Stag Do in Budapest - Practical Guide
Budapest is a beautiful city filled with life, history, and a great place for a stag do. With its rich history and never-ending list of activities, you’ll be ready to come back a second time. Budapest is a great place for your stag do. Its fantastic nightlife and fun entertainment will take your celebration over the top.
Basics about Budapest
Budapest is a fantastic city to visit. The largest city in Europe at a population of 1.7 million people, Budapest has everything you could want in a city. Budapest is the capital of Hungary, located on both sides of the river Danube. One of the best things you’ll love about Budapest is the fact it is split into two cities on either side of the river. It makes visiting Budapest like visiting two cities in one!
Budapest started out as two different cities, Buda and Pest. Romans built Pest as a military stronghold and Buda as a civilian city. Many theories explain why the names changed to Buda and Pest. The most reasonable explanation is simply the changes of language. In the 1800’s, the two cities began to be referred to as one, either Buda-Pest or Pest-Buda. Later, the two cities were united as one and became the capital of Hungary.
Buda and Pest may share their city now, but the personalities of the two differ greatly. The cities were so different that it took until the mid-1800’s for the first bridge to be built between the two. Buda holds the older, historical established side of the city. Lying over several hills, it contains the royal palace and other grand architecture. Pest drives the modern side of the city on the river plain. Pest contains most of the shopping district, parliament, and many of the cultural sights.
With eight bridges to connect Buda and Pest, you’ll have no trouble exploring both sides of this beautiful city. Each bridge has their own distinct features and history with the Chain Bridge being the first. While you enjoy the bridges and the gorgeous Danube, don’t forget to visit Margaret Island, a small island in the middle of the Danube that used to be a monastery. It now holds a park and other public entertainment.
How to Get to Budapest from the UK
For stag do’s, flying is your best bet. It can be cheap and fast, leaving more time for you to explore Budapest. To buy cheap airline tickets, there are a few rules you should follow. The number one rule is to use the incognito mode on your browser to view prices. Cookies allow ticket companies to view what tickets you’ve already looked at. They then increase the price everytime you revisit their site or other similar sites. Another tip is to plan months in advance. Tickets are best purchased at least two months in advance. Different airlines also offer cheaper flights than others. You may not have as many luxuries, but you’ll save your money for Budapest!
Why Budapest? Best Things to Do in Budapest
Celebrating with all your buddies is perfect for the endless activities of Budapest. No matter what your style, Budapest can provide you with great opportunities. Your stag do will be so awesome, all your friends will be dying to come back for theirs! Budapest has all your normal stag do activities like strip clubs and casinos with even more from the unusual to the Budapest specialties.
Stag dos are perfect for getting the blood pumping. Budapest has plenty of exciting options, including shooting ranges, tank driving, escape rooms, go-karts, clay pigeon shooting, and quad driving. Shooting ranges in Budapest offer both pistol fields and clay pigeon shooting. You can buy packages for your whole group. Some packages even include a free round of beer! Car shooting is exactly what it sounds like. You can unload an AK 47 into a ruined car, a great way to get your blood pumping.
If shooting isn’t your style, you can try tank driving go-carts, and quad driving. If you are into puzzles or less active activities, an escape room would be perfect for your group. Escape rooms come with different themes and rely on puzzle solving to get out of the room.
Budapest has its share of unusual activities such as air balloon rides, bubble football, beer bikes, medieval dinners, Trabant driving, and riverboats. Air balloon rides are available all year and give you a fantastic view from the sky. Beer bikes allow you to tour the city while drinking cold beer. It’s like a pub crawl, but you never have to leave your seat!
If you want to enjoy something unusual which will also get your blood pumping and body laughing, try bubble football. If you’ve never heard of it before, I suggest you look up bubble football on Youtube and prepare to laugh. Football is fun to play with your mates, but bouncing off of them and sending them rolling in clear bubble balls is even better. If you are a history buff or want to enjoy your medieval ancestry, enjoy a three-course meal at a medieval restaurant with shows included. Not only will you get to enjoy traditional medieval fun like a knight show and belly dancing, but you will get a strip show while you enjoy your huge meaty meal.
