A beer for under £2, a balmy evening and crumbling, atmospheric surroundings. Is this the perfect place ever for a bar? Welcome to the “Ruin Bars” of Budapest. Formerly a semi-legal set up, nowadays the Drinking District is one of the top must-dos on your next city break to Budapest.
Legend has it these bars first came into existence in the early 2000s, when a group of young guys were on the hunt for cheap places to drink and these homemade bars were first brought into existence. This is more or less how it works: derelict buildings are transformed with mismatched chairs. Gardens provide sunny terraces in the summer, with odd bits and pieces doubling up as furniture – one bar has a car instead of a table. Donated art gatecrashes the walls and a healthy dose of cigarette smoke and ten foot tall graffiti stains the walls; this is the real deal.
There’s a real community spirit around the Ruin Bars and the patrons range from retirees stopping by for a coffee, to university students on the hunt for a great bar. Here’s our pick of the best ruin bars Budapest. If you’ve got any more suggestions, we’d love to hear them in comments!
Escape to a land of sunshine and white sand beaches where jugs of sangria are always at the ready. Take a hen holiday to gorgeous Barcelona, Spain where you and your girls can live up your days in Mediterranean luxury and party your nights away in some of Europe’s most lively clubs. Spend the remainder of your freedom lapping up the sun rays in that new bikini, dancing until the wee hours, and spending precious time with your besties before you walk down the aisle. A hen party in Barcelona will be a trip that none of you will ever forget, a memorable holiday that will only be trumped by the big day itself.
Use your downtime on hen parties in Barelona to explore the art scene.
Barcelona is a city that truly has it all. While Spain’s coastal oasis may be best known for its crystal blue waters and fruity alcoholic beverages, the art and culture scene of Barcelona is unparallelled. Thanks to one out-of-the-box Catalonian architect by the name of Antoni Gaudí, you and your hens can take in some of the most famous architecture in the world.
The Segrada Familia will wow you with its quirky larger than life style, and though it remains unfinished, it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. After you have climbed to the top of the cathedral’s steps you can all hire bikes, burning off all those delicious tapas you consumed, to Gaudí’s Park Güell. Park Güell offers unrivalled views over the city and is the perfect place to sit down with a picnic, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Finish your day of culture with a visit to the Picasso Museum, which houses over 3,500 works by the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. After all that sightseeing, you will no doubt be ready to unwind with drinks at one of Barcelona’s beach side bars- luckily for you the choices are infinite.
Spend an afternoon with a champagne picnic in Gaudi’s famous Park Güell.
Take up a new activity and return to the UK with Spanish skills.
A hen party is about more than celebrating the end of an era, it is about spending one last moment cherishing great friendships that have brought you to the next chapter of your life. Sign up for one of Barcelona’s many group activities, and spend some quality time together learning something new.
Take a ‘Hot Like Me Dance Class’ which will teach you and the hens how to shake it Spanish style, and be welcomed by a glass of bubbly cava and a professional instructor who will prepare you for Barcelona’s hottest dance clubs. If you’d prefer to save your energy for the after-party, why not sign up for a Spanish wine tasting where you will learn about (and taste!) some of Spain’s most popular wines.
Celebrate your impending nuptials with a night on the town- Barcelona style.
Sometimes hailed as the best party city in Europe, Barcelona will not disappoint you with its selection of unique bars and energetic nightclubs. The Spanish are notorious for starting things late in the day, so you can expect to party with the girls until the sun comes up. There are cocktail pub crawls, beach bar crawls, and even Barcelona night guides to hire to ensure you have a great time. If you are feeling lucky you can start at one of the city’s posh casinos and try your luck at winning a big pile of cash to put towards the wedding day – or maybe just a new dress.
Barcelona’s beaches are always a great choice for some hen holiday fun!
Barcelona is the ultimate haven for a girl’s escape. Say goodbye to the cold and windy UK weather, and hello to sunshine and warm waters in Spain. Big congratulations on your upcoming wedding day, now get out there and celebrate your last days of singledom with a hen’s holiday in one of the most fun cities on the planet.
Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer who hopes to one day save enough money to be approved for an auto loan. She is also author of the travel blog The Fly Away American, and constantly reminisces on her days of living in Barcelona.
This one’s for all the guys and girls who want something a little bit more off-the-beaten track than your average beach. Hen parties and stag parties these days tend to be over the top but some grooms and brides just want to have a relaxing getaway to keep calm and carry on ahead of their big day. If you think sunbathing in California or Hawaii is too obvious or if you, can’t stand tourists, why not take the road less travelled? There are plenty of secret and unexpected beaches around the world, hidden gems reserved strictly for locals or connoisseurs.
Blijburg aan Zee, the beach in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is the proud owner of 165 canals, but, did you know it also has an achingly hip beach set on an artificial island in the middle of the city lake? Blijburg aan Zee is the place to be during the summer, with DJs playing day and night, regular art events and lots of beach activities like campfires and sandcastle building competitions making it the real deal. Perfect for a lively hen or stag do that’s pretty close to home.
This funky destination is located in Queens, New York and it’s the only official surfing destination in the Big Apple. It’s a great find if you’re looking for that bohemian beach destination in New York, making it a great addition to the city’s assets. It’s the newest hipster destination, but don’t let that put you off, it has great food and plenty of atmosphere. This is for the cosmopolitan hens who want the best of city break with a bit of beach thrown in.
Spain is a pretty obvious choice for travellers. But, there’s a reason tourists queue to visit Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearic Islands. If you’re in love with the Spanish way of life, but feel tired just thinking of tourists crowding your every move, try Cadaqués. This Catalonian town was an artist resort and inspired brilliant minds, especially surrealist painter Salvador Dali. You can even visit his house or learn more about him at a really good museum dedicated to his genius in Port Lligat, a neighbouring town. Perfect for a stag or hen with an artistic streak.
Tourists in Southern Asia have been known to ignore this beautiful island and choose more popular destinations like Phuket or Koh Samui. Phu Quoc is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and it boasts pristine beaches, fascinating reefs and hard–to-forget authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Get it while it’s still fresh and untouched by popular tour guide books. This is a long-haul stag or hen destination that you’ll never forget.
Capo Sant’Andrea, the island within an island in Elba
The Mediterranean island is where Napoleon famously was famously exiled. Fishing villages, ancient castles and green hills are just a few sightseeing gems for you and your friends in Capo Sant’Andrea. If you’re looking for serious beaches and serious partying, then this little island has exactly what you need.
No matter if you’re looking for a city escape or a secret beach on a dream island for your hen or stag party, there are more choices than you’d think. New York, Amsterdam Copenhagen, and Barcelona are just a few cities where local beaches are a perfect destination for an all-boys/all-girls vacation, while splendid islands and fishing towns in Vietnam, Spain, Estonia or Tasmania will give you the perfect holiday without transporting you to Touristville.
Amber Kingsley is a travel writer and has contributed to several travel sites and blogs. She loves spending time at the beach with her puppy Charlie and is always looking for the hidden gems of a city on her travels. She would loves finding out about more secret spots through her readers!
Buckle up! The experts at Purple Travel have put together this list of the best budget stag and hen do ideas. Call our dedicated stag and hen do team on 0207 993 9228 for more.
For the stag
1. Prague Home to a weird, wacky stag party with the best in cheap beers, beer bikes and beer baths. The Czech capital is one of the hottest stag destinations, it’s not only a beautiful city, but is a good laugh and great value too.
2. Benidorm The classic Stag do, Benidorm holds its own with lap dance clubs, some of the best superclubs you’ll visit in your life, and days of karting or boozing on the beach all at decent prices.
3. Amsterdam It’s hard to pick a more classic stag do choice than the Dutch city of Amsterdam for a stag party to remember (or forget.) The Red Light District is filled with beautiful women, the bars are great and there’s plenty of culture if that’s your bag too.
4. Barcelona A bit of footie at the Nou Camp, a few cervezas on the Ramblas por favor and the hottest Spanish senoritas, Barcelona ticks all the boxes for a great cheap stag party.
