Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pärnu, Estonia

From Tartu, it was just a few hours on the bus, with free wifi, to our last destination in Estonia - Pärnu.

We had a basic but reasonable little hostel, just moments from the bus stop and, as Pärnu is pretty small, also only moments from the main street in town.

one of the nice balconies in Pärnu

There really isn't a lot to do in the town of Pärnu, as it is predominantly a summer resort, where many Estonians - and quite a few Finns and Russians - come to enjoy the nearby beach.

The city - I think technically it is a city - is the fourth largest in the country, despite having a population of less than 40,000. These days it is referred to as Estonia's summer capital.


Although small, the city is a nice place to stroll around, as there is a lot of well preserved architecture from the different centuries. Given all of the various periods of occupation that Pärnu, like the most of Estonia, has been through, it makes for some quite varied styles.

After a very late lunch and drinks in Mama's, which had a slightly clubby feel but was a bit above average quality, we just strolled about a bit, doing nothing in particular.

Pärnu beach
The next day we did get out feet into gear though, and walked over to check out the beach. We had no plans to actually spend time on the beach, just to take a wander around and see why it is so popular.

Neither of us can claim to be a connoisseur of beaches, as we so rarely spend any time on them, but this one looked pleasant enough to me.


The grasses that grew up to the edge of the sand gave it a slightly wilder, more natural feel than some places, which I rather liked. I also thought it was great that they had installed some of the tracking, to make it easier for people with mobility issues to get on and off the beach.

I also liked the little signs that they had around the place that urged people to Ole Viisakas!, or Be Polite! They showed nice little pictures of what you should and should not be doing.


There were certainly lots of things to do here, including kitesurfing and beach volleyball. And there was no shortage of things that you could rent to ride around on, from bikes and tandems, to little cart things, and even a futuristic looking thing with big round wheels at the side.

It was a pretty windy day, which was clearly good news for the kite surfers, but not so good for strolling in the sand, so we diverted away from the beach itself.

Kuursaal, Pärnu
There were a couple of interesting looking hotels and spas, one of which was a great art deco place, ad the other rather more modern in design.

We were tempted to stop at the latter, but instead opted for the Kuursaal, a nineteenth century dancehall turned beerhall, that was supposedly very popular with visitors and locals. To be fair, it was busy, but we certainly weren't overly impressed with the quality.

Tallinn Gate, Pärnu

We walked back into town via the park, which didn't hold much interest, although we did at least pass through the Tallinn Gate, which is apparently the only 17th century city gate that is still surviving in the Baltics. It is a nice baroque style pink gate, but I can't say we were overly excited by it.

St Catherine's Church, Pärnu

Back in town, the Russian Orthodox St Catherine's church is an impressive looking building. It was built in 1764, and named after Catherine the Great, following her visit to the city. This isn't the only Orthodox Church in town though, there is also the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Transformation of Our Lord Church. This was built in 1904, when the congregation became to big for St Catherine's, and the churchgoers split - the Russians staying at St Catherine's, and the Estonians coming here.

The last church to mention is the Lutheran, Eliisabet's Church, which was built in 1750, and apparently has a great organ inside, though we didn't get to see it!


The problem with Pärnu, is that while it is pleasant to see, it is pretty much just places to eat and drink, and some mostly touristy gift shops. I can see why it is popular as a beach resort - even if it seems a bit in the windy side - and it was interesting to visit the place that Estonians have traditionally come to for their beach holiday, but it is a bit of a one trick pony.

Hotel in Pärnu

Pärnu beach

Hotel in Pärnu



Pärnu, and the Eliisabet Church, Pärnu

Church of Our Lord, Pärnu

Gates of the Church of Our Lord, Pärnu

No comments:

Post a Comment

We like to hear from you too, so please leave us a message here. We are also happy to answer any questions if we can help. Comments are moderated so will not appear straight away and there could be some delay in replying if we are travelling.