This just in; the traditional European party destination is old news. The ‘dam has burst and it’s all a bit wet. Barca is for loners and Berlin is out. The soiree, it seems, has shifted Slavic, with the continent’s easternmost cities now intent on providing the best party for all the departing bachelors and bachelorettes out there. With this in mind, here are 5 Eastern European party towns IDEAL for stag or hen dos.
Don’t let the low and slow pace of life in rural Romania fool you into thinking the nightlife is lowkey. There’s plenty going on in the capital Bucharest, nicknamed ‘the Paris of the East’ thanks to its stunning architecture and unique monuments. Indeed, the affability of the locals and affordability of the place make it a great choice for a party.
Temperatures soar here in the summer, to over 30 degrees Celsius in the height of the season, and with plans afoot to turn the city’s Mori lake into a huge artificial beach, there’ll be plenty of time for topping up your tan in preparation for the big day in the unlikeliest of locations. There’s also Europe’s largest urban beach, the Sands of Therme, just outside Bucharest.
At night, the city comes alive, with several lively clubs hosting the action. For bustling Bucharest bachelor nights or hyped-up hen dos, Bamboo is the ultimate spot for dancing and debauchery. It’s notoriously difficult to get in to, so make sure you’re dressed smart but not overly showy, and keep your cool in the queue.
Should your group’s tastes lie more in getting spooky then sloppy, then make sure you leave the city to visit Bran Castle; like no other castle in the world, it’s nicknamed Dracula Castle and is located in Transylvania.
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg is considered one of the most splendid port cities in not only Europe but the world. Made in the image and likeness of the canals of Venice and the Netherlands, St. Petersburg stands as the cultural capital of Russia, the birthplace of countless poets and writers of great scope and revolutions that changed the course of history. It’s not surprising that UNESCO has named its historical centre as a world heritage site. For history buffs in your stag or hen party, the stage is set.
At night, the city’s sometimes icy cold demeanour gets warmed up, with rock music and live gigs at the forefront of the entertainment. End your night at the perennially popular Fidel (a homage to Castro), which is always rammed with a bohemian, fun loving crowd. Get ready to dance.
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague; the City of a Hundred Spires or something altogether less salubrious? The Czech capital has become one of the most visited cities in the world, with millions descending the steeples each year to enjoy the city’s famous Gothic architecture and to pay homage to the birthplace of pilsner beer.
As the sun sets, the complexion of the place changes and Prague at night is enjoyed in a whole different light. With watering holes and halls on every street, and bottles of beer costing about the same as bottles of water, drinking in Prague is certainly cheap and easy.
Prague has a thriving, eclectic cocktail scene and upscale bars like Hemingway serve an assortment of varieties of absinthe, as well as plenty of other unique cocktails. Cash Only Bar (Hemingway’s little Sister), Black Angel and Public Interest are all viable alternatives. Factor them all into one night and you have yourself a cocktail crawl; an all-the-more sophisticated affair than the rampaging stags and hens elsewhere. Follow this with a spell on the dancefloor because when in Prague, it would be rude not to. Any excuse, hey? U bukanýra is an electro-music-houseboat-bar which is open until the morning hours and is the place to go after the bars close. Cross Club and Chapeau Rouge are our favourite places to party, as they play a great mix of drum’n’bass, trance, techno and jungle.
This medieval city of Krakow, whose old town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, has plenty of history and architectural intrigue to occupy the weird stag or hen limbo before night falls. Head to the Market Square which is full of cafes, bars and as such, is a people watching paradise. Should you have time, Wawel Castle is another must see; completely majestic when lit up at night. For those who want to do more than admire castles when the sun goes down, party enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that Krakow has more pubs and bars per square metre than any other city in the world. Close to the main square are two of the best after hours offerings, Tytano and Lindo.
‘The pearl of the Adriatic’, as it is commonly known, is a beautiful city located in the region of Dalmatia in the Republic of Croatia. Few tourist destinations offer such a fine balance between culture, tranquillity, landscapes, beaches, history, architectural works and party options as Dubrovnik.
If your group are Game of Thrones enthusiasts, then you’ll be excited to hear that Dubrovnik is the set of fictional city ‘The Kings Landing’, and tours are available of filming locations, complete with interesting insider facts about the cast and background of the show.
Although in winter the city is sleepy, when summer comes around things get much more lively. For a city of relative small size (just over 40 000 inhabitants), there’s still plenty going on when the sun sets. The stone walls which encircle the old town provide a concentrated focal point for carousing, with bars hosting much of the action rather than clubs. If you are after the former to close your night in style, it’s got to be Revelin.