Is Lisbon good for a stag do? Claro sim! Of course it is! I have spent over several year delivering tailor-made Stag Do’s in Lisbon city and across the wider region. During that time I have got to know this amazing place pretty well and I can safely say it is a cracking city. It’s easy to see why the combination of the characteristic city, nice beaches, rich culture, good weather and cool vibes make it one of the best stag weekend destinations out there!
If I was in your shoes looking to plan an epic lads weekend in Portugal’s stunning capital, I’d certainly make the most of it by booking 3 x nights minimum and filling up the days with good memories. Whether you are basing yourselves in a private city apartment, 5* hotel or hipster hostel, you have to get out there and enjoy some Lisbon stag activities! The region has fast become one of the best places to go for a stag weekend in Europe with many cool places to explore and world-class outdoor activities to enjoy. From heart pumping adventures like coasteering. To crowd pleasing activities like quad biking on the coast – there are many options to ponder. So, here are my 5 tips on what you can include in your stag weekend package to ensure you live it to the max. And avoid drinking too many day time beers resulting in those terrible lobster-red farmers tans and a credit card bill that sheds a tear the next day.
5 Tips For The Ultimate Lisbon Stag Do
1. Coasteering, Sesimbra
Just 50 minutes south of Lisbon city you have the stunning coastline of the Arrabida National park. The coastline here is postcard perfect and dubbed the Caribbean of Portugal. While coasteering in its traditional routes is a freer activity without ropes (as you’d see in canyoning), the coasteering in Lisbon takes on ziplines and epic abseils as well as all the other fun stuff like cliff jumps. It really does take coasteering to another level and our partners here are the best in the business! It’s no surprise why coasteering is our bestselling stag activity in Lisbon. It’s also a flexible activity, so any mates in your group that start feeling too nervous about a big jump, they can either simply swim or walk around that gnarly section.
So, for those stag parties who seek some adventure in the outdoors, soak up some stunning landscapes and to raise the adrenaline levels on their getaway – go coasteering! My tip is to get a day package with a private transfer, lunch and some beers on the beach after the activity. It flows perfectly with coasteering in the morning followed by lunch with the whole squad in an amazing mood ready for more evening fun in Lisbon later that day.
2. Explore Lisbon by Tuk Tuk
While a key part of our job at Big Blue is to host the stag activities as part of the package, I totally understand that it is nice for groups to do their own thing at times and head off one a self-guided adventure. And one of the coolest ways to do that in Lisbon is by hiring a private Tuk Tuk with a local driver. Plot your own course, or we can help create a pre-made tour in Lisbon’s popular Tuk Tuks – the drivers we work with are legends of the city and know the place better than anybody else. The Tuk Tuk’s will allow you to rest the feet and cover a decent amount of the city in a short space of time. Handy for the limited time you have on a stag weekend.
My tips to include on a Tuk Tuk adventure:
- Start in the afternoon just after lunch (line the stomachs first) and go for a 3 or 4 hour tour
- Head up to Eduardo VII top garden and the Castelo de São Jorge via Alfama and the scenic winding streets – stop for a drink en-route! Enjoy the views across the city and coast, you should also see Arrábida Mountain in the back
- Enjoy a beer or two with some bites along the way, the driver will know some cool spots with more of a locals vibe, or with nice views from a miradouro. One of my favourites is Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara giving you a nice view across to Castelo de São Jorge
- Belem is a coastal cultural hotspot with the famous Pasteis de Belem, notoriously the best of the best in Portuguese custard tarts!
