If you do your homework in preparation for your visit to the Claude Monet house and gardens in Giverny, then you know that every single article about it, tells you to pre-book your tickets online. They all say it for a good reason, so listen to them!
Rather foolishly, I decided I knew better and didn’t need to bother with online tickets, thinking that I was going to avoid the queues if I arrived half an hour before they officially open. Well, that didn’t work – see the photo below.
If you forget to book your tickets online and end up queueing for hours in the scorching heat to get into the house and gardens, do it and don’t give up! Read a book, watch silly videos on YouTube or catch up on your favourite series on Netflix, do whatever it takes to pass the time until you get in because it is so worth it.
Queueing up is part of the experience and it adds to the memories from your visit to this special place.
The house of Claude Monet in Giverny
It was love at first site. I know it sounds corny but Monet fell in love with this house the moment he saw it out of the window of a train on which he was travelling.
He was so keen to live here, that he rented the property in May 1883 and stayed there as a tenant until he was in position to buy the house and the land that went with it in November 1890.
When he moved in, Monet made sure that both the exterior and the interior of his new home matched his colour palette. That’s why the outside of the house is pink with green doors, windows and shutters.
The two most striking rooms inside, besides his studio – the dining room and the kitchen also match his palette. The dining room is yellow and the kitchen is blue. Even the furniture in both rooms is in different shades of yellow and blue respectively.
You will also notice a whole collection of Japanese prints on display throughout the property. Monet was fascinated by them and he was an avid collector of this traditional form of Japanese art.
Today the house is part of the Foundation Claude Monet Museum (link here) and they have done a great job of preserving it and maintaining it in the way it was when Monet himself lived here.
You can go upstairs into the bedrooms but the piece de resistance is the studio. It has reproductions of his paintings on the walls and it is beautifully preserved. You really should go and see it especially if you are interested in art and how some of the most famous paintings came to life!
Claude Monet lived in his house in Giverny from 1883 until his death in 1926.
Monet began the creation of Clos Normand, which is the name of the flower garden in front of the house, as soon as he moved in (it) in 1883. I could only describe it as a living work of art created by the most famous impressionist.
Clos Normand covers quite a bit of ground and exploring it is such a pleasure even if you have to fight your way through crowds of other visitors.
The Water Garden
In 1893 Claude Monet bought a piece of land on the other side of the railway track which borders the house. This is where he created THE Water Garden or Jardin d’Eau which is the home of the famous water lily pond.
As you walk through this masterpiece of garden impressionism, you will come into contact with weeping willows and the famous Japanese bridge which features in some of Monet’s best known works of art.
Be warned though: you won’t be the only visitor. I was there in May and it was so busy, that the best I could do was to snap a picture of the Japanese bridge from the other side of the pond. I valued the whole of my visit and having that picture was an added bonus.
I couldn’t recommend the house and gardens of Claude Monet enough. It takes a couple of hours or so to go round the house and gardens. You can go on a day trip from Paris or make a small diversion on your way to or from the ferry. If you do that and have a ferry to catch, make sure you book tickets online (link here) to avoid queueing up for hours.
Here’s the Google Map for Giverny: