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Pärnu - General Profile



The city (56,000 inhabitants which doubles during the summer) owes its name to the homonymous river running through it before flooding in the Baltic Sea. It is a famous tourist and spa centre and it is only 130 kilometres from Tallinn. Its renomation dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century, when some merchants invested on the hospitality business.

Its port is important, too. It is the second port in Estonia as far as concerns goods and passengers traffic. In the late Middle Ages it was precisely because of its port that Pärnu became part of the Hanseatic League, like Tallinn.

The first Estonian-language newspaper - the Pärnu Postimees - was published in 1857 in Pärnu and it was here that the poet Lydia Koidula began her work. Today the city is internationally known for the Film Festival, which attracts actors and directors from all over Europe.

During the Soviet period, Pärnu was a meeting point for visitors coming from the east and today it is the most important seaside resort in Estonia and perhaps in all the Baltic area. It is also renowned for
its spa centres. Heavily damaged by bombing during the Second World War, today Pärnu is a modern city characterized by parks and long avenues.

The centre of Pärnu is closed for passenger cars. Here you can find  public places, tourists, shops, pubs and restaurants. Certainly the touristic activity in Pärnu cannot be compared to Taormina and Antibes ones. Its cultural life, too, even it is quite intense during the summer, is mostly facilitated by the many hours of sunlight rather than by a rich calendar of events.

However, Pärnu represents a reference point from June to August, with its seven kilometres of beaches, regularly reachable through a bus service that connects it with Tallinn, Tartu and Riga.  

Official website: www.parnu.ee

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The city owes its name to the homonymous river running through it before flooding in the Baltic Sea.


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