Pärnu is easy to get to! On the map of Europe you will find Estonia in the North-East of Europe, where the Baltic Sea washes the shores of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden. Pärnu is located between Riga, Helsinki and Stockholm and the easiest to get here is by flying to Tallinn, Estonia or Riga, Latvia. Pärnu is almost half-way between the two, on the international Via Baltica or E67 road, only a couple of hours by car from each. The largest port of Estonia is in Tallinn where ferries from Helsinki arrive at almost every hour. Pärnu has a yachting marina for sailors and an airport for pilots flying small planes. Scheduled flights to and from Stockholm take place throughout the summer season.
Approximate distances from capitals:
A good road network and convenient coach services link Pärnu to almost every county centre in Estonia with the highest number of services to Tallinn, Tartu and Riga. Pärnu is easy to reach by coach and why not take a day trip to a neighbouring town.
Coach schedules can be checked at www.bussireisid.ee and www.peatus.ee or call 12 550 for more information. Most coaches travelling between Tallinn and Riga also stop in Pärnu, check companies’ websites for their schedules: Lux Express at www.luxexpress.eu ; Ecolines at www.ecolines.ee; and Hansabuss at www.businessline.ee.
Services in the county are few and far between and therefore travelling in the countryside by car is more convenient. Some small towns however are ideal destinations for a few hours’ visit by a local bus, such as Tõstamaa, Tori or Häädemeeste. Information on bus services within the county is available at www.peatus.ee, county and town bus services at www.bussipark.ee (in Estonian only). Call 12012 for information on schedules for town and county services and intercity services departing from Pärnu.
Pärnu bus station, right in the centre of the town, is where local county buses, intercity and international buses pick up and drop off passengers while the bus stop for town buses is immediately adjacent to the bus station.
The bus station main building is at Ringi 3 and comprises ticket and information offices (open daily from 6.30 to 19.30) and a café. Most tickets can be bought directly from the driver, however, we advise that you buy your tickets in advance when travelling at weekends or on national holidays in order to secure a seat on the desired service. A left luggage office is also located beside the passenger drop-off point in the bus station.
Pärnu has a daily rail connection with Tallinn. Daily, however, means one service early in the morning at 7.17 and another one in the afternoon at 17.08, and a longer travelling time than by coach (2.40 versus 1.50). A train journey is still attractive for many, is convenient when taking bikes and is also the cheapest means of public transport.
Schedules and further information is available at www.edel.ee or phone 1447.
The railway station, located on the southern outskirts of the town on the road to Riga at Riia mnt 116, and also incorporates the Rae café which is a distinctive feature of the station building.
Train tickets can be bought from attendants on the train. The station is served by local bus services Nos. 3, 11, and 40 (Bussijaam - Raeküla raudteejaam) and 15 (Postimaja/Koidula - Raeküla Raudteejaam).
Pärnu is an old seaside town with several ports and while traffic is mainly cargo shipments today, there are also ferry services for passengers to Kihnu island. Nearby lies Munalaid port (about 50 km from Pärnu) where ferries depart for Manija and Kihnu islands. Ferries from Munalaid to Manija depart on Fridays, on other days there is a boat service for foot passengers only.
Further information and ferry/boat schedules are available at www.veeteed.com or phone at +372 443 1069.
Trips to the islands of Muhu and Saaremaa can be taken from Virtsu port which is 80 km from Pärnu. The ferry crossing from the mainland to Kuivastu port on Muhu island takes about 35 minutes and from Muhu you can drive along the causeway to Saaremaa. Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa, is 73 km from Kuivastu port. Information on Virtsu and Kuivastu ports and ferry schedules is available at www.tuulelaevad.ee or at 14204.
Pärnu Yacht Club, established in 1906, attracts visitors from near and far with hundreds of white-sailed boats flocking here every year. This harbour is one of the larger yachting marinas for south and south-west Estonia. There are 90 berths, 30 of them for visitors and the harbour can take boats of up to 16 m in length and 3 m of depth. There is customs clearance and passport control, power socket and water outlets on quays, toilets, showers, sauna, guest house and restaurant in the complex. Fuel is available in the filling station and small repairs can be ordered. Radio communication is on VHF channel 16, the call signal is Pärnu Sadam.
Pärnu has a small airport although the larger airports at Tallinn and Riga are only 2 or 3-hour’s drive away. From Pärnu you can not only fly to the island of Ruhnu in the Gulf of Riga but in the winter season, when ferry connections cease, to the island of Kihnu too. Launched in 2008, there are also scheduled flights to and from Stockholm although currently these are limited to the summer season. Further information is available at www.parnu-airport.ee or at (+372) 44 75000.
Pärnu Airport is three kilometres from the town centre and is served by town bus service 23 (from the bus station stop). The bus stop at the airport is right outside the terminal and bus tickets can be bought from the driver.
The runway is 2480 m long and 45 m wide, second only to Tallinn in size. The airport provides services to private aircrafts and welcomes companies and individuals interested in aviation and parachuting.
The central and beach areas form a compact heart of the town which is just the right size for walking from one place to another. The town is mostly low-rise and thus spreads out over a fairly large area, however, buses provide good links to suburbs.
Parking is charged in the central town area on weekdays from 8.00 to 18.00. Charges also apply in the beach area every day from 10.00 to 19.00 during the summer months. The central area charges are 0,96€ per hour and 3,20€ per day, and in the beach area 3,20€ and 9,59€ respectively.
NB! If you use a parking clock or write the time of your arrival on a piece of paper and display it (or the clock) in the windscreen or on the dashboard so that the time is visible from outside, the first hour in the central town area and the first 30 minutes in the beach area are free of charge.
See the charged parking zone of Pärnu: