Viral TikTok Of Europe's Skinniest Building Has Travelers Swooning Over This Pretty City

Humankind's fascination with constructing ever-taller buildings has captivated and inspired architects for centuries. Width, however, doesn't grab the attention quite so much. While it is common knowledge that the tallest is Dubai's Burj Khalifa (2,717 feet), it's a lesser-known fact that the world's widest is the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China, spanning a whopping 1,312 feet. At the other end of the scale, the narrowest buildings are often curiosities capable of drawing visitors from all over due to their diminutive size. One such place is Europe's skinniest building in Valencia, Spain.


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Spain is a country capable of wowing any visitor with its architecture. With a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the only real problem is fitting as many as possible into your itinerary. A trip may include the Moorish splendor of Alhambra in Granada or Frank Gehry's Guggenheim in Bilbao, and a visit to Barcelona isn't complete without marveling over the must-see historic structure of Gaudí's still-incomplete La Sagrada Familia. Valencia is no slouch, with some incredible futuristic designs that look like something from another planet, such as the City of Arts and Sciences. However, a viral TikTok video in February 2024 drew attention to the charms of the country's third-largest city by focusing on a far more modest building. La Estrecha ("the Narrow One") certainly lives up to its name: At just 42 inches wide, it's a five-story house that wouldn't fit a standard double bed.

How does La Estrecha measure up to the competition?

Narrow buildings that genuinely don't have enough room to swing a cat inside are surprisingly common in Europe, often wedged between more regularly proportioned properties. Warsaw, one of the top-ranked city vacation spots in Europe, has Keret House, tapering to just 36 inches at its narrowest point. The quaint facade of Singel 7 in Amsterdam is only 41 inches wide but opens out into a standard-sized abode beyond. Skinny buildings aren't limited to homes; the functionalist Hotel Avion in Brno, Czechia, is one of the continent's narrowest hotels at just 314 inches across.

When it comes to uniform skinniness, however, La Estrecha tops the lot. At 42 inches, the house is only slightly wider than the front door and claims the record for Europe's narrowest building. Worldwide, it is second only to Casa del Metro in Madre de Deus, Brazil, a home that measures 39 by 390 inches tall. 

Unlike some of its more modern competitors, the Narrow One isn't just a gimmick. Located at 6 Pl. de Lope de Vega in the historic center of Valencia, it was initially built as a family home. Local legend tells that a woman who once lived there had to dress for Communion outside in the street. Over the years, it has had other uses, including a brothel, a newspaper stand, and a gift shop. Nowadays, as the TikTok video reveals, it is an offbeat tourist attraction.

Things to do near La Estrecha

In truth, there isn't much to see or do at La Estrecha unless you like hanging around in doorways. Without public access to the building, your visit will most likely involve grabbing a few snaps of yourself in its famous entrance to show how narrow it is before moving on. Even so, it is still worth visiting the Narrow One if you have a few days in Valencia. Plaza de Lope de Vega is a charming square in the city's historic center with boutique shops and a few decent places to eat and drink. Neighboring the skinny building is the gorgeous facade of Santa Catalina, one of the oldest churches in Valencia, dating back to the 13th Century. Its remarkable hexagonal 18th-century Baroque belfry is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the center. 

Across the way from La Estrecha is Mercado Municipal Plaza Redonda, a circular marketplace that is a popular shopping destination in the city, lined with souvenir shops and tapas bars. While you may not be able to explore the narrow house, you can grab a table at Milberg next door, a sleek modern bar serving cocktails, beers, and tasty empanadas. While enjoying your snack at one of its outdoor tables, you can gaze up at La Estrecha and say to yourself, "Yup, that sure is one skinny building."