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Even in the "low season" it's so busy. And the summer bookings are coming in on a fast tempo.

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zondag 1 december 2013

De Garre

When on tours, I always recommend people to take the time to visit this bar.
As we stand at the "smallest street of Bruges", I tell them about "De Garre".
Originally this wasn't an official street, but a "fire road". In the past, largest part of Bruges where wooden houses. So if you have a fire, you want a stopping-barrier. And everything was built really close together. We had our share of fires, so people installed those little alleys with a double function.
First the barrier, second a good way to get close to the buildings and start extinguishing with water.
Sadly, many of those little alleys are gone.
Oh, by the way: "Garre" is dialect for 'narrow alley'. Hm… not so original. 
Now, if you go in that alley you will see a few steps going up on the right hand side. That is the way in to the bar.
Upon entering, you'll see a very small room, most of the time packed! Don't turn around to leave just yet, there's more. Go in, at the far end, left of the bar you will find a very narrow spiral staircase. Go up there to find another (again very small) seating area.
If you're really unlucky, you'll have to wait a little before a table becomes available. But trust me, it is worth it.
I was lucky when I went in (yesterday, November 30th) and found a free table immediately. You have a wide variety of beers to choose from. But the one most people come for is "De Garre".
You can buy the normal one, which is €4. There is a smaller version as well, but if you're a real man/woman…
Yep, I'm having the big one...
The beer is full in flavor, with a slight bitter taste at the end. But in all a really nice beer to have. A little warning though… It's a 12% beer, so be careful on the amount of Garre's you have ! The proverbial hammer comes swinging faster than you think ! There was a couple of guys sitting at the table next to me who, upon hearing the 12%, choose to have a "Brugse Zot", which is 6%. Wise decision !
Of course, you don't have to drink a Garre, there are much more to choose from.
And if you really love the glass, it can be bought for €9, only the big ones, the small ones are not for sale.
I made a few pictures on why the bar is in such a narrow alley. If you're too drunk to walk, support on the left and right from the walls. Beware, when you get out of the street you have a lot of people who will see you (that's not such a problem) and horse carriages passing by (that can cause problems).
Just following the wall...
Or two wall support...
Really worth a visit when you're in Bruges !
The bar is open every day from 12pm until 12am in the week, from 10am until 1am. More information can be found on
If you're staying in a hostel, you can get the free maps of Bruges (orange-colored), on those you can find De Garre on number 35.