Valentine’s Cities That are Just Too Romantic

Uh oh, it’s February again, and cute fluffy devils and long stemmed red roses have been slowly creeping into card shops and petrol stations across the country. But if despair of the over-commercialisation of the day in the UK, spare a thought for the Citizens of Bruges. I was there at the very beginning of February and it was like a Valentine’s rash had hit the city – leaving no cafe untouched by fluffy red heart-shaped pimples.

So in honour of the big V Day and couples who can’t get enough of publicly expressing their wuvey dovey feelings for one another (in a cramped restaurant full of other couples in love) we’d like to find the world’s most over the top Valentine’s cities. We’ll get the voting started with Bruges, Venice and (wait for it…) São Paulo, Brazil!

Valentine’s Day in Bruges

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present exhibit A:

In case it is not clear enough this is a shop selling plastic household goods and cleaning products. And it has a great stonking Valentine’s display in the middle of it. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a gift of toilet bleach.

The whole city has been invaded by teddy bears and padded hearts. And this was only at the beginning of February, I should imagine by now the canals are running with scented bubbles and the clock tower has been repainted pink.

Photo by Wolfiewolf

Still the locals didn’t seem overly concerned. I suppose because they’re used to being overrun by couples on romantic minibreaks – might as well run with it.

Valentines Day in Venice

Well, it did have to be done. As the most overly romantic city in Europe doesn’t need to get any more romantic for Valentine’s day. So if you’re after some serious serenading and gondola rides for two you know where to come.

Photo by Rocco Lucia

Aside: Don’t completely dismiss Venice for February – if you did you’d miss out on the Venice Carnival, a whirlwind of masked balls and a spectacular parade through the canals.

Photo by Alaskan Dude

Valentine’s Day in São Paulo

It might sound like an odd choice, but São Paulo in Brazil gets my vote, not because it’s renowned for being an incredibly romantic destination, but because I have never found people more in love with expressing their love than the citizens of Brazil.

Photo by Obamis

I risk disqualification because in Brazil they don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day… February 14th falls a bit too close to the start of Carnival where the emphasis is on debauchery, tiny feathered outfits and
crazed partying rather than cherishing just the one special someone. Instead in Brazil they celebrate the Dia dos Namorados (Day of the enamoured) on June 12th.

Image via

Just like the UK shops are full of displays of hearts, cards and sweets, but unlike the UK I couldn’t detect any cynicism in it. Can you imagine!?!

Top photo by jonrawlinson