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Blog Top 10 city breaks for the ultimate lads’ trip
Friends having drinks on lads' trip
Date: 26 October 2018

Top 10 city breaks for the ultimate lads’ trip

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When it comes to a bit of bonding time with your buddies, nothing beats a guys’ getaway.

Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun, an adventure of a lifetime, or simply a party weekend away, the options are endless.

So, to help you out, we’ve put together our 10 favourite city break destinations for a memorable trip with the boys.

And remember, you can earn CashPoints on everything for your trip: Norwegian flightshotelsairport transfers, even your pre-booked activities. Use your CashPoints to pay for next year’s ‘mancation’. It’s a win-win!

1. Munich

Marquee of people at Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich is known the world over. But good vibes are guaranteed all year round in the Bavarian capital

Never been to Oktoberfest? Munich’s annual party is world renowned as one of the best lads’ trip destinations.

This 16 to 18-day folk festival is packed full of Bavarian beer, concerts, food, Lederhosen, and more beer – an ideal combination for a weekend away with the guys. Well, maybe not the Lederhosen…

But if you can’t make the autumn dates, fine German beer and happy people are to be found in Munich all year round. We recommend a visit to some of the city’s breweries and a Biergarten or two. Let a local guide show you the best sights in the beer capital of the world.

Plus, if you’re up for a history lesson, Munich is the place to go. Unsurprisingly, much of the city’s history centres around the darkest years in Germany, and you can do an interesting walking tour about the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

For the football fans among you, a stop at Allianz Arena is a must, where you can see the iconic setting for championship record holders FC Bayern München.

In terms of accommodation, Kings Hotel Center is a good choice for a centric place to stay with an affordable price tag. Budget travellers can enjoy basic comforts at Wombats City Hostel.

2. Palma 

Guy jumping on street in Palma Majorca

Palma has something for everyone, from beaches to mountains

Palma is the perfect place to be, whether you’re travelling on a low budget or flying high. Temperatures are generally pleasant all year round, but the perfect climate is around the months of May and September.

A good idea for your lads’ retreat is to grab some bikes and head to the mountainous west coast of Majorca, which is renowned among cyclists from around the globe.

If you’re up for some all-out adventure, or are hitting this Spanish island on a stag party, head for the Serra de Tramuntana mountains for a formula car tour. There’s also the option to get your adrenaline pumping with some quad biking, cliff diving, and then a spot of snorkelling on this cool Majorca tour by GetYourGuide.

A bit fast-paced for you? Hit the greens at one of Majorca’s many golf courses, enjoy a siesta on the sands of one of the island’s many spectacular ‘playas’, then grab some tapas at a beachside café.

For some good places to stay in Majorca, check out L’Aguila Suites Bennassar or Can Boss Apartments. If you prefer Palma city, check out Art Hotel, a medium-sized hotel in a great location.

3. Tromsø

Northern Lights over sea and mountains in Tromsø

Tromsø is a  city surrounded by beautiful nature and spectacular lighting

An alternative option to is to head to magical Tromsø during winter and experience the polar night.

Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway and the weather certainly reflects that, so make sure to wrap up warm. That said, suffering a bit of cold wind is worth it when you get to see the incredible aurora borealis on the backdrop of a crystal-clear winter night’s sky.

For a real trip to remember, you could take the boys on a spectacular boat trip, or a whale-watching safari.

Accommodation-wise, Hotel With is a popular choice in the city centre. The Edge is located by the sea, just a short walk from the main street of Storgata. The city of Tromsø itself is relatively small and all hotels in the city are within walking distance from the main sights.

4. Longyearbyen

Person exploring the snowy mountains of Svalbard

Longyearbyen is an amazing place to visit for a winter city break

If you’re looking for a winter destination for your trip with the guys that’s even more hard-core, then spending some time in Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway, could be the way to go.

