Gotland

Last updated: 4 12 2019

Gotland is Sweden’s largest island, and has around 57,000 inhabitants.

Facts about the municipality

Population numbers

59,249

Size by area

3,134 km²

Distance to larger towns

  • Oskarshamn 154 km
  • Nynäshamn 179 km
  • Stockholm 237 km
Båtmaster i förgrunden i Visby hamn med Visby bebyggelse i bakgrunden.

Gotland has a lot to offer, such as a good learning environment for children, and a good selection of culture and leisure activities. Regardless of where on Gotland you are, you'll have town, countryside, nature and sea close at hand. Communications to and from the island are good. Gotland is a popular place to visit, and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Welcome to move onto the island.

Housing

Gotland has many different types of homes, both in countryside villages and in the town of Visby.

Since Gotland is an attractive place to visit during the summer, many private landlords prefer long-term rentals during the autumn, winter and spring, and weekly rentals during the summer.

Many people want to live in Visby. So the chances of finding a year-round home are better elsewhere.

People who have been granted residence permits and who have been assigned to Gotland will get help with accommodation from Region Gotland.

Renting Accommodation

Municipal housing company GotlandsHem has rental properties across Gotland. You can register in their housing queue.

There are also private landlords who rent out homes. Gotland has a Moving-In Agency, which has created a list of private landlords and their contact details.

Buying a Home

If you're interested in buying a home, you can contact an estate agent. Information about estate agents can be found on the Moving-In Agency's website or on Hemnet.

Language groups in the locality

There are many different language groups on the island. Among them are Arabic, Persian, Dari and Tigrinya.

Around 6 per cent of Gotland's inhabitants have a foreign background. Around 17 per cent of Sweden's total population have a foreign background.

Associations and organisations

Gotland is one of the Swedish counties with the most number of associations. There are 900 registered associations across the island. There are associations for sports, culture, politics, religion, children, young people, and old people. The associations run activities that are based on mutual interests, and create opportunities for participation.

There are sports associations from north to south, with their own facilities that increase sports opportunities wherever you live. Sports associations work to increase integration and create meeting points for people of all ages. Gotland boasts a variety of nature experiences, and there are exercise trails in naturally beautiful areas all over the island. Gotland has a unique sense of community because of its position as an island. Active associations provide identity and participation. You'll find a register of associations, listing all associations on the island, on Region Gotland's website.

Föreningar och organisationer

In the municipality there are a large number of associations with different emphases. For example, sports associations, cultural associations, churches and different communions. On the municipality's you can search in the association register for an association which matches your interests.

What is available in the immediate area

Help for New Arrivals

Region Gotland's integration unit has been tasked with giving new arrivals with residence permits opportunities to establish themselves in Gotland's society. The integration unit is, for instance, responsible for societal orientation. The integration unit also has a support and service function called "Medborgarplatsen" ("Citizens' Place"). All new arrivals with Swedish as their second language are welcome to Medborgarplatsen with practical questions. Medborgarplatsen is located in Visby. On certain days, the integration unit is also on site in Fårösund and Hemse.

Shops

Visby has the biggest selection of shops. Visby has everything from grocery shops to clothes shops, electronics shops and second hand. Several grocery shops in Visby stock foods from other parts of the world. The bigger countryside villages, such as Hemse, Roma and Slite also have several different shops, grocery shops among them. A number of smaller countryside villages also have grocery shops.

Culture, Leisure and Meeting Points

Gotland is home to many study associations where you can learn more. There are also institutions such as Gotlandsmusiken (Gotland Music), Länsteatern (the County Theatre) and Länsmuseet (the County Museum), which enrich cultural life. There are many opportunities for song, dance, music and theatre through Gotland's many free producers of culture and culture associations.

At the libraries, borrowing books, reading newspapers, borrowing computers, looking for information and asking questions is free. Language development activities, language cafes, children's story time in several languages, books in easy-to-read Swedish, and language courses are also available. Through the libraries' many activities, it's possible to meet and socialise with others. There are libraries in many villages across the island.

The youth recreation centres are important meeting points offering a large number of free activities for young people aged 13 – 19. Gotland is also home to many swimming pools for exercise and swimming practice.

Ungsommar på café diskuterar svenska samhället.

Volunteer organisations and networks are established in many villages. Many of them organise activities and run meeting points of different kinds. The Red Cross, for instance, runs meeting place "Kupan" in many villages.

