You can enjoy a rich cultural life in Pärnu. There is always something exciting going on at the festivals, exhibition halls, theatre, concert house, cinema and museums that are looking forward to your visit all year round.
Theatre and cinema
The Endla Theatre is one of the best and most dignified theatres in Estonia. When you come to Pärnu, make sure to always have a look at the programme of the theatre, to find fun comedies, dramas and great children’s plays. A visit to the theatre offers captivating content for theatre lovers, diversifies the world picture and is a great pastime.
Concerts and festivals
The concert scene centres around the Pärnu Concert Hall. Concerts are also held at the St. Elizabeth’s Church. Pärnu hosts several renowned festivals, such as the Pärnu Music Festival conducted Paavo Järvi, and the International Organ Festival. In the summer, many open air concerts are held at the Vallikäär stage, in the garden of Villa Ammende, at the Ranna outdoor stage and in the parks.
The Kabli Sunset Festival and the Häädemeeste Hää Festival bring together thousands of music and culture lovers from near and far. Lasting several days, Kihnu Island’s Kihnu Sea Party has gained such popularity that the ferry is sometimes too small to carry everyone interested in attending from the mainland to the island.
The Hanseatic Days and Guild Days festivals held in the middle of the summer in the heart of the city fill the streets and parks with sights, sounds, and carefully designed handicrafts. The street festival August Insomnia in August brings people to the streets and by the riverside to enjoy creative art and street food. The Night Festival of Light, held in September, brings to you unique light shows and has grown bigger every year. In addition, the traditional Pärnu Restaurant Week is held every year in November.
History and art
While in Pärnu, the Pärnu Museum located in a former salt warehouse building is definitely worth visiting. Here, you can see exhibits from the Stone Age up to the present day. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are exhibition halls in the museum where exciting temporary exhibitions and displays can be enjoyed. Art exhibitions are also showcased at the Museum of New Art and the Pärnu City Gallery.
If you are fascinated by the architecture of Pärnu, take a walk along the alleys from the city centre to the seashore. This road will lead you to Estonia’s largest wooden villa region, with the most beautiful buildings situated on Mere pst, Kuuse and Papli Streets. Most of the wooden villas built for summer guests at the end of the 19th century with their terraces and lacy cornices have been renovated and offer passers-by plenty of beauty.
In the beach area, Estonian high-quality architecture is represented by the functionalist Pärnu Beach Houseand the Rannahotel Hotel, designed by Olev Siinmaa. The former bathhouse, still called the Mud Baths, is now open as a spa hotel. One of the symbols and the pride of the city is the Vallikäär Park with its small bridges and fountains and the historic Tallinn Gate.
The cultural history of Pärnu County
Get acquainted with the daily lives, jobs, and customs of Estonia’s forefathers at the culturally significant Farm Museum of Carl Robert Jakobson in Kurgja. History is also recreated at the Estonian Museum Railway in Lavassaare and the Halinga Car Museum.
Driving around Pärnu County, you will find many exciting places. For example, lovely little churches that host beautiful concerts. If you go along the coast, you can get a feel for the culture of its fishing villages. Admire the remarkable cultural life of Kihnu Island, where old traditions continue to be honoured.