Planning the perfect stag do for your best mate? We take a look at 10 of the best stag do destinations in Europe for that all-important weekend away.
If one of your best mates is getting married, you’ll know just how important it is to organize the perfect stag do. Not only do you need to arrange a weekend that the groom will never forget, but you also have to keep all of his closest mates happy, too. That’s why picking the perfect stag do destination is so important.
But where do you even start when it comes to picking a destination? Do your mates want beach bars and boat parties? Or would they prefer to tour a brewery and mingle with the locals? Whatever you’re after, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best stag destinations in Europe to help you out.
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If you’re planning a stag do, then Prague is probably high on your list of potential destinations. And it’s easy to see why the city is popular with stag parties. The Czech capital mixes unique gothic charm with a whole host of things to see and do for every taste. You can spend your days wandering around the Old Town or Prague’s hilltop castle before getting the party started again. And there’s plenty of partying to be had. Just think boat parties on the Danube, strip clubs until dawn, and some of Europe’s best nightclubs – all washed down by that cheap Czech beer.
- Things to do: The local beer is a big draw here, so do at least one bar crawl – preferably with a local guide to hit the quirkier places. Fancy a break from beer? Prague has plenty of cultural offerings to explore, too.
- Food & drink: Prague has a fairly standard offering of food from around the world, so take your pick from pizzas, burgers, schnitzel, or pasta. Order a few cheap pints to wash it down and get your night started right.
- Bars & clubs: Prague has it all. From five-story superclubs to beer gardens and, of course, unforgettable strip clubs, this is one area where Prague can’t be topped.
- Locals: The Czechs are welcoming to foreign tourists, but British men can have a bit of a bad reputation. Stag parties will get a warmer welcome in places that can cater to larger groups.
- English proficiency: Most locals you’ll come across will speak good English, especially the girls in the bars and clubs.
- Cost: The cheap beer makes Prague much more affordable than other cities, but accommodation in the heart of the action can still be expensive.
The German port city of Hamburg is one of Europe’s hottest stag do destinations. It combines cheap local beer, hearty German food, and some top-tier Bundesliga football. Music fans will also love checking out the Beatles’ favorite hangouts in the city. In short, it’s the perfect place to give your best mate the send-off he deserves. When the sun goes down, head to the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s answer to Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district. The bars and clubs around here get messy, so you might want to book a tour to help you navigate the carnage.
- Things to do: Hop on a beer bike, go paintballing in the nearby countryside, watch Hamburger SV play at the local Volksparkstadion, there are loads to choose from. And did we mention beer?
- Food & drink: Who doesn’t love German food? Schnitzel, bratwurst, and mountains of potato salad will taste pretty good after a day’s drinking. The craft brewery scene in Hamburg shouldn’t be missed.
- Bars & clubs: Head to the Reeperbahn, in the St Pauli area, and take your pick of bars, clubs, strip clubs, and more.
- Locals: The locals in Hamburg are fairly relaxed about foreign tourists. This includes police officers and bouncers in the Reeperbahn, which makes it relatively safe to explore.
- English proficiency: Most locals in the tourist areas will speak English, but if you’re planning to explore outside these areas, you might want to brush up on your Deutsch.
- Cost: Hamburg isn’t the cheapest place on this list. It’s Germany, after all. But beer is relatively cheap for the quality and there are lots of things to see and do so no-one will be left missing out.
The grandiose Hungarian capital of Budapest is perfectly primed for a stag weekend with a bang. The city has everything you need to give your mate an unforgettable few days, from beer bikes and bubble football to shooting an AK-47. You won’t want to miss taking a dip in the city’s Szechenyi thermal baths, either. Budapest’s nightlife has everything you’d expect from a buzzing central European capital and more, with plenty of clubs, bars, and strip clubs. Just be careful when converting the local currency (forint) in your head – it can get confusing!
- Things to do: Take your pick. Guns, girls, great beer, it’s all here in Budapest. There’s also plenty of cultural stuff to check out, like washing away your hangover at the Szechenyi thermal baths.
- Food & drink: Beer and food are fairly cheap in Budapest, especially if you stick to the local offerings. Watch those local spirits though – they can blow your socks off!
- Bars & clubs: Where to start? The Hungarian capital has some of the best nightlife in central Europe, with banging clubs, strip joints, and VIP bars.
- Locals: Generally friendly as long as you keep out of trouble, but watch for possible scams. These include girls asking you to join them for a drink before leaving you to foot the hefty bill. But keep your wits about you and you should be fine.
