Anyone that has organised a stag do before will tell you it requires lots of planning. Even with smaller groups, settling on the dates, the accommodation, the itinerary, etc. is a time-consuming job. It is usually even more of an organisational-headache booking somewhere abroad but the extra-special experience can be worth the additional legwork.
When planning most stag dos, cost is something you always have to bear in mind. Some members of the party might be on something of a tight budget and not able to blow several hundred pounds on a boozy weekend. Typically, sticking within the UK ends up being the cheaper option as you do not have to pay for flights nor costs involved with traveling to and from an airport. In addition, UK stag dos tend to be shorter, one or two nights at most, with overseas trips often two at the very least.
This is not to say that a trip abroad cannot fall within the ‘affordable’ category though, far from it. Although transportation costs may eat a chunk of the budget, especially as you will likely be going on ‘peak’ days, some overseas stag dos will still not break the bank. As well as having significantly cheaper food and drink (the latter often comprising the majority of a stag-do spend!) than the UK, the places to feature on our list all have cheaper accommodation and activity prices too. Thanks to all the money saved while there, you may find that a stag do aboard, to a low-cost destination, may work out not that much more than one in the UK. Or maybe even less! Without keeping you any longer, here is our list of the six best cheap stag locations, ordered by distance from the UK.
Now, we know you might be thinking that Germany is hardly known for being a cheap foreign destination but Berlin could well surprise you on this front. Considerably cheaper than the other popular stag location of Munich, the German capital offers relatively cheap accommodation, food and drink. Alcohol prices in Germany are significantly less than the European average and this is something particularly noticeable in Berlin, which has lower salaries than most other major German regions.
What does Berlin have to offer other than cheap booze though? Well, the once divided city has so much to do, whether it’s exploring its fascinating history, iconic landmarks or its diverse culture. Combine this with some of your more traditional stag activities and there is more than enough to fill three or four days, such is the size of the city. Its big population also means there is no shortage of different nightlife options no matter if you want techno clubs, quirky bars or a basement blasting out death metal.
- Pros: An abundance of things to do during the day and night, suitable for all kinds of groups.
- Cons: While we would consider Berlin to be affordable, cheaper alternatives do exist.
For an even cheaper stag do, you just need to head a little further south to the Czechia capital, Prague. With flight times of around two hours, depending where in the UK you are based, it is a short journey to the destination nicknamed ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’. Unlike some other options on this list, Prague has the benefit that all the main attractions are located within walking distance. The heart of Prague, where the Old Town lies, plus the attractions across the river, can all be enjoyed on foot.
As well as a fun assortment of museums and tours, Prague also offers a selection of shooting ranges, which are often a big hit among stag dos. While certainly a charming place for the most part, Prague has a wilder side in the evening. The Old Town has no shortage of bars, most of which serve up drinks at extremely affordable prices. The nightlife here, particularly during the warmer months, is exceptional and it is little wonder why the place enjoys so many visitors.
- Pros: There is a huge beer culture in Prague so it is the perfect place to try offerings from the many local breweries – at excellent prices too.
- Cons: Can get crowded in the summer months due to it being such a popular tourist destination.
Another similar option to Prague is Slovakia’s biggest city, Bratislava. As with Prague, most of the attractions are within or close to its charming Old Town which sits on the banks of a river (Danube). Should you fancy it, you can always head out onto the water, whether it be via boat or kayak. In addition to its well-preserved landmarks, Bratislava boasts many of the same activities and attractions that Prague does. It also has a similarly low cost of food and drink too, which keeps this as a very affordable destination – in fact, it is even cheaper than Prague.
How the two cities differ is that Bratislava is a little more under the radar as a stag destination, making it the slightly quieter option. You would be wrong to think this is a city that sleeps in the evening though, as its nightlife will be more than energetic enough to entertain any sized stag group. The slightly reduced demand also means you can be more last-minute with the planning as rooms and activities are less likely to get fully booked.
- Pros: Extremely affordable, compact and full of charm.
- Cons: Not as many UK airports serve Bratislava directly.
Poland is full of some very strong options when it comes to stag dos. We contemplated adding Gdansk and Wroclaw to our list but in the end just picked what we believe to be Poland’s strongest option, Krakow. As with the previous two selections, Krakow’s heart is a beautiful Old Town that features some wonderfully preserved architecture. Unlike the nation’s capital, Warsaw, Krakow survived WWII relatively unscathed so many historic buildings remained fully intact.
For those groups after a more active break, rather than a sight-seeing one though, Krakow has so many of your classic stag options. Whether it be escape rooms, shooting ranges, go karting, paintballing or airsoft, you will find them all relatively close to the city centre. With good public transport links available, heading a little further out is rarely an issue. For nightlife, there are two fantastic options, either staying in the Old Town or moving just over to Kazimierz, the historic Jewish quarter.
- Pros: Lots to see/do and Krakow airport is served by many UK destinations.
- Cons: Hugely popular among tourists in the summer so you may need to make your plans early.
Budapest is such an affordable stag destination that you can stay in quite some comfort without going close to breaking the bank. Although the level of English fluency in the city is lower than our other top picks, it is unlikely to cause you any issues. This is particularly true if you sort out a package with one of the many local stag-do organisers located around Budapest.
A more unique offering of Budapest is its thermal baths, which can be an ideal place to unwind and shake off a hangover. You will also want to try out some traditional Hungarian cuisine as this can supply you with some very new and original flavours. Another of Budapest’s strengths is the party atmosphere that arrives during the night. As well as some more chilled bars and pubs you have dancefloor-packed clubs that continue long into the night, or should we say morning.
- Pros: Superb nightlife, amazing architecture and extremely cheap.
- Cons: It is a large place so you will have to give transportation more thought than you would for other cities on our list.
Our last entry brings us to Riga and although it is the furthest away from the UK, you are still only looking at a flight of less than three hours. As much as we like Riga, it is not an ideal location for all stag celebrations. It is a relatively small place and it does not have the same nighttime energy or crowds that you will find in the likes of Budapest or Krakow. For something a little more peaceful, but far from boring, Latvia’s capital can offer you a lot though.
As well as being very easy on your wallet, Riga is more likely to be a new destination for your group that nobody has visited before. After a trip here, however, you will wonder why you have not been sooner as it is a charming city with a surprising amount to do. Much of the Old Town, where you will find the city’s most popular bars, is pedestrianized, and this is certainly a bonus when your legs are a little wobbly. Your only real concern will be deciding on which bars to choose as there are so many well-rated options.
- Pros: Extremely compact so you will find almost everything is well within walking distance and excellent value too.
- Cons: Not quite as bustling as other options mentioned, possibly a little too quiet for some.