5. Budapest Cheap beer, all night parties, strippers or tank driving, Buda and Pest, the city of two halves has everything you could possibly want on a good value stag do.
Get the best cheap stag do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
For the hen
1. Magaluf Oh come on! Magaluf or Shagaluf is the ultimate last hurrah to single life. 24 hour partying, knocking back cocktails, great cheap hotels, buckets of sunshine and lots of like minded people. A cheap hen party in Magaluf is our top choice for summer 2013.
2. Albufeira, a sunshine favourite, Albufeira, is a quick transfer from Faro airport and has a strip over a mile long of the most wicked clubs and bars with cheap drinks, dancing music and hot guys. In the daytime you could head for the famous beachfront to recover and get ready for more.
3. Ibiza C’mon, is there a more ultimate party destination than Ibiza? All night dancing in some of the best clubs in the world, we’re talking Pacha, Space or Amnesia. For the indie hen there’s a nice alternative in Ibiza Rocks. The beaches are the ultimate balm for the morning after the night before and there are great value hotels or apartments all over.
4. Amsterdam Away from the Red Light bits that keep all stag parties interested, Amsterdam is actually a great city. It’s only a short flight away, you can grab a bike to discover the city by day, head for a cafe in the early evening and kick off your night out with a pole dancing lesson, or cocktail making class.
5. Barcelona who wants a rainy spa weekend in the Lake district, when you could go all out in the bars, clubs and beaches of Catalonia’s favourite city. Stock up on tapas, soak up sangria by the jug and get up close and personal with all those sexy Spanish men.
Get the best cheap hen do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
No money? No problems! The dedicated stag and hen party team at Purple Travel is waiting to organise the most amazing send off for you and your mates. We’re talking cheap and cheerful not diamonds and champagne. So if you’re about to excuse yourself from single life, or you know someone who is, check out our cheap summer stag and hen dos.
The best cheap summer stag dos
Ibiza (Average summer temps 22-27)
Sun, sea and birds. Could there be a more perfect sunshine stag holiday destination than the beaches of Ibiza? Not only is the weather great, but a cheap stag holiday in San Antonio means you probably won’t be sober for more than a minute. Hop on a booze cruise; get VIP treatment in some of the top clubs on the island, beat the house with a high rollers party, or head for the strip clubs to get an eyeful of those hot Spanish girls.
Albufeira (Average summer temps 18-25)
Albufeira is a really affordable stag holiday option. There are plenty of flights and loads of accommodation options, so all you need to do is think about exactly how you want to spend the best stag ever. We suggest starting off with a day of speed boating or hop on a pirate cruise, this’ll be good fun for you and the lads before the big night out. Hit the legendary bar street, where you’re likely to get free shots before finishing the night in a top strip club. It’s hard to argue with that.
Amsterdam (Average summer temps 18-20)
2013 is a big year for Amsterdam with all sorts of extra stuff happening throughout the city. By that we mean museums, the zoo and loads of concerts. Of course, for a stag, it’s a good cover for all the horse play you’re planning in the background. Our stag parties in Amsterdam are dedicated to all things debauchery. From seeing the city by beer bicycle, to Red Light Tours, it’s absolutely the best of both worlds.
Speak with Jack from Purple Travel to find out the best stag do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
The best cheap summer hen dos
San Antonio (Average summer temps 22-27)
Ibiza’s party capital San Antonio is one of our top choices for you and your girls to get pampered before getting stuck into as many cocktails as you can. On top of that, blazing sunshine is ready to give you a golden glow ahead of your big day, and nothing soothes a hangover like a long lie down on the sand and a dip in the sea. Go for broke and treat yourself and your hens to a speedboat party, or you could always go for the old fashioned banana boat option. Then it’s off for the ultimate club crawl, just remember: what happens in San Antonio stays in San Antonio.
Magaluf (Average summer temps 21-25)
Come on, everyone knows its other name: Shagaluf! Enjoy your last few nights of freedom with the hottest party ever. There are so many nightlife options you could practically call it the pub and club capital of Spain. Get some lap dancing lessons or spend your days downing cocktails at the beach. By night the place is buzzing. Grab yourself a guided bar crawl and VIP entry to the best clubs in town.
