Facts about Gotland
and Sweden
To the top of the page SWEDEN
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.

To the top of the page CLIMATE
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.

To the top of the page ELECTRICITY
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.

To the top of the page 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.

To the top of the page 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.

To the top of the page 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 Sweden’s 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 island.

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 rauk’s, 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.

To the top of the page VISBY
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.

To the top of the page HEALTH CARE
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

To the top of the page SHOPPING
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.

To the top of the page BANKING
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.

To the top of the page TRANSPORTATION

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.

To the top of the page COMMUNICATIONS
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.

To the top of the page MEDIA
Swedish newspapers

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 Expressen.

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 city’s public library, Länsbiblioteket, Hästgatan 24.

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 information.

Swedish TV has three land based channels and numerous satelite- and cable TV channels.

To the top of the page 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.

To the top of the page HOW TO WRITE ADDRESSES
Addresses on letters are written as follows:

Line 1: First name + family name
Line 2 c/o last name of the person, whose name is on the door, if not your own
Line 3 Name of street, street number and floor (floor can be written in Roman or in Arabic numerals followed by tr. for "trappa", floor).
Line 4 Postal (zip) code number (five figures) and postal area in capital letters.


Within Sweden:
Anders Svensson
c/o Lundgren
Vikingagatan 10, 2 tr.
621 42 VISBY
From abroad:
Anders Svensson
c/o Lundgren
Vikingagatan 10, II
S-621 42 VISBY

To convert Centigrade Celcius to Fahrenheit, multiply Centigrade by 1,8 and add 32.

Centigrade Fahrenheit
0 freezing 32
20 68
37 body temp 98
100 boiling 212

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.

To the top of the page PRICE EXAMPLES: FOOD
The approximate prices of different items you may need to buy are listed below.

Milk SEK 6 / litre
Bread SEK 10-20 / loaf
Butter SEK 15-25 / 600 g packet
Cheese SEK 50-150 / kg
Lamb SEK 60-80 / kg
Beef SEK 70-170 / kg
Pork SEK 30-150 / kg
Chicken SEK 30-50 / kg
Eggs SEK 2 / each
Rice SEK 40 / kg
Pasta SEK 10-30 / kg
Lunch SEK 45-55
Cigarettes SEK 40-45 / packet (20 cig)
Beer SEK 6-10 / 33 cl in a shop
SEK 20-50 in the pub
Wine SEK 45-… / 75 cl bottle
Newspaper SEK 8-10
Cinema SEK 65-80
Theatre SEK 50-500

To the top of the page FURTHER INFORMATION
Gotland Tourist Association

Gotlands Turistförening, Box 1403, S-621 25 Visby, Sweden. Phone +46 498 20 17 00, fax +46 498 20 17 17.
e-mail: info@gtf.i.se

The Municipality of Gotland
Gotlands kommun, S-621 81 Visby, Sweden
Phone +46 498 26 90 00, fax +46 498 21 55 20
e-mail: gotlands_kommun@gotland.se.

Gotland County Adminstration
Länsstyrelsen i Gotlands län, S-621 85 Visby, Sweden.
Phone +46 498 29 21 00, fax +46 498 24 86 50.

Studying about Gotland. County Adminstration of Gotland/
The Municipality of Gotland/College of Higer Education/ Folkuniversitet.

Information produced by:
Informationsenheten The Municipality of Gotland in June 1998.


This page was last updated 19/06/03