By a guide we don’t mean a guidebook in print or on your mobile device, we genuinely mean a tourist guide, in flesh and blood. A local person, well versed in our past and present. Pärnu Tourist Guides Association is the organisation where you can find them.
Pärnu Tourist Guides Association was established 1994 and during our early years the major focus was on training new guides. While Estonia was part of the Soviet Union (1940-1991), we needed Russian and Estonian speaking guides to satisfy the needs of domestic tourists. In the re-independent Estonia, with an influx of foreign tourists, we faced demand for guides with a wider range of language skills. Our already qualified guides and those still in training began learning new languages and we soon had Finnish, Swedish and English-speaking guides in Pärnu.
In 2019 the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary, it is still going strong and active learning and training are some of its most important activities.
The Association brings together guides with formal qualifications who have taken the local attestation exam allowing them to provide guided tours in the town and county of Pärnu. The history of a place contains a wealth of information, a myriad of facts, dates and names, but it is the guide who is able to add a face and personality to an obsolete name and fleshes out the dry bones of facts.
Guides interpret, inform, entertain if necessary and tell stories. True, our guides know a lot about the past but are similarly good at talking about our everyday life. Ask your guide about their favourite café, the closest cobbler’s shop or the shortest route to the beach, and you’ll get the answer.
With our guides you can walk the streets of Pärnu but also have a cycling tour. Some of the boldest and fittest guides have done tours on Segway PT personal transporters too. Naturally, tourist guides can be booked for your car and coach tours.
Our guides also run free walks (in Estonian) on the Day of Pärnu in early April every year and are involved in the activities of the Museum Night on the third Saturday of May. During the summer season we have many walks in different languages, walks are free or ticketed events, and they usually begin at Pärnu Tourist Information Centre (Uus Str 4).