Disclaimer: The following content contains personal complaints and grievances. If you are not prepared to read critical remarks about a country you hold dear, we kindly ask you to refrain from proceeding beyond this point. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and are not intended to defame, incite discord, or promote discrimination against any specific country, nation, or group of people.

Getting to and around Paris

1. Getting to Paris from London

I heeded my cousin’s advice and opted to take the Eurostar train. While it is slightly more expensive (i.e. S$20 per person) than taking a plane, it proved to be a convenient choice as it reduced our waiting time by at least 2 hours and required less walking which is more ideal for my dad. 

2. Getting Around Paris

During our time in Paris, we relied on buses as our primary mode of transportation, only resorting to the metro on a few occasions when the bus was not a viable option. While the metro can at times halve our travelling time, I wanted to minimise the chances of my dad having to climb up long flights of stairs in the metro station, so I preferred taking buses whenever possible.

On the 6th of June’23, we encountered the impact of the industrial strike firsthand. As we circled the city on a bus, relying on Google Maps for directions, we ended up at the same bus stop which we had boarded. Our confusion caught the attention of a kind gentleman who came forward to render his help. He explained that the strike had led to a road closure which caused the bus to take a different route.  Without the kind gentleman’s advice, we would have been oblivious to the need for an alternative route.

This kind soul certainly cushioned my distaste for Parisians (not that it mattered to them) as I felt that my family was treated with hostility by the locals several times over our 4-days visit. When we accidentally bumped into other passengers because the bus or tram was crowded, they plainly displayed their outright anger at us. For the first time in my travels over the 2 years, I felt that the locals in our host destination were allergic to foreigners or perhaps, specifically Chinese tourists. 

I was upset enough to research if “Parisians are rude” on YouTube and found the experience shared by these 3 YouTube channels useful. 

  1. How Tourists Really Piss off the Parisians by Walter World (I learned to  say Bonjour when I greet people in Paris.)
  2. Things I hate about living in Paris by Not even French (The video is shadow-banned so I can’t link it here.)
  3. Life in Paris: The things I hate by Nathaniel Drew (The video is shadow-banned so I can’t link it here.)

What are your experiences in Paris? I would love to hear them too!

3. Getting from Paris to Manchester

I highly recommend flying into or out of Paris via Orly airport due to its close proximity to the city center. During my trip, the airport was only a 15-minute car ride away from our hotel, making it incredibly convenient and affordable for us to reach by taxi.

In contrast, Bergamo airport is located 2 hours away from the city center when using public transport, making it a less convenient option. Therefore, choosing Orly airport, even at a slight premium air-ticket price, provides a much more convenient and efficient travel experience when visiting Paris.


ibis budget Paris Porte d’Italie East (S$38/pax/night, stayed for 4 nights)

I highly recommend this budget accommodation for people who are looking for an affordable option. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t expect any fancy decor in this budget hotel. In fact, to some, it may even appear a little run down. Despite this, I personally believe that the hotel is great, and I didn’t find the carpet to be musty.

In retrospect, I am very pleased with my decision to stay at Ibis Budget Hotel. Initially, I had booked an Airbnb apartment in Gentilly, but after reading some negative reviews about the host’s lack of concern for guests and growing complacency, I decided to switch to a hotel. When I informed the host about my cancellation, their snobbish and rude response only validated my decision.

Coincidentally, echoing my experiences, I also came across a YouTube video featuring a retired couple who expressed their dissatisfaction with their Airbnb experiences and their decision to switch to hotels instead. You can check out their experiences here. 

You may be pleasantly surprised that at times, hotels, despite comparable prices, offer more convenience, better locations, and superior amenities such as lifts, daily room service, and fresh towels when compared to Airbnb apartments. Therefore, you should definitely consider and compare both options while reserving your accommodations. 


General Tips (I wish I knew while planning my first trip to Paris)

I would highly recommend purchasing the Paris Museum Pass if you are planning to visit the famous museums like The Louvre, Versailles, and Picasso Museum. I was only aware of this pass while reading Rick Steves Best of Europe Guidebook but by that time, I had already booked my tickets to Versailles. I would highly recommend reading his guidebook while planning your trips to Europe. 

I also learned that I have to book my tickets months in advance for The Louvre as tickets sell out really quickly. Many attractions in Paris are closed on Mondays. The best time to visit Paris would be from Wednesday to Sunday as some attractions have longer operating hours during some of these days. 

1. Seine River cruise

I recommend buying the Cruise ticket on the actual day on ticketing platforms like Tiqets. You may get at a 20% discount as compared to buying directly at booth or from promoters selling them on the streets near Eiffel Tower. We paid 11 pounds each for the cruise when we purchased the tickets on Tiqets on that day. I think it would have cost us 18 to 20 Euros if we bought offline.

I did not plan to take the Seine River cruise as it was quite expensive when I checked it online while planning the trip. I remembered it was at least 24 pounds per person.  However, we ended up on the cruise as Versailles was closed due to industrial strike action.

I was probably tired during the trip as I dozed off while taking the 1 hour cruise ride. Nevertheless, I was glad that my parents enjoyed the cruise.

