What to do in Parnu during your visit

by ilive4travel

Published on Jul 10, 2019

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After visiting Riga, I decided to go to Parnu in Estonia.  I had heard about what a great beach resort town it is and how it is the most popular resort town in Estonia.

I left Riga at lunchtime and got the bus to Parnu, it’s about a 2 hour 30 mins journey and this time I travelled with Ecolines at a cost of 10 euro.  When I arrived into the station I got my bag and walked the couple of blocks to my hostel.

Parnu itself is a very popular summer coastal town in Estonia.  It has beautiful white sandy beaches with lots of activities such as kayaking, water skiing, yachting and bars and restaurants along the beach too.  These are open from 1 June to 31 August.  I unfortunately was there on the 18-20th September so everything was closed, despite the beach being very busy.

If you are wanting a beach holiday then I recommend visiting between June and August, though it is still nice to visit out of season.

Parnu Beach

When I first arrived I decided to go for a walk down to the beach.  It’s about a 15 minute walk from the centre of town and despite the cold the beach was quite busy.  The temperatures drop considerably by the middle of September, though you may still be able to sunbathe at the beginning of September.

The beach itself is nice and I can imagine is a lovely place to spend a summers day, the water is very shallow so ideal for families.  There are lots of benches on the beach and climbing frames and swings for the kids.

Parnu Beach Meadow

If you walk far enough along the beach then you will reach Parnu Beach Meadow, it’s a nature reserve with lots of cows grazing there.  It has a boardwalk to walk around and an observation tower, a great place for bird watchers and a nice place to walk around.  It was a nice sunny day and the views from the top of the observation tower were amazing.

Beach Promenade

From Parnu Beach Meadow, there is a nice promenade that was completed in 2006 and runs the length of the beach, it is great in summer with the water fountains and also at night when these fountains become colourful.

Tallinn Gate & The Old Town

My first stop exploring the town of Tallinn was Tallinn Gate, it is the only surviving 17th century gate in the baltic region and is the only part of the fortification left in Parnu as the rest was removed in the 19th century.  In the old moat there is the highest fountain in Estonia and you can walk along the path around the moat and across a bridge which leads back towards the beach. There are lots of benches and a cafe that opens in summer.  It’s a beautiful place to take a walk or sit relax and read your book.

The main pedestrianised street is beautiful to walk down to see the medieval buildings and other highlights include St Elizabeth’s Church and St Catherine’s Church.

The Red Tower

This round tower was built in the 15th century and was a former prison and was part of a fortress that surrounded Parnu.  It originally was much taller than the current structure.

Sports Activities

If you want a more active holiday then during summer there are additional activities available on the river such as water skiing, kayaking and yachting.

Parnu Museum

The Parnu museum explains the 11,000 year old history of Parnu and exhibits artefacts from prehistoric times.  It is most famous for a human shaped sculpture dating back around 8,000 years which is believed to be the oldest in the Baltics.  It is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm and costs 4 Euro.

The Ladies Beach

If you walk from the Jetty along the beach, you will reach the Ladies Beach.  It is where historically naked sunbathing is done by ladies.  The Ladies Beach is still in place today though nowadays it is not segregated or exclusive to naked women.

Hedon Spa & Hotel

Historically the building in which is the new Hedon Spa & Hotel was a mud bath building.  It was constructed in 1926/27 to replace a bathing house that was burned down during world war 1.  It is now one of the most important symbols of Parnu resort.  The original mud baths were built in 1838 when it offered warm sea baths during the summers and a hot sauna in the winters.

Now you are able to either stay in the hotel or enjoy a spa day in the renovated mud baths.

Water Park

The Tervise Paradiis Hotel has a water park which is actually the largest in Estonia.  It is inside and so perfect for a rainy day.  It is open every day June, July & August and costs 21 Euro for a day ticket for an adult.  There are diving boards, tube slides and mountain rivers, jacuzzis, waterfalls and saunas.  The Hotel is located just off the beach if you decided to just spend a few hours at the park.


Parnu is lucky enough to have many parks throughout the city that can be enjoyed throughout summer and winter.  They are beautiful to walk through and to relax and read a book.

Sunset at Parnu Beach

I decided in the evening to go back to the beach to watch sunset, I am so glad I persuaded myself to go as despite the cold it’s one of the best sunsets I have ever seen.  Just so beautiful and worth freezing on a beach for 30 minutes.

If you visit Parnu out of season then really you only need a maximum of 24 hours to see everything, though there are places out of town to explore too.  Make sure though that you go down to the beach and catch sunset it really is amazing.

Soomaa National Park

Soomaa is a wetlands, located near Parnu.  It was established in 1993 to protect the glades, meadows and bogs in this area.  It is famous for having five seasons as when the snow melts of there is heavy rain then the lower forests and roads are flooded.

The park has a number of walks, with some of them wheelchair and pram friendly.  Visitors can also canoe in summer and do snowshoe hikes in winter.

Where to stay in Pärnu


If you are on a budget and travelling solo then a great option is Strangers in the Night hostel where you can stay in a shared room.

