So you’re about to get hitched and looking for a fun place to go for that last hurrah with the guys? Bachelor parties, like weddings, have become victim of the Matrimonial Industrial Complex, and are now increasingly elaborate (and expensive affairs). Just going to a steakhouse and a — ahem — local entertainment establishment, may not cut it any more, not when your best friend’s bachelor party turned into a three-day Las Vegas bacchanalia that would make the Nevada tourism authority blush. Like a bride who wouldn’t want to get caught dead wearing the same gown as her friend, you want your own party to be a distinct adventure that will keep them talking for years.
With that in mind, here are some overseas cities with an electric atmosphere that will appeal to the bachelor set. They all made the cut in AskMen.com‘s latest survey of top cities for men to visit in 2011, which ranked towns on a combination of factors including weather, sports culture, nightlife and buzz. These particular selections all scored high marks on the affordability (calculated by the average costs of a hotel room, cab ride and pint of beer), so while it may cost you to get there (hope you banked those frequent flier miles!), you’ll save on spending once you arrive.
British bachelors have already discovered the charms of this Baltic capital, but you’ll still get points for creativity from your American brethren if you choose this destination for your stag weekend (and make that a long weekend, at minimum it’s a 12-hour journey from the East Coast, with a layover in another European city). The historic city ranks high for explorability and the medieval churches are not the only picturesque attractions. Budget just $40 a night for a hotel room and $5 for meals.
Adventurous eaters with a penchant for spicy food can score amazing deals at Bangkok’s many food stalls. Recover from the city’s legendary late-night revelries with a three-hour massage for just $30. An overabundance of five-star hotels means $200 can easily get you a deluxe room, but rest assured you can experience your “one night in Bangkok” for significantly less. To combine your urban holiday with a little surf and sand, you can get to the beaches of Pattaya in just two and a half hours by bus for less than $4.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bachelor party traditionalists can still get their steak dinner, but you’ll be able to wash it down with a delicious bottle of Malbec, all for a fraction of the price you’d pay in New York or Las Vegas. Thanks to the cheap peso, you can easily find a room for around $80, which is a good thing– because you won’t be spending any time there. Buenos Aires’ nightlife extends into the morning hours. If you have any energy left, you can check out a soccer match to experience for yourself the Latin love affair with futbol.
Portugal’s banking crisis is bad news for the country’s debt rating, but good news for travelers who want to make their dollars go farther soaking up European style and history. The city’s rich restaurant scene is a gastronomic heaven (especially for seafood lovers). There’s plenty of time to sleep off dinner before you head out for the night, since the clubs don’t get going until 2 a.m. If you visit in the summer, when the mercury rises to searing levels, you can seek relief at the nearby beach towns.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mayhem on the border has pummeled Mexican tourism as a whole, so even areas that aren’t part of the narco-turf war have seen a drop in demand, prompting lots of discounts and incentives to entice intrepid travelers. Unlike Tijuana or the spring break resorts on the Yucutan, the capital has culture and sophistication, but you can still unleash your wild side, taking in a (Mexican) wrestling match at the Arena Coliseo or doing shots of mezcal at a cantina. Best of all, you’ll save on your bar tab: Mexico’s City’s high altitude means every alcoholic drink is the equivalent of about two cocktails at sea level.
See the full list of Top 29: Best Cities to Visit on AskMen.com