Visby: the capital of Gotland

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Gotland is often referred to as the Swedish island with the best weather. If you’re visiting Gotland, there is no getting around Visby. Find out why the medieval town is worth a visit, what there is to see and how to find the perfect accommodation.

Why travel to Visby?

Visby is the capital of the island of Gotland. The capital is located on the west coast of Sweden’s largest Baltic Sea island, close to sandy beaches and limestone cliffs.

Visby is a former Hanseatic town steeped in history. The cobblestone streets, alleyways and the well-preserved medieval town walls invite you to explore. Visby’s old town centre is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Then there are the beautiful surroundings of Visby. For years, Gotland was more of a holiday destination for the Swedes and is therefore less crowded with tourists, especially at off-peak times. If you want to get away from everything, this is the place to be.

Visby: Holidays
Visby is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Gotland.

Where is Visby?

Visby is located on the east coast of Gotland, an island between Sweden and the Baltic States. The second largest island in the Baltic Sea after Zealand has a mild climate and even has a few neighbouring islands such as Fårö and Östergarnsholm. Visby is located about 35 kilometres from the west coast. In geographical terms, the city is roughly on a par with Gothenburg.

Visby: weather

Visby: Weather and best time to travel
The weather in Visby is best for swimming in summer.

As the climate on Gotland is rather mild, the weather in Visby is usually pleasant. During the warmest months, namely July and August, you can expect an average of around 20° Celsius during the day. The average amount of precipitation is around 30mm.

In June and September it is slightly cooler with an average daily temperature of 16° Celsius, but still pleasant. In spring and autumn, daytime temperatures are between 7° and 10° Celsius. The coldest month on average is February at 1° Celsius.

Best time to visit Visby

The best time to visit is between June and September. If you want to swim in the Baltic Sea, you should plan your trip for July or August. At this time, the water temperature can be around 22° Celsius. This makes it particularly enjoyable for swimming.

Places of interest in Visby

Discover Visby in the Middle Ages: Medeltidsveckan and ruins

Visby: Sights
Visby is known for its medieval ruins.

Visby is especially known for its history. As one of the best-preserved Scandinavian towns from the Middle Ages, Visby hosts the largest medieval festival in Scandinavia, Medeltidsveckan, or Medieval Week. The medieval Christmas market is also part of the event.

Preserved buildings from the Middle Ages are worth a visit. The best way to get an initial overview is to visit the city wall and the watchtowers from the Middle Ages.

Visby Cathedral, formerly St Mary’s Church, characterises the cityscape, as do the ruins of numerous churches. Visby is also known as the “city of ruins and roses”.

Pippi Longstocking backdrop at Kneipbyn amusement park

What many people don’t know is that Visby was the filming location for the Pippi Longstocking films starring Inger Nilsson. You can see the original Villa Villekulla at Kneipbyn Leisure Park. There is also a Pippi Longstocking theatre play in the summer. Other filming locations can be found at the city wall or in the centre of Visby.

Kneipbyn Amusement Park offers other attractions as well, which make it a popular destination for families in particular. There are not only rollercoasters and children’s attractions, but also a water park with many different slides and a diving pool.

Visby medieval town
Visby is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Scandinavia.

Discover Gotland’s nature from Visby

Gotland offers a whole set of fascinating and unusual nature experiences. As with most islands, Sweden’s Baltic Sea islands have their own rules when it comes to flora and fauna. There is a lot to discover on Gotland – whether on the coast or inland, or on one of the smaller neighbouring islands. Highlights include the beaches, the rugged rocky cliffs and the extensive fields and meadows in the centre of the island.

Holiday cottages in and around Visby

Holiday homes are generally popular on Gotland. You will find many holiday homes in and around Visby. The location in the town itself is less common. You are more likely to find holiday flats there, although those are an excellent way to stay in Visby itself.

Campsites in the vicinity of Visby

Camping is an alternative to a holiday home. There are not many campsites directly around Visby, but they are well connected and equipped. They are ideal for a stopover on Gotland or a longer trip to Visby. Gotland has a large number of campsites, making the island perfect for a camping tour.

Find the perfect hotel in Visby

If you want to stay in the centre of the city, then a hotel in Visby is an excellent option. Whether bed & breakfasts, boutique hotels or luxurious options: Visby is very well connected in terms of tourism.

Fårö near Visby: Hotel
Fårö, an island near Gotland, can be reached in under two hours from Visby.

Travelling to Visby: by ferry or plane

Visby can be reached by ferry from Oskarshamn on the east coast of Småland. The crossing from Oskarshamn to Visby takes around three hours. You can also take the route via Nynäshamn near Stockholm.

Further, it is possible to travel by plane. Gotland’s only airport is located near Visby. There are no direct flights to it from the UK. However, it is possible to fly in from Stockholm. This can be combined particularly well with a short trip to Stockholm.

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