Ben’s Train Travels: A Day Trip from Paris to Monet’s House in Giverny

Ben and Mike outside of Versailles

French teacher, travel lover and train enthusiast, Ben Ratliff writes about his “life changing” journey across Europe. Armed with a France Rail Pass and an Eastern European Pass (courtesy of Rail Europe), Ben visited Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Paris, Avignon, Nice and Bordeaux with his partner and (soon-to-be) in-laws. We hope that you find his journey as inspiring as we did.

The future in-laws on their first one-week trip to Paris arrived yesterday.  Yes, this was a good thing for those of you who have in-laws!  Fortunately, they decided to come with their son, Michael, my fiancé.  While carefully choosing a readers digest itinerary, I made it clear that Giverny would be at the top of the list of places to see while staying in the area.

Fiance Mike and the in-laws

Unlike Versailles, Monet’s house is about 45 minutes, by train, outside of Paris.  Once again, I used the RailEurope App on my phone in order to find direct train service to Vernon, the village connecting Giverny by rail via Navette bus service.  One would think that trains would depart regularly to Eden, otherwise known as Giverny.  The schedule provided four direct service options at various times of the day, mostly in the afternoon.

Ben at Giverny
Monet's water lillies

Giverny never tires.  While recuperating from jet lag in Vienna six weeks earlier, I saw a documentary about Monet’s house.  Did you know a gardner dusts the lily pads once a week in order to maintain their pristine appearance?  Similar to Olmsted’s Central Park in New York City, the winding paths near the lily ponds create an illusion of a never ending park. To see the magic land once cultivated by Claude Monet through newcomers eyes invigorated me.

Fiance Mike with Monet
Sunflower field in Provence

With a round-trip bus ticket from the train station (Vernon) to Giverny, the conductor gave us a schedule that allowed plenty of time to board the train headed towards Paris.  My favorite part about any brief train ride in or out of a city center is the time spent looking at the pictures, reliving the moments and landscapes that shaped our experience.

Ben’s full blog series


  1. Ewill20

    Pictures ONLY would be ok, we don’t need pictures of this old guy and his friends ruining the view that this lovely region offers.  If you want some better pictures then I would be happy to offer them.  I travel via train in Europe frequently and would be happy to offer you better pictures than these without some random old guy tainting them.  I will be traveling to Giverny next month and can prove that mine will be of better quality than these.  Thanks! 

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    • Maribeth Jones

      You, like Eric above, are so amazingly superficial you cannot possibly appreciate the art like you say you can. Not when the person in the photographs offends you so. Sorry for your loss.

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    • terrilynnmerritts

      I happen to like seeing photos of the traveler enjoying his visit. It doesn’t taint anything. 

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  2. Eric

    Some old overweight guy with his gay partner doesn’t need to be messing up these beautiful views that Monet perfected.  I have travelled to these same areas and can offer greater pictures than these.  I too have used the rail pass many times.  Please contact me for better pictures that aren’t ruined by faces. 

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    • Maribeth Jones

      Of course you would feel this way. You are obviously a very mean person with issues.

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      • Alyssa

        Carla disse:Bom dia estou indo em agosto de 2012 a Paris e gosatria de saber se existe alguma empresa de turismo que faz Jardim de Monet e Palacio de Versalles no mesmo dia em um so passeio Se compro aqui ou espero para comprar le1 Att carla

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    • Charo

      You’re sick.

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    • terrilynnmerritts

      No one is interested in seeing a rude guy’s photos. Some of us have also seen these same sights and like to see others enjoying themselves. What we don’t welcome is someone who wants to make nasty remarks about someone’s age, weight, and gayness. 

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    • Bemackin

      In the way you judge others, you too will be judged.

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    • VistaGina

      SHAME ON YOU !Travel is supposed to BROADEN your mind, and it obviously hasn’t for you.
      Old lady(hetero)

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    • Sara Jane

      You are an asshole. Shutup and keep you’re ignorant comments to yourself.

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    • Kathy

      I happen to disagree with you and your comments, which I find to be insulting and rather rude. While researching the train to Monet’s house for a future trip, I found this gentleman’s personal experience quite helpful and informative. One might have pictures without people… Or a life without sensitivity, however I would rather see the experience shared and enjoy their moment while I anticipate creating mine.

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  3. okiesvenska

    Beautiful post, and beautiful pictures.

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  4. Charo

    How beautiful!

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  5. Tropeland

    You must really hate yourself Eric. I’m ashamed to even share the same name as you. Ben, great shots of your travels and of your fiance. Don’t pay this guys comment any mind.

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  6. Connie Franks Fehrmann

    Beautiful pictures Ben (all of them)!  You be happy and enjoy who you are, and who you are with.  Have fun in your life and live it like you want to.  Some people are bullies and always will be. It is their loss anyway.  I loved everything about your blog!!!!!

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    • Cabrarcdy

      Nice pic BEN: You help us to travel the world in yiur blog. Thanks

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  7. Stacey Owen

    Very Sad how someone wants to Bash anothers work!!!  Please keep your rude comments to yourself. And please get a life because Ben has one and he is working it!!!! Go Ben!!! Great Blog and wonderful pictures!!! When you have haters Ben that means you are doing something right!!!  Keep doin you!!!

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  8. Cerychel

    Great pictures! I definitely will put Giverny on my list for my next visit to France…..can’t believe I’ve not been there before…thank you for your introduction. How long does one have to visit Giverny before having to return to train for Paris?

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  9. terrilynnmerritts

    Great photos Ben! I have seen these sights too and love seeing how you obviously took joy in visiting there. You and Mike have some great memories to go along with the photos. Thank you guys for sharing them with the rest of us. 

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  10. Pamsdeparturepoint

    I am a travel agent, but learned a lot about getting to Giverny from this lovely post.  We will be traveling from Paris to Chartres and then back up to Giverny.  I’ve looked at the RATP and SNCF rail systems, and thought I had it figured out, but alas, apparently I did not quite have it. Thank you, Ben and congratulations to you and Michael!!

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  11. Joe Guzman

    Does anyone know how to contact Ben? I’ve read some of his blogs and I am interested in teaching abroad and living abroad and traveling and more !
    I speak Spanish, Portuguese, and currently learning French before my trip!
    I can be contacted at joe.guzman@live:disqus .com

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  12. Masion Sandra

    Nice pic Ben specially Ben at Giverny photo is so beautiful with nature..

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  13. Gisa Nogueira

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful place with all of us. I appreciate it very much. I’ve never been to Giverny.
    You guys look great. I wish you both a very happy life. Keep on travelling.

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  14. Aneesha

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I almost opted out of this day trip until I chanced upon this site. Moreover thank you for sharing your personal images…. Adds a hint of reality to everything out there in cyber space that May or may not be real!

    Appreciate your time!

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