It’s really hard to say “no” to Swedish girls (or boys). It’s just as hard to say “no” to our new favourite island – Gotland – which attracts droves of beautiful people in the summer time. Known for its vast cultural treasures and calming landscapes, it’s especially Swedish townsmen from Stockholm that come to Gotland to recover from their hasty lives. But the island’s undisputable beauty hasn’t gone unnoticed by Stockholm’s hip and cool crowd, who have created a different scene in the island’s South. A scene best described with one word: excess.
Sweden’s coolest kids gather at Kallis Beach Club in Visby. Hot chicks. Hot guys. And an atmosphere that only a dancefloor located right at the beach creates. Needless to say, we felt at home immediately. Have a look at the crazy videos below to get an idea of the incredible energy of a Kallis party (but first, finish reading!). Kallis was recently voted to be Europe’s best beach club, beating rivals from both Croatia and Ibiza.
It doesn’t stop here. After getting over your hangover from the night before, Gotland invites you to discover a truly remarkable island. White sand beaches off the beaten path, Visby – a medieval city that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and countless campsites will make your heart scream with delight. Even though Gotland is the size of Luxembourg, it only has around 60.000 inhabitants, giving you a wonderful feeling of space as you explore the island. We don’t want to bore you with too many details, but this is gold:
If you’re a fan of the original Pippi Longstocking movies from that 60s, you’ll find the original film location (“Ville Villekulla”) just a 20 minutes drive from Visby. Greet Mr. Nilsson and Lilla Gubben from us!
On our Gotland adventure, we’ve compiled this list of things you should definitely visit. Enjoy!
Visby – The “Dubrovnik of Scandinavia“
In summertime, stylish visitors invade this beautiful town to park themselves at one of the many cafes and trendy eateries and soak in the medieval surroundings with a contemporary cup of coffee and Gotland speciality saffranspannkaka, a saffron pancake with red berries and cream. But it is not only the medieval town tourists and international visitors who decide to pay a visit to Visby. It feels like you have arrived at an exotic destination somewhere around the Mediterranean Sea. There is a unique summer vibe, smell and atmosphere – with other words – there’s magic in the air as soon as you touch ground in Visby. Must do’s in Visby include strolling around town to see its medieval marvels and a walking tour along the 2 km-long medieval wall of the city. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly think about you mendering around in Dubrovnik for a second because of the wall and the charm of this hip town.
- Klinten. Walk up the staircases of Domkyrkan and go over Klint Square and along the North Wall Street. Watch the incredible sea views.
- Botanical Garden, Almedalen and the harbour.
- The ruins. Everywhere around the inner city and the towering walls are ruins you can go into.
- Fiskargränd/Norra Murgatan/ Tranhusgatan. The alleys where it is teeming with roses along the facades.
- The seaside promenade. Walk on the boardwalk from the Harbour to Tott Hotel and sit at the restaurant at sea in front of Tott Hotel
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
Lindgarden (Our top pick!) picturesque garden with wide menu
Bolaget (the perfect bar & kitchen for people watching)
g:a masters (Swedish traditional fine dining)
Surfers (ultra popular cosy eatery)
Amarillo (creative kitchen)
Donners Brun (classic gourmet restaurant)
Creperie & Logi (for the quick bite)
Isola Bella (italian restaurant with cosy courtyard)
Gotlands Bryggeri (Gotlands Brewery)
Wisby Strand (summertime: the terrace bar & club)
Cafe Gula Huset (cosy cafe)
Cafe Krönet (best cafe and lunch place for a view over the city)
Visby turns a few weeks every year to a pumping party town which is comparable to other stylish party destinations like Ibiza, Marbella and Hvar. Week 29 is one of the peak week – a week popularly known as the “Stockholm Week” which mostly draws young party people from Stockholm who want to get wasted in high heels and spend all their money on Champagne. If you don´t like a huge drunken crowd invading the city for one week you should consider visiting another week.
Kallis Beach Club – voted best beach club in Europe! (Our top pick!)
Scandinavia’s largest beach club is in Visby. Kallbadhuset (called “Kallis”) is a hugely popular beach club. This is where the jetsetters, sexy party freaks and the show-off crowd hang out in the afternoon. Few places in the world have things move on as “Kallis” on an ordinary afternoon during the summer months of June to August. Here you can order a lunch, drink and rent a sunbed next to the palm trees. Kallbadhuset is a fantastic location by the sea. Welcome to THE open air club experience of Europe!
Tott Hotel Visby (our top pick!) Ibiza style hotel with pool
Hands down, the best hotel in town. Tott hotel is located by Gotland’s popular Norderstand beach and boasts 100% stylistic confidence. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, complete with modern décor and designer furniture. Each room has its own balcony/terrace, allowing you to enjoy picturesque sunsets right from your room. The high society swoons about the Ibiza style pool and the exquisite dishes served in the gourmet restaurant with sea view.