Stag Do Pranks
If you love to make your friends laugh or get surprise strippers involved, Budapest has some great pranks for you. My four favorites are the hitchhiker striper, the sexy maid wake up, the rolly polly prank, and the dwarf handcuff prank. If you’re looking to give the groom a surprise, these four are sure to catch him off guard.
The hitchhiker surprise begins with a car ride down a road and a stop to pick up a seemingly normal girl. After you start driving again, the girl begins to take off her clothes and you don’t know when she’ll stop! The sexy maid wake up prank is similar, but a maid comes to wake the groom up early in the morning. When he groggily opens the door, he finds a sexy woman in a maid outfit ready to strip down to nothing.
The other two pranks take a different turn. The rolly polly prank also involves a stripper. However, this stripper has a few more curves to her body. You will enjoy this laugh though you may plan to book another, more slender stripper. The dwarf handcuff prank is amazing. A dwarf handcuffs himself to the groom for an hour. This is a great way to make a good atmosphere in your stag do and to meet new people.
Only in Budapest
There are a few activities that only Budapest offers. Only in Budapest can you travel on a riverboat down the Danube to view the city at night with strippers. In Budapest, you can also let two strippers wrestle you in either mud or oil. Choose whichever medium gets you more excited and enjoy the show. Thermal spas are another main attraction of Budapest. Relax from your exciting days and nights (and even help nurse your hangover) with the healing powers of the thermal springs. You can also ride around in style in a Hummer limousine.
They say that when night falls, Pest comes alive. Budapest is full of bars, clubs, riverboats, and even some of the thermal baths which stay open late and party hard. Budapest also has a good amount of casinos. It is advisable to take some precautions when out partying late. Some places target tourists and force them to pay exorbitantly high bills. Do some research before you go to see which places have had complaints.
Summertime is one of Budapest’s best times for nightlife partying. From pop-up bars in parks to “spartys” at thermal baths, summer brings in the best parties and the best DJs. Ruin bars are a great way to party hard in a piece of history. Created from the ruins from World War II, these bars combine bar, beer garden, nightclub, and cafe all in one. If you want to travel around to several bars, getting involved with a local pub crawl will be a great idea. This will give you a chance to try lots of different drinks and meet beautiful Hungarian girls. The best part is alcohol in Budapest is not that expensive, so you won’t break the bank on your crawl.
Some of my favorite places to party in Budapest are Liszt Ferenc Square, Raday Utca, Baross Utca, near St. Stephen’s Church, and the old Jewish district, now the VII district. Liszt Ferenc is best for the summertime with its open cafes and bars. Raday Utca or the Soho of Budapest is a young informal place that’s great for tasting Hungarian wines while Baross Utca is for the more alternative crowd. Around St. Stephen’s Church is a newer district filled with bars, nightclubs, and more. The VII district will bring you to the most popular ruin bars.
Budapest Must-See Sights
Budapest has many great sights that you must see before you leave. I suggest you narrow your sightseeing to a few sights mentioned here or to a type of sight. Budapest has fantastic architecture, beautiful parks and monuments, and amazing museums. With the age of the city, much of the architecture reflects roman styles. While the main sights such as the Buda Castle, the Basilica, and parliament are great examples of this, anywhere you go in Budapest reflects its historical origins.
Buda Castle is one of the most well-known tourist sites. It boasts a rich history and gorgeous architecture that is being restored from damages from World War II. St Stephen’s Basilica is another. The cathedral has intricate mosaics and a 360° view of the city. Parliament may be difficult to get into, but worth every moment of waiting. You can take a guided tour and even see the Hungarian crown jewels.
Budapest also has several museums. Between all of them, my personal favorite is the Hospital in the Rock which served as both a bomb shelter and an emergency hospital in World War II. The museum lies in the maze of tunnels underneath Castle Hill. Nestled next to the Museum of Fine Arts is a historical monument of Budapest. The Hero’s Square is the largest square in Budapest with several historical statues.
