People are increasingly looking for more out of a hen weekend than a hangover and a hazy memory. Hen weekends with little more to offer than all-night drinking are fast being replaced with sophisticated, cultured short breaks abroad. And there are plenty of destinations overseas to choose from. Here are some of the best-loved ones.
For the ultimate in sophistication, Barcelona is up there with the top European cities. Boasting one of the most stylish and cosmopolitan populations in Europe, the second largest city in Spain has a buzzing city scene and a laid-back beach vibe.
Whatever your taste, you will find it somewhere amongst the theatres and museums, or in Barcelona’s restaurants, bars and clubs. A stroll down Las Ramblas, one of the most famous boulevards in the world, beautifully lined with trees, will reveal a melting pot of street entertainers, musicians, flower stalls, cafés, bars and restaurants.
What doesn’t go unnoticed in Barcelona is the spectacular architecture, from gothic to contemporary. Sagradia Familia, a large Roman Catholic Church, is one of the most inspiring works. So, if you make efforts to see only one site, then let this be it. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, the gothic-influenced church boasts spectacular views over the city.
When it comes to a night out with the girls, there is so much choice you’ll wish you had longer to check it all out. By night, Las Ramblas has bars and a good atmosphere to offer, Port Olimpic is where to head to for a more sophisticated evening of upmarket champagne, and cocktail bars and clubs.
If that wasn’t enough, there are festivals throughout the year. These can really help make yours a unique hen weekend, so perhaps check out what’s on before you book? Two to bear in mind are Primavera which takes place in May with some of the best bands and DJ’s from all over Europe, and Festival Del Grec, a cultural festival with dance, theatre, circus and music.
Once a small fishing village, Marbella is now where the rich and famous park their yachts. A small town in Malaga, Spain, Marbella is advantageously positioned by the Mediterranean and below the stunning La Concha Mountain.
With its white sandy beaches, beautiful boulevards, parks and boutique shopping, it’s not difficult to see why it is popular with the elite. Marbella combines the traditional beauty of whitewashed houses and the old towns of Andalusia, with the contemporary cool of bars and international restaurants along the trendy Golden Mile.
Marbella is also known to be the neighbour of the sophisticated town of Puerto Banus, where you’ll find most of the best nightlife and one of the most prestigious marinas in the world.
As well as its marina, beaches and famous folk, Puerto Banus has an array of chic bars and clubs that cater to the classier hen. One of the most rewarding experiences of your holiday is to book in for a relaxation day at one of the spas or beach clubs. Nikki Beach Club is one of the best: by day there are bamboo loungers, swimming pools, cocktails and swaying palm trees to enjoy, and later there are international DJ’s to bring the night to life.
The queen of sophistication and a city of love, Paris provides for a weekend of romance that other European cities never could. From the romantic Eiffel tower to the bohemian cafes found on every street, this city provides the backdrop for a fantastic honeymoon.
There is an abundance of culture in Paris. Take a river cruise along the Seine for a perfect overview of this stunning city, before a night of extravagance and indulgence in the Moulin Rouge, with its spectacular shows and entertainments.
The Basilica de Sacre Coeur sits at Paris’ highest point, on Monmartre hill, and offers a spectacular panoramic view over the city. More central is the Notre Dame Cathedral, with its masterpieces of Gothic architecture.
The Louvre is an absolute ‘must visit’. Even the glass pyramid that you enter through is a work of art. And this is your chance to see perhaps the most famous work of all time, the Mona Lisa.
Of course, one of the biggest draws to Paris – for the ladies at least – is some of the best boutique shopping in Europe. Even if you don’t buy any items, you’ll still enjoy the experience of walking through the side streets and stopping off in a cafe for a coffee and a macaroon – a delicious French sweet that comes in many flavours, from strawberry to pistachio.
Ultimately, Paris is a winning combination of culture, class, French chic, and wining and dining.