Giverny is a small French village 80 km to the west of the capital city Paris, within the valley of the river Seine and the northern region of Upper Normandy. The village is best known as the rural retreat of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
Painting by Claude Monet - Water Lily Pond with Japanese Bridge in Giverny
Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 with his family, including his second wife and 8 children, living and painting here until his death in 1926. The village surroundings and the gardens of his house formed a great part of the inspiration and subject matter for his paintings. It was after the move to Giverny that Monet began his famous Séries of paintings, repeatedly rendering haystacks, cathedrals and waterlilies from his garden pond in his own unique Impressionist style.
Take the train from Paris Gare St-Lazare to Vernon (45 min; see SNCF): then take a taxi, bus, or bicycle (€6.50 return ticket) to the village. The bus service is timed to link with the train and a combined ticket can be obtained at Gare St-Lazare..
The bicyle can be rented from a cafe right outside the train station and is indicated by a sign. The rental fee is around 12€ and the bike ride is about 4 mi with a map provided by the cafe.
It is always best to arrive early in Giverny in order to avoid the throngs of bus-driven tourists who arrive later in the morning and keep coming all day.
Monet's House (Fondation Claude Monet) , 84 rue Claude Monet, tel 02 32 51 28 21, open April-October Mo-Su 9:30 am - 6 pm, admission €9.00, €5.00 students, €4.00 disabled, under-7s free, wheelchair access available - e-tickets can now be purchased online to avoid queuing - the house is quietly eccentric and highly interesting in an Orient-influenced style, and includes Monet's collection of Japanese prints. There are no original Monet paintings on the site - the real drawcard, is the gardens around the house - the water garden with the Japanese bridge, weeping willows and waterlilies is now somewhat iconic. Monet's house has the obligatory gift-store attached, designed to help you part with your money in exchange for all manner of things Impressionist.
the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny, 99 rue Claude Monet, tel 02 32 51 94 65, open May - October Tu-Su 10 am - 6 pm, admission €6.50, €4.50 12-18s and students, €3 7-12s, under 7s free, wheelchair access available - the museum replaces the former Musée d'Art Américain. It proposes temporary exhibitions.
The Natural Mechanical Museum, 2 rue Blanche Hoschedé-Monet, Phone: 02 32 21 26 33. 27620 Giverny. Association under 1901 law, founded by the Guillemard brothers: Jean-pierre, René and Gérard currently run restorations and exhibitions with the help of an enthusiasts team who devoted their time and known-how to the Patrimony preservation. The museum origin is a private collection of steam internal combustion engines; founded in 1955 by the Guillemard family a GIVERNY resident's since generations. Former threshing entrepreneur and blacksmith ADOLPHE Guillemard has transmitted to his children his know-how and passion for the vintage mechanies. Along years, purchasing, donations of engines pile-up awaiting for the needed parts or just a time to restore. Since 1982 the number of collected items inereased due to closing of workshops, factories or mills. The preservation of these engines was a rescue task, numbers of testimonials items already gone. In 1990 the collection find home in the actual local where the engines are in permanent show, installation of the Carels 1908 diesel engine weighting 28 tons keep the team busy for months on overhauling and restoration; it becomes in 2003 the world bigger old running diesel engine.
If you are feeling energetic, try hiking one of the nature trails that wind through the hills above Giverny. The panoramic views of the village, the Seine valley, and the neighboring town of Vernon are quite stunning to see unfold beneath you. Two of the area's trails start at a signboard behind the city hall, found just up Rue Blanche Hoschedé-Monet. Make sure you're wearing sturdy shoes or boots and are in relatively good shape, as some sections of the trails on the forested hillsides can be very challenging. Carrying water and insect repellent might also be a good idea, depending on the weather. Information on other scenic hiking trails can be found at the Tourist Bureau in neighboring Vernon.
The nearby Forêt de Bizy is also a lovely place for a picnic or nature walk, and is a good way to get away from the crowds which sometime descend on Giverny.
There is a small restaurant attached to Monet's House (beware tourist trap prices and overcrowding) and a few reasonable options in the village &.
A wider choice can be found in the surroundings
On a fine day, bringing a picnic lunch with you might be a better option - walk up out of the village along some of the small lanes  for a change from the crowds.
Forest Farm, 3 rue du Manoir (27620 Bois-Jerome), . Forest Farm is located in Bois-Jerome, a countryside village bordering the forest of Vernon, 4km north of Giverny. The domain is an old farm with a main farmhouse and several independant buildings. It is bordered by a private forest of 40 acres in wich guests can stretch their legs down the paths and admire the nature. Forest Farm is ideal for families or friends that require accommodation in an intimate and relaxed environment. Your hosts Maria and Carl will do everything possible to make your stay comfortable. Price for a double room with breakfast in 2013: 60 euros taxes included. (49.1070214,1.532625)edit
The Robins (Les Rouges Gorges), 6 rue aux Juifs (27620 Giverny), . The rustic style of the renovation - stones and exposed beams - and the vintage countryside decoration give these several-hundred-year-old cute little houses a Bohemian charm. In the summer you will have breakfast in the garden under the canopy of the bread oven. Dogs admitted. Open all year round.60 / 70 euros. (49.078069,1.520866)edit
The Hermitage, 38 route de Giverny (27200 Vernon), . This Norman manor out of stones and timbers was initially built in the 1620. The story has it that the king Saint Louis founded a monastery here as early as 1260. The building was in ruins when Ariane and Alain bought it a few years ago. Two guest rooms are now in the eastern wing, each one having got its own access opening directly onto the garden. Price for a double room with breakfast in 2013: 75 to 100 euros taxes included. (49.091827,1.501822)edit
Le Clos Fleuri, 5 rue de la Dîme (27620 Giverny), . Situated near the church and just a few minutes walking distance from Monet's gardens and the Museum of Impressionisms, you will find Danielle and Claude's home, surrounded by a large magnificent garden, where you will find a haven of peace and tranquillity. Danielle speaks fluent English having spent many years in Australia.edit
West Giverny Chateau Bed and Breakfast, The Chateau de Bonnemare
Chateau de Bonnemare, Bonnemare (27380 Radepont), . This Chateau is a one-of-a-kind B&B experience. The two luxury suites at the Château de Bonnemare are among the most beautiful B&B venues of France. Chateau de Bonnemare also propose two bedrooms located in a wing of the main castle. Bonnemare is located in a quiet country setting between Paris and Rouen. Bonnemare has been family owned for 120 years now. Price for a double room with breakfast in 2013: 100 to 246 euros taxes included. (49.33133,1.3345)edit
La Pluie de Roses, 14 rue Claude Monet (27620 Giverny), . Situated in the quite part of Giverny, at ten minutes walking from Claude Monet's gardens and the Museum of impressionisms, Elisabeth and Philippe welcome you to "La Pluie de Roses". 3 rooms in a residence of charm of Giverny. Come to discover an old property from the beginning of the last century, tucked away between the valley and the hills, in the middle of an outstanding environnement, “La Pluie de Roses“ sleeps lightly in a park (6300 square meters) planted with various resinous trees and rose garden. edit
In order to complete the Monet experience, travellers might like to visit the neighbouring town of Vernon, (castle, medieval streets, Museum with paintings by Giverny artists, including Claude Monet, 17th-19th c. mansion and much more) or journey on / back to Paris, or to Rouen and the Seine valley, where they can see further examples of his work at various venues.