- English proficiency: Locals in the tourist trade will speak English so you should find few problems there. If you venture out of the city, you might want to take your Hungarian phrasebook.
- Cost: Budapest is cheaper than Prague but prices can vary – particularly if you let yourself get confused by the local currency.
Looking for a quieter alternative to Prague and Budapest? Why not check out Kraków? The Polish city is well on its way to becoming a popular stag destination but it’s not quite there yet, meaning it’s cheaper than other cities on this list. There’s plenty of stag-friendly activities to whet your appetite, including brewery visits, white-water rafting, and more. You can even set the stag up to be attacked by dogs in a park outside the city. Yes, really. And when the sun sets, this quiet city really heats up.
- Things to do: Apart from the dog attacks, you can visit a communism-themed historical tour, join craft beer tours, go white-water rafting, karting, and much more. It really has something for everyone.
- Food & drink: The local Polish beers are your cheapest drinking option, but why would you drink anything else in Kraków? Get ready to line your stomachs with that Polish favorite, pierogi.
- Bars & clubs: Kraków is a student city, which means plenty of bars and cheap booze. The action takes place around Kraków’s spectacular main square, making it an easy city to navigate at night.
- Locals: Generally friendly, although some bouncers don’t take kindly to British stag groups getting lairy. It’s a fairly safe city as everything is relatively compact.
- English proficiency: Most of the students and the younger generation in the city will speak good English, although you might struggle if you venture outside Kraków.
- Cost: Compared to other places on this list, Kraków is fairly cheap in terms of accommodation, food, and drink, meaning you get a lot more for your money.
There aren’t many places that excite the imagination quite like Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is Europe’s original sin city, with it’s world-famous Red Light District, eclectic bar scene, and, of course, coffee shops. But Amsterdam offers a lot more than that, and if you’re staying for a few days, you might want to explore a bit further afield. You can find paddle-boarding, wind-surfing, brewery tours, and more if you venture outside of the Red Light District.
- Things to do: If you make it out of the Red Light District, the city has something for everyone. From stand-up paddleboarding around the canals to bungee jumping next to the river, take your pick.
- Food & drink: Dutch beer isn’t as cheap as in other countries, but it’s still more affordable than spirits. Food can be expensive but there’s plenty of cheaper options if you look around.
- Bars & clubs: You’ll be surprised just how many stag-ready venues are packed into the Red Light District but expect to pay a lot more for your night out than in the other cities on this list.
- Locals: Amsterdammers are used to tourists. Keep your wits about you if you’re walking alone at night as the canals can be dangerous for drunken revelers.
- English proficiency: The Dutch speak excellent English, so you’ll be fine wherever you are in the city.
- Cost: Amsterdam isn’t a cheap stag do destination, but it definitely packs a punch when it comes to exciting things to do in Amsterdam.
Nestled on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the historic port city of Tallinn has long since been a stag weekend favorite. The compact medieval core makes it an easy place to navigate and you’ll be pleased with just how many bars and clubs you come across. Activity-wise, the Estonian capital’s popular stag offerings include banger racing, husky rides, and moto paintball. You’ll also want to check out the local brews and, if you’re looking for an extra kick, some of the many spirits in offer.
- Things to do: All the standard stag offerings plus a few special Estonian treats to get the blood pumping, like shooting at old Soviet bases. You won’t want to miss out on the buzzing nightlife, either.
- Food & drink: The Old Town is jam-packed with all manner of pubs and restaurants, so you’ll have plenty to choose from without schlepping around the city.
- Bars & clubs: Pubs, bars, strip clubs, casinos… Tallinn has a little bit of everything. Some clubs also stay open until dawn, giving you ample time to let your hair down.
- Locals: Tallinn is very tourist-friendly so you shouldn’t have any problems with the locals providing you keep your wits about you.
- English proficiency: Many Estonian’s speak surprisingly good English and you shouldn’t have any issues getting your point across during the weekend.
- Cost: Tallinn is not as cheap as you might expect, but it’s still affordable if you compare it to Western Europe and definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Although it doesn’t have the reputation of nearby Prague, the Slovakian capital is one of Europe’s best stag destinations. Compared to other cities on this list, Bratislava is a relatively relaxed city, with most bars and clubs in the modest Old Town. However, those bars are well-stocked with cheap Czech and Slovak beer so you won’t be disappointed. Aside from the bars, you can shoot AK-47s, explore the city by beer bike, or even ride in military tanks in the local countryside.
