Instead of having a drunken night at a local club followed by an Indian meal at your local restaurant, why not try something different. A recent study revealed that 1.3 million men and women headed abroad from the UK last year for the hen or stag do. This doesn't have to cost the earth either, although if you do have the budget then you can splurge. This is my guide to alternative hen party destinations for everyone.
Riga, the capital of Latvia has beautiful architecture, a cultural centre, and a medieval Old Town.
Good for those that want some culture with their celebrations, in the day go shopping in the UNESCO protected central market and take in the ornate, gothic inspired Nativity of Christ Cathedral, or the House Of The Blackheads, one of Riga's architectural treasures.
At night celebrate with a cocktail or two at the chic Skyline bar with incredible views of the city or visit the Hardcore Hangover Club, with two rooms, a chill out space and a party room/dance floor, the cheap drinks and late hours make it the perfect party place.
Riga's foodie scene has become hip recently. The airy and modern restaurant 3 Pavaru (3 Chefs), is a much-welcomed addition to Riga’s restaurant scene. Featuring contemporary Latvian cuisine, the restaurant has quickly become popular due to the exciting interpretation of traditional Latvian dishes. If you want something totally different, Vincents, has a modern tasting menu with gastronomic food that will blow your mind. The next day when only comfort food will do after the late night out, try a brunch at Pagalms cafe.
Germany's capital and cultural centre is steeped in history.
To keep the mood light avoid the obvious historic sites, like the Berlin Wall and the Topography Of Terror - at least for the time being, you can always visit again. The city is vast so why not take a city bike tour, checking out the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie on your ride, and then soak up the sun at Badeschiff, a floating pool on the top of the River Spree.
Berlin's nightlife is legendary. Berghain is perhaps one of the best known clubs, playing techno. Your time at Berghain will involve dancing to the early hours, whilst at the Panorama Bar, you’ll find a more cheerful atmosphere, playing all variations of house music. Alternatively what about some cool cocktails at Limonadier, or a bit of burlesque in Prinzipal Kreuzberg?
For a meal with a difference check out the underground scene on Berlin's supper clubs, you have to sign up in advance to the email and pray you get in, so this will only work with a small number of people. Alternatively try the eclectically decorated 3 Minutes Sur Mer or the chic Alpenstück for trendy South German cuisine.
For awe inspiring landscapes and an ice cool experience, literally, why not visit the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik.
The city centre is walkable so in the day visit the museums tracing Iceland’s Viking history, the striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church or the rotating Perlan glass dome offering sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. For something special you could always visit the Blue Lagoon a short drive away, where you can relax outdoors in the warm geothermal spa waters. Those more adventurous can take a trip to the Thrihnukagigur Volcano, the only volcano in the world which you can explore from the inside!
If you want a traditional meal out, Hofnin is the place to sample freshly caught seafood with a great view of the harbour, whilst for a trendy joint try Kol, with it's experimental tasting menu it's the place to go for real foodies. For an awe inspiring experience you could always take a night tour to see the Northern Lights too, something you will remember for the rest of your life or a Game Of Thrones location tour.
So these are my top three hen party destinations, for more exciting and alternative hen party destinations check out this guide to hen do hotspots in Europe.
Have you been to any of these cities?
*sponsored post, words and opinions are my own