Barcelona (Average summer temps 23-28)
Combine city break with city beach and you have all the elements for a brilliant cheap hen do just a few hours from the UK. By day you can soak up the sunshine on Barcelona beach, or if some of your girls want to explore there are amazing landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia or Tibidabo. Then by night you can all regroup go for dinner, have a vajazzle party (yes, it’s a thing) and head for a guided pub crawl of the best bars in town.
Speak with Vicky from PurpleTravel.co.uk to find out the best hen do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
Ok, you’re a best man, or a brother-in-law to be or simply a friend who wants to give your mate a brilliant last hurrah to single life. That’s right, you’ve been charged with stag party duties! Feel free to go as wild as the groom, party as much as you like, and lose your passport on the way back home, but if you miss out on our dos and donts, you do it at your peril!
Oh – and if we’re missing any, let us know in comments.
Do keep an eye on the stag. He’s the reason you’re all here after all, and bear in mind the bride might not be too happy to hear he’s been handcuffed to a street lamp in Benidorm.
Don’t get absolutely plastered on the first morning. You’ve got a couple of days, no need to be hungover for the whole thing.
Do get organised. It helps to book in advance to get the best deals on flights, hotels, transfer and activities. That’s where our dedicated stag party experts can help out. Jack will sort it out in no time, and we promise he’s good! Give him a call on 01252418614.
Don’t forget to eat. Depending on your activities, paintballing, boozing, checking out some strippers, you’ll need some soakage and sustenance. Get a couple of good meals in, or talk to your hotel to book a decent restaurant.
Do organise some brilliant activities. How about driving a tank, or eating dinner off a stripper?
Don’t go too far. Getting arrested is not something to aspire too. Be aware of the rules and regulations in your chosen destination and don’t end up spending the night in jail.
Do actually ask the stag what he wants. You don’t necessarily have to let anyone else know about your heart to heart, but it’s his weekend too.
Find out more about the best in stag parties abroad from Purple Travel or call us now on 0125 241 8614.
Best man duties are important and maybe the biggest responsibility is for a stag do that of course has the grooms’ best interest at heart and is not simply just booze and birds. Ah, who are we kidding, stag do ideas are all about male bonding via the medium of drinking and partying. Just remember: what happens on tour stays on tour. Get a load of our slightly dodgy stag do ideas.
Happy Ending Red Light Tour in Amsterdam It’s a fact – you literally CANNOT go to Amsterdam without visiting the Red Light District, and, if you’re on your stag or hen holiday, it’s probably a crime if you don’t. The ‘Happy Ending’ walking tour is led by a clued-up guide, who’ll do their best to show you the city’s wild side over a two-hour tour. Your group will be taken to the city’s hottest bars, clubs, pubs and X-rated establishments, exploring Holland’s world famous windows along the way. The tour also includes a visit to a peep show, entry into a lap dance club and a free beer at one of Amsterdam’s most popular bars.
Food, booze and boobs all under one roof – what more could you ask for from a stag holiday? One strictly for the boys, this decadent affair kicks off to a roaring start with a fantastic meal followed by a saliva-inducing private strip show. Sure to inspire ‘bromance’, this excellent male bonding session does exactly what it says on the tin – plus unlimited sangria for 2 hours. Everything is arranged and pre-paid for, so all you have to do is turn up and get involved.
From £39.00 Per Person.
Tank Driving in Bratislava
If you’re looking for the manliest of manly activities that will be talked about for years to come – tank driving in Bratislava is definitely top of the list. And if you’re wondering where that actually is – it’s Slovakia. Slovakia in a tank. See what we mean? Here road rules needn’t be remembered and insurance claims are a thing of the past – all you need to think about is rolling over everything that comes in your way. It is a tank, after all. The tank driving session includes a ride in a BVP-1DTP (3 x 10-min circuits), a delicious BBQ and a round of beers for the guys.
From £69.00 Per Person.
