Sweden’s summer holiday island, Gotland, is often referred to as the Long Island of the Baltic. It’s here that the holiday makers flock to annually to soak up the unspoilt landscape with its pristine beaches and its renowned festivals.
Top Attractions in Gotland
If you’re traveling by ferry from the mainland, Visby will be your “drop-off” point. The medieval town ringed by 13th century walls is the islands only major town and houses the majority of the island’s population, except off course during the high season. Summer time promises a view of rose-draped cottages, turrets, towers and spires among the cobblestone streets and cute shops of the quaint old town. Make sure you try a delicious Gotland specialty dish called saffranspannakaka, essentially a saffron pancake with red berries and cream. Once you’re done snacking, take a stroll through the old streets and head down to St. Mary's Cathedral (Visby Domkyrka) and the Gotland Museum.
Strandgatan Botanic Garden
Northwest of Visby near Studentallén you’ll find the awe-inspiring 150 year old Botaniska Trädgården (or Botanic Garden) near the ruins of the Romanesque church of St. Olof. Summer time sees a full program that includes outdoor jazz performances, farmer’s markets, guided tours and children’s activities.
Museum of Antiquities
To get behind Gotland’s history and culture, a trip to the museum is a must. Founded in 1875, this is one of the island’s biggest attractions with permanent exhibitions that include antiquities and artefacts dating back to about 8,000 years from the Stone Age to the Viking times among the other natural history and art collections.
Kneippbyn Amusement Park
If you’ve got the littles en-tow on your Swedish adventure, this replica Pippi Longstocking’s Villekulla Cottage Park is a must see. The massive water park boasts 18 slides and 7 pools, one rollercoaster, go-carts and many other rides. The resort offers accommodation that suits various budgets and on top of that offers a great little café for refreshments, restaurants, shops and many other great attractions.
If you’ve got the Gotland feeling down, a trip to Fårö is bound to change your perception of what the entire region “should” look like. With its barren landscapes and sandy beaches, Fårö is a unique destination that’ll only cost you 7 minutes by ferry from the mainland. Make sur you get round to see Langhammars and Helgumannen fishing village.
Tofta Viking Village
Since you’re bound to encounter a little Viking history somewhere in Sweden, why not do it good and proper, in the town of Tofta. Just 20km out of Visby, this town’s humble beginnings started back in 1989 and still continues to expand to this day. With activities like axe throwing, sports, games, handicrafts and the historical look into the Viking times and the Middle Ages, there’s a lot to do during the day here. At night a great idea is to dress up in traditional Viking costume and feast on local dishes…Viking Style!