Parnu is Estonia’s favourite resort town, the top leisure destination in the country. It is a quaint and beautiful small city featuring romantic architecture, stores selling top international brands, beaches, and spas. Read on to learn the top activities to enjoy during a rejuvenating trip to Parnu.
Explore the city
Parnu’s colorful architecture and shady, tree-lined streets certainly catch the eye of any visitor. With its sky-scrapping churches from 1700s and medieval architecture, visitors will want to spend a few hours taking in its beauty. Architectural highlights include St. Elizabeth’s Church, St. Catherine’s Church, and the Red Tower.
Perfect for a summertime visit, Parnu Beach has ample amenities to please visiting families. It has white sand shores, splash pads, a large playground, benches, and bathrooms. The Beach Promenade provides a paved path which takes visitors along the entire stretch of beach and out to the point.
Located approximately a 40 minute drive from the center of Parnu, Soomaa National Park is absolutely worth the trip. The park is one of Estonia’s most beautiful national parks. In the rainy season it can only be accessed by boat due to extensive flooding. In addition, several trails in Soomaa National Park are handicap and stroller accessible, making it a visitor-friendly excursion for everyone.
An obvious activity in Parnu — Estonia’s resort capital — is to indulge in spa treatments. The swankiest spa in Parnu is the Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa, which features saunas, hot tubs, and introduces visitors to Estonia’s sauna practice. This resort hotel also offers yoga classes and a fitness center as well as several specials.
The beautiful red tower of St. Elizabeth’s Church can be spotted from almost anywhere in Parnu. This Lutheran church was built in 1747. The interior features a Gothic style wooden pulpit and altarpiece from Rotterdam, dating from 1854.
Exhibiting the best example of Baroque architecture in Estonia, St. Catherine’s Church is a Russian Orthodox church located in the historic center of Parnu. The church was built in 1768 and its yellow facade and striking green roof are very pleasing to the eye. The church was commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia.
The Parnu Museum highlights Parnu’s long history – all 11,000 years of it – with exhibits from prehistoric times to contemporary. The crowing jewel of the entire museum is its approximately 8,000 year old sculpture, believed to be the oldest human shaped sculpture in the Baltics and Scandinavia. Archeological artefacts are also in the permanent exhibit. Ticket prices start at 4 EUR and the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Located at the point of Parnu Beach, the Seawall is a local favorite hang out spot. The Seawall is considered a romantic place to take a lover and provides an excellent place to view the starsat night. At low tide, the walk out to the seawall reveals the remains of a former wooden seawall.
Estonia has some incredible restaurants known for their scrumptious Estonian and Nordic cuisine. Parnu is no different. Try Kohvik Supelsaksad, a well-known cafe serving a full menu of tasty and healthy food as well as delectable cakes. Another option is the trendy Mahedik, which is open for breakfast lunch and dinner. Food here is created using local ingredients and menu options include roast beef sandwiches, delicious roasted cheese salads, and more.
Showing its medieval roots, numerous old buildings can be stumbled across while walking through Parnu. One of the most eye-catching is the Red Tower, which was built in the 15th century. This round tower was a former prison and was part of the fortress that once surrounded Parnu. While it was formerly much taller, the remaining structure has been preserved and is currently awaiting additional repairs and renovations.