Lads on tour, lads on tour, lads on tooourrr. If you've ever jumped on the bandwagon and joined a bunch of blokes heading out on a traditional overseas stag do, you probably know all of clichés already. An over-abundance of booze, a certain amount of chanting in the street to let the local populace know that you're well and truly British, a few botched attempts to seduce the local “talent”, before a descent to a questionable strip joint where you all club in and pay over the odds to watch something slightly risqué happen to the groom-to-be. Not that your memory of this part will be especially reliable come the morning.
But it doesn't have to be this way. We're grown men. Yes, it's good to let your hair down, but it doesn't necessarily have to happen in the form of the age old, (and let's face it) slightly depressing British stag do. Instead, there's a whole wide world out there to explore and enjoy, in a damn sight more style that your standard overseas weekend bash. Here are a few less predictable stag do cities, where you can take things up (or down) a notch...
1. Lisbon, PortugalA little further off the beaten track than more stag do-centric Prague and Barcelona, Lisbon is a stunning city with plenty to offer the more discerning stag party. Much more cost effective than many standard fare European destinations, everything from the food to the atmosphere is perfect for a grown up approach to the stag and to partying in general (head to superclub Lux to see what we mean). A short train ride to the beach, fantastic night life, plenty of sunshine and more than your average dose of art and culture, Lisbon is a top alternative stag city.
2. Helsinki, FinlandAt the pricier and chillier end of the spectrum, the Finnish capital Helsinki is an amazing alternative destination, which will offer a very different experience to your standard caper to Belfast. With drinks costing rather more than in the UK or European cities outside of Scandinavia, you'll find yourself enjoying them more responsibly, and soaking up the atmosphere instead. With Finns speaking a very impressive standard of English, you'll find plenty of people to talk to for recommendations and a very vibrant cultural scene to explore. Don't forget to head out and enjoy the geysers, hot springs, dog sledding and snow sports the countryside offers in abundance.
3. Riga, Latvia
Before Prague became the stag do city of choice for British blokes, it had a very similar vibe to lovely Riga in Latvia. Wonderfully cheap with a buzzing nightlife (open until 6AM) and plenty of culture, this Baltic city is well worth a visit. Away from the low-cost boozing, the markets of Riga are especially impressive, stocking virtually everything you could even imagine wanting, while the art nouveau buildings look spectacular. Make sure you take the short trip out to nearby spa town Jurmala to enjoy the Latvian seaside.
Have you been to any of our alternative stag do cities? What was your experience? Have you been on a “standard” stag to Berlin, Belfast or Prague? Did you love it or hate it? Have your say in the Base London Facebook group.