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175 Years of Fun in the Sun

Estonia's 'Summer Capital' and buzzing beach destination, Pärnu, is also a town with plenty of history soaked into its soil. Since first settled in the 1200s, it has served as a Hanseatic trade centre, a university town and a Russian military base. But it was 175 years ago this year, in 1838, that the first bathing establishment was set up here, an event that would redefine Pärnu in the decades to come as a place for people to de-stress and regain their equilibrium.
 
Take a look around and you'll easily spot the town's resulting architectural heirlooms, especially those from the resort heyday of the 1920s and 30s when visitors from all over Northern Europe flocked here to catch some sun, visit the luxurious spas and soak their toes in the warm water. Nowadays the modern equivalents of those old, 19th century and early 20th century spas, and the modern treatments they offer, are still a huge hit with locals and foreigners alike.
 
This year the town is celebrating its 175th anniversary as a resort town with special events, discounted spa packages and even retro menus in cafés and restaurants, all under the label 'Pärnu Kuurort 175'. But that's certainly not all that's going on this summer. The town is also marking the 100th birthday of its famous musical son, Raimond Valgre, getting wet and wild with the Watergate Festival and going medieval for the Pärnu Hanseatic Days - an event for which Pärnu In Your Pocket is the official city guide.
 
Whatever your agenda, be it a spa weekend, a festival or just a good cup of cappuccino, this handy little guide will make the most of your relaxing stay in the city. So grab your sandals, a bottle of water, a camera and hit the streets. Enjoy your time in Pärnu, you won‘t be disappointed!
 
Always remember that this is just a guide, we try our best to provide as accurate information as possible by print time. Our experiences may differ from your experiences and if you feel we were way off the mark, please do let us know.

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