Sweden is located not only on the mainland, but partially on the islands. The leading position in relation to tourism is occupied by the island of Gotland, located in the Baltic Sea, 100 km east of the mainland. The city of Visby is the administrative center of the island of Gotland, the entire area of which is linen with the same name.
The area of Visby slightly exceeds 12 km², and the population as of December 2017 totals more than 24,000 people.
The most interesting sights of Visby
Visby, the most preserved medieval city in Sweden and Scandinavia, is recognized as a World Heritage Site and is protected by UNESCO.
Paved with cobblestone neat streets, fabulous houses made of wood and stone, an infinite number of ancient ruins and many roses in the ubiquitous flower beds – this can be described as Visby, which is sometimes called the city of roses and ruins.
Flows of tourists come here to see the most interesting sights, considered the pride of all of Sweden. The main city of the island of Gotland has quite a few interesting places, but several of them are included in the list of the most significant.
The first attraction is the fortress wall, built in the XIII century. It surrounds almost the entire old center, so it turns out the city in the city.
This ancient wall was perfectly preserved, and now you can still see its former greatness. The length of the structure is 3.5 km, and its structure includes 44 watchtowers up to 20 m high. If you look at the wall from the sea side, you can see the Powder Tower that has grown into the ground, and from the north side – the Maiden Tower with grass sprouted among the stones. An old legend tells that in the Maiden’s Tower the daughter of the city jeweler was walled up alive, betraying her fellow countrymen because of her love for the King of Denmark, Voldemar IV.
Some towers have viewing platforms from which you can enjoy panoramic views of the island of Gotland and the city of Visby.
The second attraction on the list of Visby is the Cathedral of St. Mary. This magnificent building is located at Vastra Kyrkogatan.
The building of the cathedral was rebuilt many times, therefore, its architecture contains elements from different eras: a 17th-century ebony chair, a 13th-century marble baptismal font, and an exterior decoration of the 19th century. The cathedral is striking with beautiful domes made of smoked black wood.
The Church of St. Mary is a truly unique attraction in Sweden. This is the only active church in Visby and the only active medieval church on the island of Gotland. Organ concerts are often held here, the choir performs.
Entrance to the cathedral is free; photographing is allowed inside.
Behind the cathedral there is a staircase leading to the hill – you can climb it and admire the breathtaking view of the sea, the red roofs of houses, the city wall. This is also a great opportunity to take original photos of Visby, especially a photo of the cathedral against the sea.
A small compact botanical park is located in the old part of the city of Visby, near the promenade. The park is bounded on two sides by a fortified wall, it has several entrances and exits, and the address is as follows : Tranhusgatan 21, Visby, Sweden.
The founder of the garden is Karl Linney, who has a monument here. In fact, this monument in itself is a unique attraction of Visby: it is made of a whole elm trunk and looks very original and unusual.
In the garden there are many plants from all the continents of our planet – both simpler and exotic. Tulip tree, magnolia, mulberry, Chilean araucaria, numerous varieties of roses harmoniously coexist here.
Visby Botanical Garden is a great place for walks and picnics. Old stone benches and tables are installed here, there is a Chinese gazebo, and there are also lawns where you can lie down.
The park offers a beautiful view of the castle towers, and on its territory there is another attraction – the romantic ruins of the church, entwined with ivy!
Entrance to the park is free , you can visit it any day until 22:00 hours.
The next attraction of Visby is one of the best museums in Sweden (according to the Swedes themselves), the Gotlands Museum. In Visby, it is located at Strandgatan 14.
Here are silver and gold treasures from found Viking treasures, runestones of the 5th-11th centuries, mummies, products of East German tribes, ancient Roman coins, evidence of a large-scale battle near Visby, paintings by the artist Ellen Ruusval von Hallville, household items of the inhabitants of Gotland.
You can see all these expositions on any day of the week from 10:00 to 18:00.
Ticket price: for adults 400 kr, family – 500 kr.
For more information about all the information about the museum and the exhibits presented in it, visit www.gotlandsmuseum.se/en/.
