Por fin! A day trip to Giverny to see Monet’s Gardens! I have wanted to do this for years and I was so happy that Alex hadn’t been to Monet’s Gardens either. We took a little train from Paris to Vernon (about 45 minutes and 30 euros roundtrip) and then bought bikes right next to the station and biked 4 kilometers to Giverny. We were handed maps, but figured it would be easy enough to navigate and took off. We started biking along the highway and I was really overwhelmed because there was no bike lane and lots of huge tour busses zooming by. I thought this was a popular thing people do so where are all the bikers? How do grandmas bike on this dangerous highway? This is not safe! We continued to trek on sloooowly until we saw some bikers pop out of the trees taking pictures about 20 feet up and realized the bike lane is a bit hidden, but parallel to the main highway. The ride was so much more fun/less stressful once we discovered the not-so-secret bike lane.
Upon arriving at Giverny, we found the cutest flea market selling all sorts of imaginable antiques/food/wine/etc. It had everything you never knew you wanted or needed. I saw the most beautiful map of Europe and was able to buy it for one euro. I also bought a really pretty old book in French. I have no idea what it says, but I would like to start buying an old book every country I travel to so one day I can have a collection of books from my time abroad. I’m excited even though it seems a little weird to have a book collection I can’t read. Books are cheaper and easier to transport than wine/candles/paintings though so it’s definitely a more practical collection.
Once we reached Monet’s Gardens, we were in awe. It’s absolutely so beautiful! I took so many photos of the flowers and am so happy I finally got to go visit!
Monet's Garden DIY Day Trip Advice
Buy your tickets to the Monet's Gardens online and then arrive 30-45 minutes early to the St. Lazare train station because you have to buy your train tickets from the information desk because you can only purchase them from the automated machines if you have a French credit card. I also would advise travelling with a small backpack if you decide to bike so you have a place for any flea market items you may pick up and/or wine and snacks you might want for a picnic. I did NOT have a backpack and had to get pretty creative biking back with my book and map.
Really wishing I had a backpack at this point. And spoke French.