Gellert Hill is another popular tourist spot. This geological fault line created many of the city’s famous springs. Several monuments offer beautiful outlook points on the city. You can also visit Jubilee park with its beautiful sculptures and gardens. If you’re looking for more parks, Margaret Island is a great place to visit. Along with its park, it also has ruins of a medieval building, the Union Monument, and a huge spa complex.
Choosing Accommodations in Budapest
Budapest has several options for places to stay. The big three are hotels, hostels, and apartments. While planning your stag do, it’s important to keep in mind number of guests, price, and how interruptive your group might be. A fancy hotel may be less pleased and accommodating if your group is noisy and drinking. Choosing your accommodation is as important as choosing what your activities will be. Pick a location that is near public transportation or near places you want to go. If you are planning to do some bar hopping, it would be good to pick a place near several bars that you can hit on foot.
Hotels can offer some advantages. Many of the hotels offer free continental breakfast. Hotels also keep your group easily together, especially if you book several months in advance. Hotels will have more services available than a hostel or apartment. If you are used to a high quality of living, a hotel will be right for you. If you are visiting during the summer, you should call the hotel to check if they have air conditioning.
If you are looking to save money, a hostel may be what you need. Depending on how large your group is, you may need to contact the hostel directly to verify they have room for your group. Some hostels offer lots of activities like free tours or bar nights. Hostels can also be a great place to meet new people and make new friends.
Renting an apartment is becoming a new trend in accommodations. Companies like Airbnb allow you to rent an apartment and live like a local. Apartments are great for stag dos as they offer you privacy. While you will have to make sure of the size of the apartment, you will save money and give your group a place to celebrate without worry.
Weather in Budapest is fairly mild though winters can get cold. The coldest month is January which averages about a -1°C. March is the month the weather finally begins to grow noticeably warmer.
June, July and August are Budapest’s hottest months, averaging about 23-28°C. July also gets the most sun with about 12 hours of sun every day. Late fall will require some light jackets and maybe a coat in the evening time. You should check what the weather will be like before your trip to plan what to pack. Layers are always a good plan and pack great walking shoes.
Capital of Thermal Spas
Budapest’s thermal springs are an integral part of daily city life and a must for visitors. Sitting on a collection of about 125 different springs, the thermal spas draw in all sorts of visitors for the baths histories, architectures, and healing powers. It’s important to note that whichever bath you choose, you should look up schedules before you go. Some baths are only open certain times a day and seasonally. However, because they are thermal baths, some are open year-round. The poolhouse schedules will also let you know days when it is female or male only. Most of the time, the pools are integrated and swimsuits are required. If you forget your swimsuit, you can rent one when you buy your ticket.
The thermal baths have long been visited for their healing powers. Even some locals frequent these places with a doctor’s note. The minerals in the water along with the heat provide soothing to muscle pain, better circulation, stress relief, and more. Many of the minerals in the water such as magnesium, calcium, and sulfate are minerals many people lack. The body can absorb these minerals through the skin for a healthier you. You will feel renewed and rejuvenated. The waters help loosen your lungs to breathe better. They can also help skin conditions like redness, flaky skin, and even eczema.
Budapest has many different thermal spas, each with its own history. Gellert Bath is one of the most famous in Budapest. The inside gives you the vibe of a cathedral with stained glass windows and porcelain tires. Besides pools, the bathhouse also has saunas, massages and a steam cabin. Make the outing more unique by soaking in their red wine pool. Lukas Bath is a long-standing thermal spa in Budapest. It has all the wellness facilities you can think of from underwater massage to weight baths to an outdoor hot pool with a small river. Rudas is a newly renovated bath with a rooftop panorama pool to view the Pest skyline. Rudas is also one of few places to offer single-sex days. Most weekdays are for men only.