Another attraction, known not only in Visby, but throughout Switzerland, is located at Lummelundsbruk, Visby, Sweden.
A visit to the cave is possible only with a guide. Admission for adults costs 150 CZK, for children from 4 to 12 years old – 75 CZK.
Before the tour begins directly through the cave, visitors are shown a film about the history of its discovery.
Stalactites hanging from the ceiling are absent, but the sound of the water of underground rivers is perfectly audible and springs beating from under the stones are visible. It will be especially interesting to visit this attraction for those who have not yet seen more impressive underground passages and grottoes.
Excursions are carried out according to the following schedule:
- Friday from 10:00 to 14:00;
- from Saturday to Thursday – from 10:00 to 16:00.
By the way, the temperature inside the cave is +8 ° C, and the duration of the excursion is about 30 minutes. That is, in order not to dream only about how to get out to the sun as soon as possible, it is advisable to take a warm sweater with you.
Visby: possible accommodation
Sweden is the most expensive country in Europe, and the prices on resort islands are even higher. With accommodation on the island of Gotland, in particular, in Visby, there will be no difficulties – there are a rather large number of offers, but in the summer it is impossible to find housing for less than 100 €.
In general, for the money you can only settle in a double room of the hostel. For example, Uncle Joe’s and Visby Logi & Vandrarhem Hästgatan are popular among booking.com users.
For 120 € you can rent a campsite outside the city, for example, Visby Strandby – there can accommodate 6 adults. At the 4 * Best Western Strand Hotel, which occupies a UNESCO World Heritage building, you can rent a double room for 160 – 180 €. For the day at the aparthotel you have to pay from 175 € – this price is requested at Volontärgatans Lägenhetshotell, located 1.5 km from the main square of Visby.
How to get to Visby
It is best to get to Visby from Stockholm – the distance of 200 km existing between these cities can be covered by ferry or plane.
From the capital of Sweden to Visby there are 10-20 flights per day, and you can fly from Arlanda and Bromma airports. The flight lasts 45 minutes.
The flight schedule is constantly changing, and some truckers serve this direction only in the summer season.
Ticket prices start at 70 €, but such numbers are very rare. As a rule, you have to pay 90-100 € for a flight.
There are several ports from which ferries go to Gotland, rich in many attractions. But the port closest to the capital of Sweden, from which the ferry to Visby departs, is Nynashamn.
Ferries in this direction go 2-4 times a day, travel time is 3 hours 20 minutes. The schedule needs to be found out before the trip, as it often changes. It should also be borne in mind that there are ferries that exclusively transport passengers with a car and vice versa – only pedestrian passengers. You can find out this information at www.destinationgotland.se/.
It is also possible to buy tickets on the same site, and in the summer season this must be done in advance. Travel from the capital of Sweden to the island of Gotland to the city of Visby will cost 10-40 € – the price depends on the chosen place (in the cabin or in the common room). For children, students and senior citizens discounts are provided.
Nynashamn is located 57 km from the capital of Sweden, and from there it can be reached by train or bus. The train and bus station in Stockholm are located nearby. Both the bus and the train stop near the pier. Travel time is almost the same – 1 hour. Even the cost of tickets is comparable – about 20-25 €. So you can choose a transport, focusing only on personal preferences.
Buses from Stockholm leave from Cityterminalen and arrive directly to the pier at the port of Nynashamn. There are about 5 flights a day, in time you can come with a margin to any ferry. The timetable can be found at www.flygbussarna.se/en.
You can buy a bus ticket at the ticket office of the bus station.
Trains from the Central Railway Station of the capital of Sweden go to Nynashamn from 5:00 to 24:00 with a frequency of 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought in advance on the railway website www.sj.se/ or right at the station in the terminal.
Visby Weather Conditions
The city of Visby, however, like all of Gotland, is located in a zone of temperate marine climate. In summer, the air warms up to a temperature of +25 ° C, in winter – up to +7 ° C. As for precipitation, it falls about 500 mm per year (this is mainly rain and fog).