Childcare

Children can attend nursery from the age of 1. The operation lays the foundation for life-long learning, and shall be fun, safe and educational for all participating children. There are nurseries across Gotland. The child must have a residence permit to be entitled to a permanent place at nursery. Children seeking asylum are entitled to 15 hours of nursery per week, free of charge, between September 1st and May 31st. The right to nursery applies from the autumn of the year in which the child turns 3, to when the child turns 5.

Open Preschool

Open preschool is a pedagogical operation that is open to adults who are staying at home with children aged 0 – 6. Operations are designed to suit children's and adults' needs. Visitors decide when and how often they want to participate.

Comprehensive and upper secondary schools

Gotland offers a good learning environment of high quality, which creates conditions for life-long learning where the basic principle is that everyone shall have the opportunity to succeed.

Compulsory Schools

All children in Sweden are entitled to attend school. The child will get a place at the school that is located nearest to home. There are 35 compulsory schools across Gotland. 30 of the schools are run by Region Gotland, and 5 are independent. In some of the compulsory schools, there are international classes where students learn Swedish while studying all other school subjects.

Upper Secondary Schools

Municipal upper secondary school Wisbygymnasiet and independent upper secondary school Guteskkolan are both located in Visby. At upper secondary school, new arrival and asylum-seeking students are offered language introduction, also called SPRINT. SPRINT is education with an emphasis on Swedish language. SPRINT also includes all the compulsory and upper secondary school subjects that the students will need to take to qualify for a national upper secondary school programme. 

Education opportunities

There are many opportunities to study on Gotland. To be able to study in Sweden, you need a residence permit.

Folk High School and Adult Education

Folk high school and municipal adult education provide both compulsory school and upper secondary school education, as well as courses with special vocational focuses.

University Education

There is one university on Gotland; Uppsala University's Campus Gotland. The university has many courses and education in various areas, such as biology, economics and programming.

Korta Vägen (Short Route)

Korta Vägen Visby is a preparatory labour market course aimed at academics with a foreign background who live on Gotland. It's run by Stockholm University.

Swedish for Immigrants

Adults who have been granted residence permits, and who are registered as living on Gotland, can study Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) via Region Gotland.

Health and medical care

There are care centres across Gotland. This is where you should go, in the first instance, for advice about health care. If needed, the care centre can refer you on to the hospital.

There are dentist's surgeries in many different places on Gotland.

Visby has a modern hospital with broad medical competence.

You can get advice about health care and find your nearest care centre on www.1177.se/gotland or on phone number 1177. In urgent or life-threatening situations, call emergency number 112.

Interpreter assistance

If you don't understand or can't speak Swedish, you may be entitled to an interpreter when in contact with authorities. You can state that you need an interpreter when you book an appointment with the authority in question, such as a health care appointment.

An interpreter is a person who works with translating between different languages. The interpreter is bound by professional secrecy, which means that he/she may not give out information about you without your consent. Family and friends who translate are not interpreters, and are not bound by professional secrecy.

Public transport

You can get to and from Gotland by ferry or plane. There are ferry connections between Visby and Nynäshamn and between Visby and Oskarshamn all year. There are also ferries between Visby and Västervik during the summer season. The ferries to Gotland take around 3 hours. This means that those living on Gotland can make day trips to the mainland.

The airport is located just outside Visby, and has direct flights to Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg all year. A flight to Stockholm takes around 40 minutes.

On Gotland, you can travel by public transport, car or taxi. Public transport is available on large parts of the island.

Work and entrepreneurship

business ideas in a multitude of different industries. There are many small businesses on the island – around nine out of ten Gotland businesses have fewer than five employees.

Agriculture, stone, and food have long since been important industries on Gotland. Gotland's food producers work with local produce, and the end products have a high quality.

Tourism is an important part of the growing service sector. The large number of visitors has meant that many businesses, jobs and summer jobs have come from this industry.

Looking for Work

Arbetsförmedlingen's task is to be responsible for the public employment service. They also have a coordinating responsibility for the establishment of certain new arrivals in the labour market. Arbetsförmedlingen has an office in Visby.

Starting a Business

Do you want help with developing your idea and starting a business? Almi Företagspartner (Almi Business Partner) has been tasked, by Region Gotland, with supporting new entrepreneurs.

Establishing a Business

Do you already have a business that you want to establish on Gotland? Region Gotland's company Inspiration Gotland has a business guide who can guide you when establishing a business.

Business Networks

Gotland is home to many local business associations and business networks. They give you the opportunity to make new contacts and exchange knowledge.