Never has it been easier for a British bloke about to tie the knot to round up a bunch of mates and hit a European capital for a stag do to remember. With the emergence of budget airlines providing cut price European fares to many of Europe's tourist hotspots, it's now cheaper than ever to celebrate your last days as a bachelor taking in a little culture, a major sporting event or a festival on the continent with a group of your best friends.
Perennial European stag party destinations of choice include Amsterdam and Prague but more and more bucks are looking a little farther east and considering a Budapest stag do.
Spectacular Budapest is a delight to visit any time of the year but during the long days of the summer months, the parks and public spaces of the Hungarian capital—particularly her islands on the Danube—spring to life with all manner of festivals of events.
Ask a local if there's a single not-to-be-missed festival on Budapest's summer calendar and you'll inevitably get a one word answer; Sziget.
The Sziget Festival is Hungary's super-fest. Held annually over eight days and nights on the ridiculously pretty, party-perfect Óbudai Island—smack bang in the middle of the Danube in the middle of Budapest—Sziget attracts near enough to half a million revellers who enjoy over a thousand acts in 50 venues. From international pop, rock and alternative headliners to the biggest names in world and electronic music, metal, folk, jazz, blues and Roma music. Wwhen you tire of the tunes, there's circus acts, open air theatre, fringe performances and art exhibitions to take in. And when you're all partied out, take a dip in the Danube and prepare to do it all again. Sziget is a week-long, around-the-clock celebration of summer and could provide the perfect backdrop for the Budapest stag do to end all stag dos.
The Formula one circus—with its accompanying glitz and glamour and non-stop partying—makes its way to Budapest's Hungaroring for round 11 of the F1 season each July. What better way to see out your final days of singledom, than with a bunch of good mates, fast cars and perhaps the odd Borsodi to quench the thirst. Back in 1986 the Hungarian Grand Prix made history as the first GP to be held behind the Iron Curtain. Today, the bumpy, undulating track which winds it's way through a natural valley tests the world's best drivers to their limits whilst providing a wonderful vantage for visitors to the course.
For the more sophisticated buck looking for a culturally rich alternative to the round-the-clock party action offered up at Sziget or the high-octane action over at the Hungarian Grand Prix, perhaps Art Market Budapest may appeal? Over four days each October, more than 100 exhibitors display the work of some 500 contemporary artists to tens of thousands of visitors. Held in Budapest's impressive Millenáris Center as well as a large nearby outdoor sculpture park, Art Market Budapest prides itself on its selection of as yet undiscovered work from up-and-coming artists.
Following a day of art appreciation, head for the heights of Buda overlooking the mighty Danube and the impressive Hungarian Parliament building to sip a shot of Unicum (Hungary's national apéritif) and contemplate your coming nuptials.