Lets face it, once you’ve passed your mid-twenties, you’re positively geriatric in the eyes of the typical clubber on Magaluf’s strip, while 7 day benders are becoming a struggle – the cumulative hangover would likely kill you. The fact is, you’re now a proper grown-up, so you need to start going on grown-up holidays, or at least pretend you do. A lads holiday in Magaluf, Zante or Ayia Napa isn’t going to show off your mature side to co-workers or clients once you’re back home.

With that in mind, here’s five top destinations you can pass off as a grown-up holiday, for you to live out your twilight years of laddish behaviour on tour, each with a convenient cultural cover story for you to recite to impress other grown-ups such as your parents, clients or your boss.

Prague

In Prague's Old Town Square

Prague is one of the best cities for a lads holiday for a number of reasons: the low prices, the wide range of bars and clubs, and the fact it’s visited by so many backpackers. Even in the low season, there’s plenty of people out having fun!

Prices are cheap, too. We snagged a massive apartment in a 19th century building with huge rooms and high ceilings for four of us, near the Old Town Square and on the same street as Hugo Boss, Cartier, Jimmy Choo and Rolex. How much did it cost? Just £60 each for three nights!

Not only that, but thanks to the ludicrous denominations of the local currency, you’ll feel like an absolute baller dropping five Benjamins on a round of drinks for the boys.

Prices are actually generally cheap, with £7-10 sorting you with a three course meal off the beaten path and pints for just under £2 on average. If you’re on a tight budget though, try and avoid the Old Town Square area.

The nightlife is awesome, too. There are two huge bar crawls that operate in Prague, both of which are worth your time. One of them will take you to Karlovy Lazne, a huge five storey mega-club, which when we went, was serving pints of the local pilsner for a mere 25 Koruna, or about £0.75.

Cultural cover story

Prague is known as the city of a hundred spires thanks to it’s gothic architecture, as well as being home to the word’s third oldest astronomical clock.

Pros

  • Epic bar crawls and nightlife in general
  • Stay in a huge apartment in the city centre for pennies
  • Get wasted on cheap drinks

Cons

  • The Aussies will out-drink you

Berlin

 

Brandenburg Gate

Berlin – home to the best nightlife in the world? Parties starting on a Friday night rarely finish until midday Monday, and it’s unusual for people to arrive until the early hours. Berliners are just that cool.

Clubbing in Berlin has it’s fair share of quirks. You have to be all about the music. If you don’t know who’s playing that night, you’re not getting in. If you’re trying to get in to Berghain, you probably won’t get in full stop. A friend who’s lived in Berlin for over a year has only managed a 20% success rate in actually gaining admittance. There’s a reason why it’s the most exclusive club in the world.

If you don’t rate your chances, there’s always the pub crawl which starts at the One80 hostel near Alexanderplatz each night at 9:30, taking you to Matrix, which seems to only be patronised by foreigners.

Aside from clubbing, there’s also plenty of great food to be had in the city. Berlin is rather multicultural, so there’s a range of different types of food to try, as well as the local favourites – currywurst and kebabs. Street food is a speciality here!

Cultural cover story

Berlin covers 892 square kilometres making it nine times bigger than Paris , and has 1,700 bridges, easily beating Venice

Pros

  • Best nightlife in the world?
  • Eating Kebabs after a night out isn’t shameful here

Cons

  • You won’t keep up with the locals who party for days on end
  • You probably won’t be let into the club anyway

Budapest

Buda Castle, Budapest

Budapest is a mecca for hipsters across Europe. The graffiti-ridden Jewish Quarter is home to ruin pubs, a trend where old, dilapidated buildings are converted into drinking establishments, complete with reclaimed tables, bathtubs and cars turned into sofas and seating areas, all to a pumping soundtrack by DJs you’re not cool enough to know the names of.

