If you’re planning a family vacation in Paris, you’re probably wondering if seeing Monets Garden is worth the day trip. Hands down, yes!! Our trip to visit Monet’s Garden was the FAVORITE day of our family vacation in France. This should be at the top of the activities list for anyone visiting Paris with kids! These 7 tips for visiting Monets Garden in Giverny will help you have the BEST day trip from Paris with kids.

I try to make these tips posts as helpful as possible for families in mind. There has been SO MANY things we’ve learned first hand as a traveling family of 7, especially when it comes to family travel on a budget!

So I hope that you find these tips for visiting Monet’s Garden super helpful for YOUR next Paris family vacation! 🥰

My favorite photo from our visit Monets Garden in Giverny
My favorite photo from our visit- Monets Garden in Giverny

Be sure to arrive approximately 45 minutes before your ticket time.

Do you have anxiety when you’re late for an appointment, or running late to get together with friends?

I sure do! I like to be a little bit early. So I get VERY stressed when I think I’m running late for something.

Our day trip to visit Monet’s garden during our family vacation in Paris this summer started out with that kind of anxiety! 😵‍💫

I had already learned online that the Monet Gardens had their own parking lot. This was GREAT- because parking in Paris is a hot mess! (I’m an avid researcher, as you can probably tell from my other posts)

But I hadn’t anticipated that the parking lot would be COMPLETELY full. Our visit was in the middle of the week, after all!

We spent about 20-30 minutes driving around the area before finding an open parking space.

In hindsight, we could have probably found street parking a little further out. But that would have also required additional time for walking. So we STILL would have been running a bit behind.

(Street parking has been a lifesaver during our entire Paris family vacation! You can read why in my ‘7 Tips For Driving In France As A Tourist post! 😅)

Give yourself an extra 30 minutes or so to find a parking spot, just to be on the safe side. (And, if you’re like me, you will save yourself a bit of anxiety!)

Also add about 10-15 minutes to walk to the Monet Gardens entrance from the parking lot.

It’s not an intensely long walk. But it does take a few minutes, especially if you have never been there before.

Claude Monets house from the street at Monets Garden in Giverny
A glimpse of Monets House and Gardens from the side of the road!

Bonus Tip for your Monet Gardens Day Trip from Paris:

When you first visit Monet’s Garden, make sure to look for the entrance signs and go to the correct entrance. There are TWO different entrances, depending on whether or not you already have tickets. (I’ve marked both entrances on my route map in tip 7.)

When walking to the entrance from the parking lot, you will see a (long-ish) line alongside a building. This is the main entrance for people buying tickets the day of their visit.

BEFORE reaching this main entrance line, there are small signs that will direct you to turn down a little side street. This is for people who HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED TICKETS.

Maybe I was already in stress mode, or maybe the signs just weren’t obvious enough. Either way, I totally missed these signs walking down to the main entrance.

(Neither my husband or any of our kids saw the signs either, so maybe they just weren’t very clear signs. 😉)

If you have already purchased your Monet’s Gardens tickets in advance, you will want to take the little side road down to the other entrance.

(I’ve marked the side entrance in my map route down below in tip 7.)

By the time we parked our car, walked down to the entrance, then found the CORRECT entrance for advance ticket holders, we were about 30 minutes past our ticket time. (Instead of being 15 minutes early as I had planned.)

So as long as you give yourself about 45 minutes in advance of your ticket time, you should be fine.

And that brings me to my next (very important) tip…

Buy the tickets in advance and plan to spend a full day in Giverny.

This tip is basically two tips rolled into one. First of all, you WILL want to buy your tickets in advance so you can skip that long line at the main entrance.

You can get your tickets directly from the Fondation Monet website here which are fairly affordable and helps to support their foundation. If you’re planning your family travel on a budget, this can make a big difference in cost.

