I love Gotland. It is an island in the Baltic Sea off the South East coast of Sweden. The island has quite a unique feel with its stunning nature and prehistoric raukur (rock formations created by centuries of sea erosion). We went to see the raukur at Folhammer and the children loved climbing around and exploring and while the neighbouring beach was crowded there was barely a soul at Folhammer.
There are lots beaches on Gotland were children can play and paddle, lovely coastland paths to ride bicycles and some great restaurants with a variety of cuisine. The island also gets more sun than anywhere else in Sweden!
The medieval capital Visby, a UNESCO world heritage site is breathtakingly beautiful with its cobbled streets, medieval ruins, famous Ringmuren town wall and glorious views of the sea. If you visit during Medieval Week in August there are a lot of shows and activities for children.
Below are a couple of places with specific activities for children:
Kneippbyn This is basically Pippi land. There are simple, gentle rides (more for younger than older children), shows, sing-a-longs and activities centred around Astrid Lindgren’s most famous fictional character, Pippi Longstocking. The iconic Swedish TV series on Pippi was filmed on Gotland in 1969 and Villa Villekulla, Pippi’s House in the series is here – you can wander around it ,climb on Pippi’s horse and pretend to be Tommy, Annika and Pippi.
Kneippbyn could probably do with a bit of a refresh as some of the attractions are starting to look a bit tired and dated but in a way this is part of the charm, and the setting with a glorious sea view far out does your average theme park.
Vattenland is next door to Kneippbyn and you can buy tickets for both places together. Vattenland can be directly translated as ‘Water land’ and it is basically an area with water slides, bridges and water playing areas for children. I was slightly alarmed when we went that there was only one life guard for the whole area and my daughter, aged 3, at the time could not swim so I couldn’t take my eyes off her for a second (there is no designated section for very little ones). I wouldn’t recommend going until your children are confident swimmers.
Back in Visby, Gotlands Museum is definitely worth a visit. There is plenty for adults with some beautiful objects from Gotland’s prehistoric and Viking past. There is a room just for children with boats and little houses that they can play in and in another area of the museum children can try on Viking armour. There are also organised activities for children.