How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

I just returned from an unforgettable trip to Europe to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday, and while we were in France, visiting Monet’s Garden was high on my bucket list. Since we were staying in Paris, we made it happen by taking a train out to Giverny/Vernon. I went with my parents, making the experience even more special. I’m excited to share what we experienced and learned!

How to make the most of your visit to Monet's garden

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Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, is a breathtaking destination for art lovers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a serene escape.

Blue flower pot on Monet's garden

It’s been on my bucket list for so long. Growing up, one of my favorite childhood books was “Linnea in Monet’s Garden,” so seeing the garden in person was a dream come true.

To ensure your visit is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible as ours was, here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your trip.

My favorite childhood book, Linnea in Monet's Garden
The book that started it all, Linnea In Monet’s Garden

What is Monet’s Garden?

A little background for you. Monet’s Garden is a historic site in Giverny, France, where the famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet lived and worked for over 40 years.

The garden is known for its beauty and the inspiration it provided for many of Monet’s masterpieces. Divided into two main parts, the Clos Normand flower garden and the Japanese-inspired water garden, it showcases Monet’s love for nature and his talent for gardening.

Visitors can explore the vibrant flower beds, peaceful lily ponds, and iconic Japanese bridge, all of which are featured in many of Monet’s most famous paintings.

Arches with roses in Monet's garden

A Bit About Claude Monet

  1. Founder of Impressionism: Claude Monet is often regarded as the founder of the Impressionist movement, which is named after his painting “Impression, Sunrise” (1872).
  2. Lifespan: Monet was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, France, and died on December 5, 1926, in Giverny, France.
  3. Artistic Style: Monet’s work is characterized by his use of light and color, capturing the changing qualities of natural light with short, quick brushstrokes.
  4. Prolific Artist: Over his lifetime, Monet created more than 2,500 paintings, drawings, and pastels.
stopping to smell the roses
Stopping to smell the roses!

About His Art

  1. Water Lilies Series: One of Monet’s most famous series, consisting of approximately 250 oil paintings depicting his flower garden at Giverny.
  2. Haystacks Series: Monet painted a series of haystacks in different lighting and weather conditions, exploring how light changes perception.
  3. Rouen Cathedral Series: Monet painted the façade of the Rouen Cathedral at different times of the day and in different weather conditions to capture the varying effects of light.
  4. Japanese Bridge: The Japanese bridge in his water garden is featured in several of his paintings, highlighting his interest in Japanese art and design.
  5. Plein Air Painting: Monet often painted outdoors to capture the true essence of the landscape and natural light.
A print of Monets

About His Home and Gardens

  1. Giverny: Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 and lived there for 43 years until his death.
  2. House: Monet’s house in Giverny is a beautiful pink house with green shutters, featuring a charming interior decorated with Japanese prints and bright colors.
  3. Clos Normand: The flower garden in front of his house, known as the Clos Normand, is a vibrant display of various flowers, meticulously planned and planted by Monet.
  4. Water Garden: Monet created a water garden across the road from his house, inspired by Japanese gardens. This garden includes the famous lily pond and Japanese bridge.
  5. Gardening: Monet was an avid gardener and took great pride in designing and maintaining his gardens, which were a significant source of inspiration for his art.
  6. Visitors: During his lifetime, Monet’s home and gardens were visited by many artists, writers, and art collectors, making it a cultural hub of its time.
Monets House

Top Tips for a Smooth Trip to Monet’s Garden

We had the best experience visiting Monet’s Garden! Below I’ll share my top tips for a smooth trip to his beautiful home and gardens.

sign to Monet's water garden

1. Purchase Your Tickets in Advance

One of the best ways to avoid long lines and ensure a smooth visit is to purchase your tickets before you arrive. My parent’s did this and I was so grateful! Tickets are not expensive and are around 11 euros.

Monet’s garden is a popular attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world and can get VERY crowded. Bring your walking shoes!

By buying your tickets online in advance, you can bypass the often lengthy lines at the entrance. This not only saves you time but also allows you to start your garden exploration right away.

You can visit HERE to look into tickets and find out more information.

Beautiful flowers in Monet's Garden
poppies, allium and more!

2. Visit on a Weekday Morning

To experience the garden in a more peaceful setting, plan your visit for a weekday morning.

Weekends and afternoons tend to be busier, with larger crowds that can detract from the tranquility of the gardens.

Arriving early on a weekday means fewer people, allowing you to take in the beauty of the flowers, ponds, and pathways at a more leisurely pace. Plus, the morning light provides excellent photography opportunities.

We were in around 9:30 or 10 right when it opened. The bridges were the only part we founded crowded but this was due to the tight paths.

green bridge in Monet's garden

3. Getting to Giverny: Train Station to the Garden

Most visitors to Monet’s garden arrive by train, with Vernon being the closest station to Giverny. We took a train from Paris and it was very smooth.

