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European (Holiday) Championships: Sweden vs Poland

With the Euro 2020 tournament now well underway, we're continuing our exciting European Holiday Championships. Sweden and Poland holidays remain the focus ahead of their Group E fixture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. While the two countries prepare to battle it out on the pitch, we're pitting these incredible holiday hotspots against each other to see which will come out on top. Read on to find out how Sweden and Poland breaks rank in terms of their holiday factor.

This guide is intended for inspiration. You should check the latest government advice for visits to individual destinations before attempting to travel and be aware of any local guidelines or restrictions when booking a holiday.

Weather

Sweden: From dramatic mountains to boreal forests and beaches, different regions have different climates. Stockholm is warmer and milder, while the north experiences long, cold winters. Generally, June to August is the best time to visit for pleasant temperatures. However, those searching for the elusive Northern Lights should visit during the winter months, November to March, when the nights are darkest. Abikso National Park, in Swedish Lapland, is one of the best places to witness the natural phenomenon.

Poland: Poland is a year-round destination with warm summers and cold winters. Unpredictable weather means holidaymakers should always carry a raincoat! Visit between May and June or September and October for pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists. Keen skiers will love Zakopane, “the winter capital of Poland.” Those seeking sun, sea and sand can’t go wrong with the charming town of Sopot.

Winner: It’s a close one, but Poland’s beaches bring a surprising amount of heat to the game, giving them an early lead.

Score so far: Sweden 0-1 Poland


Things to do

Sweden: Food, culture and gorgeous green spaces; Sweden has plenty to offer. Whether you visit Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum or stroll through the picturesque streets of Gamla Stan (old town), Stockholm is a sophisticated, vibrant city. Don’t forget to rock out at ABBA The Museum! Get your adrenalin fix at Liseberg, the biggest amusement park in Scandinavia. Avid hikers can explore the famous Kungsleden Trail, the king of all trails over 400km long. Discover Sweden’s only coral reef at Kosterhavet, just two hours from Gothenburg. The marine park is home to 6,000 marine species – there’s a huge seal colony too.

Poland: There’s no shortage of things to do in Poland. Capital city Warsaw has a rich history showcased through castles, churches and spectacular architecture. Culture lovers have more than 50 museums to choose from. No trip to Poland would be complete without a stroll through Kraków’s Old Town, home to Europe’s largest medieval town square. Get back to nature with a trip to Słowiński National Park, known for its vast, shifting sand dunes. Make sure to visit Masuria, Poland’s lake district, home to around 2,600 lakes just waiting to be explored. The dense forest, rolling hills and quaint towns are stunning.

Winner: We’d have a ball in both countries, but the crowd goes wild for Abba as Sweden levels up.

Score so far: Sweden 1-1 Poland


Cuisine

Sweden: Swedish food is more than just meatballs. Those looking for world-class dining will be well-catered for in Stockholm, home to nine Michelin star restaurants. Why not start your day the Swedish way with a fika (coffee and cake) break? Satisfy your sweet tooth with the infamous cinnamon bun found in practically every café, bakery and supermarket. True foodies, there's a festive day for almost every delicacy in Sweden – our favourite being the Crayfish Party in August.

Poland: Typical Polish favourites include Pierogi (dumplings), potato pancakes and a variety of soups. Kotlet schabowy, a flattened and breaded pork chop, is a popular main course. Make sure to try some cabbage rolls. Warning: they are easily devoured. Treat yourself to some Kolaczki folded cookies with a fruit filling dusted with powdered sugar. Traditionally served at Christmas, these delicious cookies are now a year-round temptation.

Winner: We’ve checked with the ref and Sweden scores an extra point for its enthusiastic celebration of crayfish and seafood in general.

Score so far: Sweden 2-1 Poland


Price

Sweden: Scandinavia is generally perceived to be one of the more expensive regions in Europe to enjoy a quick break, though bargains can be found with a little research. Save money with a free guided walking tour of your chosen city. In Stockholm, culture vultures can access the Modern Art Museum, the Natural History Museum and many more for free. Food and alcohol are often expensive; those on a budget should stick to beer when going out to bars.

Poland: With cheap return flights available from many UK airports and lots of great value hotels, you can be sure to enjoy a low-cost trip. Eating out in Poland is affordable, so you can indulge in Pierogi without worrying about breaking the bank. Whether you walk the Royal Route of Kraków or watch the sunset over the Vistula River in Warsaw, there's plenty of budget-friendly or free activities to do in Poland.

Winner: If you’re aiming for the most affordable holiday, you can’t beat a city break to Poland.

Score so far: Sweden 2-2 Poland


Distance from the UK

Sweden: Trips to Sweden are popular due to its easy accessibility. With direct flights to Stockholm available from a number of UK airports, you can arrive in just over two hours. Those looking for a twin-centre trip can travel to Denmark by train, bus or car. Just one hour ahead of UK time, you also won’t have to worry about suffering from jet lag.

Poland: Likewise, Poland breaks are perfect for those looking for a quick trip away. Reachable in just over two hours from the UK, you’ll be exploring the wonders of this magnificent country before you know it.

Winner: This one’s too close to call, so this exciting match ends in a draw!

Final Score: Sweden 2-2 Poland



Sweden or Poland holidays…which do you prefer? Tweet @icelollyholiday and let us know!