Valentine’s Day may just be the most divisive holiday out there. While many of those with an amoureux may love the opportunity to profess their love in person (and usually on Instagram too), it can be a tough day for those who recently went through a breakup, are spending yet another Valentine’s Day alone, or just plain don’t care about a seemingly arbitrary capitalist holiday. 

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a cynic, here are six things you can do to make Valentine’s Day suck less.

Left: A black board which says "Be My Valentine" and a pink rose; Right: A dessert table at Angelina Paris with hot chocolate and a chocolate cake.
Top: Mr. Wong
Above: Priscilla Du Preez / Jordan Plihal

1. Be your own Valentine

I know, I know. It sounds cheesy. But if you’re the kind of person who has a lot of love to give with no one to give it to, give it to yourself! Buy yourself the flowers and chocolate (though maybe wait for the after-Valentine’s-Day sales on the 15th instead), treat yourself to shopping in the Marais, binge watch a new show, or have your own spa day at home. If you find yourself longing for Valentine’s Day gifts or gestures from someone else, take control of the situation and do it yourself! 

Left: Pink, orange, and white roses; Right: 3 girlfriends lie in bed with their legs up in the air.
Dids / Katarzyna-Grabowska

2. Show love to your friends

Who said you can only celebrate Valentine’s Day if you have a significant other? More often than not, it’s the support from my friends that gets me through tough days. On a holiday that focuses so much on romantic love, why not share the platonic love for your friends? 

Thanks to Parks & Recreation, Galentine’s Day has become an unofficial holiday the day before Valentine’s Day to celebrate your girlfriends. Host a French apératif at home filled with wine, cheese, and lots of chocolate to celebrate the love for the amazing people in your life.

3. Have a romantic movie marathon

Can’t make it to Paris this year? As the reigning City of Love, there are a plethora of romantic films set here in Paris. “Amélie”(2001), “Midnight in Paris”(2011), “LOL”(2008), “Paris, je t’aime” (2006), and many many more will have you in your feels and longing for your next trip to Paris. Get a trial for a our favorite French streaming platform, France Channel, and get a one week trial for free or sign up for an annual subscription, using the code HIP15Y to receive 15% off.

Left: The red interiors of Café des Deux Moulins in Paris; Right: The side of a red mug and saucer, filled with a coffee beverage.
Left: Café des Deux Moulins, Diogo Fagundes / Right: Jenn Kosar

4. Go see a psychic 

Wondering when it’s your turn to fall madly in love or what the next few years will hold for you? Write down a few questions and consult with a psychic! At the very least, you’ll leave with a memorable Valentine’s Day story. 

Don’t believe in psychics? Try out astrology apps like Co-Star and The Pattern. They use your full birth chart rather than just your sun sign, which gives a more accurate representation of your love life. Get a few friends to download the apps as well and you can compare your personality traits and compatibility. 

5. Make your own Valentine’s Day cards

Channel your elementary school days and write cards to your loved ones. In the digital era, the art of a handwritten letter will surely be appreciated. Let your loved ones know how much you care about them, today and every day by sending your own Valentine’s Day cards.

The Eiffel Tower's seen during sunset and with Parisian zinc roofs.
Jordan Plihal

6. See the sights in Paris

You can’t visit Paris without witnessing the spirit of love alive throughout the city. Take a walk through some of Paris’ most romantic landmarks like Jardin des Tuileries, Montmartre’s Mur des je t’aime, Pont des Arts, and finish off the day by watching the sunset by the Seine. There really is nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset over the Eiffel Tower! 

Whether you’re spending the day alone, with your significant other, or with friends and family, make sure to send love to someone in your life. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear your ideas below!

Valentine’s Day in France

How is Valentine’s Day celebrated in France?

La Saint Valentin is celebrated pretty much in the same way as in other places. You may find some elaborate displays in chocolate shops, pâtisseries and florists. Jewelry is also popular along with special meals.  

What is the difference between Valentine’s Day in France and the USA?

Valentine’s Day is generally for adults in Paris. Cards are not exchanged in France. In other Anglophone countries like the US and UK, children will exchange sweets and cards but not so in France. In France the celebration is between spouses or significant others.

How do French people say Happy Valentine’s Day?

Joyeuse Saint-Valentine

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Written by Jessica Johnston for HIP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.


Jessica Johnston

Jessica is from Toronto, Canada, where she studied communication and public relations at Ryerson University, and worked in internal communications. She moved in Paris in the summer of 2020 after quitting her corporate job in the pursuit of the Parisian lifestyle. She loves trying new things, discovering new cultures, and connecting with people. In her free time, you can find her trying new restaurants, browsing the skincare section in pharmacies, and spending time in parks across Paris.


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