Have you ever known anyone to visit Giverny? To think of visiting France immediately evokes the major areas: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, the Loire Valley etc. Of course all these are fantastic locations for holidays or to relocate, however sometimes getting out of the often tourist-filled areas allows you to have a completely unique experience. Moreover, the benefit of staying outside a chaotic city, such as the capital Paris, is that you get to enjoy the best of the city before then retreating to more peaceful surroundings. Epitomizing this potential haven is Giverny, just 50 miles away from Paris. So, why not take a day trip from Paris to Giverny?
Practical Advice About Giverny
The Background of Giverny
Giverny is a commune in the region of Normandy, situated in northern France, on the bank of the River Seine. Normandy is synonymous with a significant turning point of World War Two, thus making it a cultural touchstone that would be an attractive destination for anyone with an interest in history (whether European or warfare-orientated). As for Giverny, there is a cultural history of its own: most notably, as the location of Claude Monet’s garden and home. The area also drew a number of American impressionist painters and the picturesque landscapes and heritage of Monet undeniable influences; with scenery so stunning it acted as a muse for artists, anyone can appreciate the natural beauty of this pseudo-Eden.
How Do You Get to Giverny?
To visit Giverny is remarkably easy, especially from Paris. In regards to driving, the journey time is just over an hour long; there are various car hire facilities—whether you want to drive or be driven. As for the former, there are innumerable rental services available, and for the latter, there are private chauffeur services. Crucially parking is widely free in Giverny. Alternatively, you can easily arrive by train, with the Gare de Vernon-Giverny station an ideal means of arriving in the village. The fastest trains can get you there in around 45 or 50 minutes. A last minute fare, for a standard adult (without a railcard), costs anywhere between 10€ and 20€ for a single journey between Paris and Giverny.
With Paris as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with the French capital attracting anybody interested in culture, history, or cuisine, reaching Paris can be inexpensive and relatively simple—particularly from inside Europe. Whether you’re looking to stay in Giverny, and travel into Paris or surrounding areas, or visit the picturesque village for just a day, travel is no obstacle. Whether you drive, board a train, or use some tandem of the two, the only difficulty you will have is convincing yourself to leave the village.
What to Do When You Visit Giverny
As for what to do when you visit Giverny, the village best boasts what there is to see rather than do. Relaxing walks and idyllic views of the landscape are the natural benefits of the village, but there are also attractions to focus your attention on. In 1980 Claude Monet’s property, including the house and gardens, was opened to the public as a tourist attraction after the completion of restoration work. This piece of cultural legacy is truly a piece of history; Monet is a world-famous painter, a founder of the impressionist movement, and an eternal figure of French iconography. The gardens have been replanted in order to restore them to the condition they once were; the gardens would be recognizable even to Monet nowadays after the renovation work. During the summer it is obvious why the gardens drive such tourism, as the impressionist artwork seems to jump off the canvas as if it has come alive before your eyes.
As well as Monet’s history the village also has the Museum of Impressionism Giverny, commemorating the importance of the impressionist movement—for France and world art alike. Moreover, the Hôtel Baudy is a testament to the artistic life rife in Giverny during its artistic peak; this historic location is still in use, opening as a café and restaurant with appropriate period décor. Both these sites, as well as Monet’s gardens and home, allow you to experience the world as these artists once did: you can see the views that inspired them, eat and drink where they relaxed, and experience a part of the world which has shaped our artistic culture in ways which still resonate today.
If you’re looking to explore France but don’t want to be caught up in the hustle of the major cities and their mass tourism, then visit Giverny. There is much to do and with easy access from all the major tourist destinations, you are sure to get a full on experience from your travels to France.