The ultimate summer holiday destination in Estonia, Pärnu attracts holiday makers with its large sandy beach, numerous restaurants, cocktail bars, spas and a relaxed, laid back vibe.
With an area of 858,07 km², Pärnu is the biggest municipality in Estonia, almost as big as Berlin (892 km²). Pärnu’s area places it in the top 100 of the world, ahead of such giants as Milan, Athens, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Toronto and Hamburg as well as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam. Regardless of the large area, however, the density of population of Pärnu is only 60 people per square kilometre.
This medieval city has an easygoing and romantic flair to it. Being largest resort in Estonia, Pärnu is also a home to a variety of spas from large water parks to more intimate and historical bath houses.
Long, white sandy beaches, shallow waters and “the best Sun in Estonia” attract Estonians and visiting guests alike. Beautiful beach promenade is ideal for walking, cycling and roller skating with playgrounds, water fountains and play areas offering days full of fun and joy for children.
If you are feeling adventurous, try water skiing, yachting or paddle a canoe or a kayak down the Pärnu river to the open sea and nearby islets.
In 2020, Pärnu was voted the most sustainable destination of the Baltic Sea countries. The city is special because of its sea, rivers, beaches and promenades and its many parks, avenues and forest groves. Pärnu’s diversity and amenities have made it a resort with a 180 year history, which is why protecting and valuing its nature is a priority when it comes to the development of the city. The strengths of the unique city of Pärnu include a friendly, functional and attractive environment with a lively and compact historical city centre.
Pärnu is also one of the 2020 Sustainable Top 100 destinations. The competition for international sustainable travel destination success stories is organised by Green Destinations to recognise places that put effort into making the experience of visitors more sustainable and value-based. Pärnu’s success story is about a protected coastal meadow being opened to the public and maintained by cows. The coastal meadows under Natura2000 protection are located next to Pärnu beach, which is the city’s main attraction. Many were initially unhappy as the protected area restricts the expansion of the beach. However, the city managed to figure out how to introduce people to the protected area, make them appreciate the natural value of it and offer them an alternative to sunbathing on the beach. The protected beach now includes an educational nature trail as well as observation towers and is maintained by the city cows.
Pärnu is a green destination that is attractive for much more than just its resorts and spas Green Pärnu – great for holidays and even better for living
Estonia is a perfect place for introducing the pleasures of hiking to your little ones.
Estonia is a great place for bicycle trips – the distances are short, the nature diverse and we have a continuously developed network of bike roads
Introducing the Bradt Guide to Estonia - the 8th Edition. An interview with its author Neil Taylor