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Have you ever thought about exploring Estonia, perhaps starting with the town of Pärnu? Well, here’s a gentle introduction to what you might find in this Estonian gem. Pärnu is known as Estonia’s premier resort town, featuring golden sandy beaches and rejuvenating spa centers. It’s a well-kept secret among travelers from various parts of Europe, offering a serene and unforgettable experience. You’ll find a mix of relaxing and adventurous activities, including surfing, windsurfing, and calming spa treatments. Iconic landmarks like the Eliisabet and Jakateriina Churches, the Red Tower, and the charming old town add to the town’s appeal. Whether you’re ready to explore or simply curious, Pärnu has much to offer.
Pärnu Beach is one of Estonia’s most frequented destinations, featuring white sandy shores, splash pads, and inviting benches for a leisurely experience. A tranquil stroll along the well-lit Pärnu Beach Promenade is a favorite, whether day or night. The promenade also boasts charmingly illuminated fountains, creating a pleasant atmosphere akin to a California beach walk.
Soomaa National Park, a short 40-minute drive from Pärnu, offers a unique opportunity to experience nature in its nearly pristine state. This park, the second-largest in Estonia, showcases the beauty of flooded forests and bayous. Adventurous souls can enjoy canoeing and wilderness day-trips.
Pärnu Museum offers a deep dive into the town’s 11,000-year history, with exhibits ranging from prehistoric times to contemporary life. One of the museum’s prized possessions is an 8,000-year-old sculpture, believed to be the oldest human-shaped sculpture in the Baltic region and Scandinavia. With ever-changing exhibits and a cozy cafe, it’s a worthwhile visit.
St. Catherine’s Church, a splendid example of Baroque architecture, was constructed in 1768 for Russian Queen Catherine the II. Its bright yellow façade and unique green roof make it a distinctive landmark in the heart of Pärnu. This church’s influence can be seen in many Orthodox churches throughout the Baltics.
St. Elizabeth’s Church, a Lutheran church dating back to 1747, showcases stunning Gothic interior architecture. Its striking red tower is a prominent feature that can be spotted from various parts of the town. Inside, visitors can marvel at a unique altarpiece from Rotterdam dating back to 1854.
Kohvik Supelsaksad takes the lead among dining establishments in Pärnu. Known for its warm and friendly atmosphere, this restaurant is famous for quality food and delectable desserts. Be sure to try the Napoleon cake. Given its popularity, making a reservation is advisable.
Pizza Restaurant Steffani is the go-to place for the best pizza in town. Reservations are a wise move, as it lives up to its reputation. The extensive menu offers various pizzas, appetizers, and an excellent selection of drinks. Friendly staff and a cozy atmosphere complete the dining experience.
C.F. Hahni Pub comes highly recommended by both locals and visitors, making it ideal for a night out with friends. With an extensive menu of quality food, including barbecue burgers, and a drinks menu featuring specialties like osso bucco and locally produced Saaremaa Vodka, it’s a surefire hit.
Poisi Eine is a great spot for a quick and delicious bite. They offer excellent sandwiches, wraps, salads, snacks, and delightful desserts. The welcoming yellow interior, coupled with the friendly staff, creates a cozy and friendly atmosphere, making it an enjoyable dining option.
Indulge in relaxation at a spa resort, a favorite pastime for many visitors. Pärnu offers a variety of spas and programs, conveniently located within a short distance of most accommodations. Many travelers choose Pärnu specifically for its spa experiences.
Stroll through the Old Town, where most buildings date back to the 19th century. Explore charming narrow streets with a touch of history, and discover a wealth of cafes and restaurants. The city center, nestled between the Pärnu River and the beach, is a delightful area to explore before heading to the seaside.
Visit the Alpaca Farm for a unique and family-friendly experience. Kids are sure to enjoy meeting alpacas, goats, Ouessant sheep (the world’s smallest sheep), angora bunnies, and chickens. It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Challenge yourself with an escape from the CCCP Prison, one of Estonia’s most intriguing escape room complexes. This former prison, transformed into the largest escape room complex in Scandinavia, offers a captivating and unique experience. It’s an interesting activity for those seeking a challenge.
Have a fun time at the Tervise Paradiis Water Park, an all-ages attraction suitable for families, solo travelers, and groups of friends. With a range of activities, including a 4-meter diving platform, tube slides, mountain rivers, pools, saunas, and more, it’s a thrilling destination that can be enjoyed year-round.
Consider leaving tips in bars and restaurants, but the amount is entirely at your discretion.
Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit, no matter the season; you might want to take a dip.
Keep in mind that many cultural establishments and sites are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly.
Smoking is prohibited in public areas, so be on the lookout for no-smoking signs to avoid fines. Note that tobacco products and spirits are only sold in specialized stores, not in every supermarket.
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Tel. +370 698 45681
Professionally educated in sports and tourism management, Iveta is passionate about encouraging guests to explore the Northeastern region of Europe in the most attractive way. She has been working in the tourism industry since 2013, assisting customers from 64 countries, and she loves doing it!