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Paris to Giverny - train/bus ride

I'm considering taking a one day trip from Paris to Giverny to visit Monet's garden, etc. Rick's book has detailed the logistics, i.e. train, bus, etc.

I have a few questions regarding the journey:

  • I plan to take an early train out to Vernon. The travel date would be sometime next week (dependent on weather). Is it advisable to purchase ticket online? I'm hoping the lines wouldn't be too bad if arriving early.

  • Is it necessary to purchase the train ticket (paris to vernon) in advanced? can it be easily done on the day of the trip?

  • Vernon to Giverny: there are two of us traveling light.. bus v. taxi?

Thanks much!

Posted by
14285 posts

I will respond to part of your questions. As you exit the train station in Vernon, there are buses lined up on the road exiting the station on the right and are clearly for Giverny. (I am thinking they had waterlilies painted on the side??) Follow the herd to board the bus to Giverny. I think it was 4€ but don't remember if that was for the round trip or one way. Go to the first bus as it will leave when loaded. They drop you in a parking lot which is where you will catch the bus back to the station.

I bought tickets the day of. Just allow yourself time to do so. If you are near a station or a ticket boutique the day before it will save time to pop in and get one then.

Posted by
20469 posts

Its a regional train, so no reason to buy online.

Posted by
7078 posts

If you take an early train from Paris so that you're at Giverny when it opens the line shouldn't be too long and you really don't need to buy the ticket ahead of time. I was there in August and when I got to Giverny (about 15 mins before opening) there were only 10 people in line ahead of me. As other posters said no need to purchase train ticket ahead of time unless you want to save a few minutes at the train station.

Posted by
1540 posts

8 of us did this trip in February. Took an AM train to Vernon, the buses are right at the train station to take you to Giverny . We walked thru the gardens around the pond and then to the house and several other bldgs. Walked around the village, the cemetery, had lunch at a nice restaurant.
Walked back to the parking lot and took the bus back to the train station and hopped back into Paris.
It was a lovely trip.
We bought our Giverny tickets online before we left the US and bought our train tickets at the train station.
This was Feb - so not prime tourist season.
We were at the gardens the first day it opened for the season - all flowers were not in bloom, but it was still a lovely day.
(no lines, no crowds)

Posted by
8238 posts

I would pick up the tickets the day ahead when you are near any train station if you have US cards and thus can't use the machines. We waited till the day and missed the train because the ticket line was over an hour (locals use machines so everyone in line is either a tourist without a chip and pin card or a local with a complicated travel situation)

When you arrive, step lively to the bus as there is not necessarily enough room on the bus for everyone arriving and there is no second bus waiting. We left about 20 people waiting for a bus that might or might not arrive soon. Same on leaving. Get to the bus stop a little early to assure you make the bus you need for your train connection.

And get your Giverny tickets ahead; I waited an hour on line at Giverny to get the tickets. This was a dumb error on my part but since we had no printer at the apartment I had no easy way to get the ticket that way.

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks everyone for the info!

Just checked online for advanced tickets. It appears that tickets can be purchased online and no need to print as electronic tickets accepted. The website is in French only.. so may be a little more work to navigate.

Posted by
14285 posts

On the day I went last September there were 2 buses waiting at the Vernon station to transport to Giverny so I guess we hit it lucky. When we took the return bus back our bus set off arriving back to the station first, then the second bus did arrive after we off-loaded.

Posted by
198 posts

You can do the trip to Giverny in about a half day if you plan on getting to Monet's gardens when they open. You can then spend more time in Vernon and environs, or take a 1:15 (or so) train to Rouen and spend the afternoon there, and then train back to Paris in time for dinner.

Posted by
564 posts

Suggest you make it a two day trip and take the train to Rouen where you can pick up (and turn in) your rental at train station when you arrive. Make the reservation through Hertz before you leave home. Visit both Honfleur and Giverny, then spend the night in Rouen and see part of it the next day. If you have an early train to Paris turn in the car the night before and take a taxi to the train station. Easy to do and Honfeur, in my opinion, is as good or better than Giverny. This is an easy trip and you'll love the harbor and other things to do in Honfleur. If you're that close, don't miss it. Driving in France is easy, the roads are great and don't be afraid to turn down an interesting road that catches your eye. You will find many 'Back Doors" in Normandy if you give yourself a chance.

Posted by
15686 posts

I went to Giverny last month on a Monday mid-morning. You are wise to buy your train tickets in advance. I nearly missed the train because of the line (mostly tourists buying tickets to Vernon). Also plan to board the train a few minutes early. The train was chock full. In addition to the many tourists going to Giverny, there were a goodly number of locals going farther, with luggage that often took up an extra seat. There were people sitting on the steps and standing all the way. In Vernon, you go down a flight of stairs to cross under the tracks to the station. There were 3-4 buses lined up for Giverny. I was in line for the first one but the rear one left first! The tickets are purchased on the bus and it took a long time until we were ready to go. The tickets had to be processed in a machine by the conductor and it was slow. Added to that, he only spoke French so it took time to explain each time whether to buy one-way or return tickets and whether the younger kids needed tickets or not (age-dependent). Then there's a few minutes' walk from the bus to the house. I was lucky that I was near the front of the ticket line - but again, it went slowly. There are choices with combined tickets that had to be explained and then the choices had to be considered.

For next time, I would definitely take an earlier train to get there when they open and get tickets for the train and the sight in advance, and maybe rent a bike in Vernon to get to Giverny or take a taxi (but return by bus). I think most people spend between 2-3 hours at the sight, then there's a small museum (I didn't go) and Vernon looked to be a nice place to spend a little time wandering around. Note that the buses back to Vernon are timed for the trains. If you plan to take the bus, you could have a long wait mid-day when there's a "gap" in the train schedule.