This post of is full of un-adulterated street photography, with a healthy dose of classic cars halfway through, so sorry/not sorry if either of those things are not your cup of tea! As it turns out, Brussels is perfect for both of those things. I found Brussels to be quite a surprising city, although I didn’t really know what I was expecting before we arrived.

First impressions of Brussels present a very European city much like many others, with the city centre full of cobbled streets, beautiful old buildings and beautifully grand main square as its centre-piece. However, it didn’t take long for us to quickly discover that this city has quite a few distinctive characteristics that you won’t find in many other places- the first and most noticeable is the variety of languages with French, Dutch, German and English being commonly spoken almost anywhere you visit as a tourist and many locals happily will happily converse in any or all of the above.

The atmosphere of the place was one of a distinctively festive vibe when we visited in early December, with markets in many of the squares across town, the smells traditional European festive favourites lingering in the air. Belgian beer is famous throughout the world, being both deliciously smooth and very strong, with hundreds of varieties to try, four nights was not enough! It was easy to see why the bars and tap-houses throughout the city pull a crowd every night. We were also surprised to find the city host to a thriving small bar and restaurant scene, each with its own unique theme and many different cuisines.

The city has a very particular style of architecture and whilst the whole place maintains a fairly tidy and fastidious style, each neighbouring building was different to the next and each with its own unique style. We also found that very few of the city walls were not covered in brightly painted street-art, often highlighting various parts of the city’s culture. This made each new block we walked a new adventure, and it was clear each neighbourhood had its own character.

There is an interruption to my street photos in this post, as I inadvertently wandered into one of the best curated collection of cars I have ever seen under one roof at Brussels Autoworld car museum. The collection thoroughly covered nearly every country of the world’s progress through automotive history (except Australia!) and had a stunning collection of cars from every era, along with a wonderful book and model shop. This is a must-see for anyone interested in cars and I was honestly surprised it was not more well-known globally.

The final parts of this post cover our quick excursion to the small and historic city of Bruges, a stunning medieval town made even popular by a recent film. Sadly our visit was poorly timed, with the weather preventing us from climbing the famous Belfry and many of the shops and cafes being closed as it was a Monday, however a quick visit to the ‘Beer Wall’ to sample some more Belgian brews before we took the train to the airport soothed our pain.

One parting note, Brussels as you may notice in my pictures, has a strange obsession with small statues of urinating figures, to this day, I remain un-enlightened as to the reason for this- a return visit to ask why is surely required!