Are you planning to visit Claude Monet's sumptuous gardens, water lily pond, and home in Giverny from Paris? 

If so, you may be wondering:  what is the easiest, most stress-free way to get to Giverny, and how can you get the most out of your experience?

For most visitors, guided tours from Paris are the perfect fit when you want maximum convenience.  In addition to including transportation on comfortable air-conditioned coaches or minivans (easier and faster than taking the train from Paris to the closest station, and then transferring to a shuttle for the last few miles), you'll to go through a dedicated tour-only entrance gate

Depending on which tour you choose, you may also get the insights and and insider knowledge of an expert tour guide, transportation to see other nearby sights related to Monet, and lunch (there's even a gourmet option).  If you choose a private VIP tour, you'll enjoy the luxury of being picked up and dropped off at your Paris hotel or apartment.

To help you choose the best tour to fit your schedule, interests, and budget, we've compiled a list of the top 10 half-day and full-day tours of Giverny from Paris, including several combined with a visit to the Palace of Versailles, one with a fun bike tour of the Giverny area, and one which also takes you to Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh spent the final months of his life creating 70+ painting inspired by the beautiful Normandy landscape.

Here's what you'll find in this article:

Top photo: Claude Monet's pink manor house with green shutters in Giverny, France, (c) Paris Discovery Guide


Best Half-Day Tours of Giverny from Paris

Peonies blooming in May in Monet's garden in Giverny
Peonies blooming in May in Monet's garden in Giverny

These half-day tours of Monet's garden rank at the top of the popularity list for Giverny tours because they're the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to visit the gardens, pond, and house of the famous artist - and still have half a day left to do other things in Paris.  


1.  Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour from Paris (Small Group Tour)

The highly-rated Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour starts with a comfortable trip by air-conditioned minivan from Paris, which whisks you and up to 7 other participants through the beautiful Normandy countryside west of the city. 

As you enter the small Norman village of Giverny, you'll see charming stone houses and ivy-covered walls lining the narrow lanes.  Within a few moments, you'll arrive at Monet's estate where your guide will whisk you through a special tour-only entrance into the lush gardens.

Small group tour briefing in Monet's garden in Giverny
Small group tour briefing near the entrance Monet's garden in Giverny

Your guide will find a quiet spot to give you a quick briefing about Monet's life in the pink manor house at Giverny that he moved into in 1883 with Alice Hoschedé, who would later become his second wife, and their blended family of eight children. 

You'll learn how he carved out his now-famous gardens and pond from an unpromising piece of land divided by a road, and how he used them to inspire the approximately 250 oil paintings of water lilies he created between 1896 and 1920.

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You'll then be free to explore the house, gardens, and pond on your own until the designated departure time.  Since Monet's house can become crowded at times, this approach lets you choose a non-busy time to enter and explore as much (or as little) as you wish.

In the gardens and pond area, avoiding the crowds is much easier, since there's much more space for spreading out.

Rhododendrons, roses, and foxglove blooming in May
Rhododendrons, roses, and foxglove blooming in May

As a bonus, before you leave the village of Giverny, you'll visit the Romanesque-Gothic country church (Église Sainte-Radegonde de Giverny) where Monet and his family worshiped, and the adjacent cemetery where he and numerous family members, including his sons Jean and Michel, are buried.

In addition to the Monet tomb, you can also discover a number of other interesting gravestones in the Giverny graveyard, including one shaped like a very large book. 


Giverny gravestone commemorating British airmen killed in an air attack during World War II
Giverny gravestone commemorating British airmen killed in an air attack during World War II

If you have a few minutes to explore, look for a gravestone with three British flags waving in the breeze. 

This simple tomb, perhaps the most moving memorial in the cemetery, contains the remains of seven British airmen from the Royal Air Force.  They died nearby when their plane was hit on the day after the D-Day landings, a reminder of the fierce fighting that took place in this now-tranquil spot during World War II.  Closer to the church, a propeller from their downed plane is embedded in another memorial commemorating their sacrifice for France.

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2.  Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

If your goal is to see only Monet's home, gardens, and water lily pond, the Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris tour is an excellent choice.

On this large-group tour, you'll travel to Giverny in a comfortable, large air-conditioned coach.  Choose a window seat to enjoy wonderful views of Normandy's golden wheat fields and rolling hills through the large windows - easy to imagine 19th century Impressionist painters such as Monet being inspired by this lovely landscape.

The key differences between this and the above tour are:  1) group size - this tour is with a potentially much larger group, 2) you'll go only Monet's estate, and 3) when you book, you choose between an audioguide (the less expensive option) or a tour with a guide (at a higher cost). 

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If you chose to tour on your own, the guide will typically give you your ticket and audioguide when you arrive at Monet's estate, and point you to the right gate for fast entry.  You can then listen to the audioguide as you explore the house, gardens, and pond. 

