If you’ve just suffered a messy breakup, or you’re swearing off dating because the last person you stepped out with felt the need to reveal that he lived in his aunt’s closet (true story), travel might be a good way to escape the dreaded, lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day.
But, be careful where you escape to or you could land in a sea of happy couples proposing in front of national monuments. Not at all what you wanted.
If you are looking to trade in flowers and chocolates for alcohol and gambling this Valentine’s Day, here are the 11 least romantic cities in the world—or, at the very least, cities that won’t throw your solo-osity back in your face.
Maggie Parker is Paste magazine’s assistant travel editor.
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Sao Paulo, Brazil: Brazilians move to Sao Paolo to find work, not love.
Flickr/Diego Torres Silvestre
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Belgorod, Russia: Belgorod has banned Valentine's Day in schools and government offices because it apparently promotes promiscuity over true love.
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Boise, Idaho: According to Amazon.com's statistics on romance in American cities (they reviewed what cities purchased the most products like romance novels, relationship books, romantic movies and music, and sexual wellness products), Boise ain't buying. Or maybe, their relationships are so perfect they don't need that extra stuff.
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Blackpool, Britain: According to a Hotels.com survey, Blackpool is one of the least romantic cities in Britain. The seaside town with cheap resorts is a hot spot for stag and hen parties (bachelor and bachelorette parties), not honeymoons and proposals.
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Portland, Oregon: Redbox conducted a survey similar to Amazon's (they measured the number of romantic movies rented in each city (although, who physically rents movies anymore?) and found that Portland was one of the least romantic cities in the U.S. Too busy discovering new indie bands, no time for romance.
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Casablanca, Morocco: Travelers hoping to find the romance of "Casablanca" in this highly populated Moroccan city will be disappointed by the tiny medina and lack of movie-set-esque spots to canoodle.
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Rotorua, New Zealand: While the hot springs and countryside are beautiful, the smell is not. Often referred to as "Sulfur City," it will be hard to set the mood here.
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Atlantic City, New Jersey: Carpeted casinos don't scream "I love you," and neither do hordes of drunken New Jerseyans.
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Las Vegas, Nevada: Quick weddings, yes. Forever love, not so much.
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Beijing, China: The air is so polluted in Beijing that you can't even see the sun set. Don't worry, the city has installed LED screens that broadcast the sun set for those couples seeking a beautiful view. Aren't you supposed to avoid staring at a screen on date night?
Flickr/Tjebbe van Tijen
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Havana, Cuba: There are no sexy "Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights" to be had on the dimly lit and police-infested streets of the Cuban capital.