Gotland has a tremendous amount to offer from its fantastic nature, coast and scenery to plenty of relaxing distractions, whether you enjoy food, art, music, or just love browsing design & craft shops or ‘loppis’ (garage sales) to find your own Scandinavian vintage treasure. They say there aren’t any bad roads in Gotland; which ever way you chose to go will lead to either a beautiful view or to an interesting place to wander around and have ‘fika’ (a coffee break).
Close to Jakobs
Our ‘local’. Great for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or watching the amazing Gotland sunsets with a glass of wine. You can reach Djupvik by turning right when you get down to the sea from Jakobs, or by taking a left from the main road towards Visby. Drive here in 5 minutes, or leave the car and go for a seaside bike ride or walk.
Coastal Pizza Cabin
No website for this one, which you’ll understand when you visit. A little further down the coastal road from Djupvik Hotel you'll find a small cabin where pizza is sold until they run out of dough, which is usually about 6-7pm. Eat on the little terrace, bring it down onto the jetty or take away. It’s the convenience and location that makes this place worth a stop if you don’t fancy cooking at home.
Apart from crepes and French cidre in the converted barn or on the terrace, you can buy pottery here and see a circus inspired variety show in the evenings. Shows for small children are also available, but call ahead to book.
A little further afield...
Popular restaurant in the barn of Gra Gasen Hotel, Burgsvik, where the popular TV music show ‘Sa mycket battre’ is filmed.
Tapas and Cava in Ljugarn.
Hemma hos Ulrikawww.hemmahosulrika.se/english
Ulrika Davidsson is a Swedish chef with numerous cook books to her name on everything from GI and Rawfood to just good cooking with local ingredients. Ulrika cooks for her guests in her barn in Burs, Gotland during the summers. You need to book via the website and there are set dates for these dinners, which sometimes include music evenings or special guests.
Local, seasonal food in Ljugarn.
Potobers, a potato restaurant (yes, that’s right) with over 100 different beers. You can get fish and chips here too, in a relaxed environment. A family restaurant, actually run by four families.
Small fish and seafood restaurant by Stora Torget (Main Square) where you can also buy seafood to bring home.
Small, award-winning, neighbourhood restaurant in Visby, with the motto ‘Like home but better’.
Voted one of Sweden’s top 10 meat restaurants, you’ll find local produce, cocktails and, of course, meat.
Leva (daytime only)www.levakungslador.se
Leva is a great place to stop on your way to/from Visby for coffee or lunch, buy bread, browse the craft and food shop or explore Leva’s concept of modular homes.
Saluhall & Barwww.saluhallochbar.se
Lunch and deli, beer from a micro brewery south of Visby.
This is the equivalent of the good old fashioned town hotel and restaurant or inn, in Visby.
Creperi & logiwww.creperielogi.se
Crepes, galettes and French cidre.
Good place for coffee, ‘fika’ (Swedish tradition of having a coffee with a snack) and lunch.
Cafe & shop south of Visby on route 140.
Contrary to what the name suggests, this is a Szechuan restaurant. Very popular for its small dishes, packed full of flavours from China’s best loved food region. Bookings recommended.
North of the Island
This is probably the most renowned restaurant on the island right now. According to White Guide, it’s ‘Swedish Masterclass’ standard, which in our opinion makes it well worth the 45min drive from Jakobs.
Furillen is worth a visit for the location and architecture, but the food is also given special seasonal attention, e.g. in the shape of Sweden’s chef of the year, Filip Fasten’s pop-up restaurant. Check the website for opening hours and food details.
Café and bakery with wood fired oven, perfect for ‘fika’. Pizza in the evenings.
In an old military area, previously closed to the public, an ambitious project of architecture designed homes, co-op shop (dinner) and limestone barn (lunch) converted for dining. You borrow bikes at the entrance, as the area is car free.
Travelling to Fårö is a day trip with a fairly early start, which we highly recommend as it is the home of the late Ingmar Bergman and some spectacular nature.
The best gas station in the world? Here you can eat a nice, simple lunch of crepes in the barn or outside. Kuten’s is a must if you like rusty old cars and rock’n’roll. At night there is live music.
Pick up delicious buns and other baked goodies at this traditional bakery, before heading to the beach. Supposedly 4,000 buns per day are sold in peak season. For beaches and more see below.
