Visby, Sweden cruises
Described as a fairytale town on the island of Gotland in Sweden, Visby is home to impressive church ruins, medieval architecture, and a bustling port of trade.
Today, this former Viking site is one of the best-preserved medieval centers in Northern Europe showcasing tangled cobble lanes, pastel cottages, and an impressive traditional townscape.
Visby port guide
Boasting a central and strategic location within the Baltic Sea, Visby is an important port town built upon shores with a natural harbor and sheltered by rugged cliff tops.
A UNESCO World Heritage Center, this beautiful port town is recognized for its historical charm and notable Viking-era remains.
As you arrive at the port, the impressive cathedral, stone-built buildings, and medieval town walls will surely be among the first things to catch your wandering eye.
Nearby to the smaller isle of Faro, there is plenty to see and do in Visby. This port town offers a wide selection of inviting restaurants, charming markets, ancient landmarks, and appealing beaches.
Here is our guide on everything you need to know about exploring the port town of Visby.
Top landmarks and sights in Visby
At the heart of the city the cathedral, Sancta Maria, is a real landmark and has been since 1225. Also known as St Mary’s Cathedral, this incredible cathedral stands tall in the city center.
One of the oldest places of worship in Visby, this site is considered a ‘must-see’ when in town.
Faro’s Lighthouse is a popular film location featuring in Oscar-winning ‘Through a Glass Darkly’ and ‘Persona’ directed by Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.
Located on the easternmost tip of Faro, this Swedish lighthouse stands 30 meters high topped with a gallery.
Visby City Wall
Visby City Wall is an ancient defense wall that surrounds the Swedish town. It is the best-preserved medieval city wall in Europe and forms an important part of the town's UNESCO World Heritage Center status.
The stone wall is 3.5km long and makes for a wonderful walking route around the town.
S:t Per ruin
This historical landmark in Visby is one of the standout ruins in the area. On route to the main town from the port, this ruin is one of the first you are likely to experience.
A place where two churches once stood, the remaining ruins are all that’s left to tell their unique tale.
Things to do in Visby
Discover Viking artefacts
There are many Viking artefacts that can be discovered in Gotland including coins from the Middle East that serve as a testament to the island’s importance among medieval traders.
View a treasure trove of archaeological finds at the Gotland Museum where you will find the largest collection of silver treasure in Europe. Tickets cost the equivalent of £13 per person.
Lummelunda Cave is a popular natural feature just north of the city. It stretches around two and a half miles long and is filled with ancient limestone formations.
On a guided tour you can explore the inside of the cave to discover fossils and formations within.
DBW’s Botanical Gardens
Showcasing exotic trees from around the world, this beautiful botanical garden in Visby has been in bloom since the 19th century. With many different garden categories to roam from the Sundial Garden to the Rose Garden, this park makes for a lovely walk around town.
DBW’s Botanical Gardens are free to enter all year round.
Cunard Shore Experience
A Cunard Shore Experience is a great way to explore the exciting port town of Visby. Our wide selection of guided tours means there is truly something for everyone.
Choose from ‘Gotland Countryside’, ‘Medieval Visby and Surroundings’, ‘Taste of Gotland and Vintage Railway’, ‘Charming Faro and Visby’, and more.
Eating and drinking in Visby
In Visby, medieval food and drink markets can be found throughout all seasons. During winter time, even Christmas markets feature local food produce where you can sample traditional Swedish delicacies.
Each region in Sweden has its own traditional dishes influenced by fine ingredients and medieval recipes. Freshly caught fish and Saffron pancakes frequent the menu in Visby and are local foods worth trying. If you visit neighboring towns and islands during your time here, be sure to try foods and restaurants serving unique flavors of the region.
Strong beverages just like the Vikings used to make are perfect to wash down wholesome meals. On your journey around Visby, it won’t be long before you are presented with a glass of aquavit, the National Spirit of Scandinavia.
Getting around, Visby transport
From the port, the Old Town is a short walk along a marked path. Alternatively, a shuttle bus runs from the port to the center of town and costs the equivalent of around 12 USD for a round trip.
In the town, hop-on hop-off buses are a great way to see the notable sites and ruins. Bikes are also available to rent.
Region Gotland provides buses and public transport links from Visby to bigger towns on the island. However, most scenic sights in Visby are within walking distance of each other.
Top attractions hops, restaurants, and cafés are concentrated in the town center.
Visby port facilities
The port facilities at Visby Port include toilets, public transport links, a taxi rank and free Wi-Fi.
Visby quick tips
The Swedish Krona is the local currency in Visby, Sweden. Card payments are widely accepted however there may be a foreign transaction fee or spending minimum.
However, some small shops and bars may not accept card payments, so it is recommended you carry some cash during your visit.
Tipping is not expected in Visby but a small bonus for exceptional service is greatly appreciated.
Visby has a mild and moderate climate with cold, cloudy winters and comfortable summers. Visby can be visited at any time of year as each season showcases its own unique charm.
Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 21°C during the summer in Visby while the winter months reach lows of -3°C.