Pärnu   is a resort seaside city (and estonia's summer capital) with a small harbour in the South-Western part of Estonia.
The city is famous for its spas, shallow white sandy beach and beautiful parks. It is also a popular place for conferences, theatre performances and concerts. In 1838 the first spa was opened and nowadays Pärnu is a health resort of international stature.
During the Great Northern War, the University of Tartu was relocated to Pärnu from 1699-1710. Tartu University still has a branch campus there today.
Since 1996 Pärnu has been known as Estonia's Summer Capital. Beach life, dozens of festivals, night clubs, big party crowds, concerts and funfairs - Pärnu has it all.
Pärnu is an ancient Hanseatic town where a medieval festival and an arts and crafts fair are held every summer. In 2010 Pärnu will host the 30th International Hanseatic Days.
Pärnu has train connection to Tallinn. Trains depart from Tallinn and from Pärnu twice a day. Journey takes about 2,5 hours. Train schedules: Edelaraudtee
Pärnu has road connections to Tallinn, Haapsalu, Tartu, Vändra, Paide and Riga in Latvia.
|1 km = 0.62 miles
Buses arrive to Pärnu from Tallinn, Tartu, Haapsalu, Riga and several other places. Bus schedules and journey planner can be found at Bussireisid.
There is a ferry connection in from Kihnu (a small island in the Baltic Sea) to Pärnu and between Pärnu and Ruhnu. In winter there are also ice-roads between the islands of Pärnu bay.
- Tourist Information Centre, Uus 4, 80010 Pärnu. E-mail: [email protected], tel +372 447 3000.
Pärnu's old city is pretty small and navigateable by foot, but it's full of small boutiques. Lots of them are on Rüütli street.
Bus connection covers the whole city. There are 26 routes and their schedules can be found at Pärnu ATP-s website.
- Old town with buildings even from medieval times
- Beautiful wooden villas
- Beach park and promenade
- Pärnu, Lydia Koidula and Modern Art Museum and City gallery
- Pärnu Town Hall, Nikolai tn 3, Pärnu. The Town Hall is located in a house built in 1797 by the merchant P.R. Harder. In 1804, the Russian czar Alexander I stayed in this house during his visit to Pärnu. A new art nouveau building with neo-baroque details was completed in 1911 to the north side of the town hall.
- Church of Jekaterina, Vee tn 8, Pärnu. Completed in 1768, the Church of Jekaterina is the most style pure and ample baroque church in Estonia. The church has influenced the development of orthodox church architecture in whole Balticum. To this day Pärnu Russian congregation operates in the church.
- Seegi Maja (the Almshouse), Hospidali tn 1, Pärnu. Seegi Maja (the Almshouse) is known to be the oldest building in Pärnu. It was built in 1658 on the remains of the old almshouse of the Holy Spirit's Church as a shelter to the sick and the cripples.Based on research on the wooden raft under the basement of the building, the old almshouse dates back to 1250-1350. The building was restored to look the way it did in the 17th century. It houses the St. Peterburg Hotel and the restaurant Seegi Maja.
- Statue of Raimond Valgre, Mere puiestee 22, Pärnu. The musician Raimond Valgre who played in Pärnu in 1930s and brought the town a lot of fame, can today be found sitting in the park near Kuursaal, as a bronze statue. You too can sit down next to the beloved Estonian composer and enjoy his beautiful compositions.
- Eliisabet's Church, Nikolai tn 22, Pärnu. Eliisabet's Church, inaugurated in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. One of the best organs in Estonia is in Eliisabet's Church and the place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers.
Pärnu has a long beach that opens to the south and has lovely, almost white sand. It is a major Baltic seaside resort and as previously stated, the summer capital of Estonia.
Completed in 2006, the attractive Beach Promenade has the feeling of a real resort and makes the Summer Capital's beaches inviting even in bad weather! Well thought-out lighting keeps the beach active even when the sun goes down, and the playing colours of the fountains are a sight in themselves in the darkness of the night.
It may rain in summer, when it does many Estonian holiday makers go indoors to the Vee Park, which is an indoor water park at the largest beachside hotel. As water parks go, this one is fantastic, and insures that your few days at the beach won't be wasted because of inclement weather.
There are lot of interesting historical buildings in the city center. You may ask special brochure and discover all of them by your own
Just south of downtown is a modern art museum and art school. Exhibits change frequently, and are often edgy and provocative.
- Horseback riding
- Sassi Talu, Kabriste küla, Audru vald (18 km west of Pärnu), ☎ +372 56 467 301 ([email protected]), . European-standards excellent service and reception; good both for novice and for experienced riders.
In winter time, consider one of the many spa hotels:
- Spa Estonia  Modern and moderate-priced; great variety of medical treatment and procedures.
- The Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival.
- David Oistrahh festival.
- Organ festival.
- Bacardi Feeling Beach festival.
- Hanseatic and Handicraft days.
- The Pärnu Jetty, Seedri tn 6, Pärnu. The jetty has gained a romantic aura as a place for lovers to take walks on; however, before taking a walk there, be sure to check the water level! The length of both jetties is a bit over two kilometres.
Pärnu College of Tartu University is located in Pärnu.
- Spa Estonia 
- Small historical hotel in the city centre: Pärnu Hotel Victoria 
If you dare leave urban pleasures behind, there is great countryside to explore. Many cultural and sports events offer entertainment all year round. The enthralling nature of Pärnu County, which offering ample, quality opportunities for active holidays, supplements the greenery of city parks and boulevards. Walks in the forest, kayak trips on rivers and the sea, riding, fishing, hunting trips, adventurous bog or canoe trips to Soomaa National Park and elsewhere in the county offer great escapes. In winter, you can partake in skiing, snowshoe and kick sledge trips, or a sledge safari and enjoy a sauna steam.
Kihnu Island is cosy and warm yet exotic – folk costumes are worn here every day and the handicraft of older generations remains highly valued. Several other romantic small islands and the Western Coast offer an opportunity to participate in local rites and customs.
- Valgeranna, unspoilt beach just 8 kilometres from Pärnu
- Kabli, quiet seaside village with bird-ringing centre and rural beaches