A weekend in Budapest
One of my friends is getting married this summer and that means just one thing - stag weekend. Now, gents, the stag weekend has a certain reputation thanks to films like The Hangover, pretty much entirely thanks to the film series. But there are a few easy things to remember if you are heading out on one.
It is supposed to be fun. Yes do focus on the stag but he should enjoy himself.
What happens on tour does not stay on tour. Do something stupid and it will come back to bite you.
Leave the hair clippers at home.
Someone take charge, the rest follow. You are probably a mixed group who don't know each other, so someone make a plan and the rest stick to it. So long as the stag is happy with the activity the rest are there for his party.
Make friends. There will be people in the party you don't know, it is not up to the stag to keep trying to thread the groups together.
Don't offend the locals. You are in their hometown after all.
Avoid tattoo and piercing parlours
Budapest, for what it is worth, is a stunning city. For the uninitiated, it is two parts Buda and Pest, which are divided by the river Danube. One side is hilly and packed with culture, the other is flatter and coated in bars and restaurants. All of this is dotted around a city packed with stunning buildings and a riverside vista where you could easily while away a day with a drink and the view. This is definitely on my list of places to head back to.
I'm not going to pack in the recommendations here. We were not there long enough, or investing enough in the culture around us to fully appreciate all the city has to offer. On the first day we headed out to the "ruin bars". These should not be missed and the best one we found was Szimpla Kert. The weekend we were there it had an amazing street food market set up next to it.
Day 2 for us was paintballing. While this may seem like the classic stag activity, and it is, this was a spectacular one. The Extrem Paintball team are slightly more relaxed than some so we were able to choose our game and the courses offered a little more rugged fun than some I have done. That night we took a tour of the town's pubs and clubs. One favourite was the riverside Bridge Bar (view from it below).
Our final day was spent at the baths. It seemed like a perfect way to recover from the excesses of the night before. The ones we went to were on the other side of the river and had both an outdoor pool with a wave machine, a sauna, a plunge pool and a complex of heated pools in marble halls below. It was the perfect wind-down. I'd highly recommend Budapest for a stag do - the drinks are cheap and the city is a cool place to be hanging out. I am also definitely going back there for a proper trip.