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Visby is Scandinavia's best-preserved medieval town. It's also one of Sweden's most photogenic destinations, its tangle of cobbled lanes, pastel cottages and colourful wildflowers seemingly pulled from the pages of a well-worn storybook. With hauntingly beautiful ruined Gothic churches and mostly intact 12th-century ramparts, it's a place where history is written large.

Understandably, the town swarms with summer holidaymakers. For many, Medieval Week means the chance to don all manner of period garb and parade around as knights, queens, peasants and strumpets, dining, drinking and dancing against a Unesco World Heritage backdrop – surprisingly convincing and fun! Others are drawn to quieter periods, when they can ponder Visby's riches, undistracted. Either way, expect to fall deeply for Gotland's richly historical capital.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Visby.