Parnu, Estonia – the charm of the pre-war resort

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For past few months I’ve been thinking quite often about going to the seaside, even if just for few hours, to walk on the beach, to stare at the endless sea and to breath in the fresh air. OK, I spent one hour in Gdynia after the Open’er Festival this July but it was nothing I wished for (even if it was so much fun to be there with some great friends!). So when I planed my trip to Estonia I thought it might be a good chance to visit Baltic shore slightly more north than what I first had in mind. Not to mention I could see a little bit more of the country that I became so interested in from the very beginning. I’ve decided to visit Parnu, Estonia.


On the way to Parnu, Estonia

The bus journey from Tartu was pretty amazing! Well, ok, the bus itself was pretty old school but the views outside were breathtaking. Not only the autumn was outstanding but it was a beautiful sunny morning with occasional fog and frost on the ground here and there. I was literally glued to the window for the whole journey!

Finally after over 2 hours the bus rolled through really long suburbs that already could give me the impression what I might expect from Parnu itself. Even if it’s a fairly big city with almost 40.000 inhabitants it didn’t feel that way. There were so many beautiful wodden houses and hardly any blocks that it all looked like a small, provincial town and not the summer capital of Estonia. When I eventually arrived to the bus station right in the center the look of the city didn’t change much and still I thought I’m in the small town where everyone knows each other.


Parnu – a perfect Baltic resort

Parnu is a well know health resort and a member of European Spas Association with the mud baths tradition going as far as 1837. Before the II World War this was one of the most famous resort for Russian people and a lot of this old cham is still widely seen in the city. There are so many examples of fancy villas from that time, Ammende being the best example. The wide and long park seperates the city from the shore and is perfect for people slowly walking around and breathing in the fresh air. Parnu on a sunny Saturday in the middle of October felt like the place where the time has stoped.



Amazing Parnu beach

The beach itself was pretty lovely too. Not only it was clean, sandy and wide but there were some quite amazing dunes too. With wind in my hair I spent pretty much time walking around the beach, enjoying the beautiful day and finally fulfiling my wish of the quality time at the seaside. It was so refreashing and the surroundings were so beautiful I know I could have easily spent so many more hours there as it was a pure relax! I believe the Parnu beach and the city look totally different in the middle of the summer, with events going on every other day (it got the title of the Estonian’s Summer Capital for a reason) but I know the place couldn’t be more perfect than on this autumn sunny day.



Pleasant Parnu

But even if for most people Parnu is all about the seaside, beach and spas I found the other, random faces of the city very pleasant too. I had a really great time walking around the downtown, even if it was nothing too special. I was even crazy enough to walk all the way (over 5 kms) to the train station because I enjoyed Parnu so much and wanted to see the “normal” parts of it too. And they were still as charming as the rest of the city.



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Parnu turned out to be great and enjoyable for me, well worth the effort of going around just to visit it. But while I felt so good there off season I don’t think it’d be “my piece of cake” in the summer… or maybe I’m just wrong and I have to return there in the main season and experience it again? All in all I believe it’s a great place to see in Estonia too and it makes a perfect stop especially when you travel between Tallinn and Riga as it’s right in the middle between these two!



Do you like travelling off season too? Would you like to visit Parnu, Estonia?

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If you think of visiting Estonia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the “destinations” page.

parnu pin (1)       parnu pin (2)

love, kami 2

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  • Reply
    13/09/2015 at 16:02

    Ojojoj! Jak tam pięknie <3 I ja tam nie byłam jeszcze! Koza ze mnie, przecież blisko!

    • Reply
      14/09/2015 at 15:13

      no tak średnio blisko, ale przynajmniej morze to samo ;) ale fakt, uroczo tam bardzo!

  • Reply
    Parnu Travel - Estonia's Most Charming Town
    02/11/2015 at 13:59

    […] additional perspectives on Pärnu, check out these articles by at Kami and the Rest of the World and Camille in Wonderlands.  Or you can head to the […]

  • Reply
    Brian Kowalski
    20/05/2018 at 17:35

    Great blog! My sister and I will visit Estonia in 2020 – your posts about the country are very helpful!

    • Reply
      24/05/2018 at 11:16

      I’m glad to hear that! Estonia is amazing, you will definitely enjoy it! If you need some advice about travelling there you should join my FB group about Eastern Europe travels, here’s the link:

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