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Parnu

Estonia’s foremost spa and resort destination is stacked with health spas, glitzy boutiques and all-night dance clubs. The resort ambience of Parnu is the perfect counterpoint to capital city Tallinn, where historic churches and medieval ruins prevail. But that doesn’t mean life in Parnu begins and ends in a deck chair. On the contrary, the beach town’s old quarter has plenty of attractive architecture and interesting museums on offer.

Most of the hotels in Parnu are south of the Parnu River on the city’s main beach. This area was developed in the early 20th century and features a waterfront promenade and plenty of attractive storefronts. The compact old town huddles in a nearby bend in the river, home to local icons like the Town Hall and Red Tower. A few 18th-century churches and a pair of conjoined houses are worth exploring.

Cafés and seafood restaurants on the beach promenade are active throughout the day. At night, decorative fountains are cast in colored lights and Parnu’s beach bars and dance clubs take over. Plenty of youthful energy drives this North European resort, and DJs keep the party rolling until the early morning.

Parnu has successfully avoided being typecast as a summer party destination for young travelers. There’s als a thriving retirement community in the area, thanks to the wellness spas operated by select hotels in Parnu. This demographic ensures that a holiday in Parnu offers more than sunbathing and clubbing, and for every discotheque in Parnu, there’s a sophisticated wine bar or cozy lounge balancing the scales.

Parnu Airport is northwest of the city center on the road to Tallinn. The flight schedule depends on the time of year, with more direct offerings in the summer. Buses connect from the airport to the resort area in about 20 minutes.