Credit: Bridesmaids
Credit: Universal Pictures

According to a new study, more and more brides are opting to have their hen dos abroad because it actually works out the same amount of money as hen parties in the UK, and in some instances cheaper.

So if you’re looking to celebrate your upcoming wedding in a sun-soaked location, where’s the best place to have a hen do abroad but on a budget?

Well, according to new research conducted by WBE, Portuguese hotspot Lisbon topped the list of the best places to travel for a hen weekend abroad without breaking the bank.

The study investigated costs in 42 of the most popular destinations, cross-referencing data on a range of metrics every maid of honour or best man would need to consider when planning a hen and stag do. These factors included the cost of a pint of beer, the cost of a cocktail, price of public transport and taxi journeys, the cost of a three star hotel (budget and luxury), the density of pubs, bars and cheap eateries per kilometer squared, as well as the average temperature between April and August.

Where’s the best place to have a hen do in Europe?

1. Lisbon
2. Bucharest
3. Liverpool
4. Manchester
5. Prague
6. Krakow
7. Madrid
8. Dubrovnik
9. Brighton
10. Bratislava

Cheapest hen locations abroad…

Lisbon ranked in first place as the world’s top destination for hen and stag parties on a budget. The Portuguese city not only boasts one of the best climates throughout peak wedding season (temperatures range between 21 to 27 degrees) but it is also the 6th most affordable place to buy cocktails or spirit drinks at a reasonable £6.39 a pop. This, combined with having one of the highest concentrations of bars and clubs (3.67 per km squared), makes it the ideal location for wedding groups on the hunt for a lively party scene. Lisbon also performed well for the number of cheap eats (9.95 per km squared), perfect for stag and hen parties hungry for an affordable food-filled weekend.

Best UK hen locations…

Brits looking for a weekend a little closer to home will be pleased to know that three UK cities made it into the top 10 locations, with Liverpool emerging as the best British city for stag and hen staycations, ranking in 3rd place. Liverpool scored highly for budget accommodation where the cost of a lower end 3* hotel starts at just £39 per night, but for those looking for something more upmarket, the price for upper end 3* hotels skyrockets to anywhere up to £167 per night.

Manchester and Brighton ranked in 4th and 9th position, respectively.

Edinburgh proved to be one of the more expensive UK destinations, coming in at 22nd place overall. The Scottish city’s growing popularity as one of the UK’s biggest tourist hot spots has pushed travel expenses right up; 3* hotels can cost individuals up to £190 per night.

London ranked in 37th place as one of the worst value for money destinations for stag and hen parties. Although the UK capital is home to some 2,500 bars and clubs (1.49 per km square), getting around the city, by public transport and taxi, is extremely expensive. The cost of a single ticket for the bus or tube in London is £2.80, whilst a five mile cab journey (the equivalent of travelling from Shoreditch to Camden) costs £19.87, the 2nd highest in the study.

Expensive hen locations…

Scoring in the bottom five for 7/10 of the data points used in the study, trendy Norwegian city Oslo ranked in last place due to extortionate prices for nearly every item. ‘Budget’ hotels are virtually non-existent with lower end lodgings costing £89 per night – more than double the price of the same type of accommodation in Madrid, Porto and Vienna.

Ibiza, Mykonos, New York City and New Orleans all ranked in the bottom 10.

Where’s the best place to have a hen do abroad?

1. Lisbon
2. Bucharest
3. Liverpool
4. Manchester
5. Prague
6. Krakow
7. Madrid
8. Dubrovnik
9. Brighton
10. Bratislava
11. Porto
12. Riga
13. Berlin
14. Budapest
15. Paris
16. Malaga
17. Galway
18. Cardiff
19. Cancun
20. Barcelona
21. Milan
22. Edinburgh
23. Las Vegas
24. Valencia
25. Tenerife
26. Dublin
27. Rome
28. Nice
29. Marbella
30. Vienna
31. Dubai
32. Amsterdam
33. Copenhagen
34. Leeds
35. New Orleans
36. New York City
37. London
38. Mykonos
39. Ibiza
40. Salzburg
41. Stockholm
42. Oslo

Jessica Laporte, who headed up the research, told us: “Stag and hen parties have got more and more elaborate over the past few years,

“Not satisfied with a knees up in the local pub, brides and grooms now expect to be whisked away to a foreign city for a long boozy weekend, or at least put up in a swanky hotel in the English countryside.

“If you have ever been on one of these weekends, you will know how costs can escalate, so we wanted to find out which locations offered the best experience at the lowest cost – you’re welcome, party goers.”


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