Monet’s House and Gardens at Giverny just might be my favorite place in the world. It is seriously one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. You can see many of Monet’s paintings in his gardens, which were carefully planned and cultivated over many decades. The flowers look as though they were planted haphazardly with roses mixing in with poppies, and irises, and daisies. It makes for an explosion of color that dazzles the eye. Walk through a tunnel at the far end of the garden and you emerge in the water garden, where you can see Monet’s water lilies in the flesh.
Yes, there are hoards of people, but the garden somehow still manages to evoke a lazy summer’s day. I spent hours just wandering through the gardens, drinking in the scene, stopping to smell flowers here and there and take photos.
Monet’s house is also on the grounds, but it doesn’t prove anywhere near as interesting as the gardens themselves. There are a couple of cool Japanese prints in the house, but the real attraction is definitely the flowers.
This is one of the few sites where I would actually recommend visiting the gift shop. If you, or anyone you know, has a green thumb, you can purchase seeds from the actual garden, so you can build your own little piece of Giverny back home.
An easy day trip from Paris, Giverny is one of my top sites in Europe. Enjoy life at a slower pace and take in these beautiful gardens at your leisure.
Pro tip: For an even better experience, go see Monet’s water lilies paintings at the Orangerie first. You will be able to pick out the exact spots in his garden that the paintings depict, and it adds a much greater depth to your appreciation for both the paintings and the gardens.