Giverny: the very french town that inspired Monet's greatest creations

A small flower-filled village with timeless charm, Giverny is the second most visited site in Normandy. Located less than two hours from Paris, it is best known for having been home to the painter Claude Monet for almost forty years. Gardens, museum, church and excursions: here are 5 not-to-be-missed places to visit during your stay in Giverny and the surrounding area.

Narrow street in the village of Giverny.

- © bensliman hassan / Shutterstock

Giverny: Claude Monet's village...

A major tourist and cultural attraction, Claude Monet's house and gardens are at the heart of the village and have made Giverny famous. Every year, almost 570,000 visitors come to admire the home of the master of Impressionism. Completely renovated in 2021, it has been restored to its original colours, furniture, Japanese prints and earthenware. The property has been listed as a historic monument since 1976. The house and gardens were awarded the"Maison des Illustres" label in 2012 and the"Remarkable Garden" label in 2011.

The living room of Claude Monet's home in Giverny.

- © Beketoff / Shutterstock.

The garden at Giverny, also known as the Clos Normand, stretches for around a hectare in front of the house. When you visit the painter's lair, you'll find not one, but two gardens. This passionate gardener transformed the orchard into a place of multiple perspectives, composed of symmetries and punctuated with varied colours thanks to the flowerbeds.

In 1993, a second garden was created, and Monet gradually gave his water garden a Japanese look. This life-size canvas became almost the sole source of inspiration for the painter, whose most famous illustrations are his series of Japanese bridges and, above all, the water lilies.

The water garden at Claude Monet's estate, Giverny.

- © Oleg Bakhirev / Shutterstock.

Practical info

Opening hours: daily from 1 April to 1 November 2022, 9.30 am to 6 pm

👛 Prices: €11.5 for adults, €7 for under-17s and students, €6 for PRMs and free for under-7s.

📍 Location: it's here on Google Maps!

...and Impressionism

Formerly a museum of American art, the Musée des Impressionismes was opened in 2009. Its primary vocation is to highlight the international character of the Impressionist movement, and in particular of the Giverny colony. A visit to the museum will immerse visitors in the history of this artistic movement, Post-Impressionism, and its development through to the 20th century. The exhibitions change every year, with Renoir currently in the spotlight until 10 September 2023.

Green gallery in the Impressionist Museum's lively, colorful garden.

- © goga18128 / Shutterstock.

Practical info

Opening thours: 10am to 6pm, see here for the opening schedule.

👛 Prices: €10 for adults, €7 concessions and free for under-18s.

📍 Location: it's here on Google Maps!

The church of Sainte Radegonde

An emblematic historic monument in Giverny, thechurch of Sainte Radegonde is a parish church of Roman origin. The apse, its oldest part, dates from the 21st century, while the rest of the building dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. Restored between 2008 and 2010, visitors will be able to appreciate the Roman architectural style, the remarkable furnishings and the wall paintings. Outside, in the cemetery surrounding the church, are the graves of Claude Monet and his family.

The interior of Sainte Radegonde church in Giverny.

- © Pack-Shot / Shutterstock.

The hillsides of Giverny

The monuments aren't the only activities worth taking part in: the Coteaux de Giverny are not to be missed. The two paths called"Sentier du Lézard Vert" and "L'Astragale" are marked with dark blue and sky blue arrows respectively. These two excursions, which start at the town hall, take visitors out into the surrounding countryside for a breath of fresh air.

Map of the two hiking trails in Giverny.

- © giverny.fr

Practical info

📍 Access: it's here on Google Maps!

⛰️ Duration / Distance: 5 km (1h30-2h) for the Green Lizard and 5 km (2h-2h30) for the Astragale

The Old Mill

On the outskirts of Giverny, visitors can admire one of the places that inspired Monet to paint a canvas in 1883. It's an old water mill, perched high above the water near a bridge. Nicknamed the Old Mill, it has become emblematic as the last remaining example of the old mills that once populated the region.

Built on an ancient 16th-century medieval bridge, it is one of the few buildings on a bridge in France. Near the mill, under the trees, 7 bronze statues by a Vernon artist based in Japan add a modern touch to this ancient site.

Old water mill on a bridge near Giverny.

- © Allard One / Shutterstock.

Where to stay in Giverny?

⭐ Les Coquelicots guest house

Situated 500 metres from the gardens of Giverny, this perfectly bucolic guest house is ideal for a stay for two.

Les Coquelicots guest house - Giverny Giverny
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Les Coquelicots guest house - Giverny

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by Jude JONES
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