Pärnu is a city in Estonia, located in the southwest of the republic. It is a popular resort, famous for its SPAs and medical centers. It is the fourth largest city in the country in terms of population and size. As of 2020, there were 39605 people living here, of whom 83% were Estonians and 12.7% were Russians. The official language is Estonian; English and Russian are also spoken in the city.
Pärnu – the summer capital of Estonia
Pärnu has been the summer capital of Estonia since 1996. The beautiful resort with its nice sandy beaches, peaceful green parks, cosy outdoor cafés and promenades along the river embodies this title perfectly. The symbolic ceremony of transferring the title from the spring capital – the city of Türi – to the summer capital takes place in mid-June, on the day of the astronomical summer.
During the summer, Pärnu becomes one of the centers of Estonian tourism. Residents of other cities of the republic and guests from abroad come here to relax. There are trendy nightclubs, various festivals, fairs, and street markets. Many events in one way or another acquaint visitors with the history of the city, which dates back to 1251.
The climate of Pärnu has its own characteristics. It is generally assumed that there are more sunny days than in other parts of the country, while there are fewer rainy ones. Nevertheless, the climate is still characterized as rainy, and the summer is called cool.
According to data from the Estonian Meteorological Institute, the average summer temperature in Pärnu is 18ºC. In fact, in mid-summer the temperature is usually around 20-25ºC and on some days it may even exceed 30ºC. During the winter, the average temperature is -5ºC.
For up-to-date information on what’s happening in the city, head to the Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall courtyard. You can pick up a free guide and map of the city and get tips on where to go. Of the regular events that take place in the city, the most noteworthy are:
- Hanseatic Days
- organ festival
- David Oistrakh Festival
- blues days
- International Anthropological and documentary film festival.
Fans of active leisure and extreme sports can take advantage of the local sports clubs and go surfing or enjoy a ride on a jet ski. In addition, canoeing and kayaking is available in the Summer Capital.
From Pärnu to the islands
Nature lovers looking for a boat trip can visit the nearby islands. Ferries depart regularly from the local port for Kihnu and Ruhnu. Here you will get acquainted with the unusual way of life, which the islanders lead for centuries.
By the way, you can also get to the islands by plane. Aircraft depart from Pärnu airport. It is worth noting that in winter, some islands can only be accessed by air.