Stelor (outside of Visby)
Bungenäs – Gotland´s newest hotspot! (our top pick!)
Bungenäs Matsal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), Kalkladan in a huge barn (cafe, bar and restaurant) and Nyströms Kafé in a former shop (cafe/bakery). Top secret: they let room in the same building as Matsal if you desire to stay overnight here and enjoy the place.
There is a private pier for people arriving with yates and sailboats, there is a stone beach with millitary sun beds and bikes to use for free in order to discover the entire area.
Furillen (our top pick!) A former limestone quarry transformed into Sweden’s farthest-flung design hotel. Inside the hotel, you’ll experience a welcoming interior that utilizes modern Scandinavian design and incorporates myriad shades of gray and white. Visitors are invited to explore tha nearby fishing hamlet, traverse the hidden reaches of the peninsula on a bycicle and afterwards enjoy a meal with local ingredients.
Studio Furillen, nearby the design hotel Furillen you will find an architectual masterpiece in the forest. Sleek simplicity meets the beautiful island of Gotland. Andreas Forsberg, AQ Architects, has used a glass and aluminum system in order to realize their ideas and combined function and design with modern technologies.
Rute Stenugnsbageri is a hipster´s cafe in the middle of nowhere, you think you will be the only one finding it but once you drive up the tiny road in the forest you will discover an old barn and a stylish gigant green house packed with trendy tourists. No wonder, as the founder is running a popular cafe in Stockholm. You come here to eat and buy homemade sandwiches, fresh bread and Swedish pastries. They bake their bread in a wood-fired stone oven. A dreamy place with style!
Blå Lagun (or Blue Lagoon) is a stunningly picturesque old quarry site that has been reclaimed and reimagined as a public bathing and barbeque area. The water is turquoise blue and warm(ish) as it’s an inland lake with no rivers coming in or out. These quarries are deep and the water is very clear and turqoise, just like one might find in the Caribbean. The most famous quarry is called The Blue Lagoon. In the summer it is crowded with people swimming and sunbathing.
„Björnes diner Welcome to the new dine cafe in Kappelshamn’s old grocery shop designed in reminiscence of the 50s in the USA. They serve burgers, bookmaker toast with Gotland beef, BBQ-glazed spareribs, beer, milkshakes, coffee, muffins, and more.
Maven Accommodation by the sea (same owner as above)
Fårö is a small but absolutely gorgeous island just off north of Gotland. Swedish film making legend Ingmar Bergman used to live and love on Fårö and probably was the Island’s most popular inhabitant.
Ahead in skill and care! Known as the best gas station and rock´n´roll club in the world to some, the last resting place of the genuine Bonnie&Clyde T1 model … (read more here) Kutens Bensin is a tribute to the USA’s 50s. It looks like a bizarre mix of a graveyard for cars and a deserted gas station. Its nostalgic charm is unmatched. If Elvis was alive today – this is where he would live. The unique concept features a whole variety of unforgettable locations in close proximity:
Elsie’s café (Breakfast room and cafe in the main building)
Bistro Albatross (Gourmetrestaurant in a reconstructed shed)
Slow Train bed and breakfast. (Out top pick!) Imagine the house on the hill of Norman Bates in the horror movie „Psycho“ and you get very close to the charm of this edgy place: We had the suite (the over floor of the villa, the only room alternative offering an own shower in the bath room! Sea view!)
Crêperie Tati (french crêpes and cool apple wine – fuel for your soul)
Video interview about Kutens Bensin
Sea stack fields The giant Rauks of Langhammars, Gamle hamn and Digerhuvud are some of Fårö’s expansive sea stack fields. Sea stacks are large vertical rock formations that have been shaped by the sea, leaving a core of limestone
Video interview about Kutens Bensin
Norsta Auren & Skärsudden – probably one of the most beautiful and remote beaches in northern Europe. This naturalsandy beachwithout anyfacilities is on the north side of Fårö. The beachbegins a fewhundred meterswest of Fårö lighthouse andis 4 km long. Norsta Aura is verydesolate and more wild with big dunes in the middle. At both ends there are roads near the beach where most of the people hang out.
Sudersand – the most famous beach on Fårö is also the name of the Sudersands Semesterby (camping village). The beach is perfect for those who search for all facilities you need like a beach bar serving food, massage, shops and parking space.
Skalasand – a hidden pristine white beach, where the chances are good to be completely alone
Slow Train (our top pick!)
Sudersand (Cottages, Houses and Camping)
Restaurants, bars & cafes
Sylvis Döttrar. One of the most famous and popular bakery shops on Gotland. People are queueing from morning to evening to buy home made cookies, Swedish cakes and the yummy fresh baked Cinnamon Rolls.