Parnu Travel Guide
When the dog days of summer hit Estonia, the entire country makes its way to the Baltic coast. Of the numerous resort towns along its length, Parnu is among the most popular. With off-white sand and plenty of room to recline, you want to be here on a hot day.
When you aren’t at the beach, its tourist attractions, museums, and art galleries will keep you busy.
Come check out our Parnu travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Parnu, Estonia.
Begin your time in Estonia’s summer capital with a visit to the Parnu Museum. While this city is mostly known for outdoor activities and hedonistic pursuits, cultural travellers will love this attraction. In brief, it covers the 11,000-year history of human habitation in the Parnu area.
Its exhibits begin in the Stone Age. They show how people survived in a part of the world known for its long, harsh winters. As you make your way through the other galleries, you’ll also learn about medieval trade routes that passed through here. In the Baroque period, Parnu was an important fortified city. And you’ll also get to see what life was like when they were part of Soviet Russia.
There is also a temporary exhibition space. Every few months, it changes, showing off art and historical artifacts from the wider region. On the way out, check out this museum’s cafe and gift shop. The former offers authentic local food, while the latter features crafts from regional artisans.
In the mood to check out art rather than artifacts? Make time in your schedule to check out the Museum of New Art. As the name suggests, this institution focuses on modern art. As you walk through its galleries, you’ll find more than 400 works on its walls.
There’s more than just paintings, drawings, and sculptures here, though. It will please you to discover this institution’s videotheque. It is a theatre that has a library of over 1,200 documentaries. When the weather rules out a day at the beach, it’s nice to have this as a backup plan!
Overall, however, this institution’s greatest claim to fame is its annual exhibition of naked art. It’s exactly what it sounds like – artwork that displays nude humans in artistic poses. Keep this in mind if you are travelling with children not mature enough to appreciate this type of event.
Fans of religious monuments will want to stop by the Church of Jekaterina during their time in Parnu. Its crafters built this 18th-century church in the Baroque style, which makes it a stunning photographic subject.
Despite its impressive presence, the actual interior of this Russian Orthodox hall of worship is quite small. Want to go inside? If so, dress conservatively and respect those quietly praying.
Visitors and residents of this city both have a deep appreciation for the performing arts. If you share their passion, take in a show at Parnu Concert Hall during your visit. It is a wonderful place to take in an opera or orchestra performance, as it boasts excellent acoustics.
If you’ve come to Parnu, chances are good you’re here to enjoy its beach. When you aren’t splashing in its waves or working on your tan, stroll along the Parnu Beach Promenade. Its fountains are perfect for small children on a hot day. By night, they light up brilliantly, creating a delightful atmosphere.
Stop at one of several cafes, and watch as fellow holidaymakers pass. Armed with a camera, you can get some fantastic candid shots of people living their best life.
Want to be at one with the Baltic Sea? Walk onto the Parnu Jetty. Here, the waves that break upon this stone breakwater will surround you. Originally built to protect the town’s beach, it has become a popular walking spot for visitors and locals.
Two things to note – first, low tides will expose wet rocks. These stones can be extremely slippery, so avoid them. Second, in blustery weather, wave action can make the Parnu Jetty dangerous. On these days, don’t tempt fate!
Want a break from the beach? Are you visiting Parnu in winter? In either case, the Tervise Paradiis Water Park serves as a great alternative. This indoor water park boasts waterslides, waterfalls, a lazy river, and an above-water climbing walls. For the adults, there are multiple hot tubs, a Finnish sauna, and a steam room.
Do you have small children in tow? If so, they’ll LOVE a trip to Alpakafarm. Here, you’ll find alpacas, the fluffy cousins to the llama. When you’ve finished petting these insanely soft animals, other cuties await your love. These include Angora rabbits, Ousannt sheep, cats and dogs. To maximize your experience, be sure to sign up for the hourly guided tours they offer.