Water lilies blooming in August in Monet's pond at Giverny
Water lilies blooming in August in Monet's pond at Giverny

Bottom line:  What you get with the tour-on your-own option is transportation and an entry ticket - much more convenient, comfortable, and faster than getting a train from Paris and then taking the shuttle to Giverny.  Think of the audioguide as a bonus.

If you chose the guided tour, the guide will handle the tickets for the group, and you'll pass through the gate together.  Then, typically, you'll start your tour with Monet's house.  The guide will point out points of interest, such as Monet paintings on the walls (spoiler alert: they're copies of the originals), his collection of Japanese wood prints, and the gorgeous kitchen, complete with shining copper pots and a massive cast-iron cook stove.

After you leave the house, your guide will typically walk with you through the flower garden and show you where to access an underpass to reach the lily pond and its surrounding woodland garden (remember, a road bisects the property).  At this point, you can spend more time in the garden or go walk around the pond before meeting up again for the return trip to Paris.

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3.  Monet's Gardens & House with Art Historian: Private Giverny Tour from Paris

For a special VIP experience, the Private Tour of Monet's Gardens & House with an Art Historian tour is an excellent choice for 2-8 participants, including up to 3 children (17 and under) - perfect if you're part of a family or friend group.  The cost varies by group size, but the per-person rate drops as the group size increases.

You'll be picked up from your Paris hotel or apartment (and also dropped off there after the tour), and will travel in a private air-conditioned with a licensed professional guide who is also an art historian passionate about Monet and Giverny. 

Japanese bridge over Monet's lily pond at Giverny
Japanese bridge over Monet's lily pond at Giverny

Your guide will share lots of informative, in-depth commentary about Monet, art, and the French countryside, and will customize it to your particular interests.

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Once you arrive at Giverny, you'll enter with a skip-the-line ticket, and explore the house, gardens, and pond. 

As a bonus, you'll also get to visit the village of Giverny, which is filled with charming cafes, boutiques, and art galleries, as well as the rose-colored Hotel Baudy where other Impressionists such as Manet and Renoir used to paint after after Monet made Giverny famous.

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Best Full-Day Tours of Monet's Garden in Giverny & Palace of Versailles

Do you have limited time in Paris but want to see both Giverny and the Palace of Versailles?  Full-day tours give you a convenient way to see the most iconic attractions at both destinations while saving you time and money compared with making separate half-day trips.

We profile five excellent options, with some key similarities as well as differences.

Similarities:  Air-conditioned transportation from Paris, skip-the-line admission, and an expert tour guide (one tour lets you opt for an audioguide).  You'll visit Monet's home, gardens, and pond in Giverny, and the most famous parts of Versailles, including the Hall of Mirrors, Royal Apartments.  Except the private option, you'll be picked up and dropped off at a central Paris location.

Key differences: 1) Group size (large, medium, small, private), 2) lunch (included or not), 3) tour guide vs. audioguide, 4) Versailles' Palace gardens (included or not), 5) pickup location (only the private tour picks up and drops off at your Paris hotel or apartment


Here are the best full-day trips to Giverny and Versailles, with highlights about what makes each one unique:

4.  From Paris: Day Trip to Giverny & Versailles

From Paris: Day Trip to Giverny & Versailles - Large group tour in a large coach.  When booking, you choose one of two options:  1) a guided tour at both locations, or 2) an audioguide, meaning you're on your own. 

Lunch is included. 

Versailles garden access is included - except on Fountain Show and Musical Gardens days, which take place almost every day during the summer and some days during spring and fall.  However, you can buy a garden access ticket once you're there. 

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Giant purple aliums and white roses blooming along path under rose-covered arbors in Monet's garden
Giant purple alliums and white roses blooming along path under rose-covered arbors in Monet's garden

5.  From Paris: Giverny & Versailles Palace Guided Day Trip

Giverny & Versailles Palace Guided Day Trip - Medium-sized (20 or less) group tour in a mini-bus.  Guided tours at both attractions are included.  Headsets may be provided when appropriate to enable you to hear the guide.

Lunch is not included, but a lunch break is provided so that you can buy whatever you want.  During summer months, Versailles garden access is included and you get to see experience the Fountains Show or Musical Gardens. 

In spring and fall, you have the choice of choosing a day without the shows.  If you choose a day when the shows don't take place, a) your ticket will be less expensive, and b) you'll still be able to visit the garden. 

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6.  Giverny & Versailles Day Tour with Lunch at Moulin de Fourges

Giverny & Versailles Day Tour with Lunch - Medium (14 or less) group tour in a minibus.  Guided tours at both attractions are included.  Headsets may be provided when appropriate to enable you to hear the guide.  Please note: the private option mentioned in the online description appears to not be available at the current time.

Includes a 3-course lunch with wine at Moulin de Fourges, a restaurant in an old mill house by a scenic river about 5 miles from Giverny.

