Sweden is situated in northern Europe, together with Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway,
forming the Scandinavian hemisphere and The Nordic countries. With the exception of
Iceland and Norway, all countries are members of the European Union.
Sweden has a
population of 8,8 milion spread over an area of 450,000 square kilometres. Official
language is Swedish, however, most Swedes speak or understand english. The Swedish flag
has a yellow cross laid horizontally on medium blue field. Sweden is a kingdom with
constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary form of government. This is consisting of one
chamber, whose members are elected directly by proportional representation for four-year
terms. The king, His Majesty Charles XVI Gustavus, has a ceremonial function as Head of
State. Sweden has universal suffrage and the voting age is 18.
Most Swedes are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is supported by the
state, however most people attend church only casually. Freedom of religion is guaranteed
by the constitution and like most of Europe, Sweden is a highly secular society.
Due to the passage of the Gulf Stream, the Swedish climate is probably milder than you
might expect in theese latitudes. Sweden has four seasons: winter, spring, summer and
autumn. The temperatures vary strongly from north to south, especially during winter when
the northernmost parts are covered with snow. Springtime begins in april, lasts to june
when the warm season reaches its peak in july and august with temperatures around 20-30
degrees Celsius. Autumn usually offers a gently mild and pleasant climate.
From north to south 1 600 kilometers line the coast with thousands of islands in a
beautiful archipelago. Mountains form much of the northwest and many rivers flow through
the forests, east, and into the Baltic Sea. Over half of Sweden is forested whilst the
southern part is mostly flat with rolling hills.
In Sweden 220 volts and 50 cycles (Hz) and round-pin plugs are standard. As British and US
outlets differ from Swedish ones, you may need an adapter for your electrical appliances.
WATER & FOOD
Tapwater is excellent in the whole of Sweden. Dairy products and Swedish meat are, due to
the absence of feed additives and the careful management of fresh primary products,
healthier, purer and better-tasting meat than in many other countries.
DRIVING IN SWEDEN
Sweden has right hand traffic. Drivers licences are issued from the age of 18. Foreign
visitors driving in Sweden do not need domestic drivers licences, however you must carry a
picture ID in complement to your own drivers licence.
FACTS ABOUT GOTLAND
Gotland is an island situated in the centre of the Baltic Sea, 90 kilometers from the
Swedish mainland, 130 kilometers from the Baltic coastline "560 kilometers from St
Petersburg and 540 from Hamburg. Almost 60 000 people residence on Gotland year round and
during summer the amount of visitors reaches almost a million. Visby is the capital where
also the municipality officials are located. Gotlands employment structure differ from the
Swedish mainland. More people are occupied within agriculture, less in industry. However,
Gotland is going through a large transformation process. During the last few years,
high-level information technology (IT) corporations have been established on the island.
After agriculture, tourism is Gotlands main source of income. Gotland is Swedens
largest rural municipality. Half of the inhabitants live on the countryside, however, far
from isolated. Schools, shops and health care are spread to major rural centres across the
Since the climate on Gotland is milder than on the Swedish mainland, the scenery offers
a variation of both flora and fauna. Vast, white beaches you normally associate to
tropical resorts, statue-like limestone formations of rauks, cliffs, forests, heaths
and meadows will fill your impressions of a unique landscape. Sweden is one of few
countries in the world with a special and unique tradition of Right to Common access. This
allows you to hike or camp, pick berries, mushrooms and flowers (many spieces can be
preserved i.e. not allowed to pick), swim or enjoy nature even in private property areas.
However there can be local restrictions, fences should not be crossed and littering is
prohibited by law. Reserves and bird sanctuaries can be closed for visitors during
breeding season. To maintain our possibility of charing a pure nature, there are som
unwirtten laws to follow: do not destroy, disturb, light fires or litter, show respect to
people, agriculture crops and wildlife and do not trespass with motor vehicles.
