10 Least Romantic Valentine’s Day Destinations

Just about every news outlet is compiling a list of the most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations, but what about those of us whose only serious relationship is the one they have with deep-fried chicken?

I could not find a single such list, so I decided to do humanity a favour and create one. Are you dreaming of a non-pink, love-free Valentine’s Day? You’re in luck because several world governments wholeheartedly agree.


Before you start planning a scathing 140-character take-down of the holiday, consider moving to a Valentine-less destination of your choosing. These are my picks for the ten least romantic Valentine’s Day destinations.

1. Osh, Kyrgyzstan

Officials in this lovely city decided to ban Valentine’s Day because they believe “the holiday of love is a bad influence on children’s morality”. A member of Kyrgyzstan’s parliament even called the celebration a “holiday from the devil”. While I’m not sure we’d get along, these are exactly the type of people I feel comfortable spending Valentine’s Day with.

2. Lombok, Indonesia

It should come that the biggest predominantly Muslim country in the world decided to ban what it calls a “sex holiday”. I don’t understand their association of Valentine’s Day and sex. For me, it just means stretchy sweatpants, litres of tequila and empty KFC buckets. But to each their own – or better yet none at all.

3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In 2012, a number of happy Muslim couples were arrested for the crime of “close proximity”, which is punishable by jail-time. I disagree with such rules 364 days in a year, but Valentine’s Day is not one of them.

4. Isfahan, Iran

Three years ago, Iranian officials warned citizens that “symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and activities promoting this day are banned.” And the list goes on – it includes “rap music, rock music, Western music, women playing in bands, too-bring nail polish, laughter in hospital corridors, ancient Persian rites-of-spring celebrations (Nowrooz), and even the mention of foreign food recipes in state media”. BRB – I’m just going to remove my neon pink nail polish and book a flight.

5. Agra, India

Although Valentine’s Day is not officially banned in India, Hindu hardliners are protesting the holiday. “We are deadly against Valentine’s Day. We are for civilized love and affection,” one of them said. Why stop there, I ask? Let’s be deadly against love and affection, too!

6. Belgorod, Russia

Spiritual security was cited as the main reason for banning the Western holiday in Russia’s Belgorod province. The officials did not elaborate on what that meant, but the governor’s spokesman said that “we could just as well have introduced a Vodka Day”. I’m not sure what that means either, but it sounds great. Can we all agree to just celebrate Vodka Day instead?

7. Islamabad, Pakistan

In Pakistan, authorities forbade media outlets to broadcast romance-themed content. That’s right – somewhere out there, people are getting through Valentine’s Day without having to watch Kate Hudson romcoms and flower delivery ads.

8. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia does not mess around. Thought heart-shaped merchandise was bad? How about just banning all things red? I feel a little sad for all my temporarily illegal ginger friends, but not sad enough.

9. Harwinton, United States of America

Everyone is talking about a school in Connecticut which decided to replace sweets and parties with academic activities and what it deems “healthy snacks” as if it was the end of the world. Cheer up! American schools think pizza is a vegetable, so you will have carbs to drown your sorrows in aplenty – and no one reminding you of your misery in the first place.

10. Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Turns out we have nothing to worry about – Uzbek politicians cancelled Valentine’s Day. It’s official, too – several universities made their students sign a contract confirming that they will not participate in celebrating the holiday.

Which of these destinations will you choose to sit at home, drink a bottle of Pinot Noir by yourself and complain about your nonexistent love life to the characters in Titanic? Oh wait, give me that red wine – it’s outlawed in Saudi Arabia. And Titanic? What would Pakistani officials say? These ridiculous bans should serve as a reminder that even our ability to whine about Valentine’s Day is a huge privilege. So embrace it and publish that poignant Tweet about sickeningly happy couples. Or just raise your eyebrows and get on with your life – if there’s one thing these oppressive governments got right, it’s the fact that a commercial holiday has nothing to do with being in love.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Love it or hate it? Where will you be celebrating it – or not celebrating it – this year?

Main photo via Angelo Domini, second via taufuuu. Osh via eatswords, Lombok via Fadil Basymeleh, Kuala Lumpur via Jakub Michankow, Isfahan via Xiquinho Silva, Agra via Travel Aficionado, Belgorod via Alexander Saprykin, Islamabad via Arsalan Asad, Jeddah via Elias Pirasteh, Harwinton via Doug Kerr and Bukhara via whltravel.

  • Ha, this is fantastic! We should be thankful that even if we have no significant others to celebrate with, at least we live in countries where it’s legal to drown our sorrow iwith wine. 🙂

    • EXACTLY! Wine I will never get sick of & it always sticks by my side & makes me feel better about myself. Better than many a man out there 😉

    • aditya roy

      haha..here in India its not too tuff to enjoy ur V-day..and also u can enjoy with some vodka too..All are welcome to my country..

  • The Student Travels

    Haha this is hilarious! Nice to see something refreshing on V-day!

    • Haha I’m glad you enjoyed the post 😀

  • Em

    Shocking and sad and hilarious all at the same time! Thank you for this post 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed it Em! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • You had me at Vodka Day 🙂 Couldn’t help but notice the abundance of Muslim nations on this list. Guess I should consider myself lucky that I’m currently doing a housesit in one of the above-mentioned cities.

    • Are you in Malaysia? I checked your blog & Twitter after our convo there but couldn’t find proper confirmation hahahah.

      • Look at you, playing detective hahaha. Yup, I’m doing a housesit in the KL suburbs now

  • Ha! I love this! And some great picture choices too. 🙂


    • Thanks a lot Sarah! Glad you liked the post & the photos 🙂

  • LOL I can’t believe Osh was Number 1! Visited there a number of years back :3 #loveyaKyrgyzstan. Also you’re hilarious like can you stop or?

    • Hahaha did you enjoy it? 😀 Glad you liked the post! Can’t stop, won’t stop 😛

  • Olga Rabo

    hahaha, love this post!
    also, it is HILARIOUS that the Russian actually have the Vodka Day. So Russian of them 😀


  • Hi Sabina,

    Clever as always 😉 Amazing how resisting love can lead to some of these laws/rules.

    V Day passed without me knowing. My wife and I just have fun daily here in paradise, help each other out, independent of the day on a calendar 🙂

    Fun share!


  • Another amazing Sabina post! For me it was just like any other days.

    In Finland 14th Feb is Friend’s Day which is a way nice thing to celebrate I reckon

  • Rachel Lam

    Awesome post, I learn something new each time I visit your writing! These countries/cultures/men who make these decisions…what is it about being human that offend them so? I know it all goes way-way back when their founding fathers or religious leaders or someone just had a bad VDay…but seriously… Do they deny their babies love and send kids to jail for playing too much?? I guess these cultures are just as bizarre as the Chinese believing that “sheep year babies will make their families poor” and dumped baby girls on the streets…


  • I loved reading this and learning about such things. I dont fuss over valentines day so it doesnt effect me but i think banning it isnt good, but i guess showing affection comes in many forms (like sweatpants haahaa) xx


  • Richard Senior

    Excellent. Funny, original and a welcome satirical swipe at all the lazy 10 bests clogging up the internet.

  • Maaike

    This cracked me up, and I could use some laughter during my revision break! Well done!

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