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When it’s time to plan your stag do, it’s always tempting to turn it into a summer holiday for you and the lads. After all, what could be better than sun, sea and sand? But before you start making arrangements, do give the colder months a little thought too. There are loads of brilliant reasons to opt for a winter stag do instead.
Major cities will be quieter as tourism drops—along with the cost of flights and accommodation—and it means you’ll have a totally different experience from the typical stag weekend. Sure, beaches are great, but you’ve probably seen plenty of those in your lifetime. On the other hand, you don’t get the chance to see snow-capped castles and fairy-lit streets every day.
Have we said enough to convince you yet? If you’re tempted, here’s all you need to know before booking a killer winter stag do.
With the biggest ice rink in Europe and the famous Gellért Thermal Bath for when you need to warm up, Budapest is a great place to visit during the colder months. A winter stag do in the Hungarian capital gives you and lads a chance to admire the sights and grab a bite to eat at the snowy Normafa Hill, followed by a serious drinking session in one of the city’s many famous Kerts. These traditional ruin pubs are the perfect place to neck a pint on a frosty night—cheap, cheerful, and seriously cool.
If you want to make sure your beer jacket is always on during your winter stag do, the place to go is Prague, where you’ll find some of the cheapest booze in Europe. As well as an array of cosy pubs and wild nightclubs, the city boasts a number of brilliant breweries running tours all year round. And not only is winter the perfect time to explore the magical Old Town, but also chow down on warming traditional Czech cuisine like zelňačka (cabbage soup) and guláš (meat and onion stew).
Germany is always popular once the temperature drops, and as winter stag destinations go, you can’t do better than Hamburg. The country’s second-largest city has an outstanding craft beer scene and has been voted the best place for a night out in the world. Venues like HALO, Bahnhof Pauli and Fundbureau can’t be missed when it’s time for nighttime debauchery. And as well as sexy strip shows to enjoy, you can visit the Santa Pauli market in Hamburg’s former red light district for an erotic gift to bring home for your wife-to-be!
Krakow is one of the trendiest winter stag do locations, especially when nightlife is your biggest priority. Unsurprisingly, the vodka is second to none and you can knock back a few shots in the bustling Market Square bars, or even enjoy a private tasting session. And when you’re not partying, some of the Polish city’s main sites are even more remarkable in winter. Wawel Castle is worth a visit, especially for the Game of Thrones fans in your group. Legend has it that a dragon lived beneath it, feasting on human sacrifices twice a week.
If you’re looking for a winter stag do of pure hedonism, Bratislava is a safe bet. The Slovakian capital is renowned for its crazy club culture, with an edgy underground scene that’s a mecca for techno, house and drum ’n’ bass enthusiasts. If you’re visiting in the run-up to Lent, you can also experience the epic Fašiangy carnival. Singing, dancing, food and drink, these fun-filled parties are like no others in Europe.
Maximise offers the following activities in the majority of our stag do destinations, unless otherwise stated.
Whizzing around an outdoor track covered in snow and ice is far too risky for even the biggest adrenaline junkies—you don’t want to cut your stag do short because someone’s had a nasty collision with the best man! Luckily, karting is just as thrilling indoors. There’s no need to worry about the weather conditions ruining your fun, so all you have to think about is burning rubber and speeding into first place.
Take inspiration from Cool Runnings and transform your group into a bobsleigh team. This exhilarating sport is one of the most extreme winter stag do activities on offer, so prepare to have your mind blown as you thrash down the track at breakneck speeds! With skilled instructors on hand for guidance, you’ll know what you’re doing in no time.
Please note: This activity is only available for Budapest and Riga stag dos.
Nothing feels more macho than shooting a gun. Whether you want something sleek like a pistol or rifle, or want to pull the trigger on serious weaponry like a machine gun or an AK-47, this classic stag activity is guaranteed to please everyone in the group. The rowdy lads from the office and your future father-in-law will be equally at home pumping their targets full of lead!
You’ve probably seen curling on the telly at some point, and if you enjoyed the sport from the comfort of your living room, why not take to the ice yourself? This unique activity is ideal for winter stag dos, and a great way to enjoy some healthy competition without the intensity—something you’ll probably appreciate while you’re hungover.
Please note: This activity is only available for Bratislava and Vilnius stag dos.
Time is precious during a celebration as important as a stag do, so when it’s time for a lads night out, you’ll want to make sure you’re hitting only the best venues in the city. Avoid sending the group anywhere naff by booking onto one of our bar & pub crawls. Being guided by a professional means you won’t miss out on any hidden gems, and can drink in as many places as possible in one night!
Having a winter stag do is already pretty cost-effective, as the prices of flights are much cheaper than in the tourism boom-months of July and August. However, that doesn’t mean you can be completely complacent. Organising your flights well in advance could save you even more money. According to CheapAir.com, buying winter flights 94 days before your stag could get you the lowest fare, so start planning ASAP!
You can’t go wrong with classic bevs like pints of beer or tequila shots, but winter stag dos are the perfect opportunity to embrace some more seasonal drinks as well. Make the most of warming concoctions like mulled wine and cider, hot toddies and Irish coffees. We’d never advise totally ditching your tipple of choice, but what kind of stag do would it be if you didn’t try as much booze as possible?
We all know that fancy dress is one of the funniest parts of a stag do, but certain outfits are off limits if you’re celebrating in winter. For example, as hilarious as a mankini is, you’ll soon regret slipping into one in sub-zero temperatures. Luckily, there are still loads of great fancy dress ideas appropriate for the season. The beard you’ll wear as one of Snow White’s seven dwarfs is handy for keeping your face warm, while blow up willy costumes are as insulating as they are hysterical!