Pärnu, the summer capital of Estonia
Русская версия We have already written about the unusual places around Tallinn, and Patarei prison. Today we continue to tell about Estonia. Most of people coming to Estonia visit at least Tallinn or Tartu. A rarer tourist gets to Estonian town of SPAs – Pärnu. Perhaps, after our story Estonia will become even more attractive for you.
We visited this nice town in October. Despite the fact that it was already quite chilly, we still enjoyed the fresh air, had a great walk, and also visited the water center.
Beaches and SPA.
As mentioned, Pärnu is a resort town on the Baltic coast. Many of you probably know about the chilly Estonian climate, but the beaches indicate that it is not so bad here in the summer. There is even one nude beach.
In summer, it is undoubtedly warm and crowded, but in the autumn only rare people were walking here, and dogs were playing.
During colder time, you can relax in spa hotels. Some of them have their own water centres and different baths and saunas, such as in Tervis, Estonia, or Tervise paradiis. We visited the latter and spent wonderful three hours there, mostly in hot tubes. There are several slides here also. We liked the swimming pool, one part of which is inside the building and the other is outside. In autumn, the contrast of temperature is impressive.
There is a very nice place where the Pärnu River runs into the Baltic Sea. It is just near the nude beach. There are several attractions here: a long pier with lighthouse and the bird watching tower. The latter is on the right bank of the river. Therefore, getting there is not so easy.
Pärnu is a very green city, so having a walk in the parks is worth that. In autumn, colours make the picture even more beautiful.
The city centre is not large, but wandering through the old streets is very interesting. There are many shops with handmade goods here.
There are several churches in Pärnu. Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Transformation of Our Lord Church:
St. Catherine’s Church:
The tourist information centre is situated at the Town Hall Square and provides free maps of the city with detailed information.
The city has various sculptures and historical buildings. For example, this is the former Pärnu gymnasium for boys, where the famous Estonian chess player Paul Keres studied.
The Alms House (Seegi maja) is the oldest building in Pärnu, built in 1658. However, it is based on previous alms house’s basis from the 13th century. Nowadays the building is a hotel and restaurant.
The monument to the famous Estonian poetess and author of the first Estonian dramatic work – Lydia Koidula (1843-1886)
The sculpture of the famous musician Raymond Valgre. Nearby, there is Kurzal – the biggest tavern in Estonia. Here you can enjoy both music and nice view.
You can walk to the Tallinn Gate, the only surviving 17th century gate with an embankment in the Baltic Countries. There is plate with a mention of Pushkin’s great-grandfather – Abram Ganibal, who served in army here in Pärnu.
Inside there is a picturesque bay, where locals fish and drink beer.
Pärnu is also famous for its neighbourhood with villas and residences at Tooming and Seedri streets. It is a kind of Beverly Hills in Estonian way. Ammende villa is probably the most beautiful. Nowadays it is a fashionable hotel, which also hosts various exhibitions and music concerts.
Pärnu mud baths can also be perceived as a villa. They started to offer warm mud baths in summer and saunas in winter of 1838. In the Soviet period, it was a sanatorium for workers; later, it was deserted. Only in 2014, the building started its new life.
In general, Pärnu is a very cosy and quiet city, at least in October it seemed to us exactly this way.
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