Visiting Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny, France is a must. We stopped as part of a 2 week roadtrip through Northern France, but it would also be a perfect day trip from Paris. Escape the busy city and find inspiration at Monet’s House and Gardens. Visitors can tour the two gardens, as well as the house, to gain a sense of the daily life of the complex painter.
After purchasing a ticket, you’ll go through the gift shop to access the gardens. We decided to explore the gardens first which were the inspiration for some of Monet’s final works. The lush gardens around his home were full of color and sunshine. While the gardens were lovely in the autumn with the changing of the leaves and crisp air, I can’t imagine how gorgeous it would be to see in the springtime as flowers blossom and climb the trellises.
The Japanese-inspired lily pond was indeed picture perfect and made Lucy want to pick up a paint brush to capture the scene. We strolled along the pathways, over little foot bridges, and took countless photographs of the lily pond and surrounding lush landscapes. The bamboo casts dark reflections on the pond while the lily pads break up the reflections, yet add their own level of dimension to the beautiful escape Monet created.
After visiting the gardens, we wandered back to tour the house. Monet first purchased the home in 1883 and slowly expanded the house and created the gardens. I loved the various color schemes throughout the home. Pretty much everything in the blue salon, is blue. The outlines are done in a darker blue while the rest is a pale, almost baby blue. The walls, grandfather clock and hutch are painted in the same scheme. The color compliments and accentuates the Japanese prints that adorn the walls.
The dining room was indeed “bathed in golden sunshine” as said by French writer Marc Elder. This is where Monet’s family dined for lunch and friends shared dinner. In 1914 the moldings were painted “pure chrome yellow” while the rest was painted in ‘light chrome yellow’. The French doors opened onto the porch with a lovely view of the garden. Next door, the beautifully tiled kitchen with it’s copper pans and large stove was another favorite room of ours.
Visitors also have access to the drawing room which was Monet’s first studio. Reproductions of the paintings that once adorned these walls are on display and you really get a feel for what the room used to look like and the importance these works held for Monet. The bedrooms and bathrooms are also accessible including Monet’s bedroom which he filled, not with his own works, but those of his friends.
We spent approximately 2 hours visiting Monet’s House and Gardens. Art enthusiasts may want to spend longer than 2-3 hours. However, with kids, it was the perfect amount of time. If your schedule allows, bring some paper to let the kids sketch the famous lily pond.
Those traveling with kids ages 5 – 8 should print off a free game booklet (found under the “fees” section online). The booklet is available in both French and English. While it’s designed for little kids, there is some great information. From this booklet I learned that the gift shop was once Monet’s third workshop.
I purchased Who Was Claude Monet? for my kiddos and think it would be a great addition to your book shelf as well.
24th March to 1st November (I’ll update 2018 dates once available)
Adults : 9,50 €
Child & students : 5,50 €
Child under 7 : FREE
How to get there:
- By car – Paris to Giverny is only approximately 1.5 hours.
- Buy train – Paris to Giverny take train from Gare Saint Lazare to Gare De Vernon. Then take the shuttle bus to Giverny.
I can’t believe it took us so long to explore Monet’s House and Gardens! Perfect as part of a roadtrip or just a quick day trip from Paris, visitors will get a sense of what life was like for Claude Monet and see the inspiration for some of his most famous works. Wander the halls of the artists former home gaining insight to the works of art that were so important to him as well as his unique choice of decor and colors used throughout the home itself. Then meander through the gardens Monet created and find your own inspiration.
See more Ideas for Day Trips From Paris
Have you visited Monet’s garden at Giverny?