- Things to do: Bratislava isn’t quite as action-packed as Amsterdam or Prague, but you’ll still find plenty to do whether you like the great outdoors or simply touring some bars.
- Food & drink: The Slovak capital is cheap when it comes to eating and drinking, especially if you stick to those local beers. And why would you want anything else?
- Bars & clubs: Bratislava doesn’t get as wild as Berlin or Barcelona, but all the bars and clubs are in the same area, meaning you get to sample everything on offer.
- Locals: The locals are well-versed in British stag weekends – but don’t expect them to want to join in the fun.
- English proficiency: English isn’t widely spoken in the community, but you’ll find plenty of bartenders who speak your language.
- Cost: You’ll get more bang for your buck in Bratislava than other European destinations.
Stretched out along the shores of the Mediterranean, the glamorous Catalan capital offers an unforgettable stag destination. If you’re looking for a bit of sand, sea, and sun with your lads weekend, you’ll find it in Barcelona. But the fun doesn’t stop once you leave the beach. Theme parks, water parks, boat rides, karting – you name it, Barcelona has it. You won’t want to miss a trip to Camp Nou, either. And whatever you do, you can always follow it up with a tapas tour where you get to sample great Spanish food and beer.
- Things to do: There’s nowhere quite like Barcelona. Whether your stag likes football, full-throttle rollercoasters, or filling up on tapas, there are loads of activities to choose from.
- Food & drink: What better way to start the party after a day hanging out on the beach than sinking some Spanish beers and tapas?
- Bars & clubs: Barcelona is a great place to head if you like clubbing, although you’ll need to look the part. There are also plenty of lively bars and pubs if you’re after something a little more relaxed.
- Locals: The locals are friendly. However, Barcelona is a tourist city which comes with its own problems, like pickpocketing in busy areas.
- English proficiency: English is fairly well-spoken in the touristy areas but less so out of these neighborhoods.
- Cost: Barcelona doesn’t come cheap, but it’ll more than make up for it with the amount of choice you and the lads have.
Our second Baltic city on the list of best stag destinations is the Latvian capital of Riga. A little further off the tourist track than nearby Tallinn, Riga offers a cheaper, more rough-and-ready option for a weekend away with the lads. The city is pretty compact, making it easy to move around should you want to explore. Outside the city, one of the highlights is the local Olympic bobsled track. You can throw yourself down it in winter or summer, but be warned – it’s not for the fainthearted.
- Things to do: Riga is smaller than many stag destinations so it doesn’t have the same range of activities as other cities. But you won’t be disappointed, whether you’re doing bobsled or shooting.
- Food & drink: The compact Old Town makes finding restaurants easy. Be sure you try the local beers – they are surprisingly varied and cheaper than the Czech or German imports.
- Bars & clubs: The city has a decent bar and club scene, but avoid any dodgy-looking places down back alleys. These are sometimes operated by the mafia – so be wary!
- Locals: Latvians are friendly and respectful as long as you are. Bear that in mind when dealing with the locals, as Brits don’t also have the best reputation in these parts.
- English proficiency: Those working in the tourist industry will have a decent handle of English, but don’t expect that to hold outside of these areas.
- Cost: Riga is still fairly cheap, which means you’ll have plenty of spending money on all those local bars.
No list of the best stag destinations in Europe would be complete without mentioning Berlin. The German capital has it all. Do your mates like drinking German beer from glasses bigger than their heads in busy beerhalls? Done. Do you want to explore fascinating relics from the Cold War era? You got it. How about clubbing until dawn in those infamous Berlin clubs? Take your pick. There really is nowhere quite like Berlin when it comes to choosing a stag destination.
- Things to do: How long have you got? There really is something for everyone in Berlin, so do your research ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Food & drink: German beer is plentiful. What more could you want? Oh, and the German food isn’t too bad, either. Doner kebabs, currywurst… do we need to go on?
- Bars & clubs: There’s nothing quite like a Berlin club, although most won’t let in groups of men so you might want to stagger entry. Alternatively, find a club that will let you and your mates party until dawn. Or hit the coolest bars in Berlin.
- Locals: Berlin is a world city, so you’ll probably want to keep the drunkenness to the bars and clubs if you want to avoid rubbing the locals up the wrong way.
- English proficiency: Generally speaking, Berliners speak decent English, particularly the younger generations.
- Cost: Berlin isn’t as cheap as it once was, but you’ll still be able to get great value for money and there’s a whole heap of great things to do.