9

Assuming you want to take a several months long vacation from the noise of the city, are there cities, towns, countries even with laws that are enforced to keep things quiet? (i.e., no construction, no loud music, no idling of vehicles.)

Many places promote "peace and quiet" but do any have it written into their city's bylaws?

A Google search comes up blank.

  • 10
    "No construction"? Then how did the building you're sleeping in come to be? – Henning Makholm Mar 24 '17 at 16:13
  • 6
    Cook, South Australia. Only 4 people, don't think they will bug you much except when the train arrives. – DumbCoder Mar 24 '17 at 17:11
  • 6
    Are you just asking about places that have explicit laws against loud noise, or are you broadly interested in places that are usually very quiet? Keep in mind that not all noise is human-made - try standing next to a waterfall in the rain forest. Lots of noise, very few jackhammers, boom boxes, or street preachers. – Robert Columbia Mar 24 '17 at 17:18
  • 3
    While this doesn't answer the question directly, this noise map of the USA might be helpful: npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/23/521227214/… – Eugene O Mar 24 '17 at 19:32
  • 3
    You mention "noise of the city" but then mention silence being written into a "city's bylaws". So you might want to clarify if you're actually looking for a city that's quieter than the cities you're used to, or if you're willing to travel to the countryside. The countryside won't have gourmet breakfasts, high-speed internet, etc, and might have bugs and dirt. But you'll also get to actually see the Milky Way rather than just a few bright stars, and you can experience very quiet, very dark places at night. You might also want to mention your budget. – Wayne Mar 24 '17 at 20:57
13

Three things are inevitable: Death, taxes and noise.

That being said, there are really levels of quietness and some places are nearly silent. Probably some of the quietest place is the desert. Camping in the desert affords remoteness from construction and there is little sounds of nature.

Remote islands are also an excellent choice. Currently, I am in La Digue which has apparently less than 10 vehicles on the island. There is not much wildlife either, so I pretty much here nothing most of the day and night except other tourists talking at the beach or in restaurants. Even then, it never gets loud here. There are plenty of vehicle-free islands around the world which can provide a very quiet environment, specially arid ones which usually feature less wildlife.

A jungle or cloud-forest lodge gets pretty quiet from human noises but the wilderness is alive at night. I have had several stays in the Amazon and several jungles in Central America, and I can say that there are plenty of sounds at night when trying to sleep. Except for howler monkeys of Guatemala, a good set of ear-plugs greatly helped.

For cities, it really varies but I had great joy in spending time in pedestrian cities in Croatia. Dubrovnik, Korcula, Split and Zadar all have pedestrian-only centers that are much more quiet than typical cities. So much that when I reached Zagreb, it took my a while to notice why it was much more noisy there: motor vehicles. Also those historic cties have very little construction going on since the buildings are already densely packed and kept for historical value. Be sure not to choose a hotel near a disco, bar or the like, since that can create quite a racket that reaches a few buildings.

  • 3
    Also avoid travelling to predominantly muslim countries. As recently as last week, Dubai and Cairo played prayer chants over loud-speakers all other the city. I definitely did not find this peaceful. Although, there are desert safaris available in both Egypt and the UAE. – Itai Mar 25 '17 at 2:45
7

You would do worse than travelling to somewhere like Green Bank, West Virginia, which is in the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone, where electromagnetic emissions are heavily controlled.

This means fewer cars, practically no mobile phones, no construction, no loud music (speakers bleed EM badly) etc etc. While its a Radio quiet zone, this equates to a lot of things which make audible noise, hence my suggestion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Radio_Quiet_Zone

  • I've worked and lived there, joined just to comment! You're right, as far as audible noise it's not that bad, mostly because it's a very small town. However, you do get noise from rural WV shenanigans - fireworks, guns (there's a shooting range near the NRAO housing, and TONS of deer), bonfires, outdoor equipment, bluegrass music... there was even a visiting scientist who liked to practice bagpipes in the woods. I did find it peaceful overall but there were definitely some quirks :) – user59074 Mar 24 '17 at 21:01
  • The National Radio Quiet Zone is not as quiet (even in EM) as people are lead to believe: (rambly) video – R.M. Mar 24 '17 at 21:01
2

Many cities have laws regarding noise levels, but your definition of quiet is probably a lot more restrictive than what will be written into law.

There are many areas in the world that have banned vehicles (typically electric vehicles are permitted) and there is often an overlap between 'sleepy, rustic town' and these vehicle-free zones. While that's not a cuarantee of quiet, it may be a start. Try checking out the list on Wikipedia.

2

Speaking for the US, most, maybe all, municipalities have noise or general nuisance ordinances, however, I would not rely on this as any sort of guarantee or even expectation. There will always be exemptions, especially during the day for normal activities such as construction or social events.

The physical location will be much greater determining factor, specifically the relative remoteness of the destination.

I have considered such vacations before and focused on the 'cabin in the woods' type location.

2

Death Valley. This ad literally says "Quiet you can feel on your skin."

0

Absolutely North!

North/South Poles, Grenland, Iceland, Alaska. Peace and quiet guaranteed.

  • 2
    Maybe you can be more specific? South Pole is quite noisy place, as there are a lot of winds there. – VMAtm Mar 24 '17 at 20:07
  • Snowmobiles aren't quiet, neither are dog sleds. – ChrisW Mar 24 '17 at 20:25
  • @VMAtm, I'm no expert on the Poles, but I figure there are scientific stations you can find peace at, given you're allowed there. As to Alaska - pick any small city: Seward, for instance. – parsecer Mar 24 '17 at 20:42
  • @parsecer You can't go on scientific station as a tourist, you must work there, so not a quiet place at all :) – VMAtm Mar 24 '17 at 20:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.