Becouse of its unique cultural values, the Hanseatic town of Visby has been listed by
UNESCO as part of the World Heritage. This means that we have assumed resposibility for
preserving the town and handing it on to coming generations. Visby is surronded by an
unusually well preserved medieval wall measuring about 3.5 kilometres and 11 meters of
hight. Approximatly 2 000 peopole are resident in the city core and about 20 000 utside
the wall. Inside the city wall you will find large numbers of well preserved medival
buidings and many church ruins together with shops and restaurants.
Emergency phone numbers (local area code 0498):
- Vårdcentralen Söderväg 1 (Health care centre) 26 80 00
- Sjukvårdsupplysningen (Medical Information) 26 80 09
If you need to call for an amublance, the police, the fire brigade or in any other case
of any other emergency, dial 112
In Visby shops, banks, offices, restaurants are concentrated around Adelsgatan,
Östercentrum and Södercentrum linked into one area connecting the south eastern parts of
Visby to the inner core. Most restaurants are located inside the city wall with a
concentration towards Stora torget, the Central Square. Purchases of handcraft, art,
traditional jewellry and clothing are recommended. Most shops are opened week days 9 AM to
6 PM with some larger department stores opened to 8 or 9 PM. Bank offices close at 3 PM.
Some petrol stations have a full array of food, soft drinks and cigarettes. Saturdays
shops close 1 PM. The Swedish liquor stores, Systembolaget, are run by the government and
closed on saturdays.
Means of payment
The Swedish krona, or crown (SEK) is the national unit of currency. Travellers cheques can
be cashed into Swedish crowns at most banks. Personal cheques can normally not be cashed.
Major currencies are accepted at larger tourist establishments, often at disadventageous
rates. Major credits are mostly accepted in shops and restaurants, look for door/window
displays. The tourist office at Hamngatan 4 provides money exchange, ph 0498 20 17 00.
There is daily public bus transportations to most larger rural centres on Gotland. In
Visby, the main bus terminal is located in Östercentrum. For further information call
0498 21 41 12.
Since distances within Visby are short, the most common means of transportation is by
walking or bicycling. If you occasionally would need a taxi, the ride will cost
approximately 50 - 90 SEK, depending on the distance and operating company.
There are two destinations on the Swedish mainland connecting Gotland. The regular daily
ferry will take 5 hrs to/from Oskarshamn and 6 hrs to/from Nynäshamn, carrying both
passengers, cars and trucks. The fast ferry, with a slightly more expensive fee, will take
approximately 2,5 hrs to/from Nynäshamn. During summer and hollidays you need to make
early reservations to provide transportation to the island. Time tables are provided in
all travel agencies and the harbour terminal.
Air transportations are available daily to/from the airports of Stockholm Bromma,
Stockholm Arlanda and Norrköping and will take approximately 45 minutes. There is also a
weekly connection between Visby and Riga and seasonally (summer) between Visby and Hamburg
or Helsinki. All other destinations transfer through Stockholm, although this will not
cause any delays as flight departures to Gotland are very frequent.
Telephones and faxes
Phone card phones and fax are available at most tobacco shops, petrol stations or in
public areas. You will also fins a telephone service at the Telia shop at Adelsgatan 16.
Most public phones require phone cards " those can be bought in tobacco stores,
newsagents or various shops. The cost is 20, 50 or 100 SEK. International direct dialling
is possible from any pay phone. When dialling a telephone number within Gotland, simply
dial the six digits and exclude the area code (0498). For international calls, add 009,
the contry code requested, area code and telephone number.
Postal services and postage
The main post office is located at the east end of Östercentrum Shopping mall, at the
corner of Norra Hansegatan and Kung Magnus väg. Opening hours are week days 9.30 AM to 7
PM, saturdays 10 AM to 1 PM. As in several offices and shops in Sweden you need a queue
ticket upon entering to provide service. Postage (as of June 1998) within Sweden is 5 SEK,
Nordic/Baltic region 6 SEK, Europe 7 SEK and overseas 8 SEK.
