In German, the word Altstadt means old town and the Altstadt area of Düsseldorf is known as the longest bar in the world. This is not entirely accurate. The longest bar in the world is the Beer Barrel Saloon at South Bass Island in Ohio, USA and it says so in the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s 123.7 m long and has 56 beer taps and 160 bar stools, but if you do a Google search for “the longest bar in the world”, Altstadt often appears at the top of the search engine results page.
The reason Altstadt is said to be the longest bar in the world is because the area around one of the streets contain over 300 bars and discos and the bar counter inside each of them is alleged to connect to the ones in the neighbouring establishments. I spend several hours in Altstadt on Saturday night and got the feeling the story has been somewhat exaggerated. Although it’s possible the bars really were connected at some time in the past, I’m pretty sure it’s no longer true. But Altstadt is an excellent place to go for a night out and if all that beer drinking helps you to work up an appetite, there plenty of places to go and eat, including a snack bar at the end of the street that serves up a pretty mean currywurst and chips and offers a few other interesting German food options I didn’t have time to try. You can see the snack bar in the picture above. Look to the right and you’ll find it next door but one to KFC.
As far as the price goes, I live in the Netherlands and found the cost of a beer in Düsseldorf to be slightly less than it is in many Dutch cities (generally €2:50 for a small beer), but a night out in Düsseldorf doesn’t really work out any cheaper because all the bars charge you to use the toilet. You even have to pay to take a pee at the Altstadt KFC. That came as a big surprise. Having said that, men that go out drinking in Altstadt have the option of using an outside urinal situated in one of the streets. Women aren’t so fortunate. They always have to pay, but there are worse things in life than having to pay to pee and a night out in Alstadt is an experience that’s not easy to forget.