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Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

London, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

I will be in Paris during the first week in April 2007 and want to do a day trip to Rouen while there. I am also very interested in seeing Giverny, but would only be able to go there on the same day that I go to Rouen.

My thought is that I could take a train from Paris to Vernon (closest station to Giverny), spend the morning in Giverny, and then continue on to Rouen after lunch. I could then catch the last train back to Paris from Rouen.

Does anybody have any thoughts on whether this is possible? Am I spreading myself too thin considering the three train trips that would be involved in that one day?

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Florida
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1. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

Did you plot this train route out to see how long the rides were (and to confirm there -is- a train from Vernon to Roeun)..?

easy to use rail site:

reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en?

Also, I think you have to take a bus from Vernon to Giverny (and back again, and I don't know how many buses per day so that's an unknown time-factor).

Does anyone know what the gardens will look like the first of April, since they will have just opened up? (closed over winter)

Montreal, QC
Destination Expert
for Nice
Level Contributor
3,474 posts
31 reviews
2. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

It is doable in one day if you leave Paris early enough to get to Giverny just before the gates open (train leaves St-Lazare at 8:16 and the ride is 48 min). Take bus no 18 to Giverny (15 minutes).

Go on the SNCF website for timetable from Vernon to Rouen (train leaves around noon and the ride is about 1hr or so). There are express trains from Rouen to Paris around 18:30 (abouth an hour or so as it is a fast train).

London, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
3. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

Thank you for your input. I checked the train schedules and it looks like if I take the early train (as you suggested) I could have a few hours in Giverny before moving on to Rouen.

I too am a bit worried about what the gardens might look like at the very start of April but I've seen other threads suggesting they should be OK.

USA
Level Contributor
30,336 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

YES...it's easily enough done the same day. But you need to take the 08:17 AM train from PARIS-Gare Saint Lazare to VERNON (approx 47 mins), and the the regional bus from Vernon station to the parking lot across the road from the entrance to Monet's Home & Gardens (Closed on Mondays..bus from station takes 15 mins..bus schedule is sorta' 'synched' to train schedule). This will get you to Giverny just before the gates open and in early.... omething you'd want to do whether you were planning to travel onward or not...to avoid crowds. The gardens at Giverny are not quite as extensive as the '..impression..' many have from the paintings.

One of the '..tricks..' of Giverny is that when you get in, just as the gates are openning, blow past the home and upper gardens and make your way directly to the lower '..Les Nympheas..' water gardens below the property. In this way, you will have an opportunity to stroll through the gardens and take photographs without others being in your sight-lines, taking photos of them, taking photos of you, taking photos of them....well, you get the idea. From here make your way back up to the upper flower gardens and the home.

To take the ROUEN extention, you need to take the bus back to VERNON station so that you are there in time to catch either the 12:51 PM train onward to ROUEN-Rive Droit (48 mins)....OR...the 12:55 PM train back to PARIS-Gare Saint Lazare (perhaps to spend the rest of the afternoon at either the Musée d'Orsay, Musée Marmottan or Musée de l'Orangerie viewing the original work created there. There are no original Monet paintings on display at Giverny.

If you decide to go onward to ROUEN, bear in mind that the afternoon will only allow you to do a '..Rouen-Lite..' There is a Tourist Information office in the train station, so stop in before you leave the station, take a few minutes to stop in to pick up a serviceable street map of the city, a copy of their free self-guided walking tour and any brochures or informational material that attracts your attention. Since your time will be limited, it would certainly be worthwhile to do some personal research and perhaps '..prioritize..' those sites and attractions that interest you most. This will be '..Rouen-Lite..' at best.

Rouen has an excellent public transportaion system--automated Metro, trams and buses. You can purcahse a one-day transportation pass (provides you with '..hop-on / hop-off..' public transportation convenience) at the SNCF station and take the metro a couple of stops to the immediate area of the cathedral....perhaps beginning there. There are any number of local cafés to stop for a qick luncheon.

Before you go to Rouen, take some time to search for images of Monet's '..ROUEN CATHEDRAL--West Facade..' series..and classic 'exercise..' of the affects of light on subject--painted from the same location, at different hours , from early morning to late-afternoon. If you've ever heard the description that these artists were paint '..light..' rather than '..subject..', this series will demonstrate it to you. The studio that Monet used was on the upper floor of the building directly across from the west portal...but I don't think that the room is open to the public...but ask at the Tourist Information office anyway.

There are several direct (no train changes en route) trains returning to Paris from Rouen in the late-afternoon / early evening....so check the SNCF ROUEN-PARIS train schedules and jot down the times of these direct trains as an aidememoire to carry with you.

You may start out by purchasing just a round-trip, PARIS-Gare Saint Lazare-VERNON ticket to begin your day. Then if you decide to travelonward to ROUEN, purchase a separate, round-trip VERNON-ROUEN. The combined tickets will take you all the way back to Paris from ROUEN, if you decide to go. There is no cost advantage on these routes to advance-purchase..so nothing will be lost and your '..flexibility..' and options will be preserved as mood and moment strike.

GIVERNY--

http://www.giverny.org

VERNON--

http://www.ville-vernon27.fr/

ROUEN--

http://www.ville-rouen.fr

http://www.rouentourisme.com/

http://www.tcar.fr/

ARTCYCLOPEDIA Gen'l. Art Search Site--

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/

Newcastle
Level Contributor
5,100 posts
172 reviews
5. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

We rented a car and did the two in one day. I think using the train and the bus would entail more time but I think if you do not linger you can do it all. Rouen sites are closed between 12- 2 pm.

To be honest I think if I were using public transport, I would not spread myself so thin.... I would do just one or the other and enjoy it at a slower pace. That is a decision you will have to make.

Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
1,791 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

I did this in 2002 (April) and had a wonderful day. I intend taking my sister again this year in early May. However although we caught the bus from Vernon to Giverny we did splurge on a taxi (the people in the souvenir shop rang for us) back to the station in order to catch a train onto Rouen. We had plenty of time at the gardens, (went around twice) as well as through the house and spent a lot of time in the Jeanne D'Arc church, cathedral and the street between in Rouen.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
7. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

Thank you very much everyone. Fantastic posts that are tremendously helpful.

8. Re: Rouen and Giverny in one day from Paris by train

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