If you are in Paris for more than a few days why not pay a day visit to one of the many wonderul Castles, Chateaux or Cathedrales located on the Paris outskirts?
With some only from a short 40 min to an hour away. You can either take the metro, RER or join a tour.
I would recommend trying to navigate your way on your own as you can go at your own pace and personally so much more fun. Here are a few you could try:
1. Palace du Versailles
2. Giverny (Monet's home)
3. Chartres Cathedrale
4. Chateu du Fountainbleu
While there is usually a bus (1 April to 1 November) waiting to greet the train from Paris Saint Lazare, it is scheduled to depart within minutes of the train's arrival -- leaving the visitor no time to wander the lovely town of Vernon or to enjoy the beauty of the countryside Seine. And likely, the visitor will have also sped past Monet's final resting place and the lovely houses West of his house
So if you're reasonably fit and have the time, you may consider a full-day in the area -- walking the 5.5kms (1 to 1.5 hours) to Giverny. Alternatively, consider renting a bicycle near the train station or taking the bus one-way (unfortunately, it is a flat ~4€ return fare)...or taking a later train for your return journey. (You can usually find a train / bus timetable at http://giverny.org/transpor/ .)
From the train station, walk East along rue de la Gare (on the North side of the tracks). Then turn left to go North East along rue d'Albufera. You will go through the heart of Vernon. Stop for a pastry or buy a picnic lunch (possible at the open air market).
Rue d'Albufera will lead you to the river. As you cross the Pont Clemenceau, turn around and enjoy a grand view of the Collégiale Notre Dame and the lush banks of the Seine.
Go past the roundabout AND past the D5-"route de Giverny". About a block before the Church, there should be a sign directing you to the Musées Giverny. The Walking / Cycle path (voie André Touflet) runs parallel to the D5. Eventually, the path ends at a fork in the road (near a Petrol station / Garage if I recall).
The small road up and to the left is the one you want. (The road to right is the D5.) Head up the small road at walk past some lovely cottages along the way. Stop at the small cemetery and pay your respects at the Commonwealth War Graves and the tomb of the great master before continuing down the road to his magnificent gardens and ponds.
I am glad we decided to go to Monet Gardens. Trouble is, 5 days in Paris and so much to see! We saw less than a quarter of Paris! .....But hubby is into horticulture and I love pretty gardens so we decided to go to Claude Monet Gardens on our last day in Paris. I advertised it as a meet on vt and brooklyned, longsanborn and borneogrrl joined us. American Barney, Aussie Barney and my va's Hansi & Lori and Dorrise and Rexy came along as well.
So all of us boarded the train from Gare St Lazare to Vernon and then a bus to the gardens for our big day out. And what a fantastic day it was!! :o) Check out the fun on the travelogue below. I am so glad we did this.
I would totally recommend a day out to see the Gardens of Claude Monet!!
On the way back from Giverny we stopped at a park in Vernon on the Siene River. There was the remnant of an old mill, complete with one remaining house, along with ducks and geese. It would be a great place to picnic, as one couple was doing, enjoying lunch and a bottle of wine.
The home of artist Claude Monet, Giverny. Take the train to station Vernon from Gare St.Lazare. It's some 75 kilometres from Paris.
Claude Monet, one of the most famous impressionists (think water lilies) lived in the village of Giverny, near Vernon in the last 40 years of his life.
His house and garden have been preserved and restaured and are open to the public. You can see among other things his famous japanese bridges. And you can see from where his flower paingints inspiration comes when you walk this garden!
For works by Claude Monet don't miss the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where there are lots of impressionist paintings.
The inspiration for some of Claude Monet's finest pieces of art comes from the lillies in his beautiful garden at Giverny. So keen was I to see this garden, that I went on a cycling trip to Giverny , 13 hours after I landed in France from Singapore! This day trip cost me about 50 euros but it was worth every cent as it quelled my need for exercise and the French countryside is as beautiful as it is reputed to be.
If you're wondering whether I cycled into the pond due to my jetlag, click here to see my Giverny page. It's the #1 Giverny page for the time being and it's been described by my readers as a visual gem.
Details for the cycling tour agent are found at the weblink below.
My best friend's mom met up with us during our long backpacking trip. She is a big fan of Claude Monet, so we had to go to his home & gardens in Giverny. It's about 30-45 minutes from Paris. I'm glad we went. The gardens are beautiful, and it was nice to see a smaller town in France that is so close to Paris. I can see why he liked to live there.
We took a half day trip to the home of Claude Monet, it was one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen. Standing on little bridges that you can see in his artwork, walking through the gardens and his incredible home. It was breathtaking!
Monet's house and garden at Giverny you shouldn't miss if you have any interest in Monet and the impressionists or in fact gardens or actually anything beautiful. it is the perfect place to go when the bustle of paris and the sight of one too many chic parisians becomes too much. It is a forty five minutes train ride out of paris (Paris-St Lazare to Vernon..3 daily, last one to get you there in time is at 2.20pm tues-sat, 10.44am sunday, about 20 euro)along the seine where all the rich people live in gorgeous houses, and there are some house boats too. The village of Giverny is now rather taken up with monet but it is ok and not too touristy although there is nothing much there but for his house and gardens and a few galleries and cafes. Lovely countryside around though, trees on the hillside. I went in September thinking that there would be no flowers at all but the whole place was, to use a hackneyed phrase, a riot of colour. The japanese garden is where he painted the waterlilies and it is just exactly like...! You can even get a photo of you on the bridge (along with half a dozen other people of course). it wasn't too bad for crowds. Apparently spring is really crowded and summer of course and then it is a case of joining the long queue that shuffles along the narrow paths. But I found moments of solitude there in september... On Mondays it is closed to the public, except painters that is and you can sit in there, with just the company of fellow artists and paint to your hearts content. I didn't know that until I went there so I have yet to see whether it is busy with bereted aspirants with their easels and moustaches...(mind you I don't have a moustache...)The 'monet' bus (4 euro- last busback to the station is tues, thurs and fri 6.55pm; weds and sats 5.15pm; sun 5.25pm)meets the train at the small Vernon station.Just follow the rest of the people on the train as they'll all be going there...but don't be put off. it's really worth the visit..
People must try to visit Monet's House and Gardens situated to the west of the city. This was a great place to visit and where you get to see his world famous artwork. You can also stroll around his gardens and see the Lily lake, an inspiration for some of his paintings. The best time to visit would be in the spring/summer when all the flowers are coming into bloom.
This isn't really off the beaten path, but a fairly well known day-trip from Paris -- Monet's home and garden, Giverny in Vernon, France. Especially for anyone who loves the Impressionists, you will find yourself in such gorgeous and colorful surroundings, you'll almost want to start painting!
Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny. I believe this is just north-west of Paris. Claude Monet's Garden is a must for impressionist art fans. Tour Monet's garden, walk over the Japanese bridge (just like in this picture), look at the lily pads on the pond, or the sunflowers in the garden. Tour his house and his art studio... this is where his inspiration came from. All those Monet paintings really do come to life after a visit here. They definitely hold more meaning for me now! Foundation Claude Monet has a gift shop located on the premises, so you can buy prints of Monet artwork and other garden-inspired gifts.