On the right bank of the Seine, only 74 kilometres from Paris, you’ll find this popular tourist destination. A tiny country village with less than 500 residents, Giverny is famous as the home of impressionist painter Claude Monet. Many of the beautiful streets, parks, houses and even the surrounding countryside will feel familiar because one hundred years ago, Monet immortalised them on canvas.
The highlight of any trip to Giverny is Monet’s home where he lived from 1883 till the end of his life in 1926. The artist tended his extensive gardens himself. Today, they have been landscaped to match when he lived and painted there, with ponds and an abundance of flowers. Monet’s rambling country house has also been restored. Spring and summer are the best times to visit as the gardens are at their most lush and colourful.
Despite its small size, Giverny is a hugely popular cruise destination: Monet’s gardens alone draw over half a million visitors every year.
Cruise ships dock on the right bank of the Seine. From here, it is a very short walk to the town and neighbouring countryside.
Facilities near the port in Giverny include:
- Tourist information centre
- Restaurants and cafés.
Please be aware that you won’t find any ATMs, public toilets or bureaux de change in the town.
How To Get Around
Giverny is a very small town, easily navigated on foot. Several hiking trails above the town lead to beautiful views over the river and the surrounding countryside. A tour bus circles Giverny to take in all the main attractions (mostly locations that were painted by Monet, including the village’s castles, mansions and old mills). Taxis are also available, but they are quite expensive.
Currency – The currency in Giverny is the Euro (€). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
Time Zone – Giverny, like the rest of France, is set to Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the daylight savings months of March to October, Giverny time moves to two hours ahead of UTC.
Weather – Giverny has a mild, humid, temperate climate with warm summers, mild winters and no dry season. July is the hottest month in Giverny, with temperatures averaging at 17.8 degrees Celsius. January is the coolest month, with temperatures averaging at 3.6 degrees Celsius.
Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet – The quaint pastel pink and green house that impressionist painter Claude Monet and his family lived in between 1883 and 1926 is Giverny’s major drawcard. Although you wont find any of his paintings in his old home, you can walk the stunning gardens he painted and visit an excellent museum. Most visitors will be stunned by the curved Japanese bridge that spans the lily pond: this scene looks today precisely as it did when Monet painted it. The garden is beautiful throughout the year, but it is especially lovely in spring, when the daffodils, wisteria, water lilies, irises and poppies are in flower. Sweet peas and roses bloom for visitors in the summer months, and dahlias and sunflowers burst into colour later in the year. Reproductions of Monet’s work are popular souvenirs and are available from stands outside his home.
Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny – Just up the road from the Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet, you’ll find a sister museum to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The artworks in this impressive collection span all styles of impressionism and related art movements. Because the Museum is partnered by one of the best museums in Paris, you will find extraordinary temporary exhibitions from master painters, including Degas and Renoir. If you book ahead and have two hours up your sleeve, you can attend introductory workshops at the Museum on sketching, pastels and watercolours.
Musée d’Art Américain – This Museum of American Impressionists houses the works of numerous painters who moved to Giverny in the late 1800s and early 1900s to be inspired by Monet. At that time, Paris was flooded with thousands of American artists wanting to learn French art techniques. As Giverny is not far from Paris, a group of young artists literally stumbled upon the town on a day trip scouting pretty landscape to paint, only to find one of the great masters had had the idea before them. The Museum is open between March and November. On the first Sunday of each of these months, entry is free. The most beautiful exhibit in the Museum is a collection of stunning impressionist paintings called ‘Homage to Monet’. The Museum has a gift shop and an American-style café that serves light meals.