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Five great things to do

1Fly your flag at the official Euro fan zones. Gdansk's 30,000-capacity arena is 1km west of the city, while Poznan's is located in the downtown Freedom Square.

Expect theatre, cinema and Noel Gallagher gigs amid the football frenzy. See polishguide2012.pl.

2Take a Baltic cruise in Gdansk aboard a 17th-century galleon replica. During the swash-buckling trip, history buffs can keep an eye out for Westerplatte peninsula -- whose invasion sparked the Second World War (€10; perlalew.pl).

3Escape to Poznan's rural hinterland. Twenty-minute getaways include a quirky farm museum in Szreniawa, the lakelands of Wielkopolska National Park, or Kornik Castle -- where Chopin once tinkled the ivories.

4Take a camper-van detour to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The sandy dunes of the Curonian Lagoon lie just two hours east of Gdansk, so pack the surf board -- and the visa.

5Head for post-match analysis at Poznan's hidden Irish pub, The Dubliner. Tucked in a courtyard on the grounds of Poznan Castle, lounging in its leafy beer garden doubles up as a culture fix (dubliner.com.pl).

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