We are often asked for help, stag party ideas, warnings, or which clubs would be the best for a Budapest stag party despite the fact that TopBudapest.org is a general travel guide and not a stag party organiser. So to save us some time and save you some dead ends or mishaps, we have put together some useful info for you. Here is a miscellaneous guide to Budapest stag parties.
“Budapest Prague Amsterdam etc are like a tea party compared to benidorm or magaluf,where the brits really put themselves to shame” (traveller from the UK on a Budapest Stag Party forum thread on TripAdvisor)
Budapest Stag Party companies
First of all, there are lots of companies who specialise in Budapest stag parties, all you need to do is google this term ‘Budapest stag’ and your search page will be flooded with the various websites competing for your stag tuned attention. TopBudapest.org on the other does not deal with organising stag parties in Budapest, nor are we affiliated with stag party organizers.
Stag Parties – Welcome or Unwelcome in Budapest?
Secondly, we believe that most stag party tourists in Budapest have the decency to respect the locals of Budapest, and our Hungarian cultural heritage. Unfortunately, from time to time, we have seen stag parties from the UK who behaved shamelessly to put it mildly. Luckily, this is the minority. So please bear in mind that stag parties may not be welcome by many places and many locals in Budapest, Hungary. To be fair, foolish things are quite well tolerated from the Brits, and Hungarians love good English humour (Monthy Python, of course, Mr Bean, or Ricky Gervais). But rude things, including rude stag outfits are not well tolerated. That being said, some of the locals, including the ones that are specializing in Budapest stag parties, will be more than happy to assist you in your unusual stag party adventures.
Budapest P*ssup stag do company is said to have quite a good reputation, if you are happy to have someone to organise things for you. We read about them on forums like the Budapest Forum of TripAdvisor travel site, so obviously this is what fellow stag do guys tell each other. We do not have first hand experience. But there are a lot more of stag organisers in Hungary. If you don’t buy the stag packages of such companies, it may still be a good idea to have a Hungarian speaking guide with you, in case things get a bit awry (Hungarian is not an international language, needless to say, and if anything arguable happens, you will be at a serious disadvantage language-wise)
Dos and Don’ts for Budapest Stag Party guys
Budapest is your temporary home town
Please do respect Budapest as your home town. As if uncle George and aunt Sarah lived in the same street where you are partying. Very few western tourists assume (maybe not you, so apologies for any generalization we have concluded from experience) that Hungary is an adult industry destination, a low self-esteem Eastern European country where anyone wishing to have fun with adult things to do in Budapest is more than welcome, where Hungarian girls are not only pretty but swoon, kiss and make breakfast for you at hearing English words, where tourists can behave without any civilised restraints. As it is oftentimes pointed out on Budapest forums when it comes to stag dos in Hungary: ‘It is not Benidorm’.
Quite on the contrary, Budapest is a nice, hip and cultured place, where decent and cool tourists are more than welcome, but uncivilized behaviour is not, or very badly tolerated. This does not mean that you cannot get tipsy or even drunk in Budapest, although you will very rarely seen totally drunk people in the streets. If you do, perhaps some just over 18 year old adolescents or a couple of homeless people, please bear in mind, that they are at home, so will most probably be able to drag themselves home, as they know the place, have the language skills, plus will very likely have their friends with them to get them home. As a tourist you will need a party guide to keep you from faulty bearings in the city of Budapest, and other dangers, if you yourself are not in a state to steer your mind back to the hotel.
Budapest can be so much more fun if you go along with the locals, and imagine being part of the local community. Thank you in advance.
Your Taxi Driver is not Your Budapest Party Guide
Taxi drivers in Budapest will most probably get you to a great pub, and awesome nightclub, etc. So a rule of thumb is do not go anywhere a Budapest taxi driver recommends. Some of them will give a good tip but most of them will just take you to a not really great place and get their commission for referring you to the club / bar.
Another relevant and general warning here is that never get a taxi from the street. Call one, here are some more tips about Budapest taxis.
And as an additional note: one of the frequent scams in Budapest nightlife is to be fooled by some seemingly innocent girls you bump into around Vaci utca shopping street. They may talk to you nonchalantly, ask you if you are a tourist, or just ask for a lighter for her cigarette, or any other little help, etc. While it is OK to offer some help, if they take the initiative to ask you to sit in for some drinks around Vaci utca, you can suspect that the girl in question is in fact a bait for one of the local Budapest nightclubs or rip off bars. Not a nice experience. But if you find the girl really nice and honest (hey, we are not against romantic love), you can suggest going to the nearby Akvarium Club, a safe, friendly and decent club with lots of people and 2 minutes walk from Vaci street. There you can chat safely putting aside initial suspicion.
