Travel is rejuvenating—it can revive someone seeking respite from the mundane day-to-day. And for those of us in a perpetual period of singledom, burdened by absolutely zero obligations to another human, escaping is easy. But eloping to evade the PDA that seems to suffocate us isn’t necessarily easy.
Proposals before national monuments and couples making out in winding canals will remind you every damn second just how painfully single you are. So if you’re looking to visit somewhere sick, but don’t want to be bombarded by the same love that eludes you, check out one of these totally unromantic destinations.
1. Dubai, UAE: A British couple was legitimately arrested in 2010 for kissing in public, and received a month in jail. The Dubai Mall has some serious signage asking guests to abstain from public displays of affection, too, so you really won’t have to worry about it.
2. Mykonos, Greece: Sure, Greece is toted as a honeymooners’ paradise—cobblestoned streets adorned with bougainvillea and whitewashed homes that overlook the azure sea. But it’s not always so romantic. During the Spring, all corners of the city boast massive speakers for makeshift concerts that draw in drunk spring breakers who litter the streets with party debris.
3. Bangkok, Thailand: Thailand is recognized for its flourishing sex industry and a whole lot of single dudes (seriously, the ratio outnumbers women 2:1), adds to the hook-up culture of Patpong Road.
4. Machu Picchu, Peru: It’s on everyone’s bucket list—as it should be. But you won’t find too many couples hiking the 7,970 feet to the Incan ruin. It’s usually groups of about 12 who do the four-day Inca Trail hike and a lot of people succumb to altitude sickness—so not romantic.
5. Casablanca, Morocco: Casablanca is a cultural hub and bustling fashion capital worth checking out, but it’s not anything like the film. Its colorful medinas are full of merchants selling their goods and the streets boast high-end shopping outlets and malls. It’s home to Hassan II Mosque and possibly the world’s worst traffic. Kissing in public in this country isn’t really a thing, and many hotels won’t let men and women share a room unless they’re married.
6. Bali, Indonesia’s Kuta Beach: Yes, Bali is one of the first destinations people think of when they think romantic getaway. Sanur, for example, is a small beach town and a popular spot for honeymooners. But Kuta Beach, which is one of the first beaches you’ll hit driving in from the short cab ride from the airport, is so not that. The nightlife is alive with electric clubs and rowdy bars where many sex workers hang out. You’ll find solo backpackers passing through as there are tons of cheap hotels, too.
7. Beijing, China: China is so worth visiting and, if you go, you really can’t skip the capital, Beijing. You’ll be surrounded by a blend of modern architecture and ancient sites like the grand Forbidden City complex—the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. But you won’t find lovebirds here, where the city is so polluted you can’t even see the sunset. In fact, it’s so bad that the city has installed LED screens to broadcast the sunset.
8. Brussels, Belgium: Brussels—it’s famous for chocolate, waffles, french fries, and beer, galore. But many visitors are EU politicians there for work, as it’s the political capital of Europe and a central business hub. The city lends itself to a ton of architectural history and is still home to about 40,000 EU employees, 4,000 NATO employees and hosts about 300 lobby groups, embassies, and press corporations. But the only romantic place you should avoid is one wine bar named Goupil le Fol, which is adorned with mood lighting and cozy couches—where you’ll find all of the city’s couples.
9. Singapore, Singapore: Singapore is basically one giant financial district with seemingly very little indigenous culture. It’s definitely a place you have to see while in Asia, as it’s the epicenter of much of the world’s start-ups (and Singapore Changi Airport is truly a destination in itself—we’re talking outdoor nature trail, swimming pool, movie theater, beauty and reflexology centers, sleeping areas and massage chairs everywhere), but it’s not at all romantic. Downtown is packed with partiers and the rest of it is made up of high-rises. Just steer clear of the 250-acre Gardens by the Bay, where you actually might find Mr. & Mrs. on a stroll.
10. Cardiff, Wales: Cardiff is a cool city. It’s very chill. In fact, it’s so chill that it’s your basic hometown-y city. No couple looking for a romantic getaway weekend is going to go to Cardiff of all places. It’s a nice place to check out if you’re touring the UK since it’s an easy train ride from London or Edinburgh, but it’s not a place many tourists are eager to check out. It’s just a bunch of regular people doing regular things.