Pärnu, Estonia

Pärnu, around two hours south of Tallinn, is known as Estonia’s ‘summer capital’ and it’s easy to see why. On the southern side of Pärnu rannapark is a stunning, mile long beach overlooking the bay.

I visited Pärnu in September 2015, off-season and very noticeably so due to the quiet town centre, quiet beach and very good deals on accommodation. It did, however, make for a quiet and very relaxing time.

First stop after arriving was the excellent ‘MiniZoo’. This is a modestly-sized collection of reptiles looked after by a very enthusiastic owner, the stand outs being a Nile Crocodile (raised there almost since birth) and two pythons. That’s alongside several highly-venomous and rare snakes. Given it was off-season the MiniZoo was closed but the owner took the time to show me around for over an hour. I declined the cockroach challenge.

I was lucky enough to catch a great sunset at Pärnu beach. Given this was the beginning of some extended time off work, it was a perfect place to sit and do nothing for a couple of hours.

It’s a great little place and I can imagine would be buzzing during the summer. The night in Pärnu, despite being a quiet one, was one of my favourites from my trip around the Baltics.


Pärnu beach and rannapark.

Cafe XS was great for lunch – really good food and coffee. I grabbed some pub grub for dinner at an Irish bar, which was one of the few places open that evening, and it wasn’t so good.

The MiniZoo is great. Go on… eat the cockroach…



Off-season meant it was feeding time for the pythons.

Getting out

There isn’t much to Pärnu bus station.




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