- After Belem it’s worth taking a trip across the river to the Cristo Rei (Jesus statue like the one in Rio) does provide a great view and different perspective of the city
- Ask the driver end at Time Out Lisboa where you can grab some street food and drinks to get the night rolling. It’s a bit busy and it is a touristy spot, but the vibe is good, with an awesome choice for food and drinks
- Note: If the stag loves his football you could take the scenic route up to a stadium tour at Benfica FC, the impressive Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica is a treat for any footy fan with a behind the scenes visit
3. Hit the surf!
Portugal is a well renowned mecca for surfing. Either for seasoned pros or those looking for a beginner’s surf camp, Lisbon has consistent breaks with nice beaches perfect for a hit of vitamin-sea. You can’t beat the laughs you have catching some waves with your mates. It increases the feel-good vibes to another level, with a playful activity that suits most people, even the guys in the group who don’t want to do anything too crazy. And for those committed pro drinkers in the stag party – they need not panic! There are nice beach bars with sea views and outdoor sun terraces waiting for you. Win win – everyone’s happy with a surf lesson in Lisbon. Plus, you can easily get to our surf spots by train from Cais do Sodre to Carcavelos, or Cascais (we will pick you up then onto Guincho). Or we can pick you up in the minibus for a private transfer for a day out from Lisbon.
My tip is to go for a morning surf with either a second surf in the afternoon if you want to master the art of catching waves that bit more (second session is always better as you pick up the knack of it in the morning), or go for a quad biking tour on the coast! See point 5.
4. LX Factory for Food and Drinks
I absolutely love the LX Factory and often take our groups there. Based in the Alcântara district of the city you have a nice mix of up to 50 independent shops, restaurants and bars in a cool old factory setting that has heaps of character. Loaded with a variety of tastes from traditional Portuguese, to modern gastro joints or tasty churrasco (bbq meats) to name a very few – it has it all here. Make sure you catch some drinks in sun at some stage from the rooftop setting at Rio Maravilha. They make awesome cocktails as well as tasty bites. Its here you will capture that famous picture with the statue and views over the Tagus River. A must see and do while in Lisbon!
5. Coastal Quad Biking or Mountain Biking Tour, Guincho (Near Cascais)
Just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Lisbon you have the stunning coastal areas of Cascais and Guincho. Cascais has an urban beach scene with a good vibe and clear blue seas, whereas Guincho is more rugged and peaceful with nice trails that are perfect for mountain biking or quad biking tours. Both are a popular choice with stag parties seeking a fun outdoor activity on dry land.
The quad biking tours last around 2 to 3 hours, whereas mountain biking can either be a full day or ½ day tour that can also go up into the mountain area of Sintra – which is simply stunning! If the budget is there though, I would say that quad biking will provide that extra level of all-round fun, who doesn’t love zooming about on a quad bike, right? A crowd-pleasing activity for a stag do that most lads will enjoy – even the moaners in the group. Finish the adventure off with some exploring in Cascais where you have a great selection of bars and beaches, plus you can get the train to Cais do Sodre in central Lisbon within 35 – 45 minutes.
My suggested rough itinerary for a Lisbon Stag Do
- Friday morning – Fly to Lisbon
- Friday afternoon – Grab a lunch, check-in at the accommodation and head out on a Tuk Tuk tour of the city leading into dinner and a night out starting at LX Factory
- Saturday morning – Coasteering in Sesimbra
- Saturday afternoon – lunch by the beach in Sesimbra then drive back with an ETA around 16:30
- Night out in Lisbon, start at the Time Out Market and head onto Pink Street from there
- Sunday morning – Surf lesson (shake off the hangover in the waves is a great way to crack on with it)
- Sunday afternoon – Re-fill at a beachside café followed by either quad biking session, extra surf lesson – or collapse on the beach and chill out for the afternoon!
- Monday – check-out and fly home
There we have it gents. I hope you find these tried and tested tips useful. On the back of Covid-19 affecting travel so badly in 2020, I truly hope to see groups returning to Lisbon as soon as it’s safe to do so. Lisbon will be ready with open arms to welcome you. Let’s all hope that 2021 sees better times! If you want to discuss your stag do options please feel free to drop me an e-mail to [email protected], I’d be happy to help.
Obrigado e até já!
Founder and Co-owner, Big Blue Adventures