Auvers-sur-Oise, France / March 30, 2019
At the last minute one weekend, we decided to make a day trip to Auvers-sur-Oise. This is the last town Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted in. He was only there for two months, but within that time, he created over 80 paintings.
A calm, scenic town just an hour or so outside of Paris, this is the perfect mini getaway! You can see almost everything within one day.
Tip: Already in March, it has a fair amount of tourists! Make sure to reserve any restaurants in advance (even lunch).
Château de Saumur
LIST OF RESTAURANTS AND SIGHTS
Restaurants and Bars :
Sous le Porche, 35 Rue du Pois (lunch, poisson du jour - salmon and vegetables with an onion cream sauce). The quality of food here was very high and quite sophisticated. I was pleasantly surprised. Service was very slow though, so do not think you will get out of here quickly! There is a terrace that faces the city hall, but it is for drinks only.
Café de la Paix, 11 Rue du Général de Gaulle (we only had drinks here). We did not have a chance to eat here, but their menu seemed to have a decent selection. Also, if you stay during the evening, they have music shows, karaoke, poetry slams, and more.
Van Gogh's residence (maison de Van Gogh) + Auberge Ravoux. You only need about 30 minutes for this. It's definitely worth seeing, but the tour was a little lack-luster and in French only. It would've added so much if they had simply furnished his bedroom to the way it was when he was living. The room was empty and there was nothing to see. The video at the end was informative, but seemed like something I could've made in PowerPoint.
Château d'Auvers (tip: if you only want to see the chateau, do not bother buying a ticket. You can see the chateau and gardens for free, and the ticket simply allows you to see an additional exhibit). We ran through the exhibit because we did not have enough time and frankly, wanted to be outside in the sunshine, not in rooms with no windows. The castle grounds were charming and elegant. We spent a decent amount of time here and took a lot of pictures. The fountains here were their real show piece.
Musée Daubigny Sadly, we did not have time to visit this museum before it closed. But thankfully we saw the beautiful exterior. Next time, we are going to try to see this one!
Notre Dame de l'Assomption (famous church that Van Gogh painted). This church is really nice, and like many of the churches you will find in France. The exterior is what makes it interesting - to be able to see the facade from the same angle Van Gogh did, and look at his vision/painting at the same time (which is shown on a large sign just outside).
Auvers cemetery - you can visit the grave of both Vincent and Théo Van Gogh. Surrounding the cemetery are vast fields with paths you can either walk or bike on. My husband and I checked out the graves, but spent more of our time in the fields, where I sketched and he took pictures. There are many paths in the area if you are interested in nature walks.