These days, in Brooklyn, you can join the Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour. London’s East End offers a similar tour called Shoreditch Street Art Tours, and in Melbourne, street artists lead the Melbourne Street Art Tours.
What exactly is street art?
Urban dictionary defines it as any art developed in public spaces. Deemed by some people as vandalism and to others a public art and a platform for expressing their political concerns or social and cultural struggles, street art is provocative.
Whether it is vandalism, graffiti, public art or an outdoor art museum, Trippy user Jillian Geer was so fascinated by it after returning from a trip to Brooklyn that she started a discussion on Trippy’s community-based Q&A platform:
World’s best cities for street art?
I just got back from visiting Brooklyn, and it’s left me inspired to explore places with a thriving street art scene. What are the best cities in the world for street art? Where are the best spotting grounds or specific streets in these cities? Would love to see photos if you have them.
Come along to 15 best cities for street art where you can see different forms of expressions and artwork recommended by Trippy users and from my travel experiences:
Trippy users Jeremy, Ulrike, Debbie, and Mackenzie, recommended Berlin as the best cities for street art. Mackenzie Abernethy said:
The East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall is a must-see, and you’ll find tons just wandering around the neighborhood Kreuzberg. Be sure to check out some of the artists’ squats such as Köpi for crazy street art!
— Wine Glass Photo (@wineglassphoto) September 13, 2017
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, 118 artists from 21 countries painted the longest open-air gallery in the world – the East Side Gallery. Among the most photographed on this 1.3 km wall is the Fraternal Kiss featuring Honecker and Brezhnev.
Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Chilean coastal city has the most vibrant street art in South America. Trippy user Billy Cassano shared a few photos of Valparaiso and added:
I saw some sweet street art in Valparaiso.
Art is visible everywhere in Valparaiso. From the tourist-friendly hills of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion to the waterfront and the non-touristy neighborhoods, there are street art displays. Even the century-old funiculars get coats of lively paints and unique artwork.
Corrine Paterson from Sydney recommended Hosier Lane in Melbourne:
By far Hosier Lane in Melbourne Australia is the best place for street art. Each time I visit the art has changed. A must when visiting Melbourne.
Here is one of my Flickr accounts of Hosier Lane photographs.
Sondra Sherman from Canada said the same thing:
I’ve traveled to Europe, China, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, etc. and the best city for street art is Melbourne, Australia. The famous street for street art in Hosier Ln (Hosier Lane).
You won’t be disappointed.
Per TimeOut, you should also check out Union Lane, Finaly Avenue, Degraves Street, Corner of Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley, 122 Palmerston Street and Centre Place.
Shoreditch Street Art Tours provides a three-and-a-half-hour street art walking tour in Shoreditch, London East End neighborhood. You’ll learn about the different types of street art like stencil art, paste-up art, freehand painting and sculptural art.
Trippy user Grant Baker said:
Shoreditch and East London for sure! Killer street art. Love the fact that the locals have embraced the street art scene there too. Many of the (very talented!) artists have started their galleries.
Ben Lee highlighted the following places for street art:
East London around Brick Lane and Shoreditch High St has excellent street art.
For the best street art in Lisbon, you must visit Mouraria. Mouraria is the birthplace of Fado music and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. On Escadinhas de Sao Cristovao in Mouraria is a series of tastefully painted art depicting the daily life of the community and Fado music.
Many of Lisbon’s beautifully painted trams are covered with graffiti and have become an eyesore. You may disagree with me, but I don’t think that graffiti is art.
Trippy user Michael Emmanuel pointed to Bogota street art:
I recommend the La Candelaria district in Bogotafor some Colombian street art. It is the historic part of the city, so the art on the old architecture is impressive. For an inexpensive place to stay, you could try Casa Platypus. Enjoy!
La Candelaria has narrow cobblestoned streets with colonial-style buildings, great restaurants, and colorful murals. You need at least half a day to walk in the city and admire the stunning street art.
