Pärnu is a seaside resort town (and the summer capital of Estonia) with a small harbor in southwestern Estonia. The city is known for its resorts, shallow white sandy beach and beautiful parks. It is also a popular venue for conferences, theater performances and concerts. The first spa was opened in 1838, and today Pärnu is an international sanatorium.

During the Great Northern War, the University of Tartu was moved to Pärnu in 1699-1710. The University of Tartu still has a branch.

Since 1996, Pärnu has been known as the summer capital of Estonia. Beach life, dozens of festivals, nightclubs, big parties, concerts and fairs - Pärnu has it all.

Pärnu is an ancient Hanseatic city where a medieval festival and arts and crafts fair is held every summer.

Tourist Information Center, Uus 4, +372 447 3000, e-mail: parnu@visitestonia.com.


Destinations in Parnu
Old town with buildings dating back to medieval times.
Beautiful wooden villas.
Beach park and embankment.
Art galleries. Lydia Koidula & Museum of Contemporary Art & City Gallery
Parnu Town Hall, Nikolai tn 3. The Town Hall is located in a house built in 1797 by the merchant P. R. Harder. In 1804, the Russian Tsar Alexander I stayed in this house during his visit to Pärnu. A new Art Nouveau building with baroque details was completed in 1911 towards the north side of the town hall.
Catherine's Church, Vee tn 8. Catherine's Church was built in 1768 and is the most stylish and luxurious Baroque church in Estonia. The church influenced the development of Orthodox church architecture throughout the Balticum. To this day, the Russian community of Pärnu operates in the church.
Seegi Maja (House of Alms), Hospidali tn 1. Seegi Maja (House of Alms) is known to be the oldest building in Pärnu. It was built in 1658 on the ruins of the old almshouse of the Church of the Holy Spirit as a shelter for the sick and crippled. Based on a study of a wooden raft under the building's foundations, the old almshouse dates from 1250-1350. The building has been restored to look like it did in the 17th century. The hotel "Saint Petersburg" and the Seegi Maja restaurant are located here.
Statue of Raimond Valgre, Mere puiestee 22. Musician Raimond Valgre, who played in Pärnu in the 1930s and brought fame to the city, can now be found in a park near Kuursaal as a bronze statue. You, too, can sit next to your favorite Estonian composer and enjoy his beautiful compositions.
Elizabeth Church, Nikolai tn, 22. The Elizabeth Church, opened in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. One of the best organs in Estonia is found in the Elizabeth Church and this place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers.