Pärnu is the summer capital of Estonia and one of the most famous spa capitals in the country.
The famous spa town
Pärnu is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea in southwestern Estonia and is one of the most famous spa destinations in Estonia . The city on the banks of the Pärnu River is full of tourists, especially in summer, and Pärnu is not in vain called the summer capital of Estonia.
Pärnu is known as a favorite spa town for seniors and families with children, but it offers things to do for all ages. Beautiful beaches and an atmospheric center are also on the minds of young tourists. In addition to a relaxed spa or beach holiday, you can also spend a successful shopping holiday in Pärnu.
During the summer, Pärnu hosts many events, in addition to which tourists can enjoy sandy beaches and recreational opportunities. In autumn, the city loses its winter rest, but Pärnu’s spas are popular all year round.
Pärnu has a history of almost two hundred years as a spa town and the first spa in the city was opened in 1838. The development of the city was rapid, especially in the early 20th century, when small hotels and entertainment venues rose in the Pärnu area. Pärnu’s mud baths are said to work wonders for the complexion and to heal the effort, if any. Thousands of tourists visit the Pärnu mud spa every year.
Pärnu is a good destination for a spa and family holiday, but also for culture lovers and active movers. The most famous sights of Pärnu are the Tallinn Gate, the Red Tower and many churches.
Pärnu is an atmospheric city destination where nature is also present.
Mild climate, warm summers
Pärnu, located at the bottom of the bay, has a maritime climate, ie summers are warm in Pärnu and winters are mild.
The warmest months of summer are July and August, when the average daily temperature rises comfortably above 20 degrees. In winter, an average of a few degrees of frost are measured in Pärnu.
Spring often comes in time to Pärnu and summer is the city’s most popular tourist time. Pleasantly warm weather can often be enjoyed well into the fall. Although summer is definitely the busiest season, you can vacation in the spas of Pärnu all year round.
Spas and cheap shopping
Pärnu is one of the largest and most popular spa resorts in Estonia. The city has several spas where you can enjoy a variety of spa and beauty treatments. The services are cheap in Finland in Finland, so it is very typical to take care of the whole body from head to toe during your stay in Pärnu.
Pärnu is a good destination for families with children, because in Pärnu, in addition to spas, you can spend time by the sea and in a water park. Pärnu’s long and gently deepening sandy beach is well suited for children’s swimming. Children will also enjoy the largest water park in Estonia, Tervise Paradiis.
Estonia is still an affordable shopping destination for Finnish tourists. The shopping opportunities in Pärnu are not great, but the best places to shop are along the pedestrian street Rüütli and the traditional market square is Vana Turg. There are also shopping malls in Pärnu.
Active holidays in the countryside
Pärnu’s countryside, sea and river offer many opportunities for active holidaymakers. On the seashore of Pärnu, you can sail on a sailboat and explore the landscapes of Pärnu, for example, on horseback or bicycle. The Pärnu countryside is also interspersed with many walking and hiking trails.
One of the favorites of active holidaymakers in Pärnu is Soomaa National Park. In the national park you can paddle along the rivers in a canoe or hike along the plank trails. There are also two golf courses near Pärnu, Valgeranta and Audru.
A favorite of families with children is Lottemaa, located ten kilometers from the center, which is a theme park opened in 2014 around the Lotte dog character. In addition to Lottemaa, there is much more to do in Pärnu for families with children.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN PÄRNU
Near the city center you can also admire quite distinctive street art.
Flights, boat trips and bus connections
The easiest way to get to Pärnu from Finland is through Tallinn, either by bus, your own car or by train. Finland has good ship and flight connections to Tallinn.
Pärnu is located about 130 kilometers from Tallinn. The bus trip from Tallinn to Pärnu takes a couple of hours and costs about ten euros. Bus timetables and prices can be found on the Bussi Reisid website .
Pärnu can also be easily reached by car. Estonia is a popular motoring destination, as the country’s roads are in good condition and the traffic culture is familiar.
Many travel agencies organize package tours to Pärnu, and for example, bus companies also offer cheap spa packages to Pärnu holidaymakers directly from their hometown.
Accommodation relatively affordable
Pärnu’s long history as a tourist city guarantees that the city has a lot of accommodation and options. In Pärnu, you can stay in a hotel, motel, rental villa, holiday village or camping site. Home accommodation is also available.
Accommodation in Pärnu is relatively inexpensive, but you can notice some seasonal variation in prices. The most expensive accommodation is during the summer, when the city is filled with tourists. A hotel night in Pärnu costs about 30–80 euros, depending on the desired level.
Getting around in Pärnu
It is easy to get around Pärnu on foot or with a rented bicycle. The distances are often not long and the roads and routes are in good condition.
For longer trips, tourists can use Pärnu’s public transport, ie bus. Bus travel in Pärnu is really cheap. In addition to buses, you can also take taxis in Pärnu, which are cheap in Finnish. The price is good to agree in advance.
ATTRACTIONS OF PÄRNU
The small colorful buildings bring a relaxed atmosphere to the beach.
Tallinna värav, or Tallinn Gate, is a gate of the city wall built in the 17th century, next to which there is a small moat that protected the city from attacks.
Today, the Tallinn Gate is one of Pärnu’s most famous attractions, and its green area with its fountains is a popular place to stay.
The Red Tower is one of Pärnu’s most famous attractions. Named after the original red brick surface, the tower is located on Hommiku Street and is the only surviving sign of the Hanseatic times of Pärnu.
The Red Tower was originally built in the 15th century. The old prison tower now houses a craft workshop where you can buy souvenirs.
St. Catherine’s Church
St. Catherine’s or St. Catherine’s Church is one of the most magnificent and richly decorated churches in Pärnu, the construction of which was ordered by Catherine II. St. Catherine’s Church was built in the 1760s and its Baroque style influenced church builders around the Baltics. St. Catherine’s Church is located along Vee Street.
THE BEST OF PÄRNU
In addition to the sea, the Pärnu River, which flows through Pärnu, adds an atmosphere to the city.
The best activities in Pärnu
- Canoeing in the rivers of Soomaa National Park
- Water Park Health Paradise
- Cycling in the immediate vicinity of the city
- Sightseeing tour
Favorite destinations for families with children in Pärnu
- Lottemaa theme park
- Tervise Paradiis Spa
- Long and gentle sandy beach
- Fun city cows
- Pärnu Craft Center