After two days in Riga, we took a bus north to Estonia. Our third country of this trip! We were heading for Tallinn, a city with a well-preserved medieval Old Town, but stopped in Pärnu along the way. Pärnu is one of Estonia’s best resort towns. It sits on Pärnu Bay with long strips of beach and marshes.
June through August are supposed to be the busy months for tourism in Pärnu, but we arrived in the morning to find a sleepy little beach town.
I had found a number of recommendations for restaurants. MUM Cafe, Mahedik (for fresh wholesome food), and Piccadilly (cafe), Steffani (for pizza), Mon Aim, Hea maa, Lime lounge, Villa Wesset, and Raimond. The first three were all cafes on on Pühavaimu street, and they were open for breakfast so we walked in that directions.
Something about the fresh food at Mahedik made us really want to eat there, and we were very happy with the decision. Rosie got an omelet and I got a grilled grapefruit. We split cottage cheese donuts (which looked like fat little pancakes but tasted delicious). Every strawberry we’ve eaten on this trip has been amazing.
After breakfast we wandered around town to find a cash exchange machine. My ATM card wouldn’t work in the ATMs we found here, and the luggage storage at the bus station was cash only. Along the way, we ended up taking in much of the cute little town. It’s a shame we couldn’t book a space at the luggage storage facility online. We found that option to be so useful on our previous travels around Australia.
With cash squared away from a currency exchange, we walked out of town towards the beach. Along the way there were lots of 19th century timber villas, a tennis club, ice cream carts and a vintage shop. We stopped in to flip through the Soviet era books and other relics.
Just in front of Pärnu Beach is a neoclassical building that once housed mudbaths and today offers spa services. Across the street is a big park with lots of paths and places to sit or picnic under the trees.
We walked out to the beach to find we mostly had it to ourselves. It was a chilly, windy day so most people who were out were enjoying the park or biking the promenade instead. We hung out for awhile and slept and read on the beach, toes in the sand to keep them warm.
When we’d had enough of the wind, we walked back to the park to rent bikes (for 2.50 euros/hour) and explore the promenade and the marshes beyond. We were shocked to find a herds of cattle enjoying beachfront living!
We biked all the way out to a lookout on the marsh, along the wooded paths that hug the coast, and through the park filled with fountains and flowers.
Eventually when it was time to head back to town for lunch and our bus to Tallinn, we returned the bike. Since it was just under an hour the girl kindly only charged us 2 euros each.
While we explored we had noticed two Steffani pizza restaurants, one on the edge of town and one on the edge of the beach. Both looked adorable and smelled really good. When we returned our bikes the beach location was starting to fill up. Back in town, we walked into the town location to find it jam-packed. The vacationers of Pärnu must have been sleeping in and waiting for lunch at Steffani’s.
After lunch we hopped back on the bus heading for Tallinn. We spend three and a half days there before returning to Stockholm and starting our journey back home.