Solo on Valentine’s Day? That doesn’t mean you have to be sad and depressed. Quite the contrary, in fact. As I often spend this day away or single at the time, I’ve got into the habit of celebrating Galentine’s day instead, which means I spend this “special” day with my friends, spending time together and having fun. And if I’ve just landed or am traveling in a country where I don’t know anyone yet, it doesn’t matter because I always decide to have fun by finding new adventures to try. So, if you’re in the same situation as me, here are a few destinations where all you need is your own company and adventurous spirit!

1. Indonesia

Beach in Bali

You can’t go wrong with Indonesia, and Bali in particular. True, it can be hectic and touristy, but it’s also an ideal country for spiritual retreats to heal your mind, but also your body. Over the years, Bali has become one of the world’s most popular wellness destinations, and it’s no wonder: its unique atmosphere and magnificent scenery will win you over instantly.

But Bali, and Indonesia in general, is much more than that: it’s also the place to marvel at nature, and an ideal getaway for thrill-seekers. Whether diving abandoned shipwrecks in Tulamben, snorkeling with manta rays in Nusa Penida or climbing Mount Batur, there’s no shortage of adventure on the island!

One thing’s for sure: you won’t be alone for long, even on Valentine’s Day – especially as this is also the day of platonic love in Indonesia!

Pro tip: go to Canggu for the relaxing beach atmosphere and to meet people, or head to the islands for a more adventurous trip!

2. Finland & Estonia

Snowy landscape in Finland
Photo by Joni Kuusisto on Unsplash

Most countries celebrate Valentine’s Day in the same way, don’t they? Chocolates, dates, flowers and all the rest. But that’s not the case in Finland and Estonia, where February 14th isn’t dedicated to couples, but to friends, and is actually called Friends Day! Of course, couples aren’t excluded from the festivities; on the contrary, this special day is an opportunity for everyone (family, friends, couples) to get together over festive meals and have fun together afterwards.

It’s also their way of showing the importance of friendship and family in people’s daily lives. I really like this unique symbolism, don’t you?

Oh, and don’t forget that Finland, but also Estonia, are perfect places to watch the Northern Lights, and if you decide to go there, you’ll be at the right time (as they usually last until March). And if you’re a hiking enthusiast, what could be more magical than walking through the sparkling snowy landscapes of winter wonderland?

Head to Finland’s Oulanka National Park or Estonia’s Lahemaa National Park to marvel at the breathtaking scenery nature has to offer!

3. Brazil

Brazil's flag
Photo of Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Being in Brazil for Valentine’s Day strikes a different chord, and if you’re wondering why, it’s simply because this day falls on another great holiday known the world over: I’m talking about Rio Carnival, of course! So, if you visit the country on these dates, I’m sure you won’t even think about the fact that you’re the only person without a partner on Lovers’ Day! Parades, street parties… will make this day memorable as you learn more about traditions or how to dance the samba!

As for Valentine’s Day, it does exist, but it’s celebrated on June 12 in Brazil!

4. Mexico

Mexico
Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

With so many dream locations in Mexico, it’s no wonder that couples make it their romantic destination for February 14.
But here too, the day is dedicated to “El amor y la amistad”, or love and friendship! So, yes, as you’d expect, you’re sure to come across some happy lovers sunbathing on the beach or dining in a restaurant. But don’t let that stop you from celebrating in your own way – quite the contrary! Who said these idyllic spots were just for couples?

Go hiking on the volcanoes, surfing in Puerto Escondido or diving in the cenotes of Cancun!

5. Bolivia

Chacaltaya in Bolivia
Photo by Tobias Jelskov on Unsplash

In Bolivia, things are a little different, as Día de Amor or Day of Love is celebrated not on February 14 but on September 21, which is perfect for all my solo travel companions. The other advantage is that you’ll be able to attend one of the country’s must-see events: the Oruro Carnival (listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage site). As important as the Rio Carnival in Brazil, this experience attracts thousands of people every year!

Oruro, a mining town, gives its name to the traditional festival which is a true symbol of the country’s culture and history. If you’d like to find out more about this famous event, or simply watch the colorful parades and enjoy the country’s own music and dance, you know where to go.

And if you can’t make it, don’t worry, because Bolivia has it all: nature, fun and food! Go hiking in Chacaltaya, visit the Amazon rainforest, explore the Witches Market in La Paz or check out Lake Titicaca!

6. Slovenia

Field in Slovenia
Photo by Blaž on Unsplash

After sunny destinations, we return to colder countries. Slovenia usually celebrates Valentine’s Day on March 12 or St. Gregory’s Day. In fact, the country celebrates it twice: on the 14th and a month later, on March 12.

Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated on March 12? Because, according to an old folk custom, birds marry on this day, and also because spring is on its way!

But for us single travelers, it’s the low season and the ideal time for ski lovers. Don’t like skiing? No problem! You can also go tobogganing or hiking in Triglav National Park!

7. Denmark

Colorful buildings in Denmark
Photo by Ava Coploff on Unsplash

Another destination where friendship is as recognized as love. My favorite tradition is probably that of “snowdrops”: no red roses here, but pressed white flowers that you exchange with your loved ones!

I mentioned festivals earlier, and well, Denmark too has its own fun and unique events in February! Are you a jazz fan? You can book your tickets for Vinterjazz here! You can also go and see artists from all over the world tell their stories through amazing and magical light installations during the Copenhagen Light Festival (more about the event here)!

Or escape the city to relax on the island of Bornholm and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

So much for the best Valentine’s Day destinations for solo travelers!

Once again, being single during a holiday doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun and be sad! For me, it’s all the more reason to prove to myself and/or others that I appreciate myself enough to be alone and happy. Oh, and best of all, you don’t need anyone to take you on a date, you can do it yourself!

Not sure where to go for Christmas and need some cheap ideas? I’ve got you covered!

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12 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading about the destinations you mentioned in the blog! So far, Copenhagen is the only city from your recommendations that I have had the chance to visit. 🙂

  2. Fantastic destinations here. I cannot wait to start solo travelling once my children have grown up! Some of these are definitely on the list. Thank you for sharing!

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