiful views at Etretat, and finally stopped for a late afternoon stroll and a pastry in Pont Audemer. We then drove back to Paris arriving a little after dark, but in time for a nice dinner.
It was a remarkably wonderful day.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Sounds like you're heading towards a tour, but I did it solo using the route mentioned above back in May, and it worked beautifully. The trick was to hustle to your right once you leave the train station--don't dawdle--to get on the bus that takes you to Giverny. But it really couldn't be simpler. I personally value the opportunity to be minus a tour in a place like that, where you will want to sit and take in the gardens.

Getting there early in the day is an excellent suggestion--first train out.
In addition to seeing the house/gardens, it's nice to take some time to walk through the village and up to the church to see the Monet family tomb.

As I recall, there are bus and train schedules posted on the website; you can print these out and get a sense of the timing of things.

DejaVu is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 12:34 PM
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We thought that Paris Vision did a good job. We took the combined Versaille and Giverny trip -- Giverny in the morning and Versailles in the afternoon -- and we had a lovely stop for lunch. We loved our guide! However, we want to go back on our own to have a little more time. Still, there was enough time to walk around the gardens, see Monet's home, and make a quick stop in the gift shop. We would like to go back and go to the American Museum, so we'll go by train next time. We actually felt more rushed during the Versailles part of the trip.,15,35-Giverny.htm
sandypaws3 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:10 PM
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We took the same tour as sandypaws3 and found it to be enjoyable but lacked time at Versailles. The gardens at Monet's home are one of my top favorite places I have ever been to. Next time, we will choose to rent a car and spend more time there and at Versailles.
LikeToTravel is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:34 PM
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What's really nice about doing it on your own is that you get to spend as much time as you want in the gardens, or looking at the wonderful Japanese prints in the house, or wandering over to the American Museum across the street, or exploring Vernon and its lovely church, having a bite to eat whenever and wherever you want, with no one to rush you. The trip to Giverny, as everyone says, is extremely easy and a full day is not too much to spend there. I think you would have a more memorable time doing it on your own.
nancy1652 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:30 PM
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We drove to Giverny in late May several years ago, and it was truly memorable--- well worth the time! May will be a beautiful time to be there. This April I'll be taking the train there again. I agree that more time to walk, reflect, and linger here and there on your own is preferable to a tour.
kat12 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Thank you everyone. I will ponder all of your suggestions!
lovetoseetheworld is offline  

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