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Advice on day trip from Paris to Giverny

Bonjour,
I have been reading much info in RS book and on this forum about Monet's garden and that it is important to get there early. I was wondering if taking a taxi there from Paris might be a better option than the train/ bus? Would this give us and advantage to get straight there early or is this quite expensive? We will be traveling in mid August. Thank you ,Val

Posted by
5 posts

I made this trip with my sister a couple years ago in early September, and it was a highlight of our trip. I don't know the cost of a taxi, but we took an early morning train from Paris Gar-St-Lazare to Vernon. It was inexpensive and we had no problem at all. It takes about 50 minutes as I remember. We walked out of the train station and across the street to the little cafe that rents bikes, and rode the 3-4 miles to Giverny. There were other tourists there in the late morning, but it wasn't mobbed. We enjoyed several hours in the gardens. We had purchased tickets online in advance, so we could walk right through the gate. You can also walk or take a bus to the gardens. I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Posted by
2558 posts

There is no reason to take a taxi unless you just want to spend around 80€ and don't want to take mass transit or will have difficulty walking from the shuttle bus parking spot to the house. It's possible that the train could be so crowded that you can't get a seat but that is unlikely. The place opens at 9:30. I don't see the point in taking a taxi when there is an 8:19 train that arrives at the station at 9:05 -- with the shuttle bus, you will arrive at just about 9:30 You will have to battle rush hour traffic in Paris to get out of town and will probably not get there more quickly than you would on the train. It's not like taking a taxi will somehow get you into the garden for some kind of pre-opening. I just went on Thursday of this week. What helps you avoid the line at the front is to buy your tickets ahead of time. The garden itself was crowded but not so crowded that you could not walk around and even so a taxi would not help you with that.

Taking the train is beyond easy. The hardest part is finding the track at Gare St. Lazare and even that is not hard if you give yourself enough time -- meaning arrive 25 minutes before scheduled departure time and follow the signs. When you get to Vernon, there are literally Monet-style footprints on the ground leading from within the station to the waiting area for the shuttle buses and the buses are timed with the train. Buy a return ticket (currently 10€ per person) when you board the bus and off you go. Of course, keep the ticket for the return trip.

Posted by
6069 posts

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a taxi for under 100€ each way. Unless money is no object, take the advice to take the early train. The shuttle bus meets the train so if you don't want to walk (about 2 miles) or rent bikes, that's the way to go. It's very easy. If you get there about 1/2 hour before they open in the morning you probably don't need advance tickets, but if even short lines get to you, then get advance tickets online before you go.

Posted by
8 posts

I agree with Jhk. It's easy. Just pay attention to the time the bus will be bsck to pick you up. And buy the tickets online ahead of topi me so you don't need to wait in the long ticket line.

Posted by
2466 posts

It's best to buy round-trip tickets before you depart.
Remember to "compost" - punch - your tickets in the machines on the platform, or you might risk a heavy fine.

Posted by
216 posts

If you really want to beat the crowds, stay overnight in Giverny.

Failing that, buy tickets ahead, take an early train to Vernon and a taxi from there to Monet's house and garden. You will best those on the shuttle.

Posted by
1516 posts

Hi gift, we visited Giverny last year with a Fat Tire Bike Tour. It was a lot of fun. We met at the train station in Paris, took the train as a group, and picked up the bikes in Giverny. We had a picnic lunch then rode the rest of the way to Monet's house and gardens. It was a very nice way to see the sights!

Posted by
22 posts

We went to Giverny yesterday and were really glad we went early. It was so crowded!! Probably because most French people take a 4 day weekend to take advantage of the Ascension Day holiday on Thursday (5/25). Seemed like a lot of French tourists there.
So we arrived at the Gare St Lazare station in Paris at about 6:35 am, easily bought tickets at the SNCF boutique in the station from a very helpful agent and got on the 7:19 am train which arrived in Vernon at about 8:05. Also, we got open ended tickets for the return trip since we didn't know which train we'd be taking coming back..
We knew that the Vernon-Giverny shuttle ( 10 euros round trip) didn't start running until 9:30 so we planned to take a taxi from Vernon to Giverny. There were others there waiting so we shared the cab with them (6 total) so it cost 3 euros apiece. You could also use Uber. There wasn't a taxi at the station when we got there so I started to contact a Uber driver, but then the taxi came.
We got to Giverny about 8:30, enough time to wander about, find the bathroom, etc. then we got in line about 9:00 to buy our tickets (we were almost at the front of the line). By the time the ticket office opened at 9:30 the ticket line stretched a long ways down the road!
There is a different entrance for people who already have tickets that is around the corner from the ticket office so you don't have to wait in the ticket line.
When we emerged from the garden there was still (!!) a long line of people waiting to buy tickets!
We took a taxi back and split it with two other people who happened by at the same time so it cost us 5 euros apiece that time which made it 8 euros round trip - cheaper than we would have paid if we'd taken the shuttle. The driver seems to charge 15 euros for 2 people and 20 euros for a group so it's worth it to try to go in with others. Back at the station there was a very long line of people waiting to take the shuttle and about 20 people waiting in the taxi line.
We had about an hour before our train came so we took Rick's advice and walked into Vernon to the Rose Boulangerie for fabulous pastries and delicious sandwiches.
Despite the crowds, we were glad we visited Giverny. We went straight to the pond when we got in and it was just lovely with the beautiful morning light and the birds singing. Then we went in the gardens which had gorgeous flowers. There was a long line to get into the house/museum - we were told it was a 15 minute wait. By then we were done with crowds so we skipped it and left.
So I would definitely recommend taking the train, and specifically the early train, and I would buy the tickets to Giverny ahead of time. Have fun!