Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
One of the most important parts of any wedding is the party beforehand. It can be difficult to think of a place to have your stag or hen as there are hundreds of locations you could go. You need to think of a destination that will suit everybody’s tastes and budgets and make sure they are easy to get to as well.
We’ve saved you the hard work and collected the best six cities in Europe for stag/hen parties!
The beautiful city of Budapest is really popular with stag and hen dos due to their lively nightlife and (of course) cheap beer. There is so much to do here, from opulent spas and beautiful castles to adventure activities such as quad biking and shooting ranges; you’ll never struggle for things to do. Want the ultimate in relaxation? Head to one of the many popular bathhouses and enjoy a bit of traditional Hungarian culture. The most popular one is Szechenyi, and with 15 different pools it is the largest bathhouse in Europe. Budapest also offers a great choice of ruin bars situated in the city. You can bar hop easily around the popular ones such as Szimpla Kert and Fogas Haz which is great for party-goers and within walking distance of each other. On the weekends, the pubs have live DJs so chuck on your dancing shoes and unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.
Prague is a world-famous destination not only for its beautiful architecture but also its delicious beer, such as Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budějovický Budvar. Many pubs around the city will have their own brew, too—and the best thing is it’s not overpriced. No wonder people flock here for their stag and hens dos. If you want to try a range of different beers then make sure you head to the Prague Beer Museum. The name may fool you but don’t fear—it’s actually a pub and not a museum. Here you can try 20 different regional brews on their rotating beer menu. If beer is not your thing then don’t worry because Prague is a happening city with lots to do other than drinking. Make sure you hit up some activities such as white water rafting and you can even try bobsleighing which is a popular sport here for the Winter Olympics.
Oh, the city of bustling nightlife, good craic and an endless selection of pubs. Dublin may be a small capital but it makes up for it in its loud and large attitude. Of course, Dublin is home to the world-famous Guinness. You cannot simply go to Dublin without trying a pint of the black stuff. If you really want to learn a wee bit more you can head to the Guinness Storehouse where you can also try some tasty samples during the tour. It is most recommended to do a pub tour while you are here. Many of Dublin’s pubs have long, interesting and sometimes quirky histories. For example, you can eat delicious Spanish tapas in The Market Bar—and make sure to note the floor grates where the animal waste of this former abattoir was disposed of. The Brazen Head is known to be the oldest pub in Ireland (it was established in 1198!) and has had some pretty famous drinkers such as James Joyce and Michael Collins. And then there’s the Church, a spacious pub in—you guessed it—a former church; while you’re there, raise a pint to Arthur Guinness, who was wed there in 1761.
Dublin has an interesting history that will make you want to dig deeper. You must enjoy the incredible street art and delicious food, too. Shake your hangover with a traditional hearty Irish breakfast of black and white pudding, Irish Soda bread and mushrooms with the classics – grilled tomato, Irish bacon, sausage and sautéed potatoes.
Galway boasts a charming city centre full of colourfully decorated pubs, live music, and quaint cafés with great views of the street performers. This medieval town has a rich history filled with music and culture; no wonder it has been named the best destination in Ireland for a hen party! There’s an abundance of great restaurants and places where you can really relax in near Eyre Square. Have a spa day and then end your day (or start the night) by doing a cocktail making class at Total Cocktail Solutions.
Edinburgh packs a punch! It’s a fantastic destination to celebrate any type of party. It’s one of the liveliest cities in Scotland with lots happening so you’ll never get bored in the time you are here. If you want to try the local gin then I suggest you do a tour at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery so you can try the local favourite. Many of the pubs in Old Town offer great whiskey samplers as well—just start up a conversation with the bar staff and soon you’ll realise each has their own opinions on the best smoky, sweet and mild Scotch whiskies. Start with some sightseeing of the city by going to Scott Monument, a piece of beautiful Gothic architecture where you can get a breathtaking view over the city. After that, it’s time to get your kilt on and head to the Hanging Bat which is home to six casks, 14 kegs and over 120 bottles and cans that you can try! Try a Scottish favourite BrewDog.
Riga is a fun-filled city with plenty of activities for you to try, including snowmobiling, bobsleighing and jet packing—and you can even get the chance to fire an AK47 at one of the shooting ranges. After you’ve tired yourself out from all the cool experiences that this city has to offer then you must try a Riga speciality drink called Black Balsam. Similar to the taste of Marmite it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind drink. You will either love it or hate it. Don’t forget to book a table at Rozengrāls, a cavernous medieval-themed restaurant. Then head to the Old Town where you can find one of the most popular clubs in town called Kaļķu Vārti. Be prepared for a crazy night out!
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