2. Versailles

Versailles was the only places of attraction that I had pre-booked for our trip because it was highly recommended by two of my friends.

Unfortunately, I can only share about my frustrating experience trying to get my tickets refunded by Versailles. They were initially reluctant to refund our tickets even though the palace had displayed a signboard indicating that the palace was closed due to strike actions. We even had the photo evidence of the signboard. I was definitely angry and disappointed which further increase my distrust and dislike towards the country and its people. 

Nevertheless, a few days later, I received an email from the Palace that they would refund the tickets but it would take up to 2 months for the refund to be processed. At the time of publishing this article, I have not received the refund yet.

I am worried that I may not receive the refund ultimately and may also lose the window period to claim the unused tickets with our travel insurance company. I will certainly update about the final outcome when there is a closure to this incident. 



1. Bouillon Charter

I had a mixed dining experience in Bouillon Charter, a French restaurant with a lively atmosphere. The energetic and comical waiter, Francois, who served us, added an enjoyable touch to our visit. The warm greetings from the waitstaff upon our arrival set a pleasant tone for our lunch.

As a vegetarian, I found the options at Bouillon Charter to be satisfactory, although not exceptional. The vegetarian dishes were decent but lacked that special something to make them truly memorable. However, the creme brulee dessert stood out as a highlight, with its creamy texture and delightful caramelized sugar topping.

My mother had a more enjoyable experience with her fish dish, finding it tasty. She also relished the baked apple and sorbet dessert, which provided a delightful balance of flavors. However, our visit on a Monday brought a little disappointment, as the much-anticipated duck confit, which I wanted my father to try, was not available.

I picked this restaurant thinking that it would give us an authentic french dining experience at an affordable price. If you ordered a 3 course meal, you can expect to pay around 18 Euros per person. Else, you can just order a handful of appetisers or the main course which will cost less than 10 Euros.

2. La Maison d’Isabelle

Upon accidentally alighting at the wrong stop on our way to the Eiffel Tower, we stumbled upon La Maison d’Isabelle. The sight of a long queue outside the bakery was a promising sign, so we decided to join in. We were pleasantly surprised by the affordable prices of the croissants and baguettes, ranging from 1 to 2 euros each.

The flaky, buttery texture and delicious flavour of the croissants made them a true treat. It was indeed the best croissants I had eaten in Paris. Aside from the croissants, the baguette at La Maison d’Isabelle was also noteworthy. The crusty exterior and soft, chewy interior made it an excellent choice for a classic French sandwich or to accompany a meal. The quality of the baguette reflected the bakery’s commitment to traditional French baking techniques.

Considering the quality and taste of the products, La Maison d’Isabelle is highly recommended for those seeking affordable yet delicious bakery items in Paris.

However, I must note that the service provided by the Chinese server was a little unpleasant and curt. The server seemed impatient and displayed a touch of rudeness, which detracted slightly from the overall experience.

3. Neko Ramen Paris

The Donburi Chicken cutlet rice was a standout dish, delivering a nice and authentic flavor. It was satisfying to enjoy a taste of Japan in the heart of Paris. However, the Ramen was only average in terms of taste. Despite some concerns raised in online reviews about the authenticity of the Ramen, we decided to give it a try, mainly due to the long queue we observed during lunchtime the previous day, and my mother’s craving for Asian food.

One aspect that left something to be desired was the service provided by an Asian waitress at Neko Ramen. Her demeanor was aloof and robotic, lacking the warmth and attentiveness we experienced at Bouillon Charter.

If we do not have to consider my mum’s preferences, I would have preferred trying a new French restaurant to truly experience the culinary delights of Paris.

Restaurant to try next time

4.Le Symposium (Near Shakespeare and Company Bookshop)

I would like to try this restaurant if I were to return to Paris in the future.  In June 2023, A 3 course set meal was advertised at 18 euros and the rating on google seems pretty decent.

Total Expenditure for 3 Days 4 nights in Paris in June 2023

I will be sharing the expense report once I get around to compiling the information.


I was incredibly excited leading up to our visit to Paris, immersing myself in French music and opera to heighten the anticipation. I even made my mum watch the Netflix Series, Emily in Paris, to get her excited about the trip. 

However, my overall experiences were unfortunately overshadowed by the presence of hostility and subtle discriminatory practices that I observed throughout the city.

During our 4-nights stay at the Ibis Budget Hotel, I couldn’t help but notice a consistent pattern: the reception staff seemed to follow a specific division, with a non-white person working the night shift and a white person working the morning shift. This observation seemed to hint at a possible form of unfair and discriminatory staffing practices within the hotel chain. While it’s important to consider the possibility of this pattern being coincidental, it left me feeling uneasy and added to my growing aversion towards the city of Paris.

In reflecting on my experiences, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was subconsciously seeking out more reasons to develop a negative perception of the city. However, the observations I made during my stay at the hotel genuinely left me questioning the inclusivity and fairness of the environment I encountered in Paris. These instances of subtle discrimination were disheartening and stood in stark contrast to the vibrant and diverse image I had envisioned Paris to be prior to my visit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *