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The Narrowest Streets in the World

These thin streets are not for those prone to claustrophobia.

The Guinness Book of Records ranks Spreuerhofstraße in Germany as the most narrow street in the world, although some argue the designation belongs to a street in the town of Exeter, England. Europe has the majority of the world’s narrowest streets with a handful located in North America and Asia.

6. Qianshi Hutong, Beijing

"Hutong" is the general term given to the old lanes of Beijing. The Qianshi Hutong stretches for 180 feet in the city's Dongcheng District. At its more narrow point, it measures 16 inches necessitating pedestrians to turn sideways. The alley has a rich history, having served as a financial center during the Qing Dynasty. The 26 mints in the area produced copper coins for almost all banks in Beijing. The alley narrowed with the expansion of the banks. However, the Hutong lost relevance as a financial center with the introduction of paper currency.

5. Strada Sforii, Romania

Strada sforii is the narrowest Romanian Street situated in the city of Braşov. Its history dates back to the 17th century when it was originally built as a corridor to be used by firemen. It stretches for 260 feet perpendicular to Stag Street. Its width ranges from 44 to 53 inches. It ranks as one of the narrowest streets in Europe. Strada sforii is famous as a tourist attraction and a meeting spot.

4. Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, Sweden

#4 Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, Sweden

The Mårten Trotzigs Gränd alley stretches in the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. The lane's 36 steps taper down to 35 inches to become Stockholm’s narrowest street. The street is named in honor of Mårten Trotzig, a German national who immigrated to the town in 1581 and bought properties in the street as well as operating a shop there. He traded in iron and copper and became one of Stockholm’s richest merchants.

3. Fan Tan Alley, Canada

#3 Fan Tan Alley, Canada

The narrowest street in both Canada and North America is situated in Victoria’s Chinatown neighborhood in British Columbia. It links Pandora and Fisgard Avenues. The alley is 35 inches at its most narrow. The street was originally a gambling district complete with opium dens, restaurants, and shops. The alley is now home to a barber shop, yoga studio, art gallery, a musical instrument store, a cafe, a used clothing store and a record store, and a kitchenware store to cater for the tourists who visit.

2. Parliament Street, England

#2 Parliament Street, England

Parliament Street is a 160 feet long lane located in Exeter City, England. At its narrowest, it is 25 inches wide. It measures 45 inches at its widest point. It was formerly known as the Small Lane, and dates back to the 14th century. Parliament Street links the Waterbeer Lane to the High Street. The residents asked the local council to widen the street in 1836, but it never happened.

1. Spreuerhofstraße, Germany

#1 Spreuerhofstraße, Germany

This street is located in the medieval town of Reutlingen, and its width ranges from 12.2 to 19.7 inches. The alley was constructed in 1727 after a 1726 fire destroyed the area. It was commissioned as a public street in 1820 and was entered into the Guinness Book of Records in 2007. The alley attracts tons of visitors mainly from the US and Asia although it is not advisable to squeeze through it for there is a possibility of getting stuck. On either side of the street are two closely built houses.

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