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Budapest Stag Guide

Visit the Hungarian capital with all the right knowledge.

If one thing can be said of Budapest, it's that it's very easy on the eye. That is, after all, how it earned its moniker, ‘Paris of the East.’ And just like Paris, the Hungarian capital is getting a reputation for being a hedonistic paradise. Where better to have astag do?

Kevin Bleich

Budapest Stag Expert: Kev

Budapest is one of our most popular stag locations.The nightlife is incredible: from the ruin bars to the clubs, you can’t go wrong with partying in Buda! The city itself is beautiful, with loads to offer during the daytime: home to amazing architecture, some of the best shooting ranges in Eastern Europe and loads of fantastic restaurants. Groups looking for a more laidback weekend can take in the sights around town, or even venture down to the Szechenyi Baths to soak away their hangovers.

For the opening night of your stag weekend, I’d suggest doing a bar crawl with one of our guides to kickstart your weekend. It can really help out when you’re deciding to go for the rest of the weekend - plus they’ve got plenty of banter!

For day two head down to theSzechenyiBaths for a few drinks and a dip into the naturally heated thermal baths. This is without a doubt the ultimate hangover cure. Then try some traditional Hungarian spirits, a shot or two ofPalinkaorUnicumwill separate the boys from the men.

Bar Crawls Local Guided Nightclub - Budapest CHILLISAUCE

Budapest Stag Drinking

You (and your wallet) will rejoice in knowing that Budapest hasEurope’s cheapest alcohol prices: Making it the perfect destination for your stag do as pints are as low as £1.30, while a round of ten drinks will cost you little over £20. Book in a beer bike or strip and booze cruise on the river Danube with Chillisauce, or wind down from your days activities with a beer spa.

Craft beer is making a big name for itself in the Hungarian capital and you can book in a tasting session with us for you and your stag group. You also can’t go wrong with a cheap and cheerfulSoproni. The most famous of local spirits isUnicum(ring in the jokes), a blend of 40 different herbs known to make many stag party members scrunch up their faces.

There’s no Budapest stag weekend worth having that doesn’t spend at least one night in the city’sruin barsas part of your stag bar crawl. These incredibly cool venues are housed inside derelict pre-war buildings, once scheduled for demolition but now given a new lease of life. The most iconic isSzimpla: a vast, graffiti-scrawled assault on the senses, filled with random junk, plants and fairy lights.Red Ruinis a glorious Communist-themed bar, where you roll dice and are given whatever shot the number matches on the menu. If you’re in Budapest in summer, book a ‘Sparty’: wild Saturday nights that turn the Szchenyi Thermal Baths into massive pool parties.

Read ourBudapest stag do guidefor more inspiration.

Langos

There’s no better street food for a pre or post stag bar crawl in Budapest thanlangos: deep-fried flatbreads topped with sour cream and cheese, made fresh in the Great Market Hall (perfect for munching on as you take in the sights). It’s also mandatory that you eat at a traditionalHungarian bistro.

These cosy venues serve classic dishes likegoulashandchicken paprikashwithnokedli(fluffy egg noodle dumplings), best paired with a cold glass ofDreherbeer. If visiting in summer, bright pinksour cherry soup(sour cream, sugar and sour cherries, served cold) makes for a surprisingly good sweet treat.

While the blend of baroque and neoclassical architecture secured Budapest’s place as one of the continent’s most beautiful cities, its thriving social scene has ensured the Hungarian capital is unrivalled in Central and Eastern Europe as a destination to let loose and have fun. After strolling through its historic centre, appreciating the monolithic Hungarian Parliament building en route, sink a leisurely beer or two at a terrace bar on the banks of the Danube. The night is only just beginning in the city’s Jewish Quarter, where you can drift from one of the city’s uniqueruin barsto another until the morning commuters start stirring.

Our Budapest stag experts have all the local knowledge of where to drink, stay and eat and which amazing activities to make your stag weekend the most memorable. We take all the pain out of organising your stag group, getting your mates where they need to go, taking payments so you don't have to worry about who has paid what and when. By providing a dedicated account manager who is here 9am-9pm on week days and 9am-12pm on weekends, we can help If you need to add members to your group or change any of your stag choices. All you and your mates have to worry about is having an awesome time! Visit ourBudapest stag page and enquire now!