Treasure Hunt in Barcelona
A far cry from the traditional treasure hunt, this alternative activity in Barcelona is the perfect mix of cheeky and cultural. What a fantastic way for your stag party to take in the city’s impressive sights, have a laugh and bond with each other and score some awesome treasure – of the gorgeous variety, of course. The hunt involves solving clues that lead to different landmarks, such as Gaudi’s majestic Sagrada Familia and completing challenges and drinking games along the way.
From £25.00 Per Person.
Paintballing in Prague
Prague paintballing features speed games and military-style missions at a former army training base with buildings, trenches and a lush forest. Perfect for a great stag, you’re certain to raise adrenaline levels up and ignite that competitive spirit –this means war! Lock ‘n load with cutting-edge guns, 200 balls each and protective gear all included – as well as return transfers and an English speaking guide.
From £40.00 Per Person.
Kidnap the groom. If you want to really make his last days of freedom memorable, get your budding hero kidnapped by some spy specialists. A simulated raid experience has a group of masked men pull up in a van and steal away the main man. The inspiration for these comes from De Niro and Pacino so you know you’re in healthy company. Warning: this one is probably not for wusses.
Prices depend on location.
For even more stag do ideas visit Purple Travel or call us on 0207 993 9228.
Hen nights abroad are increasingly popular these days; there are so many great places to choose from, you can top up your tan before the big day and lets face it – you can get royally smashed without having to worry about bumping into an ex-boyfriend or your boss.
We spoke with one bride, Janine who spent her hen night in the most popular destination to do so – Amsterdam. From the crazy outfits to losing members on the group, she tells us why a hen night Amsterdam weekend will be an epic one for you.
Purple Travel: Why did you decide to spend your hen night in Amsterdam?
Janine: The second we got engaged, or at least within the minute I called Amsterdam for the hen party before Arky, my fiance, could call it for the stag do. He had been before, several times and loved it whereas I had never and, well, fair’s fair – it was my turn.
A girly weekend away with lots of booze and little or no sleep would be just what the doctor ordered to break up the long months of staying in, saving to pay for the big day.
It wasn’t so much the sampling of the smokey cafes and their exquisite muffins as much as the relaxed feel I always thought Amsterdam would have. The exact opposite of what the UK’s hen/stag hotspots have to offer (apart from the weather of course).
So, smug from “winning” Amsterdam, even though I kind of spoiled the romance of the proposal with my “Yes! I call the Dam” reply, I started to worry a little if all of the girls would be up for it, that it might be too expensive, or that some may feel it was more of a laddish venue.
Purple Travel: Did you find it was more difficult to round up your hens to travel abroad than to have a night out back home?
Janine: I actually found that the girls were VERY up for the weekend away, a couple raised an eyebrow at Amsterdam as first thoughts always turn to the Red Light District and the pot smoking reputation, but if it’s your do it’s your choice and eighteen of us travelled in all.
Purple Travel: Did your plans change when you arrived there? For example, was the Anne Frank museum at the top of your list before you arrived, but then you found you never left the cafes when you actually got there?
Janine: On the night of our arrival, Friday, we were made to feel so welcome by the locals, despite our noisy arrival. The Police at the railway station even staged my “arrest” and handcuffed me once they clocked the classy veil I was given to wear in the airport bar pre-flight. Indeed I was very well looked after in the bars that night also – if I stepped near to a bar the bartender would pour 2 shots, one for me and one for them.
The next morning the city looked so calm and classy I wondered if we would be frowned upon dressed as pixies, nymphs and fairies, but we once again felt welcome wherever we went. I just had to see the Red Light District and was surprised I didn’t feel shock, as the sights to be seen are certainly a world away from what we know. The area holds a vibrant atmosphere where you truly will meet all sorts, but everywhere and everyone were as chilled as can be, and the friendly locals and regulars were happy to direct us to the best bars and clubs where we were able to drink and dance til dawn.
I have to honest, there were no museums or homes of historical interest on the must-see list, but we did split up on the last day into smaller groups for a mooch around this beautiful city. For me this was my cafe day, dressed down and taking in as much as I could in what little time we had left. I do regret a little not finding time to look beyond the party side of Amsterdam, but that just means I’ll have to go again.