The polar island group of Spitsbergen invites you to enjoy some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Choose dog sleighing, skiing or snowmobiling in the winter. And, if you hit the island around May, you could get the chance to spot some polar bears in their natural habitat. This can be very pricey, and there’s no guarantee you would see these amazing creatures, but the cruise which takes you around Svalbard is enough to give you and the guys a memorable experience to say the least.

Mountains, sky and sea in light blue and pink pastel colors in Svalbard

Svalbard’s sky has some incredible shades in the weeks between the midnight sun and the polar night

In September, the midnight sun has just ended, and the sunsets are truly amazing.

During October, the days become shorter and shorter, and in the weeks leading up to the polar night, Svalbard is filled with its famous “blue light”.

Returning from a long day in the wilderness of Svalbard’s endless night, how about visiting Dark Season Blues – the world’s northernmost blues festival?

As for accommodation, the Coal Miners Cabins are a good option for budget travellers. Svalbard Hotell, The Vault is another favourite.

5. Stockholm

View of Stockholm from a kayak on the water

Stockholm is a beautiful city. Seeing it from the water is an experience in itself

Stockholm is definitely one of Europe’s finest cities when looking for a destination for your guys’ getaway.

Direct flights from London Gatwick take only around 2.5 hours, and once you arrive, you can pick up some additional CashPoints on the Arlanda Express train – the fastest way to the Swedish capital from the airport.

Stockholm isn’t exactly famous for its nightlife, but it certainly has plenty to offer. Take a stroll over to the lively Stureplan area, the most popular place for bars and clubs. For trendy vibes, be sure to hit club Sturecompagniet.

If you’re up for some action, rent a kayak and try out the Swedish capital’s beautiful waterways. Stockholm consists of 14 islands connected with no less than 57 bridges. Experiencing the city from the water is a great way to spend some of your trip, and if kayaking is too ambitious, there are loads of Stockholm sightseeing boats to choose from.

There’s plenty more to see and do in the city. For more inspiration, check out our post on how to spend a city break in Stockholm.

Cockpit room at Jumbo Stay hostel in Stockholm

Jumbo Stay at Arlanda Airport offers accommodation in a Boeing 747 cockpit

Now for somewhere to stay, you’re in for a real treat. In the far end of Arlanda Airport, a retired jumbo jet has been renovated into an affordable hostel. Previously used by Pan Am and Singapore Airlines, the Boeing 747 aircraft now features both a bar and a restaurant. At Jumbo Stay, you can even choose to sleep in the cockpit or the engine. This place is so cool, we’ve included it in our list of the 11 most unique hotels to have on your travel bucket list.

And if that’s not quite up your street – or runway – opt for Haymarket by Scandic in the city centre.

6. Gdansk

Ship and houses in Gdansk Old Town

Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot. Three destinations in one when going to Poland

Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia are the top three destinations in this popular northern area of Poland. Although close in distance, the three are very different places.

  • Gdansk has over a thousand years of history, with beautiful architecture mixed with a trendy atmosphere. High quality hotels at some of Europe’s lowest prices is another reason Gdansk is very popular among lads-on-tour.
  • Sopot is Poland’s most famous beach area. This Baltic seaside resort is a bustling place full of tourists in the summer, and especially along its 511-metre-long plywood pier.
  • Gdynia is the new, modern harbour. A walk along the Orlowo river is a must. Our tip: Enjoy a memorable dinner in one of the fancy restaurants in Gdynia.

Malbork Castle just outside of Gdansk is the largest castle in the world. Rent a car or take a train to see this medieval example of a European fortress with its looming towers and protective walls. There are also organised excursions to Malbork Castle if you’re not up for driving.

No matter where you stay in Gdansk, value for money is guaranteed. Food, drinks, sights and accommodation are all relatively cheap. Stay Inn in the old town of Gdansk and the spa hotel Grand Sofitel in Sopot are two great options for your guys’ getaway.

There’s also the option of booking a hotel and flight package trip to Gdansk with Norwegian Holidays.

