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Touring Giverny through ParisWebServices

Just back from a quick trip to Paris and wanted to comment on a trip we booked to Giverny to see the Monet Gardens. We used ParisWebServices which Rick mentions in his Paris 2019 book. It was absolutely the best idea in the world. I wasn't sure if they would even let us book as we were only two people and Rick's writeup sounded like you might need four or more.
You book online and I specified two people and there was no problem. The tour was for half a day and provided tickets and transportation but left you on your own while there. That suited us perfectly.
What made it so worthwhile was that the guide was extremely experienced. He picked us up early (it was a van with another group of people but that didn't bother us) and got us to Giverny early and then walked us up to the group entrance. There was one huge group heading to the entrance but our guide walked us by them (fine with the other tour operator who waved to him and said hi). As a result we were the first people in line for the group entrance (which Rick strongly suggests using as it is closest to the Lily Ponds). Because we knew from Rick's book exactly how to get to the Lily Ponds and they opened the gates 20 minutes ahead of the official public opening time (also known by our guide), we were the first people to the Lily Ponds. We were able to spend a half hour in the pond area with minimal people. It made our time there extra special and I took many photos with no crowds visible.
The guide was back to meet us at the end of the tour time and got us all back to Paris efficiently even though some of the roads were blocked due to the Saturday demonstrations.
I usually go on my own to places and if this had been a longer visit, I probably would have gotten the train tickets etc. I am just so glad that we decided to go with the tour which took us right to the Gardens and had this great guide. It was definitely worth the extra funds.

Posted by
8429 posts

Judy! That sounds wonderful. I am glad it worked well for you. It's always interesting to me how many of the guides know each other, and so cool you got to be the first ones in. Wow.

And yes, I want to see pictures at our next meet-up!

Posted by
686 posts

You really don't need much "guiding" to see Giverny, but getting in early before it's crowded is well worth the effort. The pond and the gardens are wonderful even for non-gardeners like me. The house was interesting and you have to see it on your own as they don't let the guides in. Lots to shop for in the gift shop.

We also walked down the street to the church and Monet's grave. Short walk, lovely little village.

Posted by
3844 posts

Thanks for sharing, Judy! What a special memory to have the ponds almost to yourself as he would have enjoyed!

Posted by
681 posts

That sounds amazing and without crowds. Will have to keep that in mind.