That said, if you are an avid art/history lover, it is 100% worth it to buy an actual tour here. Some tours also come with transportation from your hotel. As a history major, I wish we had planned for this. But I half expected to be dragging our kids through the Monet Gardens complex! So we didn’t. 😪

GYG Monets Garden tours for a day trip from Paris with kids

Second of all, you’re going to want to give yourself a FULL day to spend between the house (Monet’s Chateau), the gardens, and the surrounding area.

At the end of this post, I have a neat Google Maps route showing how we explored Giverny and the different sights! I was very pleasantly surprised to see how much there actually was to do! 😍

In fact, you won’t actually find the Monet Gardens in Paris. Instead, it’s in a small nearby town called Giverny. So you might be wondering, how far is Giverny from Paris?

Giverny is a short drive outside of the main Paris area. You can get there in about 45-60 minutes depending on the traffic. 🚗 It makes a GREAT day trip from Paris with kids! You can also take the Paris to Giverny train if you don’t have a car.

Directly outside of the Monet Gardens complex, there are a LOT of really cute little shops, a few little cafes, and an Impressionist art museum.

Beyond that, as you explore Giverny, there’s a few historical hotels, a couple of small restaurants, art galleries and a pretty but beautiful little church. This is all within a 15-20 minute walk!

The beautiful church on our day trip from Paris to Giverny
The beautiful church on our day trip from Paris to Giverny

You’re definitely going to want to explore the church. It’s so pretty! You can also find the actual grave and headstone for Claude Monet and his family on the church grounds.

You can go inside the church as well. There is a spot to drop a few coins into the donation box and light a memorial candle if you like. The inside is peaceful and lovely, with a large stained glass window that is just breathtaking.

On the way down to the church there is also a very cute little truck stand with apple cider and wine which is worth every penny! 🥂 Our kids were in cider heaven!

We had an amazing time exploring the surrounding areas when visiting Monets Garden. I definitely wish we had planned to visit in the morning instead of the afternoon. This was a common theme throughout our visit to Paris with kids. We just didn’t have enough time to really match our typical afternoon slow-sightseeing style of family travel. LOL!

There are even more things to explore further out in Giverny if you want to drive through the town. We didn’t go very far as we quickly ran out of time to explore. 🤣

You can easily plan a Monet’s Garden day trip from Paris that the entire family will love. Between the actual site, the art museum next door, and the town itself, it’s quite magical!

Psst… check out my ‘7 Tips For A Great Paris Family Vacation’ if you’re still debating on adding this to your Paris trip itinerary.

I know I personally was really wondering whether visiting the Monet Gardens is worth it, or if my kids would get bored. I was so happy to discover that it REALLY IS worth the day trip out there!

In fact, I feel like these more quaint little towns we’ve visited have been some of the best parts of traveling Europe with kids. Everyone is so friendly, for starters. Plus, the towns are quieter, cleaner and so much more beautiful!

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Don’t rely on local restaurants/cafes for lunch or dinner.

I know, I know, I JUST got done telling you that there’s cute little restaurants and cafes! But here’s the thing- you can’t rely on them to have full meal type food, especially between 1 to 8 pm (13:00 to 20:00).

The hours listed on Google Maps often show the restaurants as open. But most of places close the kitchen in the afternoon. 🤯 That means they offer drinks (and maybe tapas) only. They are technically OPEN, but not serving meals.

Seeing Claude Monets house was the best part of our visit monets gardens
Seeing Claude Monets house was the best part of our visit

The ones that DO stay fully open can get quite busy.

We did find a couple of cafes that had signs for sandwiches outside but when we inquired about it, they only had a few pastries inside. Options with protein were not available.

Instead, you can just plan to picnic in the nearby grassy areas right outside of Monets Garden. (There’s a lovely grass area right next to the Impressionist Museum).

You can bring some picnic food in a small cooler and keep it in the car.

-OR-

Plan to eat before or after your visit and just pack some light snacks and water in the car instead.

The nearby town of Vernon has several restaurant choices with more flexible hours. Vernon is only a 10 minute drive away from Giverny, so it’s an easy drive.

