Tallinn Old Town residents still plagued by noisy nightlife

Tallinn Old Town is a popular tourist destination.
Tallinn Old Town is a popular tourist destination. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Residents of Tallinn's Old Town continue to struggle with the problems of late-night partying and other noise pollution issues, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday.

Old Town society (Vanalinna selts) member Kerli Nõu told AK that: "There are also many people living here who have inherited their apartments and houses from their great-great-grandfathers."

"Whereas with farms in Estonia, which get plowed over when it is stated that the railway is coming here, for the sake of general interest, then here, there are barriers and singing parties, while they say that we are not allowed to to cut down an oak tree," she went on.

"However, if a person who lives in the old town worries about their connection with their home, then we would then tell him to move away ... The spirit of the city would disappear along with its residents, but we don't want that," Nõu added.

One late night business is Studio, a nightclub which has been operating on Saun street for over a decade.

Club manager Raimond Ummus says most of the complaints made to the establishment relate to revelers spilling out on the street, though these complaints have been getting less and less frequent of late, he said.

"We have carried through quite a lot of rearrangements and reconstruction to the premises: All kinds of noise insulation, we have rebuilt the doors, windows, and even the ventilation pipes, in order to create as little noise pollution as is possible. At the same time, we have gone along with all kinds of projects that arrived from the city administration or the municipal police, such as 'earlier is better' and 'drink water between [alcoholic drinks]'," Ummus said.

Aside from the Covid lull, the dull, repetitive thud of the bass from recorded music along with peals of laughter and other noise have long been a reality for many Old Town residents, particularly at weekends. While the blight has caused many to move away, long-term native old towners are less likely to move.

Tallinn has its own "night mayor," Natali Mets, who concedes that Tallinn's nightlife will probably never completely disappear from the old town, meaning responsible bar, restaurant and club owners play a key role. 

Keeping the old town functional and interesting during the day, too, is also important.

"The old town tends to be somewhat mono-functional as a tourist attraction, but we would like local residents not to disappear from the old town completely and for the locals to come here. We would like the old town of Tallinn to become more of an environment where everyday life can be found; to apply the 15-minute city principle here too, where everything needed is 15 minutes away," Mets went on.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Kaisa Potter.

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