Despite this (or because of this?), Budapest is a great place for a lads holiday, thanks to the unique nightlife and cheap drinks. The city is apparently even cheaper than Prague – in fact, the cheapest in Europe, a study revealed that you can get a round of 10 drinks in for under £20.

Not only can you drink in the city centre, you can also get boozy in the famous parties held at the local thermal baths, known as SPArties. This makes the baths the perfect place for late night partying as well as for nursing a hangover the following day!

All aboard the banter bus
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!

Cultural cover story

Budapest is home to the third largest parliament building in the world, and has the oldest underground train line in continental Europe.

Pros

  • The ruin pubs mean even your hipster mate will want to come
  • SPArties are off the hook
  • Cheaper than Prague

Cons

  • The Aussies will out-drink you

Split

Split

Split is a small city on the Dalmatian coast with plenty of great nightspots, not just in the city itself, but also at the near by Hvar Island.

In Split, there’s two bar crawls, the Tower Bar Crawl and Ziggy Star, both of which offering 90 minute power hours of unlimited drinks. Crikey. The Tower Bar Crawl is certainly an experience, which takes you to a handful of bars and clubs, ending at the water front by Bačvice Beach. Moored offshore just a short swim away is a huge inflatable assault course, which by around 3 am is usually covered with clubbers who’ve stripped off and gone for a dip.

After experiencing Split itself, Hvar is just a short 13 minute flight from Split airport by Hydroplane, a slightly longer motorboat ride, or a 2 hour ferry ride. Hvar is the town that never sleeps, well, at least in the high season between June to September. There’s a number of bars and clubs that open until late, including Carpe Diem, which is open until 6am. Carpe Diem also has it’s own island with a boat service from Hvar every half hour. Here, they host beach parties every full moon, hosted by top DJs.

Hvar is perfect for a massive all nighter, as you can take the ferry from Split in the evening and return the following morning. However, it’s also worth a visit during the day on the Summer Blues boat tour, taking you to the town as well as two swimming stops. Plus, there’s free beer on tap aboard!

Steaming into Hvar

Cultural cover story

Split is the home of Diocletian’s Palace, built in the 4th century AD to become Diocletian’s retirement home, but actually only saw use as a garrison for Roman troops.

Pros

  • Great atmosphere at the main strip by the beach
  • A stone’s throw from Hvar island for an epic all-nighter

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • The Aussies will out-drink you

Dublin

The River Liffey, Dublin

Like Berlin, Dublin is home to a hugely famous and popular club. However Copper Face Jacks, more commonly known as Coppers, is pretty much the polar opposite to the elitist vegan-hipster-techo mecca Berghain.

The club is basically your standard provincial nightclub’s student night, only ten times bigger and in the middle of a city. You’ll get all the standard club bangers in the main room, numerous bars, plus a large cheese room playing S Club 7 and the like.

Despite what it sounds like, Coppers actually enjoys a huge following, with over 70,000 Facebook fans, many of which desperate to get their hands on the mythical Gold Card, which entitles the bearer and a friend free entry and queue jump each week. These coveted cards are handed out only to the most devoted Coppers fans.

Coppers should be top of the list for any single readers, as thousands pass through it’s doors every night specifically “ta get da shift”.

Aside from Coppers, there’s also the opportunity to go on one of Europe’s largest and longest running bar crawls, which takes you around Dublin’s famous Temple Bar area with fellow travellers. It’s a great way to experience the city’s pubs without sticking solely to the city’s beaten path.

All in all, great craic!

Drinks and live music in Dublin

Cultural cover story

Dublin or “Dubh Linn” is an Old Irish Gaelic phrase that translates to Black Pool

Pros

  • Coppers is the best school disco you’ll ever go to
  • Home of one of the biggest pub crawls
  • The Irish accent

Cons

  • It’s relatively expensive
  • The Irish will out-drink you
Seb

Seb

Digital marketer by day, travel blogger by night, Seb has travelled around Europe, Asia and North America. He blogs about his adventures as well as tips and advice for anyone looking to do the same.
Seb

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