Either way, do make sure you pack some water bottles and hydration tablets so you can walk around in the beautiful gardens without worrying about getting dehydrated. (Yes, again with the hydration tablets, sorry! 😅 They just make such a huge difference!!)

Be patient with your photography and don’t let the crowd rush you.

Okay, so I’ve gotten most of the more ‘practical’ tips out of the way. Here’s a tip that’s especially for the photo lovers… (Or basically any MOM, because we need 1,000 photos of our kids to lock in these amazing memories, am I right?!)

When you visit Monet’s Garden, you’re going to want to take LOTS of photos. 📸

Don’t get intimidated by all the people, and don’t let them rush you through the gardens!

I found it very easy to get lost in the ‘flow of traffic’ of all of the people going through. I actually ended up going back around to take more photos without so many people in the frame.

Just be patient and wait for breaks in the crowds, and you can find plenty of photo ops! There’s no time limit to being in the gardens. You can relax and enjoy once you let go of trying to flow with the crowd.

Some photos of our day trip to Monets Garden in Giverny
Some photos of our day trip to Monets Garden in Giverny

Some people will wait patiently to grab a photo of their own. Others will simply go around you to the next part of the garden. Everyone is in a similar awe as you are. So it’s not a big deal to go slow and savor the beauty. 🤩

This is a GREAT place to bring a selfie stick, as well. There’s plenty of room in the garden to move around and get the shots you really love.

The crowds up closer to the house (and inside) are more unavoidable. But there’s so many beautiful things to see that it didn’t really matter much, in my opinion.

Also, here’s a fun photo tip I learned from the Udemy photography course my daughter and I took together before our family holidays in France, Switzerland and the Netherlands (aka our epic European road trip):

A reflection shot from our visit Monets Garden in Giverny
A reflection shot from our visit Monets Garden in Giverny.

When you’re on the green bridge at Monets water lily pond, you can get down low and put your phone closer to the water to get some really beautiful reflection shots. (Just be careful not to drop your phone into the water!)

I really got so many beautiful photos throughout our family vacation in Paris, but the Monet’s Garden pics and the reflection shots from Monets water lily pond were by far my favorites from our whole time in France! (And not bad for an amateur mom with a mid-range android phone camera!)

The photo at the very top of this post is by far my favorite, however. I just love how the green bridge railing looks against the backdrop of the lake.

Go into the Impressionist Museum BEFORE visiting the Monet Gardens from Paris.

If you can plan time for it, it is really cool to visit the Impressionist Museum (Musée des impressionnismes Giverny) BEFORE you go to the Monet house and gardens. This is ESPECIALLY important if you decide not to do a tour.

Enjoying the art near Monets Garden on our day trip from Paris with kids
Enjoying the art near Monets Garden on our day trip from Paris with kids

You will get to learn a bit about his paintings and his inspiration beforehand and the backstory really takes your whole visit experience over the top! 🤯

It does cost a few dollars for the admission fee (and it is separate from the tickets you buy for Monet’s House and Gardens) but it doesn’t take that long to explore and we did actually enjoy it!

You can check out their website here for opening hours and admission prices. (Side note: the museum’s restaurant ALSO closes their kitchen between lunch and dinner.)

If you don’t have time to fit this into your itinerary, another fun option is to watch an informative (but fun) Youtube video the night before your visit so your kids get the backstory and appreciate the visit so much more!

This brief youtube video is great for kids and gives a nice little biography of his life and art in less than 5 minutes!

Wear a face mask inside of the chateau (aka inside the house).

Yep- I’m getting on my health train right now. 🚂🚂🚂

You are going to want to bring a face mask to visit Monet’s Garden- and be sure to put it on BEFORE you go into the chateau (house).

I cannot stress this enough- nobody wants to be sick on their family vacation.

I said the same thing in my ‘7 Tips For Visiting Versailles With Kids’ post, and I will say it again- a face mask here is a MUST.

There are people from ALL over the world in very small, tight spaces inside the house’s rooms and hallways.

