L-plates, polyester veils, cheap cocktails and chocolate willies - if you're looking for more sophisticated hen party celebration, read on for our guide to elegant hen weekend ideas! Planning a hen party holiday requires quite a lot of organised coordination (read our tips for planning a hen party abroad), but we've put together the best hen party destinations abroad that will guarantee your hen has an amazing send off.
1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a European holiday destination with something for everyone - the rambling alleyways and little boutiques of the old city, the restaurants and bars of Las Ramblas, the treasures of the Picasso Museum and the golden beaches of the Costa del Sol to unwind on. Let Marbella soak up the binge drinkers - Barcelona offers an altogether classier side of Iberian culture.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Sitting on the waters of the beautiful blue Danube, the capital of Hungary is a medieval city with stunning architecture and gorgeous natural views. Culture vultures can time a visit to coincide with one of the major annual music and art festivals, or simply plan a tour of the city's many museums and art galleries. If fashion is your thing, make sure to be in town during April or October for Fashion Week - or simply head to Leopoldtown in the old inner city to get your designer fix.
Budapest is known as the city of spas, so make the most of the city's historic healing waters by visiting the best thermal baths in Budapest.
3. Juan les Pins, France
Paris is a fun trip on the Eurostar, but if you're looking for effortless French glamour head on down to the Cote d'Azur on the south coast where you can enjoy an indulgent break in Juan les Pins. Just as chic as nearby Cannes - but quieter and friendlier on the pocket - Juan is the stylish resort break of choice for those in the know. Think gorgeous coastline, relaxed beach bars and fine dining - and not a karaoke bar in sight. Hen party ideas, made simple.
4. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy
The glorious Sardinian coast is a relatively untouched part of Italy, lined with turquoise waters and sweeping bays and full of rural Italian charm. The white-sand shores of Costa Smeralda in the north of the region are perfect for a relaxing hen party beach break, or make a perfect starting point for a watersports or yachting weekend for upmarket water-babies.
5. New York, USA
If it's world-class shopping and dining you're looking for and you have the budget, there's really only one choice: New York, the retail, restaurant and entertainment capital of the western world. It's impossible to fit the whole city a single weekend, so limit yourself to one or two must-see sights, book a manicure at one of NYC's many superior nail bars, and head out for a Broadway show or a superb meal in a city that takes its cuisine truly seriously. Don't forget to stop off at your choice of Barney's or Bloomie's for a spot of retail therapy (or just to dream...)
6. Reykjavik, Iceland
Ideal for an unconventional hen weekend, Iceland offers Arctic splendour, outdoor activities and tranquil natural volcanic spas. Go whale watching, snorkelling, glacier walking or snowmobiling, then relax in the famous mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon. If that all sounds a bit sedate, hit up one of Reykjavik's lively bars and clubs - travel at the right time of the year and you could be enjoying the Nordic nightlife in the glow of the midnight sun!
Are you planning a sophisticated hen party holiday for yourself or a friend? Let us know your plans below!
If you found this post on hen party ideas helpful, you may want to read more of our Travel Tips articles. Also check out our travel blog for additional inspiration and travel tips to make your holidays hassle-free!
Written by Lise Smith, a former contributor to Lonely Planet's India guidebook - she's seen her fair share of hotel rooms (both grotty and glamorous!). She learned to walk in a hotel corridor in Tunisia, and at the age of three had been on more aeroplanes than buses. Lise writes for a number of local news, technology and arts publications.Top