7. Amsterdam

The Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam

A visit to the Heineken brewery is a must when in Amsterdam. Photo: Christian Bortes on Flickr/CC BY 2.0

There’s no way we could give you our top destinations for a lads’ trip without including Amsterdam.

This is one of Europe’s most popular cities with loads of attractions and great sights. Plus, it’s no secret that Amsterdam boasts some of the best nightlife on the continent.

But aside from partying, there’s plenty to see and do, making it the ideal destination for any kind of weekend with the guys.

Here you can dive into the history of Heineken beer, take a tour of the canals, enjoy a burger cruise and even start your epic night with a visit to glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

At some point you’ll need to get some sleep. The College Hotel is a traditional Dutch school building from the end of the 19th century which employs students studying hotel services as its staff (although it’s managed by professionals). You can expect a young crowd eager to treat you to a great stay. Hotel V Nesplein is a centrally located hotel with a high score on service and facilities.

8. Dublin

Pint of Guinness

Go for a pint of ‘the black stuff’ in the land of Guinness

Irish pubs are a phenomenon. And – surprise! – the best ones are, of course, to be found in Ireland. Dublin is a truly cosy city, with cobblestone streets and a rich coastal character. Mix this with a lively pub culture and a vibrant city life and you have the perfect recipe for a successful break with the boys.

Some say Dublin is a quainter version of London. But we think the Irish capital is unlike any other city on earth.

It would be a shame to avoid Guinness if you take your friends to Dublin. Start off with a connoisseur experience at The Guinness Storehouse. Then, put on some comfortable shoes and continue on a pub crawl in this old Viking town. You’ll soon find that there are more people than Bono who know how to hold a tune in this city.

For somewhere to stay, Arlington Hotel has a great location. Generator Dublin is a good budget option, with rooms for four.

9. Manchester

Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester

Manchester is so much more than football… but it’s a big part of it

Manchester is a massive football city, so regardless if you’re into the sport or not, or don’t support either of the city’s teams, we guarantee this northern spot in the UK will draw you into its kickabout culture and match day buzz.

And if you decide to go to Manchester on a lads’ trip, there’s plenty of fun to be had, both in the stadium and out.

With pubs on every corner and a friendly atmosphere, this city makes for an excellent stag party destination or even just somewhere different to go for a weekend away with your mates.

Up for something tasty? Try the burgers at Almost Famous. The Northern Quarter is considered the trendier side of the city.

There’s more to Manchester than football. After a visit to Old Trafford or Etihad Stadium, how about hopping on a themed tour for Oasis and The Smiths/Morrisey fans?

If that doesn’t quench your thirst for some top-notch footy and music, Liverpool is less than an hour by train, where you can hit Anfield Stadium and then head over to The Cavern for a drink at the famous Beatles hangout.

In terms of accommodation, keep it cheap, simple and clean: head for the Ibis Hotel. If you’re up for something a bit more stylish, try King Street Townhouse. The latter has a nice spa.

10. Copenhagen

Pier restaurants in Nyhaven in Copenhagen

Visit vivid Nyhavn when in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is an awesome destination for a weekend city break with the boys.

See the harbour area of Nyhavn, a postcard-idyllic port with old brick buildings, pubs and bars. Charlie’s Bar, Bo-Bi Bar, Café Brooklyn and Jeppes Badehotell are among our selected picks for somewhere to eat and drink.

Explore the culinary wonders of Denmark when in Copenhagen. Try the famous Danish smørrebrød: a sandwich packed with ham, cheese, salami, pickles, salmon… or whatever your heart desires. Keep it simple with Tuborg and red sausages. Or go all out and try one of the city’s many Michelin-star restaurants, such as Noma. Just be sure to start saving today for the bill…

If budget isn’t an issue, try the boutique Nimb Hotel. First Hotel Kong Frederik is another quality hotel, with a cheaper price tag.

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Road trips in Europe: Four spectacular routes