ABC… of stag and hen parties in Europe

As the song goes it’s as simple as ABC… of stag and hen parties in Europe (OK, a bit of poetic licence here, but you try doing this every day!)

The rather clumsy lead-in just gives us an excuse to highlight the charms of our continent’s cities and its appeal to stags and hens.

Now you’ll have your own pick of the pubs but the A-1 for us before we tied the knot was our old stomping ground at the time, Aberdeen, in the north-east of Scotland.

Where the jokers, mostly those who have never been to the Granite or Silver City by the North Sea, will tar the locals with a parsimony that is misplaced.

But for those who have lived there (eight years for me) it is welcoming and best of all the pubs are hubs of good craic.

Too much so on the night in question when I was persuaded by my usher into drinking too much which forced me to retreat from my own do when we got to the Chinese restaurant.

Thankfully we had decided in advance not to have the stag the night before and I’d recovered by the following week.

This could be Amsterdam or Rotterdam

žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

Our survey suppliers today Bonusetu (no, us neither) have inexplicably bypassed Aberdeen on their ABC… of stag and hen parties in Europe.

But they do give us some of our favourite cities, starting off with one of the masters, Amsterdam.

And it would be a mistake for revellers to descend on the Red Light district… far better to seek out the cosy, narrow, canalside bars.

The Dutch capital takes top spot for restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide per capita with 70 restaurants making for more than six per 100k population. 

Ranking fifth in casinos per capita, sixth for number of five star hotels, and fourth for five star nightlife locations, the Dutch capital has it all.

Now we all have our ideas of romantic getaways and I won brownie points for taking Mrs M to the Dylan where George and Amal go when in Amsterdam.

But just as good I find is taking your loved one down to Rotterdam to see the Dutch Oranje play Greece I find too.

The upside of Continental Europe for your stag or hen is that it’s proper beer and the Belgians make theirs a matter of national honour as we found out in Ieper and Bruges.

Antwerp or Bucharest

Bucks on tour: Bucharest

But the same goes too for Bonusetu’s pick Antwerp where old friends from Dublin (and more of the Fair City later) await.

They tell us that it contains the second most Michelin Guide restaurants per capita at just over five per 100k, whilst ranking 12th relatively for five starred nightlife locations.

Now, full reveal here, and we’d have imagined that the B Bonusetu would have in mind might have been Barcelona or Berlin or Budapest.

But our guides have pointed us in the direction of Bucharest.

The Romanian capital has a huge amount of top class nightlife with more than 50 bars, clubs and comedy clubs rated over five stars on TripAdvisor.

And it has by far the most casinos with 160 which equates to nearly 9 per 100k residents.

Now you bet that we say where Bonusetu are going with this and what they want us to do when we’re abroad, but we’ll go with it.

Fairytale cities

Walking on air in Copenhagen

Heading north Bonusetu clearly know what they think is wonderful about Copenhagen.

The Danish capital sports just over 1.5 casinos per 100k residents, and more than four Michelin restaurants per 100k.

And it has almost 40 five star rated nightlife locations… but the abiding beauty is, of course, the Little Mermaid.

Prague has a fairytale aspect too and its mix of quirky David Cerny Piss Sculpture and historic erections (steady).

But most importantly it claims to have the most beer drinkers per capita in the world.

Bonsusetu helpfully tells us the Czechia capital has the most five star rated nightlife locations per capita of all cities in Europe with 162 across the city.

And that equates to more than 12 per 100k of the population.

Prague also sports the second highest number of casinos with 56 they inevitably tell us.

Eternal cities

I’ll be back: The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Rome needs little build-up and drinking Chianti with a pezzo on the Spanish Steps or Cakestand is to be recommended (guilty).

And our guides tell us of their 124 five-star rated nightlife locations across the city.

As the city with the most top notch hotels per capita in Europe with almost two for every 100k of its population, it’s a sure spot for a fantastic stag/hen do.

As is Lisbon, the jewel of Portugal. Sporting the third most five star hotels per capita at just over one and a half, it maintains a good rank for nightlife.

And we’d of course recommend the Vinho Verde and the sardines whichever fado bar you go into… and a Port to finish.

For those in these island where I live, of course, your question is bound to be which of Britain or Ireland comes out on top in the Bonusetu survey?

London or Dublin

The Travel pack in Dublin

And this time, it’s Laaandon, although we do know that’s because of the Irish influence.

London’s 163 five star hotels puts it second in the per capita rankings with this making for 1.75 per 100k people.

It also features the third highest number of casinos with 53, and an abundance of Michelin Guide restaurants put it at ninth in this category with 0.57 per 100k population.

The Bachelor Boy himself, my own Son and Heir, would only partake in someone else’s stag.

Our own old playground of Dublin has long been on the map for stag and hen revellers, particularly around Temple Bar.

The Fair City ranks third in terms of casinos per capita of these European cities with almost two for every 100k residents, and again in the top ten for five star hotels per capita.

So there you are the ABC… of stag and hen parties in Europe.

You bet!




Countries, Deals, Europe, Flying

We came, Warsaw, we concurred

It’s our own Bandanini and Bandanette Warsaw pact because of its value… we came, Warsaw, we concurred.

For those of you wanting to escape the British sun (the new normal) the Polish capital won’t have you sweating.

About the costs with a two-day getaway for a couple only setting you back £426.

Our friends at Viator do the heavy lifting for us with a priced guide to what’s best to do in Warsaw and its vicinity.

And, of course, we’ll always be drawn to the history and the hops which means, Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz and a pub crawl.

Chopin list

My old piano: Chopin


Viator’s guide leaves us free to break bread, or seeing it’s Poland dumplings, when they invite us out to their embassy, or events.

Eastern and Central Europe has long since topped our shopping list, or Chopin list if you’re Warsaw.

I remember well being seduced by the value of Bulgaria 25 years ago.

And then meeting a family who were back in the autumn for their second holiday after saving on their first earlier in the year.

Sofia so good, Prague’s brag

Feast in the East: Sofia

Sofia is second on the Forbes Advisor list at £432, Vilnius in Lithuania (£465), Skopje in North Macedonia (£511) and Belgrade in Serbia (£521).

Prague at £523 ticks most boxes for us (particularly the Strahov Monastery Brewery).

While Podgorica and Montenegro at £528 is one of those discovery destinations.

Must Sarajevo

Franz in high places: In Sarajevo

We know about a day in Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina on a coach trip from Medjugorje.

But two days in the Balkans crossroads city is 8th on the list at £538… and you won’t be disappointed!

We’ll pick out the Franz Ferdinand museum, the Atrocities Museum and the Winter Olympics vista as a starting point.

Riga in Latvia at £550 and Bucharest in Romania at £561 make up the top ten.

Figure it out

Pole star: Warsaw

So you want to know how they come up with the figures.

Well Forbes Advisor factors in the average price for return flights for two people…

With the help of, and

Two nights’ accommodation, two days’ worth of excursions, a taxi for the entire vacation, and meals out as well as alcohol.

Sounds like our kind of mini-break.

And seeing we like a challenge we might start at the very beginning… it’s a very good place to start.

So we can say, we came, Warsaw, we concurred.