Versailles garden access is included, which means you'll get to see the Fountain Show or Musical Gardens on the days when they're available.

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7.  From Paris: Versailles & Giverny Full-Day Trip

Giverny & Versailles Full-Day Trip - Small (8 or less) group tour in a minibus.  Your guide   will share lots of interesting information during the drive, and will brief you on more details and give you a general orientation as soon as you arrive at each destination. 

Then you're free to explore on your own, and spend as much or as little time as you want in each area.  At Versailles, you'll be given an audioguide to use (if you want) to get more details about each of the famous rooms and the garden.

Lunch is not included.

Versailles garden access is included, which means you'll get to see the Fountain Show or Musical Gardens on the days when they're available.

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8.  From Paris: Giverny & Versailles VIP Private Full-Day Trip

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles
Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

Giverny & Versailles Private Full-Day Trip - Highly-rated private VIP tour for your group of up to 8 people in a minivan, with pickup and drop-off at your Paris hotel or apartment for the ultimate convenience.  Ideal for families and friends groups.

Your private guide will share interesting stories about Monet's home and garden in Giverny as you tour, and will bring history to life at the Palace of Versailles while you visit the Hall of Mirrors, the King's Apartments, and the Queen's Apartments.  You've have time to explore the Versailles gardens on your own.  Please note: While the online tour description implies you'll start your tour at Giverny, as the reviews make clear, you may start at Versailles instead.

Lunch is not included.

Versailles garden access is included, so you'll experience the Fountain Show or Musical Gardens on the days when they're available.

Please note:  This tour usually books up fairly far in advance, especially during the summer months, so check availability as soon as you know your travel dates to avoid disappointment.

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Best Full-Day Tours (Including a Bike Tour) of Giverny & More

Do you want to see Giverny but hope for an experience beyond just a quick visit?  Consider these two special full-day excursions:


9.  Monet's Garden Bike Tour from Paris

Monet's Garden Bike Tour (which includes private transportation from/back to Paris) combines a visit to Monet's home, gardens, and lily pond in Giverny with a picnic lunch in a park, a leisurely 3 mile (5k) bike ride from the nearby town of Vernon, and time to explore the charming village of Giverny, located on the Right Bank of the Seine River.

Ivy-covered homes in Giverny village
Ivy-covered homes in Giverny village

Starting with the bus ride from Paris and continuing thoughout the day, your guide will give you lots of interesting stories insights about Monet and the birth of Impressionism, point out wheat fields, windmills, and other parts of the landscape that inspired Monet, and even teach you a bit of French before you stop at a local open-air market in Vernon to buy picnic supplies.

You'll see all the top sights in the area, including Giverny's small Romanesque-Gothic church and its 17th century cemetery where Monet and his family plus the downed RAF airmen from World War II are buried, plus the town of Vernon, Giverny village, and paths along the Seine River.

With a current population of just over 500, Giverny has grown a bit from the 300 people who lived here when Monet arrived back in 1883, but it's still a tiny village, overflowing with picturesque charm. You'll have time to explore its narrow lanes, filled with small cafes, galleries, artist studios, and the Museum of Impressionism near Monet's estate, and soak up the pleasures of being in a small French village.  

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10.  Small-Group Giverny & Van Gogh's Room in Auvers from Paris

Purple iris and roses blooming in Monet's garden in Giverny
Purple iris and roses blooming in Monet's garden in Giverny

On the Giverny & Van Gogh's Room in Auvers small group day trip (maximum of 8 participants) from Paris, you'll travel by air-conditioned minivan to Giverny, where you'll visit Monet's gorgeous home, spectacular gardens, and the lily pond he created by diverting a branch of a nearby river - much to the chagrin of neighboring farmers. 

You and your guide will also visit the peaceful country graveyard where he is buried next to the church he attended with his large family.

Auberge Ravoux, the small inn in Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh died on an upper floor after shooting himself in a nearby wheat field - Photo credit: istock.com/jptinoco
Auberge Ravoux, the small inn in Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh died on an upper floor after shooting himself in a nearby wheat field - Photo credit: istock.com/jptinoco

Then, you'll head to the small town of Auvers-sur-Oise, located just 17 miles (27km) from the center of Paris, where Vincent van Gogh and a number of other Post-Impressionist artists such as Cezanne and Pissaro lived and created some of their most memorable paintings there, inspired by the beautiful hills and wheat fields. 

Auvers is also where Van Gogh died by suicide in 1890.

After lunch (on your own) at one of the small cafes or boulangeries, you'll explore the narrow cobblestone streets of the town and visit its surrounding area, inspiration for over 70 of Van Gogh's paintings.  As you walk around, you'll be in the actual places depicted in some of his famous works, such as "Church of Auvers" and "Wheat Field with Crows."  Finally, you'll visit Van Gogh's simple gravesite before your return to Paris.

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