Hungarian Cuisine and Wineries
The foods of Budapest are some of the best foods you will ever try. From gulyas soup to paprikas to Gundel pancakes, you may come home looking for a Hungarian restaurant. Hungarian dishes are filled with spices and a variety of flavor. There are several dishes that you absolutely must try when you are here.
Goulash is a very traditional dish that falls in between a stew and a soup. Historically, it is cooked in a kettle over a fire and many restaurants stick with this cooking style. Goulash usually has carrots, potatoes, and a type of meat. Paprika is also generously added to the mix. Another Paprika inspired dish is Chicken Paprikash made with chicken, ochre, and onion. Most Chicken Paprikash comes with sour cream and a dumpling. Töltött Káposzta is another traditional Budapest dish. Minced pork, rice, and spices are wrapped in cabbage and cooked for a delicious and healthy meal.
If you’re looking for pastries, Budapest has lots of tasty sweets for you to try. Kürtöskalács are great as a delicious snack to enjoy during your day. You can find them in outdoor shops or festivals. Dobos Torte is another great layered pastry. You’ll melt between the layers of chocolate buttercream and sponge cake. Don’t forget the caramel and nut topping!
Budapest boasts some of the finest Hungarian wines. Tokaji Aszú and Bull’s Blood are two of the most famous and most delectable wines. Tokaji Aszú is a sweet wine made from the Hungarian style of wine, noble rot grapes. Many of the great writers, composers, and rulers noted Tokaji as their favorite. Bull’s Blood generates some controversy over the name, but the taste is to die for. Bull’s Blood is a delicious blend that began with the Kékfrankos grapes.
Practical, Local Tips
Before heading to Budapest, there are a few things you should be aware of. The first is money. Hungarians use the forint. Any cash you carry into Budapest will have to be exchanged for you to use. However, credit cards are accepted in many places. Before you exchange your cash, check on the exchange rate. Places such as airports can charge more and you will get less bang for your buck.
Another important tip is language. While English is not the native language of Budapest, it is still common enough that you won’t have too much of a problem communicating. However, it’s always a good idea to have a few handy phrases on board like “Take me to,” “Do you speak English?” and of course “Where is the bathroom?”
As for transportation, Budapest is a great walking city though Buda is much hillier than Pest. Public transportation and taxis are available as well as rentable bikes. Public transportation provides lots of access to the city and can be cheaper than taxis or bikes. If you want to save even more, buying passes for the transportation system will make it even easier to get on and transfer without having to buy more tickets all the time.
Taxis can also be a great way to get right where you need to without having to walk a long way. However, it’s important to stay away from any independent taxis and only take ones with established companies. If you still want to enjoy the view of walking with less of the work, renting city bikes might be the choice for you.
Useful Hungarian phrases
Good afternoon - Jó napot
Yes - Igen
No - Nem
Help! - Segítség!
Thank you - Köszönöm
Sorry - Bocsánat!
Excuse me - Elnézést!
I don't know - Nem tudom
I don't understand - Nem értem
What's your name? - Mi a neved?
How are you? - Hogy vagy?
How old are you? - Hány éves vagy?
What time is it? - Hány óra van?
Where is ...? - Hol van ...?
Left/right/straight - Balra/jobbra/egyenesen
Your eyes are beautiful - Szép a szemed
I love you - Szeretlek
I'd like a beer - Kérek egy sört
How much does it cost? - Mennyibe kerül?
The bill, please! - A számlát kérem!
Enjoy your meal - Jó étvágyat!
Cheers! - Egészségedre!
Hey, you’re blocking my view! - Apád nem volt üveges! (Your dad wasn’t a glassmaker!)
It’s all Greek to me - Ez nekem kínai (It’s Chinese for me)
Bullshit - Lófasz (Horse dick)
Jump for joy - Örül, mint majom a farkának (As happy as a monkey about its tail)
It’s not worth the effort - Annyit ér, mint halottnak a csók (It’s worth as much as a kiss to a dead person)
That chick is a 10 - Az egy bombanő (That’s a bomb woman)
When pigs fly - Majd ha piros hó esik! (When red snow falls!)