Belfast has beaten Dublin to become the most popular destination for hen parties on the island of Ireland.

For much of the past decade, Dublin has been among the busiest cities in Europe for ‘nearly-weds’ looking to let their hair down before the big day.

But new data has shown that since emerging from lockdown, Belfast has emerged as a party hotspot with hen do bookings spiking by 227% with leading stag and hen company Last Night of Freedom.

“Belfast is definitely on the rise – it’s our fastest growing new location and has a real buzz," said Matt Mavir, the firm’s managing director.

“For most of the past decade, Dublin seemed untouchable as the destination for hen parties across Europe.

“It’s obviously still a fantastic city, but it’s one of the most expensive in Europe. A pint of Guinness regularly approaches €10 at busy periods in Temple Bar.

“It’s not surprising that Belfast is more appealing to hens who fancy a change– its nightlife is just as good, at around half the price of Dublin.”

Last Night of Freedom, which is based in Tyneside in Northern England, has provided a definitive top 10 of the most popular hen do destinations in Ireland and the UK.

Belfast placed fourth on the list, followed by Dublin in the fifth spot. In fact, recent data from the company shows that nearly one in five hen dos booked for the UK and Ireland have been in the Northern Ireland capital.

Mavir said: “The cost of living crisis has definitely changed people’s habits – they want value for money, which has seen resorts like Benidorm come back into fashion in a big way for hens and stags.

“But while Belfast does offer better value than Dublin and many other cities, I don’t think that’s the only reason its popularity is rising. Attractions like the Titanic and Game of Thrones play their part, but it’s gaining a reputation for its culture and nightlife – especially around the Cathedral Quarter.”

Belfast also beat Edinburgh and  London for bookings, as well as traditional party cities like Manchester and Leeds.

Only Liverpool, Newcastle and York were more popular than Belfast for hen dos in 2023, according to the definitive Last Night of Freedom rankings.

The full top 10 hen do locations:

  1. Liverpool
  2. Newcastle
  3. York
  4. Belfast
  5. Dublin
  6. Manchester
  7. Edinburgh
  8. London
  9. Leeds
  10. Benidorm