While being poles apart geographically and having different types of climates and cultures, Sweden and Mexico can be the perfect places to escape to when you need either a hot winter or a cool summer escape. Sweden’s mild and sunny summers can be a welcome respite if you’re already in a sweltering location, while Mexico’s winters give you the chance to shovel less snow and drink more tequila on a tropical beach. You probably wish you could do both, but unfortunately, with those pesky vacation time limitations, not to mention financial constraints, you’re going to have to choose just one. So what do you do? To help you decide, we’ve outlined some interesting experiences in each country. You’re welcome!
Choose Sweden if…
You want to play a round of golf at midnight
In the northern part of Sweden, the sun never sets during summer, meaning you can enjoy 24 hours of light. The midnight sun is an unbelievable spectacle that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. You can experience this phenomenon in towns up north like Björkliden, where you can enjoy fishing and hiking as well as a golf course that stays open for 24 hours to make use of the non-stop sunlight, or in Jokkmokk, a town that has a rich Sami (the indigenous people of the north) heritage that’s worth learning more about.
You want to experience a midsummer celebration like no other
Dancing around a pole with flowers in your hair, belting out traditional songs while downing a few shots of schnapps — sound like a good time to you? If it does, then you’ll fit right in with Sweden’s epic midsummer celebrations. There’ll also be tons of great authentic food, like herring and meatballs with lingonberry jam, to go along with the celebrations that usually take place between June 20-25 every year.
You like salty (and strange) food
Pickled herring, anyone? Swedes love their salty sill and you can find them just about anywhere in the country. Crayfish, or kräfta, is also another popular excuse for a social gathering through the month of August and gets in full swing with party hats, schnapps, and traditional drinking songs. For the more adventurous, there’s one of the world’s smelliest foods — surströmming, or Baltic herring fermented for around 6 months. The Swedes don’t stop their love for salt with just savory foods; it also extends to their candy, with salty licorice that can be quite a shock to the palate of the uninitiated.
You’re into castles and Vikings
If you’re one of those hardcore history buffs or even someone just curious about Viking history, Sweden can be an absolute treasure trove. For those in love with architecture, there’s the chance to geek out at the many castles all around Sweden. From the Renaissance stylings of Gripsholm Castle on the shores of Lake Mälaren, to the baroque flavor of Drottningholm Palace that serves as the private residence of the Swedish Royal Family. For those who want a glimpse into what life must have been during the Viking age, just stop by the old Viking hub of Birka, where you can see roleplayers engaging in traditional crafts, baking, and even battle reenactments, while you try and hone your archery skills.
Choose Mexico if…
You like some heat in your food
Mexican cuisine loves its chilis, and all the jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros will give you all the spicy flavor you’re craving in delicious tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and fajitas, to name just a few. You’ll be fighting off the tears, but these mouthwatering dishes will be hard to resist. If you’re in southern Mexico, try some chilate de pollo (a fiery chicken soup) and sopa de camarones (a spicy shrimp soup) — definitely not for the faint of heart.
You want to be close to ancient ruins AND the beach
Mexico’s rich native Mayan and Aztec roots are evident in the numerous ruins and pyramids spread out over the country. The great part about getting your culture fix in Mexico is that most of these ruins are in close proximity to larger cities that are home to some of the best all-inclusive resort spots and beaches in the world. You can easily do day trips to see Mayan ruins and temples at Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba…all from your comfy resort in Cancun.
You enjoy a good fight (even if it’s fake)
Body slams, piledrivers, and submission holds all part of your jargon? Then don’t hold back in one of Mexico’s most colorful entertainment extravaganzas: a traditional lucha libre match! These glitzy wresting events are legendary, and luchadores are certified rockstars in Mexico. So go ahead, be brave, and don’t tap out — you’ll find that you’ll have no-holds-barred fun and have a truly unique Mexican experience.
You want to get more bang for your buck at all-inclusive resorts
Margaritas, time by the pool, and enough dining options that you could spend days exploring new flavors – what’s not to like about all-inclusive resorts? Plus, with all that bundled up perks, you’ll be saving a ton of money while you just wiggle your toes on a sandy beach or enjoy a stress-relieving massage at the in-house spa.