What's the most popular city in Europe for marriage proposals? (It's not Paris)


By AGENCY

Based on the number of Instagram hashtags, Lisbon in Portugal is the top city in Europe when it comes to marriage proposals. — AP

Whether it’s a kiss at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, flirting along the banks of the River Seine, or a fleeting embrace in a scenic cobbled street, many overseas visitors have an image of Paris, France as a romantic destination.

But however romantic it may be, Paris isn’t Europe’s leading hotspot when it comes to marriage proposals. And it’s not Venice – which easily rivals Paris for the title of “City Of Love” – that outshines the French capital. According to an analysis by Paris Tickets & Tours, a tour operator specialising in the sale of tickets for tourist attractions in Paris, the greatest number of engagement rings are actually offered in Lisbon.

To find this out, the researchers looked at Instagram hashtags referring to marriage proposals. The analysis took into account some 10 hashtags that young lovebirds might associate with an engagement announcement on the social network. These include #Capitalproposal, #Capitalengagement, #Capitallove, #Capitallovers, #Engagedincapital, #Capitalengagementphotographer, #Capitalmarryme or #Capitallovestory (“capital” here refers to the different cities in Europe).

For the Portuguese capital, there were some 1.04 million hashtags linked to marriage proposals.

As far as this particular ranking goes, Lisbon leads the way, followed by London in second place and Paris in third.

Europe’s hotspots for marriage proposals

1. Lisbon (Portugal): 1,049,944 hashtags

2. London (Britain): 1,026,528

3. Paris (France): 1,011,970

4. Berlin (Germany): 549,300

5. Andorra la Vella (Andorra): 358,459

6. Vienna (Austria): 318,054

7. Madrid (Spain): 248,026

8. Amsterdam (Netherlands): 189,113

9. Oslo (Norway): 146,535

10. Warsaw (Poland): 105,516


New Venice fee

Meanwhile, the mayor of Venice in Italy recently promised a light touch “without queues” when the city rolls out a new ticket policy in a few weeks, seeking to cut down on the hordes of visitors who descend on its canalled streets every summer.

The new strategy to lower the number of tourists visiting the Unesco World Heritage site calls for day-trippers to pay a €5 (RM25.80) ticket to enter the historic city centre and is due to start on April 25.

Although the new policy was announced in September, the city had not provided details on how it would be implemented, causing speculation that the city could install turnstiles or other drastic measures.

But at a press conference in Rome last week, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro promised “very soft controls” and “without queues”, saying that the city would carry out spot checks on tourists to make sure they are armed with a QR code.

“This is an experiment, and the first time it’s been done anywhere in the world,” he said.

“Our aim is to make Venice more liveable.”

Venice collected €37mil (RM190.8mil) in overnight tourist taxes in 2023, and will start collecting taxes from daytrippers in a few weeks. — BloombergVenice collected €37mil (RM190.8mil) in overnight tourist taxes in 2023, and will start collecting taxes from daytrippers in a few weeks. — Bloomberg

At peak times, some 100,000 tourists spend the night in the city, with tens of thousands other people visiting just for the day.

This compares with a population of some 50,000 in the city centre, which is steadily shrinking.

This year, only 29 peak tourist days will be affected by the new tax, which begins April 25 and continues nearly every weekend from May to July.

The “Venice Access Fee” targets only daily tourists entering the old town between 08.30am and 4pm local time. Exempted are those tourists staying in hotels, minors under 14, and the disabled, among other categories.

For €5, a QR code can be downloaded from a website (https://cda.ve.it/en/), available in English, Spanish, French, German and, of course, Italian. Other languages will be added later.

Residents and their families do not have to pay the fee, while tourists staying in hotels will be provided a free QR code.

Controllers will be stationed in and around the city’s main entrances, notably the Santa Lucia train station, performing spot checks on visitors.

Tourists without their ticket will be invited to purchase one at the last moment on arrival, with the help of local operators.

But they could also risk fines ranging from €50 (RM258) to €300 (RM1,548).

For the time being, there is no ceiling on the number of QR codes distributed each day: “We need to find the true number of visitors,” Brugnaro said.

The main aim of the project is to discourage day-trippers, who contribute to the overcrowding of the city, world-famous for its works of art, bridges and canals, and a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1987. – AFP Relaxnews

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