- Duration: 2 hours tour
- Activity level: easy (bus and walking)
- Total walking distance: approx. 1 km
Pärnu, the best known Estonian resort, is much more than just a place for summer holidays. Pärnu is also a Hanseatic and university city. It has a busy schedule of conferences, performances and concerts.
During the summer months, when the flag of the Estonian summer capital flies high on the beach, visitors experience bustling life on the beach, dozens of festivals and events, and music to cater for all tastes. Estonians say that if you haven’t seen your friends for a while, you will almost certainly meet them in Pärnu in summer.
In autumn and winter, many people appreciate the quieter face of Pärnu and spend a weekend relaxing in one of the many spas combining it with a conference, or find a cosy villa offering a bit of peace and tranquillity.
When there is snow and ice, yachts and surfers on the bay are replaced by iceboats, skaters and fishermen.
This tour takes in the most important and interesting sights of Pärnu, giving a good overview of the town’s past and present including: the sandy beach, green parks, beautiful houses, both Pärnu and Sauga rivers, the port and the oldest part of Pärnu, which was first mentioned in 1251.
The bus tour will be followed by a walk in the Old Town, taking in Rüütli shopping street, the Red Tower, the town’s only surviving medieval tower (on the southeast corner of the city wall) and the Maarja-Magdaleena Guild. The Guild building is filled with art and craft workshops where you can buy local handmade souvenirs and witness their making process.
Passing the Town Hall, built in 1797 by merchant P. R. Harder and accommodating the Tourism Information Centre and an art gallery today, the tour arrives at St. Catherine’s Orthodox Church, one of the most stylish and ornate Baroque style churches in Estonia.