While you may not have any ailments to treat, “taking the waters” at one of the city’s renownedthermal bathsis part of the essence of Budapest. Sitting on top of hot springs metres deep until the city’s foundations, an array of bathhouses offer a sure-fire way to cure what the local’s call a macskajaj (or a ‘cat’s wail’) – the mother of all hangovers.

Flight London to Budapest

Getting to Budapest

Flights toBudapest’s Ferenc Liszt Airportfrom London are a breezy 2 hours 45 minutes, starting from a tempting£20-£50(in the low season). Affordable travel prices in the low season make it an extremely popular stag and hen destination, so don’t be surprised if you share your flight with fellow party goers! Note that prices are prone to getting pretty steep in the high season (usually summertime), so book your stag package early to avoid disappointment. Once you’ve landed in Budapest, it’s a 35-minute journey by road to the city centre; we recommend you take anairport transfer with guide.

Budapest Costs

£1 = 382 Hungarian fornit (estimate)

Flight £150+ in high season (May to September). From £60 return in low season.

Airport to city taxi Typically up to £19 (7200 HUF), including a base charge and waiting fees.

Local meal From £3 (970 HUF) up to £18 (7000 HUF) for a two-course meal, ranging from street food to high end dining.

Pint Local lager costs around £1.50 (580 HUF) or up to £3 (1200 HUF) for a decent craft beer.

Cocktail in a downtown club £5 (2,000 HUF). Every hour is happy hour!

Thermal baths £17 (6500 HUF) for a full day ticket at the Szechenyi Baths with a private changing cabin. Book in advance.

Budapest Weather

When To Go

Hungary’s capital city sears in hot summers and shimmers in cold winters, with the months in between staying dry and warm. In other words, it’s a city at its best in all seasons.

Weather Budapest

The Best Time to Visit Budapest

What are the best months for a stag weekend to Budapest?

June, July and Augustis the height of the peak season in Budapest, with temperatures known to climb well over 3c. Be sure to book well in advance to avoid very high flight prices.April, May and Septemberoffer more pleasant weather hovering around 20c, but these are still popular times - so get planning.

The weather starts to cool inOctoberto 15c, dropping significantly fromNovembertoFebruaryto next to freezing. Despite the cold, winter is still a magical time to visit Budapest. Flights are cheap and you'll be spending most of your time drinking your weight in beer inside ruin bars anyway.

Buda

Spring

From March to May, the city is at ease with itself, not least because tourists are at a minimum so ideal for a stag party. Obviously this mean flights and accommodation are stable and much more affordable. The weather is typically dry with temperatures eeking up to 21c as locals prepare to party at the Budapest Beer Festival in May.

Buda

Summer

By far the busiest period - and conversely the hottest and wettest months of the year - in Budapest. With the mercury hitting 30c at times, visitors embrace the sticky heat in the summer months to rock out at Sziget music festival in August. Expect high prices but perhaps it’s a small price to pay for the buzzing atmosphere in the streets and bars.

Buda

Autumn

With the tourist flood receding and the weather still temperate, September to November is an ideal time to bring your stag party as festival season grips the city. Highlights in a stacked events calendar include Budapest’s take on Oktoberfest and theBudapest Wine Festivalin September.

Buda

Winter

You’ll need to pack a lot of layers for a stay weekend in December to February, with temperatures regularly plummeting into the minus figures. Snow is commonplace in the city at this time of year, which only adds to the charm of its picture-perfect Christmas markets. If your stags are willing to tough it out in the icy chill, you can take full advantage of flights and rooms at their cheapest.

Basilica of St Stephen Budapest

Budapest Neighbourhood Guide

Made up of 23 distinct districts, Budapest is a fascinating mosaic of a city, bursting at the seams with lively nightlife and a thriving cultural scene which puts good living at its heart.

District VII - (Jewish Quarter) Erzsébetváros

Known as the Jewish Quarter, Erzsébetváros - Budapest’s district 7 - is the epicentre of the city’s bohemian social scene, boasting bars and nightclubs in spades. You’ll discover speakeasies and hipster bars specialising in craft beer here - and everything in between. Steeped in history, the district is where you’ll also find the largest concentration of the city’s famous ruin bars: quirky watering holes built in the ruins of abandoned pre-war buildings, stores or lots.