This means exposure to lots of new cold and flu germs that you and your kids have never been exposed to before!

Inside Monets kitchen on our Paris family vacation
Inside Monets kitchen on our Paris family vacation

We’ve gotten sick on various vacations over the years, and it is ALWAYS a major fun-killer. 🤒

Trust me on this one- we ALL got sick after THIS exact family vacation in Paris (I’m blaming Versailles, but the Monet visit probably didn’t help either). We also got sick once in Naples, Italy after just visiting Rome.

And you REALLY don’t want to hear about the explosive tummy flu that knocked out our WHOLE family (except for me, woohoo!) when we went to Brussels!

My point in oversharing all of this gross information is that I’m hoping you will please use this info to learn from our mistakes.

Wearing a face mask in places like these is GENIUS, and I’ve added face masks to our future packing lists, permanently. 😷

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Click to read related post '7 Epic Tips To Visit Monet's Garden On Your Family Vacation In Paris' by LathropsGoneAWOL Family Travel Tips Blog

Use our easy route as a guide for planning your family’s own epic Monet’s Garden Day Trip from Paris.

I’ve taken a bit of time to make this fun little route on Google Maps of the way WE explored the area, from visiting Monets garden and chateau as well as the surrounding Giverny area. 🥰

Since we didn’t have very much time (our tickets were in the afternoon, so we didn’t even leave from our AirBnb in Paris to Monet Gardens until after 1pm!), the route surely could be improved or added to…

But I thought it would be a good way to show you where we went and what was worth seeing along the way!

You can easily add stops to this route after you open it in your Google Maps app on your phone, or rearrange the stops I’ve added as well!

Google Maps route of our day trip from Paris to Monets Garden
Click to save this Google Maps route of our day trip from Paris to Monets Garden

I can’t add notes to the Google Maps route that will be visible to the public, so I’ve broken it down briefly for you so you can see where we went throughout the area.

Here are the stops on the map in order of our Monet Gardens day trip route:

  1. Parking Les Jardins de Claude Monet: This is the main free parking lot, but there are two other free parking lots nearby.
  2. The Impressionist’s Museum (See tip No. 6 for why it’s important to go here first)
  3. The SIDE ENTRANCE for Monet’s House and Gardens if you have bought tickets in ADVANCE before arriving.
  4. Fondation Monet: The MAIN entrance to Monet’s House and Gardens
  5. Eglise Sainte-Radegonde (the beautiful church I mentioned above)
  6. Monet’s Family Tomb (Claude Monet’s burial grave site next to the church)
  7. A pretty art gallery you will see along the walk with beautiful paintings for sale. (You’ll also pass the historic hotels and cafes on this road.)
  8. A neat mechanical museum that our kids wanted to see (but it was already closed)

Also, the cute little stand that sold apple cider and wine is NOT marked on this route since it’s a truck (and not a building)- but we passed it along this route somewhere also so you’re sure to see it if it’s out there.

Lovely wine and cider truck on our visit to monets garden in Paris with kids
Lovely wine and cider truck on our visit to Monets Garden in Paris with kids

Google maps estimates that it should take about 30 minutes to walk from the beginning to the end of this route, so everything is really close together for the most part so you can really take your time to enjoy the Giverny area.

And that’s my list of family vacation tips for visiting the Monet Gardens in Giverny!

It was definitely worth visiting, and won by a landslide in a vote of our kids’ favorite days on our family vacation in Paris!

It is 100% worth making the day trip from Paris with kids! Quite frankly, I’ll probably plan another day to spend at Monet’s House and Gardens if we go back to Paris again, so that we can really slow down, explore the town more, and just savor the whole experience!

We really just loved our day there so much.

So if you’re still on the fence about adding Monet Gardens in Paris to your itinerary for your OWN family vacation in France, I hope this post helped sway you into the DO IT category! 🎉

If you have questions about any of these tips, or have your OWN tips for exploring Paris with kids, please drop a comment down below! Sharing is caring!

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