Bars and Clubs to Avoid in Budapest
There are some night clubs with really bad reputation, with really ugly and scary stories you do not want to get anywhere near them. Here is our list of the black list clubs in Budapest. In general, do not go to clubs and bars on Vaci utca shopping street. As a tourist you will most likely be staying in the city centre of Budapest (District V, VI or VII) or close to that (like Raday street in District IX). Downtown Budapest is generally a safe place (apart from pickpockets in crowded places, and policeman scams, or other scams, and of course the rip off clubs). District VIII used to be a no-no zone a couple of years ago, but recent urban developments turned the centre most streets of District VIII a lot safer. So basically it is hard to pin down a less safe zone in Budapest where tourists would go to.
Have your wits about you. If you ask for the menu, and they will say, sorry, there is no menu, it is fishy somehow right? Leave the place and don’t order anything. If the guests at the club are almost exclusively you, and the girls plus some square bodied guards, it looks annoying. The proportion is not right. Leave the club.
Again, get a stag tour guide for yourselves for the wildest night to take care of you, and help you avoid scary situations that may even involve physical coercion as if in a bad category C movie.
Budapest VIP Clubs
Some (stag) tourists find it a crucial thing to get into a VIP club in Budapest. The truth is you do not need to. VIP Clubs are different from the ones in the UK, there are hardly any exclusive places and barriers to get over. In addition, many people at the clubs will stare at you like a strange misunderstood animal in a self-inflicted cage in a zoo, or even worse, as a totally uncool jack*ss.
Instead, you can simply head, for instance, to DOKK Club, a huge party club on a self-contained island in the north of Budapest on Hajogyari Island. A cool place to eat, drink, dance, and talk to people. To dine and drink through the night at DOKK is about GBP 80-160 per person. It is worth booking a table in advance or turning up early evening, at around 7-8pm to avoid the late night long queues.
Budapest Pubs and Bars
Many stag parties warm up with a pub crawling tour in Budapest. You can go on your own and pick a few places in District VI and VII, or take a cheap and good pub crawling tour offered by some Budapest pub crawling tour companies. There are great pubs in Budapest, and most of these pubs are more like bars in the UK rather than proper English pubs with thick wooden furniture, carpets, pub meals and TV screens for football matches.
Some of the best pubs in Budapest are so called ‘ruin pubs‘, which are cool underground and hip places to party, drink, listen to music, dance, throw darts, play Foosball, watch films, etc. They could be anywhere in London and are really great places to party and talk to locals (not pick up places). Some of the best places in Budapest are: Szimpla Kert, Otkert, Instant, Potkulcs, Szoda, Mumus, Club 400 etc. For clubbing (drinking and dancing) try Corvinteto on Blaha Square, Instant in Nagymezo Street or Fogashaz in Akacfa street.
The Akvarium Klub (Club Aquarium) on Elisabeth Square is a really nice and central place with loads of people in the bar, on its open air terrace and by the lawn (late night party picnic) above the club. Elisabeth Square (Erzsebet square in Hungarian) is right next to Deak square, the most central square in the city of Budapest.
There are lots of bars, clubs and restaurants on and around Liszt Ferenc Square, somewhere between Opera M1 metro station and Oktogon M1 metro station. Lively, noisy and packed with people, these places are full of life, great for early night partying, people watching, eating, drinking, etc.
One of the best open air clubs is on Margaret Island with lots of folks feeling great, drinking, chatting, watching matches, clubbing, etc. at Holdudvar Club – perfect summer time choice.
Prices and Paying in Budapest Bars and Pubs
If you go to a pub, you might find it a good idea to avoid running up a tab. Some places may overcharge you, so just in case, pay after each round (the usual tip is around 10%). As for beers, if you are aiming for something English, you can expect to pay higher prices for beers (around GBP 3-4) – you can find some places downtown that are English, Scottish or Irish. However, if you go local, and you are happy to drink beers at local pubs and bars, you can expect to pay GBP 1-2 for a pint. See our drink guides on the best Hungarian beers, and best Hungarian wines. You can try some stronger Hungarian alcoholic drinks, like the local brandy called Palinka and the bitter herbal drink called Unicum, but be careful as they can knock you out very quickly, so better drink in moderation if you want to keep on partying rather than sleeping through your Budapest trip like a log.