District VIII - Józsefváros

At Pest’s southernmost tip, district 9 is off the radar for many tourists to the city. While not an obvious hit with visitors, locals revel in the colourful if rough-around-the-edges area with its pop up bars and restaurants. District 9 is perhaps better known these days though as the craft beer district. Billing itself as the first craft beer bar in Eastern Europe, Élesztőház brewhouse in particular, with its rooftop courtyard and extensive tap-list, flies the flag for the district.

District IX - Ferencváros

At Pest’s southernmost tip, district 9 is off the radar for many tourists to the city. While not an obvious hit with visitors, locals revel in the colourful if rough-around-the-edges area with its pop up bars and restaurants. District 9 is perhaps better known these days though as the craft beer district. Billing itself as the first craft beer bar in Eastern Europe, Élesztőház brewhouse in particular, with its rooftop courtyard and extensive tap-list, flies the flag for the district.

District V - Belváros-Lipótváros

The true heart of the city, Belváros is home to most of Budapest’s star attractions, including the palatial Hungarian Parliament building, poignant ‘Shoes on the Danube’ Holocaust memorial, iconic Chain Bridge and grandiose St Stephen’s Basilica. Its architectural and historic charms aside, the upmarket district is a busy thoroughfare for locals and tourists alike. And much like district 7, Belváros shows off a different side at night with local haunts, bars, clubs and restaurants offering a night to remember.

*District I - Várkerület**

Due to its terrain, district 1 is the best place to go for sweeping panoramic views of the city from the ramparts of Buda Castle or the Fisherman’s Bastion. Busier during the day with tourists flocking to ride its funicular railway, sit in its cozy cafes and stroll its cobblestone laneways, this mostly residential area is worth a look in for the views of Pest alone.

Read more in ourBudapest Stag Guide.

Top 5 Unique Budapest Stag Ideas

Here are the best stag activities you can do in Budapest

1. Zip back in time and beat the clock

Travel back in time behind the wheel of aTrabant: an iconic automobile that was the only car available in the Eastern Bloc before the Berlin Wall came down. Cruise through Budapest and take in the sights, as tourists gawk over these remnants of history. If you have a more fervent need for speed, ourKarting Grand PrixandQuad Trekkingexperiences will hit the mark.

2. Soak in thermal baths by day, pool party by night

It wouldn’t be a trip to Budapest without soaking in the famous Szechenyi Baths: 18 thermal spas and pools over 100 years old, built over a natural hot spring. Even in the dead of winter they’re warm, making them the ultimate hangover cure. Once refreshed, you can restart the action at the Sparty Party, where flowing drinks and pumping music turns the baths into a buzzing pool party. After, opt for our a massage at ourLuxury Spa Dayto work out the damage from the night before.

3. Handle classic firearms and blast your mates with paint

Blow off some steam at ourPistol Shooting Range, where you’ll get the chance to blast targets with classic models like the Glock 17 handgun and Remington 870 shotgun. Alternatively, theUltimate Firearms experienceprovides ample thrills andPaintballwill have you putting all that practice to good use.

4. Drink by bike, boat and strip cruise

Clink pints aboard your very own bar-on-wheels, cruising around Budapest atop a14-seat beer bike. Take the action to the Danube on a privateRiver Cruise(buffet and open bar optional), or invite some gorgeous guests on ourStrip Cruiseto heat things up. Check out a classicguided bar crawla staple of any stag weekend in the Hungarian capital.

5. Party with class or get down and dirty

Place your bets inKincsem Park, Hungary’s oldest race track, where cheap drinks turn the event into a bouncing day out. Swap horses for the luxury of ourParty Limo, or get down and dirty with our scantily-cladMud Wrestlingchampions.

Budapest Attractions

Bubbling underneath Budapest and popular with stag goers are hundreds of natural hot springs, built intothermal bathsthat relax muscles and cure hangovers. Locals love these so much, it’s nicknamed the ‘city of spas’. The most famous isSzechenyi: a gorgeous complex with outdoor pools that, even in winter, steam at a toasty 77C. Dividing the city in two is theDanube, which from ariver cruise or boat partyyou can spot the regalBuda CastleandFisherman’s Bastionin Buda, and the Death Eater-esqueHungarian Parliament Buildingin Pest. For something different, play rare pinball machines at theFlipper Museum, or drink Hungary’s favourite liquor straight from the barrel at theZwack Unicum Museum.

Budapest Nightlife

In a city where closing times are still a novel concept, the mantra “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” has never been so readily adopted as an unofficial city motto as in Budapest.

