The sights and museums in the heart of Pärnu are open for visitors year-round. Several monuments, churches and galleries that exhibit fine Estonian art make up a significant portion of the center of Pärnu. However, new and modern buildings – a concert hall, cinema, shopping centers, library and much more – border the old town.
If you take the alleys from the center toward the seaside you will find yourself in the largest wooden villa district in Estonia. The prettiest exemplars are on Mere boulevard as well as on Kuuse and Papli streets. Most of the wooden villas with their terraces and lacy cornices have been renovated and offer passers-by plenty of aesthetic beauty.
In the beach area, Estonian high-quality architecture is represented by the functionalist Pärnu Beach House and Rannahotell Hotel designed by Olev Siinmaa. The former bathhouse, still called the Mud Baths by the locals, is now open as a spa hotel. One of the symbols and the pride of our town is Vallikääru Park, with its small bridges, fountain and historic Tallinn Gate.
Pärnu’s cultural life centers around one of Estonia’s best theaters, Endla, and the Pärnu Concert Hall. Eliisabet’s Church also hosts many excellent concerts. Traditionally, in the summer, many open air concerts are held at Vallikääru’s stage, in the garden of Villa Ammende, on the outdoor stage and on the many grass fields of Pärnu’s parks.
Pärnu is well-known for the events that take place every summer – the annual Hanseatic Days and Guild Days festivals bring together craftsmen from near and far and fill the streets and parks with sights, sounds, and carefully designed handicrafts.
Several famous festivals, such as the Pärnu Music Festival led by Paavo Järvi, and the International Organ Festival, take place in Pärnu. The annual month-long Kabli Sunset Festival brings thousands of music and culture lovers. Lasting several days, Kihnu Island’s Kihnu Sea Festival has gained such popularity that the ferry is too small to carry everyone interested in attending from the mainland to the island. Booking a ticket in advance prevents getting into this trouble.
Pärnu Museum, situated in a former salt storage building, feature items from prehistoric times to modern day and is definitely worth a visit. In the same building, you will also find showrooms with fascinating displays and exhibits. The legendary Museum of New Art and Pärnu City Gallery feature showrooms as well.
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.
Kihnu Island, where long-lasting traditions are honored to this day, is always full of cultural events. Read more about Kihnu Island HERE.
Driving around Pärnu County, you will find charming churches that host lovely concerts throughout the summer. If you go along the coast and participate in local fairs, you can get a feel for the culture of its fishing villages.
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