Stag Night in Poland
November 14, 2012 2:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm a first-time Best Man arranging a stag weekend in Gdansk, Poland for the 22nd of February. I need recommendations for accommodating twenty-ish people, and a bunch of other things. Including panic attack medication.

Our total budget for the weekend is currently looking at about £350ish per person, of which I'm estimating £100 goes on travel (£60 for the flights, £40 to and from the airport). There's a really awesome paintballing deal I'm looking to get for £30pp, so that leaves £220 to spend on everything else.

We'd be staying three nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night). We don't much care about five-star hotels and room service - even a hostel's fine as long as it's clean, warm, etc.

I've never actually been to Poland before, so I'm also unfamiliar with how much it generally costs to get, as the parlance goes, utterly shitfaced - or to at least have the sort of good saturday night-time that people would look back on and go 'yup, that was certainly a stag weekend'. I'd also like to have perhaps one other awesome activity, and of course food and whatnot.

So: where should I be staying, and does my budget look cool?
posted by Fen to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dinking is one of the cheapest things you can do in Poland, so you're set in that regard. There isn't much difference between drinking more expensive stuff you might recognize (Wyborowa, Zubrowka, etc) and unknown spirits, so just go for the cheaper stuff and you'll be fine. (Zoladkowa is a herby and nice spirit. Goes down like a 15% despite being 40%)

Most everything else is steadily increasing in cost to meet European standards. Have a good time, but since Gdansk and Warsaw have become havens for Ryanair-inflicted stag parties, be aware that you might be the third drunk British bunch the cab driver has run in to. Also, spoken English might be spotty, so the more you have arranged beforehand the better.

For food, find the local milk bars — very cheap and very Polish. It's basically vegetarian (previously subsidized) traditional food, and it's gotten a revival lately cause it really looks commie camp retro. It's one of the fondest memories my GF has from this summers vacation (being a non-Pole). It's good food and you can pig out for very little money.
posted by monocultured at 4:24 PM on November 14, 2012

Reasonable option (besides milk bars) would be eating in food courts in any of the shopping malls. Good dinner should cost no more than 30-40 złotys (about £8). In Gdańsk's Old City the restaurants and pubs on the waterfront are most expensive. And be aware of sobering-up station!
posted by przepla at 7:19 PM on November 14, 2012

February in Gdansk is cold, windy, possibly quite snowy, and damp if not horribly rainy. Think also about how much time you're going to spend outside. If your guests are used to British "winters" where you can get away with sneakers and a jacket, you'll need to show them this. Some more thoughts:

• When you arrive at the airport, be prepared for taxi queues if the weather is at all bad; it's probably best book a van/minibus in advance. Additional bonus: no one needs to speak Polish on the day you arrive to get to the place you're staying.

• Paintballing in the snow is possible, I guess, but after twenty minutes will everyone want to be inside and warm and dry?

• Seconding monocultured's comments on spoken English being spotty. People in hospitality jobs will speak some English, but back-end staff/people who answer the phone may not.

• You know who you might want to ask for more info on where to imbibe? People who went over for the Euro 2012 soccer thing. Check out some of the old forums from Irish fans (they played in Gdansk and Poznan, so be sure you're looking at the right city).

• The Gdansk official tourism page has a list of pubs here, many with contact information/e-mail.

• Many hostels will also not accept reservations from large groups such as yours. Unfortunately stags have a terrible reputation in Poland, and a Polish friend of mine recently had to spend thousands of dollars to refurbish a pair of flats they rented to a stag do online. You'll need to work hard to find a place that's large enough and willing enough to accommodate all of you (and has, ahem, sufficient toilet space for the inevitable post-bacchanal rituals) - you don't want to have to wait an hour to take a shower.

In fact, could you go over for a weekend yourself to book things in advance or do some background work? It's cheap enough to get there from the UK and in a sober day or so you could book everything in person.
posted by mdonley at 9:39 PM on November 14, 2012

Previous answers are all accurate. Have a look at Gdansk in your Pocket - the In Your Pocket guides are among the best for practicalities and they make specific recommendations for stag parties.

As for your budget, it depends how disciplined your group will be about taking budget options. £220 for 3 nights means £73 per night (375zl) to cover accommodation and all food and drink. You won't have a lot of choice of accommodation if you're making a booking for 20 people; many places don't have that sort of space, many won't take large stag party bookings. You might be extremely lucky and find a hostel-type place for 50zl per person, but even a budget hotel booked in advance will more likely be well over 100zl per person per night. So you're down to 250zl and you can easily spend 100zl of that on daily eating, since again the size of your group will restrict you to large chain restaurants. Then out of the final daily 100zl there's getting around (probably taxis), stag activities, (heavy) drinking, shopping, incidentals.

As I said, if you are savvy enough and disciplined enough to avoid rip-offs and find the cheapest options you will be fine. But 'savvy' and 'disciplined' doesn't tend to correlate with 'stag party' for most people, though your friends may be different.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:24 AM on November 15, 2012

Make sure you get an EH1C card for everyone if lots of alcohol is involved - it will prevent hassles if there;s a drunken accident, as you will get free healthcare if you're all EU citizens.

The Aussie/backpacker free mag in London, TNT, sometimes has a feature on cheap weekends in various cities or good places to stay and/or drink, so that would be a good place to look - it's very much geared to the Aussie stereotype of people who like drinking, travel and sport, so it's pretty good for budget stag do trips.
posted by mippy at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2012

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