Please note that as of January 1st 2012 no pubs, clubs, restaurants have smoking sections any more. Smoking is allowed in the streets and in the designated areas (e.g. you are not allowed to smoke at bus stops, tram stops, etc.).
Fun Things to Do in Budapest
If you are organising a stag party in Budapest we assume you are seeking fun things to do rather than museums in Budapest and art galleries.
Here are some ideas to have fun in Budapest. In addition, here are some more ideas you and your stag party friends may enjoy.
Quirky Modes of Transport in Budapest
Most importantly, there are all sorts of funny vehicles in Budapest, which may not sound too much fun, but it is. You can try old communist cars, like Trabant or Lada, you can get on quirky vehicles, like the cogwheel railway (Fogaskereku), the old underground (M1 yellow metro line), which looks like a metro for kids (built in 1986, as the first continental metro in Europe), the Funicular (a cable car up to the Castle Hill – albeit the ride is quite short), or the former pioneer train now called the Children’s railway in the hills of Buda (note: on the children’s train there are many children and families who need the respect you would ask for your own family), and then the Libego, which is like a ski cable car descending from the top of Janos Hill (a train station along the Children’s Railway). Trying these unusual and quirky modes of transport are a really fun way to enjoy a Budapest stag party. And let’s not forget about the beer bike (drinking beer and pedalling the cart) or the Segway tours (obviously, soberly), or even bob-sleighing (dry bobsleighing is available in Visegrad, a town about an hour’s drive from Budapest). Stag party companies in Budapest often offer quads to ride cross country, or canoeing on the river Danube, go-karting, etc.
One Day Trip
In fact, you can spend a whole day by going to the hills of the Buda. Get to Szell Kalman Square by M2 red metro line, then take the tram number 59, and get off at the third stop at St John Hospital stop (Szent Janos Korhaz). This is the last stop of the tram, so you cannot miss it. There you can change to the cogwheel railway, which will take you up to the hill (see the cogwheel schedule here). The final stop of the cogwheel is Szechenyi Hill, where you can take the ex-Pioneer train (the ticket inspectors and conductors are children) to Normafa train station. Get off and walk to the ski house to have some sausages and some traditional Hungarian meals at NormaKert (former Normafa Ski house). There is a nice strudel house at the back to try some yummy strudels and enjoy the panoramic views of Budapest. Then you can take a 15-20 minute walk towards Elisabeth Lookout Tower (even climb up, if you are up to it) or just take the cable car called Libego down the hill, back towards the city centre.
Then you can take bus number 291 back to Nyugati Train Station (M3 metro station too), then you can have a few drinks and something to eat at U26 Club and shop, a nice modern restaurant / club / shop right next to the Nyugati Train Station. Or you can take tram number 61 from Libego to Szell Kalman Square (M2 red line metro station) where you can eat a lot at St Jupat (Szent Jupat Restaurant – a slightly hit and miss tavern style eatery with big portions, good food and cheap prices, large wooden tables and benches). Another, though more upscale place is Prime Steak and Wine in Mammut Shopping Mall (3rd floor) where you can enjoy good steaks even if the location of the restaurant is in a shopping mall. For a more casual setting and some pizzas you can sit on the open air terrace of Il Treno Pizza Restaurant . In summer time you can go to the nearby Millenaris Park where there is usually something going on (5 min walk from Szell Kalman Square), like a party, a festival, etc. Cool place.
Bowling, clay pigeon shooting, paintball, or you can even order fake pranks. There is really no limit to adult imagination either. At any rate, please be nice to locals (including the girls entertaining you, who may be trying to earn their tuition fee to get a bachelor degree, and may not be very different from your next door student girl).
How to Relax and Get Refreshed after Stag Parties in Budapest?
This is a no brainer. Budapest is the capital of spa baths, and some of the spas are really cool and fun. Detoxification is guaranteed, it will put your hangover behind you. The most popular is Szechenyi Bath in the City Park of Budapest with its outdoor wave pool and nice atmosphere. In summer time when the heat can seem unbearable, you can go to Palatinus lido on Margaret Island too.