Once in Vernon, you have three main options to reach the garden: a mini train, large bus or a taxi.

Boats in Monet's pond

Mini Train

The mini train is a charming and scenic way to get from Vernon to Giverny. While it’s slower than taking a taxi, the journey is picturesque, winding through the beautiful French countryside. It’s an enjoyable, relaxed way to start your visit, giving you a taste of the idyllic landscape that inspired Monet’s masterpieces. This is the option we did!


  • Scenic route with lovely views
  • Relaxing and leisurely journey
  • Only 10 Euros for there and back


  • Slower than a taxi
  • Can be crowded during peak times (leaves on set schedule so you have to make it work for you)
  • Drops you off in a parking lot below the entrance so you have more of a walk to the entrance.
mom and I on the mini-train to Monet's garden
Mom and I on the “mini-train”.


If you prefer to get to the garden quickly, taking a taxi is your best option. Taxis from Vernon station will take you straight to the entrance of Monet’s garden in about 10 minutes. This is ideal if you’re short on time or simply eager to start your visit as soon as possible.


  • Fast and direct route
  • Convenient and time-saving


  • More expensive than the mini train or bus as you have to pay there and back.
  • Misses out on the scenic countryside views
  • might have to wait for one to arrive at the station.
Me in Monet's garden
This lazy garden girl was in heaven!


There is also the large bus option that you see many tourists riding in and around Europe. This is the same price as the mini-train and even parks in the same lower parking lot. We didn’t see or learn of this option until after our visit.


  • Scenic route with lovely views
  • Relaxing and leisurely journey
  • Only 10 Euros for there and back


  • Can be crowded during peak time
  • Drops you off in a parking lot below the entrance so you have more of a walk to the entrance.
  • You rely on their schedule of departure
Monet's lovely garden

4. Enjoying Your Time in the Garden

Once you arrive at Monet’s garden, take your time to explore and savor the experience.

My parent's in Monet's garden
My parents enjoying the garden.

The garden is divided into two main parts: the Clos Normand flower garden and the famous water garden with its Japanese bridge and lily ponds.

Each area has its own unique charm and beauty, reflecting Monet’s artistic vision.

Claude Monet's front steps
The front of Monet’s house.
  • Clos Normand: This flower garden near the house is a burst of color and fragrance, with beautifully arranged flower beds and pathways. The poppies were in full bloom when we visited!
  • Water Garden: Featuring the iconic lily ponds and Japanese bridge, this part of the garden is a tranquil haven perfect for reflection and photography. I even saw a few zinnias here too!
A peek into Monet's lily pond
Monet’s water garden with lily pads.

Final Tips

  • Photography: Be mindful of other visitors and avoid blocking paths while taking photos. But snap away! There are so many phot opts . I had a lot of fun as you can see the
  • Respect the Space: Monet’s garden is a historic site, so be sure to respect the rules and maintain the garden’s beauty for future visitors.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring a bottle of water, especially if visiting on a warm day, as the garden can take a few hours to explore fully. Wear comfy clothes and good shoes!
  • Lunch: Once you finish your tour there is a lovey little take away spot to grab a bite to eat. We picked up waters, and baguettes with melted mozzarella and tomatoes. They were amazing! I only saw one other cafe further down so if you are hungry make sure to stop before your train ride back.
A yummy lunch option just outside the gates!

I hope these tips, will ensure a memorable and enjoyable visit to Monet’s garden in Giverny. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Monet’s garden offers a beautiful and inspiring experience.

Inspiration from Monet’s Garden

This visit to Monet’s garden will be one that I will forever treasure. It was so special to visit with my parents and I not only took pictures on my phone but also mental pictures so I don’t ever forget it.

After visiting I am feeling both inspired to add more color inside my home like Monet did along with out in our garden.

My zinnias are colorful and I will always grow them, but I am feeling drawn to poppies after my visit.

purple poppies in Monet's garden

My mother in-law planted the most beautiful red poppies in her garden and I have always admired them. Growing some poppies in our yard next year is on my list. I even bought some seeds from the gift shop!

seeds from Monet's garden
Seeds from Monet’s garden

How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

Monet’s Garden in Giverny is a magical experience that should be on every garden, history, and art lover’s travel list. Walking through the vibrant flower beds and serene water gardens, you can truly feel the inspiration that Monet drew from his surroundings. I hope this post has inspired you to add it to your bucket list!

Monet's flowers

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip to France, visiting Monet’s Garden is an enchanting journey into the heart of Impressionist history. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in this beautiful and historic site – it’s an experience you’ll cherish forever.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

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  1. Oh, my goodness, what an amazing experience, Kelly!
    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos and trip tips. It is now on my bucket list! Great post!

  2. Kelly,
    Thank you for your wonderful post!! The pictures are beautiful and the tips extremely helpful. Such an amazing journey with your parents…one I hope to have with my husband and daughter one day soon!!

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