Whether you are travelling with your long-term partner, met a cutie from your hostel or are trying to explore your own city with someone you've newly entered a relationship with most people will claim that Paris is the quintessential romantic city-getaway however there are a lot of places that are utterly understated yet just as perfect places to spend the day with your Valentine, whoever that may be. (Single travellers: feel free to check this post out in the mean time.)
Valentine's Day in Tokyo is gaining traction however it's not the typical flowers, candy and nookie that has been popularized. While many expect to receive gifts from their male partners - it's the women who do most of the gift-giving during this celebration. Typically in Japan women give that special someone chocolate. Luckily if you're in a queer relationship you both get chocolate. Talk about win/win! If chocolate isn't what you both are about, Tokyo however does have an option that is decidedly more Parisian. The Tokyo Tower is a classic symbol of the city and gives you panoramic views of the city. You're sure to see a lot of other travelling couples there on Valentine's Day too.
Maybe it's because I'm Canadian but I've always found that a snowy, cold day is the best weather - especially for romantic pursuits. If you're in Moscow and walking through the Red Square isn't exciting or fun enough a personal favourite of mine is to go to the natural (and free) ice rink in the centre of Moscow on Chistye Prydi. You'll feel like you're in a small town backyard rink from all the privacy as you skate with your someone special. Be sure to bring your own skates as there is no rental service there then go for coffee to warm up and maybe to laugh about how many times you both fell.
Important: Queer couples are advised not to be openly affectionate in Russia for safety, sadly.
If you know nothing about Buenos Aires except that it's in Argentina you'll be happy to find that tango is infamous here. Whether you have two left feet or are a professional dancer, many flock to Buenos Aires to see people dance. It's the perfect thing to see on Valentine's Day and maybe try it yourself. It's fun for any couple to compare yourselves to professionals if you just have fun - even if toes are stepped on.
With a city like Cape Town it seems like there are endless activities to do. From hikes up Lion's Head to surfing, if you are an active couple there is so much to do but if you want to perhaps do that in the day then at night have a relaxing evening there is an open air cinema playing When Harry Met Sally on the beautiful Nooitgedacht vineyard. That's not all though before the movie begins you there will be plenty to do as well between 6pm and 8pm, when the film starts.
While Cologne might not be the original site of the love lock bridge, if you and your partner have some strong urge to engrave your name on a lock to declare your everlasting affection for one another you can do that here. Or you could be like me and declare your love for soft pretzels because that's the one true love if we're being honest with ourselves. Ok for real, Cologne has a gorgeous view of the Rhine River, of the Cologne Cathedral and truly intimate spots to go for a coffee and a cuddle or even a drink if you're more inclined. There are alcoves all around Cologne with cafes perfect for outdoor dining even in the cold February air thanks to overhead heating. So if you're not sure where to go for Valentine's Day or what to do, Cologne provides simply by being the city that it is beautifully and unpretentiously itself.
I'm sure wherever you are and whatever you do, it will be easy to spend quality time with your partners if you allow yourself to have fun and just go with the flow because travel and life have a way of figuring themselves out.