The house where Claude Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926 remains much as he left it – complete with water-lily pond – at Giverny, 20km south of Les Andelys near the Seine’s north bank. While the gardens that Monet laid out are still lovingly tended, none of his original paintings are on display, so art-lovers who make the pilgrimage here tend to be outnumbered by garden enthusiasts.

Visits start in the huge studio, built in 1915, where Monet painted the last and largest of his many depictions of water lilies (nymphéas). It now serves as a well-stocked book- and giftshop. The house itself is a long two-storey structure, painted pastel pink with green shutters. Almost all the main rooms are crammed floor-to-ceiling with Monet’s collection of Japanese prints. Most of the furnishings are gone, but you get a real sense of how the dining room used to be, with its walls and fittings painted a glorious bright yellow. The flower-filled gardens stretch down towards the river, though the footpath that drops to the water-lily pond now burrows beneath the road. Once there, paths around the pond, as well as arching Japanese footbridges, offer differing views of the water lilies, cherished by gardeners in rowing boats. May and June, when the rhododendrons flower and the wisteria is in bloom, are the best times to visit.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Quiz: where should you go in France this summer?

Quiz: where should you go in France this summer?

France remains one of the most visited countries in the world – and it's easy to see why. From the bucolic charm of Provence to the metropolitan allure of Par…

14 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors help Quiz
7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

The ingredients for a great European weekend break are simple. You’ll need a walkable city centre, a handful of excellent restaurants, some cool bars, afforda…

14 Jul 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month