A recent survey conducted by wedding website, WeddingHand.co.uk, has just uncovered Bratislava as the top budget destination in Europe for stag parties.
Cities in central and eastern Europe are growing in popularity as they offer a fantastic selection of nightlife; cheap beer that can be purchased around the clock; great value for money on flights and accommodation; culture; entertainment; and class. Many cities in the UK struggle to compete.
In order, the following five cities came out on top: Bratislava in Slovakia; Sofia in Bulgaria; Vilnius in Lithuania; Kraków in Poland and of course Prague, in the Czech Republic.
Prague is known to be a favourite among Brits travelling to Europe for their stag weekends, so the big surprise was that other, lesser known cities have overtaken it in popularity.
1. Bratislava, Slovakia
The top budget destination selected by WeddingHand subscribers was Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. With a 15th century castle perched on top of a hill, overlooking the famous river Danube; an old town featuring cobbled streets and historic market squares; as well as numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs; what's not to love?
The best thing about Bratislava is how ridiculously cheap everything is, with flights and accommodation for around £141 for the weekend, and the average cost of a pint around just 74p!
And you won't be short of things to do when you get there. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied during the day, such as organised pub crawls, river cruises, banquets, The nightlife is vibrant, with plenty of nightclubs, karaoke bars and lap dancing clubs. Many of the best clubs are within a stones throw of each other in the heart of the old town, just north east of the Most SNP bridge. Some of the best include Cats Nightclub Cabaret which is a topless and striptease bar, Masquerade Lounge Bar and Club, and The Club Bratislava. Cross the bridge to find the Erotic Night Club Bratislava Messalina, which lies south of the river.
If you have a little extra cash to spare, then the UFO bar and restaurant is the best to take in views of the entire city and beyond. So called, as it looks like a flying saucer balanced on top of the Most SNP bridge.
2. Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria is in the south east of Europe, with borders against Turkey, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia and Romania. It is the furthest away of the top five, but still only takes three hours to fly there from London. It also has a coast line along the Black Sea; but stag parties are heading to the capital, Sofia, which is where it is all going on.
Because of limited laws covering licensing, bars and clubs are able to open throughout the day and night, making it the perfect destination for a stag holiday. Although the majority of bars do tend to still close at around midnight, there are several clubs, including erotic clubs, that stay open until 6am. There are plenty of places to get food at throughout the night, and even when you fall out of the nightclub early in the morning. There are also a number of live venues where you can take in a range of different types of bands.
With flights and accommodation available for just £158, and pints of beer available for just £1.14, a weekend break here is extremely affordable.
3. Vilnius, Lithuania
Lithuania is one of the Baltic states, and is therefore one of the coldest places to visit. If you are travelling in winter, make sure you pack plenty of winter clothing, as your “beer jacket” may not be warm enough in average temperatures of -6 °C. During the summer months, the average temperature is around 16-17 °C, so don't expect to dress like you are at the beach.
There is also an expectation for you to dress smartly when you go out on an evening, so make sure you pack shoes. Head to Islandijos Street to find some of the most popular bars and clubs. There are a few English style bars here that will make you feel at home, including Gringo Pub and Piano Man. There are numerous strip clubs available, with two of the most popular being the Wild Girls Show Club and Gold Striptease Club.
4. Kraków, Poland
Kraków is the odd one out in the list as it is not the capital city, but it does have a lot of appeal for people travelling to Europe for their stag weekend. The historic old town, market squares and architecture are all great reasons to enjoy this city. Furthermore, you can fly there in under two and a half hours, and your flights and accommodation are likely to cost around £208.
Pints in Kraków are also great value for money compared to the UK, at just £1.53 per pint on average. Many of the beers are strong too, so you may want to drink a little more slowly than you normally would – or you may not! Vodka is also a popular drink in Poland, so get ready to line up the shots.
To experience a bit of Polish culture, head to Stara Zajezdnia – The Old Depot, where you can find an enormous beer hall, a popular micro-brewery, and restaurants. The most popular strip clubs include Paradise Club Krakow, and Taboo Gentlemen's Club.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has been a firm favourite among stag parties for some time now, and the city has become renowned for its lively atmosphere. At just £215 for flights and accommodation, despite it being the most expensive of the cities featured here, it is still very reasonable for a weekend abroad. The beer is very cheap too, at just £1.24 per pint on average.
There are plenty of micro-breweries to benefit from, a wealth of restaurants and food halls, as well as clubs, bars and adult entertainment to suit all tastes. If you are visiting Prague in the summer time, Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden is the place to head to. A large screen shows sports, and grilled food is also available from the bar.
The following infographic from weddinghand.co.uk provides a summary of these popular stag holiday destinations.