Welcome to Visby, Sweden!
It’s difficult to believe sometimes that Visby, a quaint old town on the island of Gotland, is home to beautiful sandy beaches, a stunning coastline, and fascinating historical wonders. A trait typically associated with places near the Mediterranean, it is the town’s location in the Baltic Sea that gives it a unique appeal and a captivating persona.
This is a worldwide local’s guide to Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts of gorgeous landscapes, ancient Viking sites, and fascinating treasures that await your arrival.
Start with one of the Top Things to Do in Visby
If there’s one place to get a feel of Visby, and the ideal location to start your journey, it’s Stora Torget, the main square of the town that epitomizes old-world charm with its cobblestoned streets, picturesque houses, and an eccentric collection of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Worldwide Local Tip: To immerse yourself in the marvels of Visby, you must first get there. Daily flights take off from several national airports that land you close to the town’s center. For a more scenic and leisurely route, take the three-hour ferry from Nynäshamn or Oskarshamn.
Eat Like a Local in Visby
The best way to explore Visby is on foot, but before you start walking, it’s best to enjoy the Swedish ritual of fika--coffee and cake. You can also treat yourself by trying saffranspannkaka, a comforting dish that consists of saffron pancakes served with red berries and cream. It’s delicious and recommended.
Worldwide Local Tip: As one of the most well-preserved medieval fortifications in Europe, a walk along Visby City Wall is an enlightening experience. The best way to go about this is to take a walking tour that lasts a few hours and is full of interesting facts about the town, and its colorful history.
Don’t Miss Gotlands Museum
Now, history can prove to be quite educational, and Gotlands Museum does precisely that as it highlights the legacy of the region in an informative and exciting manner, through displays and events all year round. An excellent indoor escape for a rainy day, the museum is child-friendly and also organizes walking tours of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: It’s a chance to dress up, come August when the town of Visby transforms into a land of the past. Medieval Week is the most sought-after event on Visby’s calendar where residents and visitors take a step back in time and partake in activities like jousting and archery. As part of the celebrations, locals also re-enact the Battle of Wisby from 1361. Do remember to plan your travels early as the hotels get booked months in advance for Medieval Week.
Venture Back in Time at Kapitelhusgården
If you can’t make to Medieval Week, fear not, for there is still a way to cherish the bygone era at restaurant Kapitelhusgården. This medieval-themed eatery serves amazing culinary delights inspired by traditional recipes in a jovial environment, that includes jugglers, fire shows, musical performances, along with the option to enjoy al fresco dining when the weather is favorable.
Worldwide Local Tip: Going ancient isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and while Visby demonstrates a love for its yore, it also is in tune with the present. Stockholm Week in mid-July, is party central as youngsters, primarily from the capital, descend upon Visby for a weeklong affair of extensive clubbing, boat parties, and all-around revelry.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Red rose cottages, architecturally brilliant churches, and friendly natives, Visby has a charismatic allure about it that makes it a lovely town to uncover. As a worldwide local, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself into the spellbinding beauty of Visby and its many enchantments.