7. San Francisco
Trippy users Suzanne Stavert and Valerie Axworthy loved San Francisco’s street art:
I immediately thought of the Mission District in San Francisco – as did Seoulsfgirl – great minds think alike! Also, I took a terrific walking food tour of the Mission District, and a tour of the street art was included. The food is out of this world! I believe we made eight stops and if you like tacos, don’t miss it!
I’ll second San Francisco! Particularly in the Mission District, one of the most popular parts of the city for street art. You can spend an entire day just walking through the streets looking at all the art. Clarion Alley, Osage St, and 24th St are favorite blocks of mine.
Diego Rivera has three frescos in the city, one in The City Club of San Francisco, another at the San Francisco Art Institute and the last one at the City College of San Francisco.
8. New York City
Despite an anti-graffiti legislation, New York City has an array of street art in the five boroughs, namely Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island.
TimeOut listed the following as the best in the city:
- The Audubon Mural Project (Hamilton Heights)
- Bowery Graffiti Wall (Manhattan)
- Bronx Wall of Fame (South Bronx)
- The Bushwick Collective (Bushwick, Brooklyn)
- Graffiti Hall of Fame (East Harlem)
- Hunts Point (Bronx)
- Johnson Avenue (Bushwick, Brooklyn)
- North 6th St (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
- 100 Gates Project (Manhattan)
I like those on Mulberry Street (Manhattan).
— lululemon Montréal (@lululemonMTL) June 15, 2017
Trippy user Orian Marx recommended Montreal:
Montreal is a fantastic place to find great street art. In fact, they have a mural festival dedicated to creating and touring street art.
The yearly Mural Art Fair (this year was from June 8 to 18) celebrates all things urban art and showcases over 80 murals and installations around the city. The organization offers guided tours every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 12 pm.
Besides the amazing Baroque and Gothic buildings, Prague has a lively street art scene too. One that gets the most attention is Lennon Wall. Located opposite the French embassy, it started out with just an image of John Lennon and song lyrics after the death of John Lennon. For decades, this ever-evolving wall has been where artists express their emotions.
Throughout Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, you’ll discover quirky statues, like the most photographed Cumil, the bronze sewer worker resting at a manhole. One of the best places to view street art is on Tovarenska Street, located close to Danube River just outside the Old Town.
Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic is the artist who created nine street art pieces in the historic George Town, Penang. I’m sure you may have seen pictures of “Little Children on a Bicycle” on Armenian Street, George Town.
Visit the following places for street art by Zacharevic and other artists:
- Lebuh Gat Chulia
- Cannon Street
- Armenian Street
- Love Lane
- Campbell street market
- Penang Municipal Park
By Ernest Zacharevic in Penang Malaysia. pic.twitter.com/AnkFeVjRH5
— AUGUSTO © Pics & 📷 (@augusrodri) September 18, 2017
Trippy user Taylor Leen liked Granada’s street art:
Granada, Spain! The works of El niño de las Pinturas are all over the city. You’ll have a blast wandering around the labyrinth of streets trying to find it. He’s also done murals in other cities around the world.
Go to Realejo, Granada’s former Jewish quarters, and you’ll find the paintings along Calle Santa Escolastica, Plaza del Realejo, Calle Molinos, Calle Vistillas de Los Angeles and Colegio Santo Domingo.
14. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires’ El Regreso de Quinquela is the longest mural in the world painted by just one artist. Artist Alfredo ‘El Pelado’ Segatori painted the 2,000-square meter mural located on Lavadero and San Antonio streets in Barracas, a neighborhood located next to La Boca.
Also, check out Fintan Magee’s Homeward Bound mural on El Salvador and Bonpland in Palermo, street art on Calle Lanin (Barracas) and the junction of Dorrego and Cabrera (Palermo).
Al Alschuler from Miami wrote:
Miami’s art-infused Wynwood Arts District, a showcase for graffiti that roughly ranges west of North Miami Avenue to Northwest Fifth Avenue, centering on Northwest Second Avenue, between NW 22 and NW 27 Streets.
— sobore (@sobore) August 29, 2017
Article and photos by Claudia Looi