Thanks to a strong entrepreneurial drive, it is fast overstripping cities like Berlin in the late night clubbing stakes, having transformed abandoned and crumbling Soviet-era buildings into quirky, often retro, bars and nightclubs. No two are ever the same; you can be in a dreamlike state at an early evening rave at Instant (which is open till 6am seven nights a week) or be drinking pints in an East German Trabant car at Budapest’s most famous ‘ruin bar,’ Szimpla Kert.

While two lines of the metro close slightly later on Fridays and Saturdays, night buses take up the rest of the slack, making sure you and your stags get home safely regardless of when you decide to turn in, grabbing a gyros to ravenously devour on the way.

Getting Around Budapest

The most reliable mode of transport to get around town during a stag weekend are your feet. Budapest has a compact city centre with all the main cultural sites and bars within walking distance of each other. Pest, on the eastern bank of the river Danube, is where the city comes alive after dark. The bars and clubs of the inner city districts, particularly in the Jewish Quarter, are clustered close together, making walking (read staggering) from bar to bar the easiest option.

Buda

Metro

Boasting the second oldest underground railway network in the world (after London), the Budapest metro has been in service since 1896. With 52 stations along four lines spreading across the city centre, it is also one of the most comprehensive ways of getting around. A single fare will set you back92p (350 HUF)or a24-hour pass costs £4.30 (1650 HUF). Alternatively, up to five people can travel on the24-hour group travel card which is £8.60 (3300 HUF). The metro opens at4.30am and ends after 11.50pm, dovetailing your night out on the tiles perfectly. TheM2 and M4 lines close an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.

Here is a handy guide to Budapest’s public transport network.

Buda Tram

Tram

Much slower than the Metro, Budapest’s 30 tramlines often feel more like open-top bus tours, especially the number two line which skirts the Danube and gives you views of the river, Castle Hill, the Hungarian Parliament and more. The bright yellow trams run to a similar timetable as the Metro with the same ticket prices applicable.The busiest line, number 6, which travels along Pest’s Grand Boulevard, operates around the clock. Don’t forget to validate your ticket or travel pass on each journey.

Buda

Bus

Much like the rest of Budapest’s integrated transport network, the city’s bus routes are extensive and offer a more scenic way of appreciating Budapest’s beautiful architecture. Buses stop operating around midnight, when night bus services kick in to replace metros and trams every 10-15 minutes in inner districts. Tickets can be bought from vending machines or from the driver but that can hold up traffic.

Buda

Taxi

Like an increasing number of cities, Budapest has banned Uber but there are a few Uber alternatives available, such as Bolt. After downloading the app, Bolt works like Uber but uses local licenced taxis. Fares are reasonable, costing around£8 (3100 HUF) for a five-mile journey.

When searching for a taxi in Budapest, it's very important to avoid cars without a company logo of any kind: these usually just have a sign on the roof that simply reads 'taxi'. These are well-known for being fake and will likely result in a hefty scam.

How to Stay Safe in Budapest

When it comes to crime, Budapest is by far one of the safest cities in Europe to visit on any stag weekend. That said, petty offences are still as rife as you would expect in a big city popular with tourists. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the norm, especially on public transport, in metro stations and around tourist hotspots. Even if you’re going to get stick from the other stags, you might want to consider wearing a less-than-chic travel belt or bumbag for your valuables.

While increasingly less common since the introduction of bylaws in 2013 to prevent drivers charging different rates, taxi rip-off scams still do happen here. Unless taking a cab is the simplest or quickest means of getting somewhere, it’s best to avoid using them altogether in favour of public transport.If you do need a taxi, only travel in licensed cabs, which are yellow with taxi signs on the roof and fares displayed on the taxi.

Budapest’s Laws

Keeping your stag party safe

Buying Booze:Some city districts have prohibited the sale of alcohol after 10pm because of alcohol-related disturbances. If caught drinking or in possession of open containers of alcohol in public spaces (particularly near schools, churches or parks) or on public transport, you may have to pay a £130 (50,000 HUF) fine but the law isn’t actively enforced unless you run into issues.

Staying Safe:All drug use is illegal in Hungary with zero tolerance laws strictly enforced. Cannabis use and possession carries the same weighty punishments as heroin. If it's your first offence, possession of less than 12 grams will likely lead to a one-off reprimand (consumption carries a 2-year sentence). Possession of larger amounts leads to a five to ten-year prison sentence.