10 reasons to go to Monet’s House in Giverny
March is just out the door! This means that blooming flowers, colorful landscapes also are! During spring, summer and autumn, gardens are filled with bright colors, the sun warms our hearts and we feel much more relaxed! It is the perfect time for you to visit Monet’s house in Giverny! It is open every day from March, 23th to November, 1st, so go for it!
If you need a little extra motivation, read on and find out 10 reasons to go to Monet’s house in Giverny!
1.) The garden of the Nympheas
Claude Monet spent ten years of his life building this charming water garden. The peaceful panorama, with the pond and the green bridge, will take you away to Japan. Monet chose oriental trees and plants like gingkos, peonies, bamboos, maples… He also planted different species of colourful water lilies, the famous « Nymphéas », that he started painting in 1897. Now you can see these masterpieces in many museums around the world.
Monet was fascinated with reflection, blurred spots of colours, trembling glints of light. If you see the water garden, you will understand this exact atmosphere, as you roam around the quiet pond.
2.) The « Clos Normand »
Claude Monet was said to be « crazy about flowers »… Well in this garden, he expressed all this madness! There are hundreds of flower beds in the Clos Normand, each one more colourful and vivid than the other. Daffodils, tulips, irises, poppies, pansies, narcissuses… Around the central alley, leading to the house, hoops are covered with honeysuckle.
From June to September, orange nasturtiums cover the ground… This beautiful garden is a real explosion of colour and fragrance.
3.) It is never the same: it changes depending on the season
You can go four times a year to Monet’s garden, and it will be an ever renewed surprise. If you come during the winter, you might have snow! The sleeping gardens will be covered by a thin white coat, and you will enjoy the silence and peace of the resting nature. In the beginning of the spring, in March and April, you can witness the revival of budding trees and flowers. The best, but also the most crowded season, is from June to August.
The beautiful nymphéas of the water garden are flowering, and you will feel exactly as if you were inside a Monet’s painting. The flower beds of the Clos Normand are covered with breathtaking colours, the birds are singing… It feels like heaven on earth. Autumn is also a lovely season to go to Giverny. The trees have magnificent colours reflecting on the pond, and the yellow ginkgos are especially beautiful in that season. Even if it rains, it is poetic and romantic to see the rain drops falling in the pond, snuggled under an umbrella…
4.) The house of Monet and the emotion it carries
Monet’s house is a charming, typically French house. It is quite emotional to see these rooms that Monet used to inhabit, to contemplate the furniture and ornaments that he chose himself. In the ground floor, you will see an adorable living room, exquisitely decorated. Then, the « salon-atelier » (workshop-living-room) was recreated, with many paintings on the wall.
The blue kitchen is one of the most beautiful rooms of the house, along with the yellow dining rooms. Their vivid colours are surprising and very joyful. On the second floor, you can visit Monet’s bedroom, and enter the intimacy of this legendary painter.
5.) The Japanese engravings
Monet was passionate about Japanese art. He gathered an incredible collection of Japanese engravings from the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, that can be seen in the entire house, especially the yellow dining room. They are real masterpieces, made by Japanese masters such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro. They inspired the painter for many of his own paintings. You will find an echo between those pieces of art and the water garden that Monet created: Giverny is a little piece of Japan in Normandy.
6.) The different restaurants in Giverny
The restaurant of the Monet Foundation, called Les Nymphéas, is just across the street from Monet’s House. Its main quality is the lovely terrace, and the authentic French food, inspired by Monet’s recipes. The prices range from 9€ for a piece of quiche to 25€ for an « entrecôte » (a large piece of beef). The two-dishes Monet Menu is at 25€ during the week and 30€ on weekends, which is a bit expensive, but the food is fresh!
La capucine Giverny
This place is like a village inside the village of Giverny, minutes away from Monet’s House. There is a very nice atmosphere, the food is fresh, healthy and not too expensive. I would recommend this self-service restaurant for families, or if you are in a hurry. Plus, you can buy presents to bring home in a nice little shop.
7.) The shop
The shop of Monet’s house, located in the workshop where the Nympheas were painted, is also one of the top ten reasons to go to Giverny. It is not just a random souvenir shop, it is a treasure chest created by Emilio Robba, a true flower artist.
There, you can find plenty of unusual and lovely souvenirs and gifts to bring back home. It is a paradise if you love gardening: you can find plenty of flower seeds to recreate Monet’s beautiful garden at home. There are also decoration items and scented candles.
Opening hours: every day from April 1st to November 1st, from 10 am to 6 pm
8.) It is nice to go there with children
Children do not always like museums, because they have to stay quiet for a long time, they cannot run or play… But Monet’s house in Giverny is a great place for kids. An important part of the visit takes place outside, in the gardens. Your kids will discover the small paths of the water garden, smell the flowers of the Clos Normand…
The house of Monet itself is really cute and looks a bit like a doll house. The children can have fun discovering its bright colored rooms, little stairs, and trinkets. Finally, I really advise you to download the activity booklets offered by the foundation. Go to their website, choose English language, then go to “Practical Information“, “Fees” and “Game booklet“. Both you and your children will enjoy the visit!
9.) The Impressionisms museum is just next to it
There is a permanent exhibition called Around Claude Monet, that helps in understanding the work of the master. The two temporary exhibitions often give an unusual and interesting insight on a special theme or painter. Plus, there is a beautiful contemporary garden, with fountains, flower beds, and wild prairies. The museum also offers different events, such as open air concerts, guided tours for families with children, or painting workshops.
Opening hours: every day from March to November, from 10 am to 6 pm
10.) All of this is about an hour away from Paris
Giverny is actually quite close to Paris. If you have your own car, it is less than an hour. You have to take the highway to Rouen (A13) for fifty five kilometers, then take the exit number 14 (Bonnières). Then, follow the signs indicating “Giverny“.
You can also book a guided tour, that includes the journey from Paris in a coach (60-80€ each for half a day).
Finally, you can choose to use the public transport. You have to take a train to Rouen at Saint Lazare Station in Paris, up to Giverny station (about 50 minutes, 20 to 25€ for a return ticket). The museum is five kilometers away: you can walk for an hour, rent a bicycle, or take the shuttle that leaves fifteen minutes after each train arrives (8€).
My article about the 10 reasons to go to Monet’s house in Giverny is now over! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and that it has provided you a few useful tips. If you need more information about anything, don’t hesitate to contact us! Monet’s house in Giverny is the one of the best things to do for whoever enjoys art, Impressionism or simply soothing walks in stunning gardens. The atmosphere of the place is pretty unique, and I’m sure every member of the family will love it, especially on a warm day! I hope to see you soon in one of our tours!