South of the Island
Prästgården i Vamlingbowww.vamlingboprastgard.se
In the old Vicarage of Vamlingbo parish, you’ll find light lunch and ‘fika’ as well as Lars Jonsson’s water colours, a small plant nursery and Naturum Gotland, an exhibition about Gotland’s nature.
Another place to stop for fika, accompanied by a contemporary art gallery and lovely gardens. This is the last stop before you get to the most southerly point of Hoburgen.
This is a b&b with a dining room open to the public. A genuine mid-century experience, this place has been going for 60+ years and not a lot has changed in that time. Check the site for opening hours and menu if you intend to eat, as both are limited. Even if you don’t go inside, head here for a gentle walk down to the sea for some great views.
Another Gotland ‘institution’, cafeteria style restaurant with great views. The landscape here is beautiful; rugged coastline under big skies.
Not far from Jakobs, a lovely, small, sandy beach with views of the Karlsö islands and great for children as it is shallow.
A bike ride from Jakobs, by the old fishing huts. Pebble beach, perfect for a morning or evening dip. Best suited for adults.
Small sandy beach, a bike ride from Jakobs, just below Djupvik Hotel and Restaurant. Small kiosk selling ice cream and drinks and you can buy lovely sheep skins from a local farm, sold in one of the fishing huts.
Very small, sandy beach south of Jakobs popular with families with young children.
Large sandy beach on way to Visby.
Lovely nature, sandy beach on the southeastern tip.
Sandy beach on eastern coast.
Large sandy beach on Fårö to the north.
You will find plenty of places to buy local food all across the island.
The supermarkets all have local meat and vegetables, and you’ll find the largest ones in Visby, then closer to Jakobs in Klintehamn and Hemse. Alcohol is only sold in licensed shops called Systembolaget, and you’ll find them in Visby and Hemse.
In addition to the supermarkets and delis, there are farm shops (gårdsbutiker) all over the island which provide a great way to shop.
We recommend that you visit the small award-winning dairy farm a 5 minute walk down the road from Jakobs to collect the most delicious, fresh milk in the world (in our opinion). You pay using the honesty box and jot down how much milk you’ve taken. The milk jug you find in the kitchen at Jakobs.
For lamb there are too many farms to mention, but we recommend Olsvenne about a 15-20 minute drive south. Wednesdays are usually good for fresh meat, but give them a call or drop by and they'll tell you.
For bread look out for Laban's a baker on the island who grounds his own flour. He usually sells bread outside ICA supermarket in Hemse and also has a shop at his bakery and mill in Roma. About a 30 minute drive.
For beef Ejmunds is one of Gotland's leading farms and much of the local meat in the island's restaurants comes from here.
Gotland has a few specialities, including truffles. The main season is autumn, but you'll find it in deli shops. This is one of the main vendors and they organise 'truffle safaris' in the autumn where you can enjoy truffle hunting followed by dinner.
General sites listing farm shops:www.gardsnara.se/gotland/
That's hopefully a few things to whet your appetite. If you're looking for anything in particular let us know and we will be very happy to help.
Some of the other things we recommend
Mini flea market or garage sales, open all summer, look out for Loppis signs as you drive around the island. For larger markets see local paper for details.
Retro design and bric a brac. In Burgsvik, behind the petrol station.
Opposite the turning to Visby airport, Togga’s is a great place to browse a mix of reclaimed and retro furniture and decorative items.
In Visby old town, here you’ll find an inspiring selection of old and new furniture and interior design.
The 'Blue Lagoon' in northern Gotland, is a former quarry living up to its name and a great alternative to a trip to the beach.
Gotland’s history and cultural museum, in Visby old town. Here you can find out about the rich history of the island, including all the conquerors and cultures that have been attracted to its shores over thousands of years. If you’re interested in history there are many great sites across Gotland and you’ll find maps and information here. You can also visit some of Gotland’s ‘museum farmhouses’ and the island is rich in sites and treasures from the stone age, bronze and iron ages, along with the Viking age.
Drive, bike or walk down to the sea, and eat in the open air. You’ll find a basket, thermos, picnic cups and plates in the larder at Jakobs. Have a swim or at least dip your toes in the Baltic sea.
Beautiful places to visit…
Too many to mention; Ekstakusten, Östergarnslandet, Sudret, Furillen, Närsholmen, Fårö, Stora och Lilla Karlsö, Visby old town, Domkyrkan (Cathedral) and church ruins in Visby and many, many more...