Pärnu, Estonia’s ‘summer capital’, is a highly acclaimed holiday destination and resort on the southwest coast of Estonia. Shadowy parks, attractive white sandy beaches and quality restaurants, spas and nightlife are a draw for summer visitors. And if the main beach gets too busy, the white sands and warm waters of Valgeranna, Kabli or Lemme beach are a nearby alternative. Various cultural festivals, numerous art galleries, exhibitions, a contemporary art museum, the Endla Theatre and the Pärnu Concert Hall offer yearround entertainment. As with most large cities in Estonia, Pärnu has a pleasant Old Town. For children, the biggest magnets are the water centre, the Mini zoo, noted for its reptile and amphibian collection and Pärnu’s beautiful beach with its many attractions. Pärnu is also the setting for Estonia’s most stylish and perfectly preserved Art Nouveau villa, the Ammende Villa, built in 1904 by a wealthy German merchant for his daughter’s wedding reception now the site of a hotel and restaurant. Outside Pärnu is the Hell of Tori, an 8.5-metre deep cave eroded into the sandstone by natural springs, which has been linked to the devil and the underworld. Also nearby is the Kurgja Farmstead Museum, the former home and work of Estonian Carl Robert Jakobson, a farmer, politician and leading figure in the Estonian national movement. The farm was created as a model farm and today the farming and rearing of animals, including Estonian breeds of cattle, is managed just as it was a century ago.
Source: Estonia Tourist Board – Visit Estonia
Here’s a sampling of major yearly recurring events in Pärnu:
Pärnu International Choir Festival
The Festival is one of the highlights of the resort town Pärnu before it becomes a busy summer capital. Organised once every two years, the choir festival was launched in 1996 and is aimed at different amateur choirs. The programme includes a festive opening concert, main concert and final gala as well as collective concerts in various venues in the town and the county; a choirs’ folk song competition, children’s and youth choirs’ concerts at schools and a youth festival.
For more info visit the official website www.prkf.ee
Good Food Festival – Grillfest
Grillfest is organised every year on the second weekend of June in Pärnu. The large festival ground is ready to welcome tens of thousands of visitors and the entrance is free. Grillfest is not just an all family grilling party anymore. It is a versatile food festival that expects to meet all happy people who like to enjoy exciting and delicious food and good cultural program in beautiful nature and great company.
For more info visit the official website http://www.grillfest.ee/eng
A full day of entertainment and events to celebrate the town anniversary.
For more info visit the official website www.parnu.ee
Pärnu Hanseatic days
One of the favourite events of Pärnu’s summer season and a must for history fans, this elaborate, medieval-themed fair will transform part of the city into a hectic, Hanseatic- era market for three days. In addition to the trade, there will be performances on three stages, a knight tournament and even a poultry and livestock fair.
Period: June or July
For more info visit the official website http://hansa.parnu.ee/index.php?id=9
Weekend Festival Baltic
The weekend Festival Baltic is biggest one in the Baltic States. Bands, singers and DJs from all over the world will animate this unique event.
For more info visit the official website http://weekendbaltic.com
Pärnu Guild Days
Parts of Old Town will be transformed into a giant craft market, thanks to the much-loved
Maarja-Magdaleene Guild. You can also expect a few related spectacles, like dance performances, to keep things spiced up.
Period: July or August
For more info visit the official website http://maarjamagdaleenagild.ee/et/