Stag & Hen Destination
As a capital city Madrid naturally has fantastic amenities, but it has something more that maybe is just what your stag or hen party is looking for – the indefinable blend of history and atmosphere and culture and energy that combine to make this place one of the world’s great cities. All that and a climate with more in common with Cairo than Cleethorpes and it is surely worth considering for your do.
Even travelling to and from Madrid these days can be an exciting part of the experience, the much-revamped Barajas Airport – especially Terminal 4 – something to enjoy rather than race through.
Though there are facilities like a fine Waterpark, excellent karting raceway, and even brilliant indoor skiing, it’s likely that parties looking to Madrid as an option will want at least to dip a toe in the cultural waters here. So make a tour of the city’s most famous sights – the celebrated Prado Museum, the royal palace, El Retiro park to name just three – part of your itinerary. With a bit of organisational genius from a specialist tour company maybe you could manage this in a limo with something refreshing to sustain you between stops.
That same organiser can sort out your accommodation too, as in spite of parts of Madrid never seeming to sleep you at some point will have to, and it’s best to have somewhere stag-and-hen-friendly in a strategic spot than in the wrong neighbourhood and anti-fun.
A good stag or hen do tends to be one with the right balance of activities. To husband your resources (see what we did there?) early in the trip, or recuperate when it’s in full swing, why not take time out at a spa? – guys as well as girls. There is no actual law that says your do has to be non-stop boozy action. Other relaxed activities here include cocktail making, and inevitably tasting; or a trip to the Arab Baths.
On the other hand, it would be a poor expedition that doesn’t get the heart racing a bit in at least one daytime activity. Top of the adrenaline charts would probably be sky-diving, if you can face that (hint – best before a session not after); or for a massive injection of local colour, a no-animals-harmed bullfight(-ish) experience. Jet-skis, karts and quads can all be arranged, but maybe a bit more authentically Spanish again (if you time things right) would be a visit to the Bernabeu to watch Real – let some other buggers do the running about while you sit down. Or sit down while a horse beneath you does the running about, or ambles steadily if that’s your level.
Hens often opt for some dance event or other as a daytime thing – bond the group, burn off a few calories and laugh at cousin Brenda: belly-, pole-, salsa or Flamenco dancing (those last two for a proper Hispanic feel) are all on offer, or - not exactly dancing but it will tickle some fancies - ‘mud-wrestling’ in chocolate.
The evenings start late in Spain, with dinner at 10pm or so, though if you are hungry a tapas tour (another nice authentic bit of local colour) can fill your tums and please the palate earlier than that. The Spanish like a few tapas and a glass of fino or vino to keep them going, why not you?
While it can boast a host of different cuisines, with Spain’s South American links to the fore, you may want to partake of a few Madrid culinary specialities like Cocido Madrileno, a meaty meal in itself (in three acts), or if the alcoholic indulgence hasn’t got to you, Caracoles a la Madrilena, spicy snails. They don’t neglect the pud either, with several pastries of renown here.
As mentioned above, there are parts of Madrid that seem to forego sleep, so the right club may not kick you out till dawn – again a good organiser can point you in the right direction - when with a bit of looking you’ll probably still find a stylish bar or two open for the post-match analysis.
A stag or hen party in Madrid will be a memorable experience, and with a bit of good planning a fulfilling one – fun, laughs, culture and sun, or just changing one vowel sin – which is what some of us would probably choose in place of the full-on booze-binge that may more appropriately be found elsewhere. Not that this is a po-faced place – as anyone who has a go at the pretend bullfight is likely to find out! Enjoy.