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Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

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Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

Almost every guide book suggests going to Monet's gardens/house in Giverny the early morning to avoid the crowds. Occasionally there is mention of going in the late afternoon to avoid crowds, but with much less information about transportation.

We will be visiting the gardens mid-week as a day trip from Paris during the first week of April. Sunset will be at 8:20 pm (that seems very late for April!).

The last admission to the garden is at 5:30 pm and the gardens/house close at 6:00 pm.

Any thoughts about visiting in the afternoon, as a way to avoid the crowds? Will there even be crowds the first week of April?

My past experience visiting other popular places is that there does tend to be mini-surge of early-birds at opening time, and that in the hours before closing, there are many fewer people about.

How many hours do you suggest allotting for a leisurely visit, so as not to feel rushed to be finished by 6:00 pm?

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1. Re: Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

We were there (first thing) in June 2009. Unless you are the type who has to examine every flower I'd say 3 hours is enough time to see the gardens and house. Don't short change yourself on time for the gift shop... it is one of the best I have ever seen. Really.

Out of curiosity I had a look at trains from Gare St Lazare... there are departures and 12:20 and 1:20 pm for Vernon, but the next is around 4 which would be too late. It's about a 50 minute trip and another 15 or so by shuttle bus to Giverny.

Trains return to Paris at 6:53 and 7:53... there are restaurants in Giverny (check the time for the last bus back to Vernon)... we had a drink across from the station while awaiting our return train and they were busy serving late lunches... don't know if they're open for supper).

Over several trips to France over the years I've always been a proponent of getting there at opening time to avoid the big tour buses... I'd be interested to hear how your late in the day plan works out! ;^)


Edited: 09 January 2012, 14:25
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2. Re: Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

We did a visit to Giverny in April last year. We got there at approx 10:00 in the morning and waited in line for tickets approx 5 minutes. The house and gardens didn't seem particularly crowded then, and we plan on returning this April. It was an April weekday. We spent approx 2 hours there, and at least 10 or 20 of them was in the gift shop. They have a very nice gift shop with cards and calendars and reproductions, and the prices are very reasonable. Gooing earlier in the day allowed us to spend an hour at a small, outdoors cafe just across the stree from the house.


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3. Re: Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

If you want to see it late afternoon but are conflicted about no trains between 1:20 and 4:00 then take the 1:20 train and spend some time exploring Vernon first, which is worthy of exploration in its own right. There are some lovely old cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, a gothic church, a medieval donjon and plenty of cafés, stores and restaurants. You can get a map from the tourist office and follow the tourist trail around town. You could easily spend an hour or two strolling around here.


4. Re: Visiting the Gardens at Giverny in the Afternoon

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