Boasting golden-sand beaches, lush sprawling parks and a historic, picturesque centre, Pärnu (pair-nu) is Estonia's premier resort town. On warm summer nights, young revellers pack the city's beachside bars and nightclubs, its cosy wine bars and outdoor cafés. By day, people head to the pleasant seaside, though Pärnu has first-rate museums and galleries, with colourful boutiques and shops sprinkled about Old Town.
Yet youth and bacchanalia aren't the only spirits moving through town. Pärnu is a popular health resort for older visitors from the Baltics, Finland and Eastern Europe who come seeking rest, amelioration and Pärnu's vaunted mud treatments, available in both old-school Soviet-style sanatoriums and more modern, glitzier spa resorts.