In early history, Gotland was an independent kingdom and still today, the older generations don't see themselves as Swedes - they are nothing but Gotlanders. During the Hansa period in the Middle Age, Visby and Gotland was an important stop on the international trade routes on the Baltic Sea. The island lost its role after a Danish war in the 14th century. The Danes took control over the island for 300 years and in the mid 17th century, the island became Swedish.
The island holds many medieval memories; old farmlands and over 90 churches, all with different architechture.
Visby is the largest town with over 20,000 inhabitants. The town is crowded during summers.
Most people use Standard Swedish with an accent that is easy to recognize, though not very distinct and easy to understand. In a few rural areas, however, the distinct Gutnish dialect is spoken by some and is mutually unintelligble even to other islanders. Most people speak and understand English more or less, particularly in the towns.
There are flights all year to Visby from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Linköping and Helsinki. During summer, there's also flights from Oslo and Ängelholm. A flight from Stockholm takes approx. 25 minutes, from Gothenburg approx. 50 minutes.
The airport is situated 3 kilometers North of Visby. To get in to Visby you can use Taxi or bus. Taxi is the most convenient option but also more expensive. There are two type of busses going from Visby Airport to Visby. The first one is a Airport Shuttle departing every hour. Second one is a local bus, 61, going trough the North of Gotland but passing Visby Airport and Visby city central.
The easiest way to see the island is by car. There are several car rentals in Visby. There are also bus services from Visby to all parts of the island, but be sure to bring a time table before you leave Visby. Outside Visby, there are merely small villages.
Some typical dishes from Gotland are:
Gotland is, like Sweden in general, a safe destination. Note that Visby is crowded during summer and that pick pockets may operate in central Visby.