MADRID – Hen parties. You either love them or loathe them. However, these group parties for prospective spouses are in great demand in Spain. What are the most popular destinations in Spain to celebrate (or to avoid) a stag party?
Traditionally, most bachelor parties are held in or near the residence of the bride or groom-to-be. However, it is also becoming increasingly popular to book an evening or weekend away. We list here the most chosen destinations where ‘los novios’ can experience their last night of debauchery.
Party island Ibiza is number one for many partygoers. But in addition to going out in one of the famous nightclubs, you can also lie on the beach here, stroll along trendy markets or – if you have a bit more to spend – rent a chic boat for a real glamour party.
Barcelona and Madrid
These two major Spanish cities naturally have something to offer everyone. Whether you want to discover the nightlife or are more into cultural outings. And for the necessary hilarity for the partygoers (and irritation with other road users), renting Segways or eSteps is of course indispensable. Barcelona has the advantage of its location on the coast. Madrid is known for its vibrant and here-and-there ‘rough’ nightlife. The Malasaña, Chueca and Argüelles districts are particularly popular for stag or hen parties.
Salamanca is a classic when it comes to bachelor parties. This cosy university town with a historic centre that has been declared a World Heritage Site is known for its many bars and restaurants of high quality. This is an ideal combination for those who first want to dine extensively and then go bar hopping. One tip: visit Salamanca, especially during the university year. During the summer holidays, most students leave the city and the remaining conviviality mainly appeals to other types of people.
Andalucia naturally attracts many partygoers with its perfect combination of sun, sea and culture. Granada is the place to be for those who like terraces and tapas and perhaps also want to visit the Alhambra with a hangover. In the vicinity of Málaga, there are several cities that are high on the list of favourites for bachelor parties: the cosy Málaga of course and also the famous Torremolinos, the marina of Benalmádena and the fashionable Marbella.
Here, activities that fit the coast are especially popular, such as beach or boat parties and other activities on or by the water. Outside Málaga on the Atlantic coast in western Andalucia, El Puerto de Santa María and Conil de la Frontera are popular. Due to its location by the sea, the range of activities there is comparable to that of other coastal towns.
Of the cities in the interior of Andalucia, Seville is especially a hotspot for stag or hen parties. In the busy months of April, May, June and October, this city attracts an average of 1,000 tourists per weekend who come specifically for a bachelor party. Of course, there is also plenty to do in Seville. Party-goers like to book a boat trip on the Guadalquivir and a visit to a flamenco show. The obligatory round trip in a rented limousine is also popular.
Smaller towns: Logroño and Gijón
Some smaller towns also have a reputation to uphold when it comes to bachelor parties. Gijón is such a city. This place on the north coast is known for its fantastic location, beautiful beach, cosy nightlife and high-quality gastronomy. An interesting alternative for many partying bachelors.
Logroño in the Rioja region is also traditionally popular among married couples who want to jump out of the band one last time. Calle Laurel in particular, with its many pubs and tapas bars, has always been a magnet for bachelor parties. But now many cafes no longer allow party groups there because of the nuisance.
Municipalities take measures
Municipalities are upset with the popularity of bachelor parties. On the one hand, they bring in a lot of money. Hen parties are a form of tourism that unlike other tourist activities has effortlessly survived the pandemic. This is very welcome in municipalities where other forms of tourism are on the decline. But at the same time, they cause a nuisance. After all, not every resident or unsuspecting bar-goer is waiting to be hemmed in by hopping young ladies with diadems of rubber penises on their heads. Bachelor parties cause disturbances and complaints about noise pollution and mess.
In addition to Logroño, there are now more municipalities that have taken measures. Cities such as Málaga and Conil impose hefty fines on partygoers who indulge in noise or antisocial behaviour.
Therefore, some Spaniards look for it outside of Spain. Lisbon and Amsterdam in particular have also become popular destinations for Spanish bachelors who are looking for one last time of rough partying.