Why to visit Pärnu?

The rich history of Pärnu and the joyful daily life offer something for everyone. The centre of Pärnu, the lovely parks and the resort area with its famous sandy beach and promenade invite you for long walks. There are sights to be seen dating to the distant Middle Ages, the elegant early years of the resort, the long Soviet era as well as the modern times with their fast-paced development. We also recommend you to take a tour outside the city. The coast full of islets, pine dune forests and natural sand beaches, vibrant fishing culture, and bogs and indigenous forests is waiting for the curious-minded. There are lovely (fishing) villages, churches, manor complexes, museums, and valuable wildlife everywhere.

Sights in Pärnu City:

Pärnu Beach and Beach Park

The sandy Pärnu beach is less than a 15-minute walk from the centre of the town. The beach has fun attractions for kids, swings, minigolf tracks, velomobile and surf equipment rental. The beach promenade of Pärnu is the favourite place for romantics during all four seasons. The two stone jetties located where the beach meets the river invite guests for a walk along a 2 kilometre long path leading straight onto the sea. The Pärnu Beach Park located right off the beach is a nature reserve and is a popular place for walks or relaxation.

Pärnu rand ja rannapark

Author: Indrek Aija

Pärnu Vallikäär and the Tallinn Gate

Pärnu Vallikäär captivates you with a well-lit promenade running along the rampart, a romantic footbridge bending over the moat, and the highest fountain in Estonia established in the centre of the moat. Children can play in the marine-themed playground. You can pass through the passageway between the entrenchments and visit the restored Tallinn Gate that marks the starting point of an old postal route. A summer cafe with a beautiful view from the second floor of the gate is open during the summer season.

Vallikäär ja Tallinna väravad

Author: Aino Valt

Churches in Pärnu

St. Elizabeth’s Church in Pärnu downtown is one of the most distinguished sacral buildings of the baroque era in Estonia. One of the best organs in Estonia is situated in this church, making the church a popular concert venue. St. Catherine’s Church is one of the most stylish and richest baroque churches in Estonia. It was built on the order and with the financing of Catherine the Great and the Pärnu Russian congregation is still practicing there today. The Apostolic Orthodox Transformation of Our Lord Church, built in the old Russian style, is adorned with 6 bell towers decorated with gilded crosses. The interior includes an altar wall with 11 icons and murals made of 11 large figurative compositions.

Pärnu kirikud

Author: Indrek Aija

Resort architecture and beautiful timber villas

Pärnu charms its guests with its historical architecture. Walking along the avenues from the centre of the city to the sea, you will pass through the largest district of timber villas in Estonia. The unique villas decorated with timber lace please the eye and are a joy to discover, as most of them have been restored and house a hotel or a café. The pearls of resort architecture are the Pärnu Beach House, Mud Baths and Beach Hotel that are located right on the waterfront. The latter is one of the most distinguished examples and chef-d’oeuvres of modern Estonian beach architecture. The Pärnu Kuursaal and outdoor stage, which have always been an important centre of resort life, are also located in the beach district.

Kuurordiaegne arhitektuur

Author: Elen Juurma

Museums and workshops

The cultural life in Pärnu is enriched by numerous museums and art galleries. The so-called river of time set up in the Pärnu Museum takes you through 11,000 years of exciting history. Interactive technologies have been used for the exposition in order to create a memorable experience for the entire family. The Museum of New Art in Pärnu surprises you with contemporary exhibitions and is also the location for the international documentary film festival. At the Koidula Museum, you can get acquainted with the life and works of Lydia Koidula, the most famous poetess of the national awakening, and her father, J. V. Jannsen, in the context of Estonian national awakening. All children and adults are welcome at the Maarja-Magdaleena Guild where different handicraft workshops are open for five days a week. With the help of the craftsmen, you can make jewellery and try your hand at woodworking, felting, glass melting, and spinning the pottery wheel.

Muuseumid ja käsitöökojad

Author: Kati Vaas

Sights in Pärnu County:

Kihnu Island and Museum

Kihnu Island is a unique fusion of the present and the past. The culture of Kihnu Island has been awarded UNESCO heritage status and should captivate anyone who is interested in cultural heritage, unique wildlife and friendly people. Women of the island wear körts, national skirts knitted by themselves, as a part of their everyday clothing. The sights of Kihnu Island include the cemetery, church, lighthouse, and museum. The Kihnu Museum displays a wealth of items related to the daily life – tools, clothes, handicrafts, furniture. The museum also features a display of famous Kihnu men and the artwork of Kihnu naïve artists.


Author: Elen Juurma

Soomaa National Park

Soomaa National Park is a national nature preserve founded for the protection, research and introduction of large bogs, meadows and forests. Established in 1993, the preserve has become especially famous for the flood periods when water flowing into meadows and forests cut the area off from the outside world. Locals say that Soomaa has five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and floods. The Soomaa Nature Centre located in Kõrtsi-Tõramaa offers all kinds of information about the exciting places, hiking trails and camping sites at Soomaa. The national park offers possibilities to hike on boardwalks as well as trails running on the ground, but you can also book a canoeing trip or a snowshoe or kicksled hike.


Author: Elen Juurma

C.R Jakobson Farm Museum

The Carl Robert Jakobson Farm Museum in Kurgja presents the life, work, and farm established by Carl Robert Jakobson, one of the leaders of the Estonian 19th century national awakening. Today, cattle are still bred on the territory of the museum, and the old farm buildings such as the cowshed, granary, sauna, mill, and threshing barn have been restored. You can try your hand at farm work and get acquainted with old customs. The visitors can enjoy Estonian national dishes at the café and buy local handicraft from the shop.


Author: Elen Juurma

Lottemaa Theme Park

Lottemaa, the largest theme park in the Baltics, is located six kilometres from Pärnu. The theme park located in a lovely forest by the sea is actually the village of Gadgetville familiar from Lotte movies, musicals, and books. There are more than a hundred attractions, thematic houses, delicious dishes, souvenir shops and a beach waiting to be discovered. There is enough to be discovered and invented as well as incredibly exciting adventures for the entire family to fill an entire day.


Author: Lottemaa Theme Park

Valgeranna beach

Valgeranna is a long south-facing sandy beach protected from the cold northern winds by a beautiful pine forest. There is a children’s playground, dressing cabins, paddle boat rental and a café on the beach. The Valgeranna promenade is a beautiful 300 metre long footpath that takes you from the parking lot to the sea and partially weaves under the Valgeranna Adventure Park. The observation tower equipped with lights offers beautiful sights.


Author: Elen Juurma

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