Edinburgh 'more popular than Barcelona with stags and hens' this week, despite rain and cold weather

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Edinburgh is set to become a stag and hen do mecca this weekend as it welcomes more parties than sunny Barcelona.

Well over 150 parties will swarm the Scottish capital which easily beats the number of ‘nearly-weds’ visiting the Spanish tourist hotspot, new research has shown.

That’s despite a chilly start to the spring season with drizzle, cloud and highs of 13C forecast for Edinburgh this weekend.

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“Our customers could choose sea, sun and hot weather abroad but they consistently pick Edinburgh to celebrate because it’s an amazing city,” said Matt Mavir, managing director at the UK’s leading stag and hen organiser, Last Night of Freedom.

Edinburgh city centre.Edinburgh city centre.
Edinburgh city centre.

“I’d estimate that our customers will likely spend around £800,000 in Edinburgh this weekend alone - which is a huge shot in the arm for the local economy.”

As well as beating Barcelona, Edinburgh will host more UK parties than the entire country of Germany.

It will also welcome double the number of party-goers than Amsterdam this weekend, despite some in Scotland wanting to follow the Dutch capital’s lead by discouraging stags and hens from visiting the city.

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Last year, the Edinburgh Old Town Association (EOTA) claimed the city should learn from a controversial "stay away" campaign launched in Amsterdam to “discourage hen and stag party-type tourism”.

Last Night of Freedom managing director Matt Mavir.Last Night of Freedom managing director Matt Mavir.
Last Night of Freedom managing director Matt Mavir.

“We’re seeing more cities launch similar campaigns to try and put off stags and hens from visiting – but it seems to do just the opposite, as it has in Amsterdam and some of the Spanish cities where it’s been tried,” continued Matt.

People visit Edinburgh because it’s a beautiful city with loads to do, great culture and wonderful nightlife, and when they come they spend money and support local jobs and businesses.

“There was a real risk that tourists who just want to enjoy a night out – including stag and hen parties – would be pushed into the grateful arms of a rival city who would gladly accept the boost of millions of pounds a year.

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“I think the fact that Edinburgh is still beating almost all of its rivals shows that these sort of puritanical warnings from officials haven’t worked.”

Earlier this year, Edinburgh was one of five British cities to rank in Last Night of Freedom’s list of the most popular stag do locations in Europe in 2023.