The Hansalinn is a 3 star hotel located in the centre of Parnu, the rooms are very modern and with only 11 rooms it is a very cosy and personal hotel.  Click here for the latest prices and more details on the Hansalinn.


Hedon Spa & Hotel is located on the beach front and only opened in 2014 so is very modern.  While staying here you can enjoy the spa facilities or eat one of the 2 on site restaurants.  Click here for the latest prices and more details.

Spa Tervise Paradiis is located on the beach front and not only has spa facilities but the largest waterpark in Estonia.  The rooms are very modern and most have a view of Parnu bay.  Click here for the latest prices and more details.

Did you enjoy this post, then don’t forget to pin it.

a pin created by ilive4travel about how to spend a weekend in Parnu Estonia showing a picture of a river with a water fountain and some boats in it and some buildings in the background

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Clare from Ilive4travel

Hi my name is Clare and welcome to ilive4travel.  I am originally from the UK but spend most of my time in Peru, the country that caught my heart.

I have visited 73 countries and love to share with you everything I have learnt about these countries in my guides.

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  1. Diana - MVMT Blog

    I love the Tallinn Gate! I’ve seen many famous gates but never a pink one! I loved Tallinn and would love to explore more of Estonia including Parnu.

  2. Natasha Welch

    Looks like a lovely place, the beaches and architecture are both beautiful. Would love to properly tour Estonia at some point. Tallinn has been intriguing me for some time now but now there’s more on my list!

  3. Delaine Dcosta

    That beach looks beautiful even on a grey day. It must be packed in summer! We have a ladies beach here too, however, you’re NOT allowed to be naked lol! I thought it was the same there until I saw the picture properly.

  4. Ivy

    The Tallin Gate is a beaut! So are the beaches. I wonder what the ladies only beach looks like in the summer lol not sure if I’d wanna walk past that either!

  5. Noemi of Pinay Flying High

    I was going to ask you why wouldn’t you want to go to the ladies’ beach and then I saw the sign. Lol. I probably wouldn’t either. :p

  6. katie

    Oh this place sounds like a great place to spend some quality time! Would you say it was enough though? I would love to visit one day!

    • ilive4travel

      24 hours is enough time out of season but in season you could stay longer and enjoy the beach 🙂

  7. Jen

    It looks amazing especially the sunset photos! I am intrigued by the Ladies Beach. This is my first time to hear of it. Thanks for pointing out that it can be seen in 1 day and to prioritize the beach and the sunset! 🙂

  8. Aryane @ Valises & Gourmandises

    I’ve only been to Tallinn but it was enough to put Estonia in my top 5 of favourite European countries!
    I would love to go back and see more. And definitely pay a visit to Parnu in the summer 🙂

  9. The Travel Ninjas

    I never think of beaches when I think of Estonia. I think of super wifi connections and internet voting. This was so enlightening about all the cool things to do in Parnu. Thanks.

  10. Kristine

    Parnu looks gorgeous. I mean, look at those sunset photos! I’ve only ever been to Tallinn in Estonia, and I’ve been to Riga in Latvia. Shame I didn’t know about this place back then. Would’ve loved to relax on that beach 🙂

  11. Gareth

    Looks like a really gorgeous part of the world and some great tips on how to spend a day there. Not quite so sure Parnu would be quite so pleasant at this time of the year however, might just have to leave it until it warms up a little bit. Nevertheless, a great find and somewhere that I imagine goes a little unexplored

  12. Kate @ Love From Scotland

    I;ve never considered visiting Estonia, but this may have changed my mind. What a lovely beach and there seems plenty of things to do. Even in the off season!

  13. Neha Verma

    I absolutely love that beach. The sunset looks just out of this world..what a beautiful part of the globe it is

  14. Lydia@LifeUntraveled

    I didn’t know Estonia had a beach – I’m sure it must be great to sunbathe there during the hotter Summer months. I would also skip the Ladies’ Beach though…lol! Eastern Europe is at the top of my travel list and when I go I’ll make sure to visit Estonia. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Kathy

    Thanks for the tip. Parnu looks lovely. I sometimes love visiting these types of places out of the tourist season as there are less ‘tourists’.
    I agree well worth the cold for the sunset. Thanks for putting Parnu on my radar.

  16. Katrina | Aqua & Ink

    The sunset there looks beautiful and i really love the look of the architecture there!

  17. Sandy N Vyjay

    Thanks for the comprehensive guide to Parnu. The sunset and the beach looks lovely.
    I loved the architecture of Tallin Gate , would love to explore more such places in Estonia.

    • ilive4travel

      Estonia is a beautiful country with so much to see and despite Parnu being a summer town it was nice for a short visit out of season 🙂

  18. Julianne

    I’ve never been to Estonia, but your photos have piqued my interest! The Tallinn Gate, with its pink color, looks beautiful. The pink color even reminds me a bit of the pink sand beaches in Bermuda! Will have to check out Parnu when I’m back over in Europe.

  19. Søren Juhl Hansen, DK

    Nice introduction but you should mention the splended golf courses too


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