The largest daily newspapers in Sweden are Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), Dagens Nyheter (DN)
and Dagens Industri (financial daily). Gotland have two local newspapers, Gotlands
Allehanda (GA) and Gotlands Tidningar (GT). Swedish evening papers are Aftonbladet and
Newpapers from other countries
The most common international newspapers can be bought at some news agents as Pressbyrån
in the harbour area and Domus at Östercentrum. Swedish and international newspapers can
also be read for free of charge at the citys public library, Länsbiblioteket,
Swedish radio has four public service channels and numerous commercial ones. The local
radio channels on Gotland are P4 Radio Gotland (100,2), Radio Four (106,1) and NRJ
(104,4). Radio Sweden broadcasts in English every day at 2.30, 3.30, 7.30 and 10.30 PM and
11.30 AM on 89,6. There is also news in other languages, call 08 784 72 38 for further
Swedish TV has three land based channels and numerous satelite- and cable TV channels.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The local tourist association will inform you about events and tourist attractions, ph
0498 20 17 00. We recommend further information through brochures and litterature about
Gotland as the island will enrich your journey with an almost unlimited wealth of culture,
history, and nature experiances.
HOW TO WRITE ADDRESSES
Addresses on letters are written as follows:
||First name + family name
||c/o last name of the person, whose name is on
the door, if not your own
||Name of street, street number and floor (floor
can be written in Roman or in Arabic numerals followed by tr. for "trappa",
||Postal (zip) code number (five figures) and
postal area in capital letters.
Vikingagatan 10, 2 tr.
621 42 VISBY
Vikingagatan 10, II
S-621 42 VISBY
CENTIGRADES, DECILITRES, SWEDISH MILES, TEMPERATURE
To convert Centigrade Celcius to Fahrenheit, multiply Centigrade by 1,8 and add 32.
|37 body temp
1 kilo (kg) = 10 hectogram (hg) = 1 000 gram (g) = 2.2 pounds
1 litre (1) = 10 decilitre (dl) = 2.1134 U.S pints
1 meter (m) = 10 decimetres (dm) = 100 centimetres (cm) =
1 000 millimetres (mm)
1 kilometre (km) = 1000 meters = 0.62 miles
1 Swedish mile, mil = 10 kilometres
1 inch = 2,54 centimetres
1 foot = 30,5 centimetres
1 yard = 0,914 meters
1 mile = 1,61 kilometres
In Sweden we use the European system for expressing time and say 13.00 instead of 1 p.m.
From the end of March to the end of September daylight saving time is used. You set your
clock one hour ahead in March and set it back one hour in September.
The most common ways of writing dates are 1998-06-02 or just 980602, meaning June 2, 1998.
You can also write 2/6 1998.
PRICE EXAMPLES: FOOD
The approximate prices of different items you may need to buy are listed below.
||SEK 6 / litre
||SEK 10-20 / loaf
||SEK 15-25 / 600 g packet
||SEK 50-150 / kg
||SEK 60-80 / kg
||SEK 70-170 / kg
||SEK 30-150 / kg
||SEK 30-50 / kg
||SEK 2 / each
||SEK 40 / kg
||SEK 10-30 / kg
||SEK 40-45 / packet (20 cig)
||SEK 6-10 / 33 cl in a shop
||SEK 20-50 in the pub
/ 75 cl bottle
Gotland Tourist Association
Gotlands Turistförening, Box 1403, S-621 25 Visby, Sweden. Phone +46 498 20 17 00, fax
+46 498 20 17 17.
The Municipality of Gotland
Gotlands kommun, S-621 81 Visby, Sweden
Phone +46 498 26 90 00, fax +46 498 21 55 20
Gotland County Adminstration
Länsstyrelsen i Gotlands län, S-621 85 Visby, Sweden.
Phone +46 498 29 21 00, fax +46 498 24 86 50.