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If you love Art, travelling and getting off the beaten track then discovering new Street Art locations could be your next travel bonanza. In this article, we are lucky to have 16 travelers from across the globe share their favorite Street Art spots. You may be familiar with some of these spots, and hopefully, some will be new to you and may make the list for your future travels.
Our first official introduction to Street Art was in post quake Christchurch, which held a Street Art Festival and is now one of the key New Zealand destinations for Street Art. While we had seen Street Art in our travels, this was the first time we understood it was a global movement and there are professional street artists, street art festivals and even street art hotels!
Street Art is generally found in urban areas and public spaces and is often connected to political ideas, contemporary discussion or social commentary. Graffiti and Street Art were often seen as eyesores, not consistent with how cities saw themselves. Times are changing. The success of Street Art and graffiti is altering how some Cities are viewed and can sit side by side with business and residential neighbourhoods. Street Art is now also positively impacting on tourism across the globe, with Street Art tours popping up all over the place.
The wonderful thing about Street Art is that it is accessible to everyone. You don’t need to pay an entrance fee or belong to an organisation to enjoy it. Often, all you need is the courage to get off the beaten path to see it. All you need to do is peer around, under and behind buildings, bridges and public spaces – plus get a few tips about where to look. One of our favourite things to do when we arrive in a new city is to explore the Street Art – if will often take you to different neighbourhoods and gives you a chance to see alternative sides of new places.
Street Art can be temporary in nature which adds to the excitement of finding new pieces of art before they disappear. Check out where our travelers think you will see wonderful Street Art.
Cath & Andy at Red Door Ponderings
We have visited some great Street Art spots around the world but we can’t go past our hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington, the Worlds Coolest Little Capital, is also considered the Cultural Capital of New Zealand. Alongside the substantial amount of public sculpture throughout Wellington, there is also a burgeoning Street Art scene. Wellington Street Art is well worth checking out – head up Cuba Street, down the Laneways or just wander around town stopping for coffee or a craft beer along the way (it would be rude not to).
The Wellington City Council has an active Art on Walls programme pakiTARA-toi. You will be able to find where Street Art is located and information about the artists who created the works. Wellington is a compact and walkable city, making it easy to get out and spot Street Art.
Suzy from Suzy Stories
Christchurch is blessed to be adorned with wonderfully vibrant artworks decorating the walls of old and new buildings across around the city. As a result of the 2010-2011 earthquakes that damaged so many buildings, street art has sprung up in all sorts of places from the derelict to the restored and everything in between. Many of the works pay tribute to the resilient nature and strength of community that makes Christchurch so special and adds the character and charm that brings a city to life.
With no specific area designated as the hub of street art, it’s often a pleasant surprise to find unusual pieces in unexpected places, and there’s always a chance to discover something new. Walking through Christchurch is a joy with so many different styles and forms of artwork including familiar wall murals and more unique installations found in every corner. I would highly recommend a lazy day spent exploring the city to see what works you can find!
Dorothy from Oz and Other Places
Some of the best street art in Atlanta, Georgia can be found along the Beltline. The Beltline is a pedestrian path that follows an old train track route and connects neighborhoods throughout the city. When it is completed, it will be over 33 miles of multi-use trails in a large loop. So far it has been one of the best new developments in town and has encouraged people to get out and explore. Tons of restaurants, bars and stores have popped up along the path. And so has awesome art!
Whether you’re walking the busy portion between Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park or the quieter trails, you are sure to find works of art that will inspire you, challenge you or are just pretty to look at. Some of my personal favorites include the colorful spots under Virginia Avenue on the Eastside trail, the flowers decorating Paris on Ponce and the portrait mural under Park Drive on the Northside hiking trail. Be sure to also keep an eye out for the “tiny doors” along the way (yes, they are exactly what you’re picturing, adorably decorated tiny doors). You won’t want to miss the Beltline during your Atlanta trip!
Jackie & Justin from Life Of Doing
Valparaíso (also known as “Valpo”), Chile is the city that made us fall in love with vibrant street arts and murals. You’ll find street art everywhere throughout the city from the stairs, neighborhood alleys, tall buildings, residential houses, and even on garbage trucks. Due to the vast amount of artwork, there are street art and graffiti tours that you can attend to learn about the history and artists. We opted to visit the various neighborhoods on our own and walked around for a couple hours. Don’t forget to pack comfortable walking shoes as the city is hilly, or take a funicular (cable car) to the top or bottom of the hills. Some of our favorite areas for street art are Cerro Concepción, Alegre, Bellavista, and Polanco neighborhoods. Cerro Concepción and Alegre are next to each other and has a high concentration of artwork in the area. Bellavista has various graffiti styles. Polanco is far from the center of town, but this residential area is another good place to see street art. We hope you consider visiting Valpo in the future.
Chantal from Alleen Op Reis
I love seeing street art during my travels. I have been to many places famous for street art like Berlin, London Paris and even Bogota but the place where I was most impressed was George Town, Penang. Probably also because of the location of the murals; George Town’s historical centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008 and it’s a beautiful place to wander around searching for the art works (most of them are very hidden!). Street art in Penang started in 2012 with a project called ‘Mirrors George Town’ commissioned by the Penang Municipal Council. A lot of the murals that are part of this project were done by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic, who’s has a beautiful, unique style that captures everyday life in the city. What I loved about the street art in Penang is that often objects found in the streets became part of the paintings. Also, street art in Penang is not only about painted walls; there are 51 iron sculptures in the city. These sculptures tell you about the history of the street they are in and are beautifully lit up during the night.
Rashmi & Chalukya from GOBeyondBounds
Brussels is one of the top tourist destinations which offers unique attractions to its visitors. One of the most compelling and top things to do when in Brussels is exploring the comic strip street art. Brussels is the hometown of popular comic character Tintin and one can find more than 50 comic strips across the city depicting the comic episodes of Tintin. The comic strip mural hunting is fun and challenging you may find the mural hiding behind a building or sometimes in the narrow alleys. Comic Strip hunt is no doubt one of the fun things to do if you are visiting with kids. There are several Comic strip walking tour which we believe is the best way to find most of the comic strips in less time and with much less effort. Or collect a comic strip walking map from one of the tourist offices and explore on your own.
Christine from And The Story Goes
Located throughout Stockholm city are over 150 pieces of public art. To find them you’ll have to head underground. Throughout the Stockholm underground, the Tunnel Rails, there are over 90 stations filled with murals and 3d objects both large and small.
Using the metro is the easiest way to get around the city when visiting, so keep an eye out in each of the stations. You can purchase single day tickets or multiple day passes for the metro. If you want to see it all, be prepared to spend the better part of the day switching between lines. The most popular stops are Centralen, Solna Centrum and Tensa (on the blue line), Stadion and Universitetet (on the red line), and Hotorget, Thorildsplan, and Kungsträdgården (on the green line).
For a guided art tour, join one lead by SL (Stockholm’s Public Transport); all you need is a valid fare ticket. The walk is only offered in English from June-August on select days, the rest of the year it is offered in Swedish only.
Angelica from Good Trip Bad Memory
They say that art is supposed to make you feel something. Well, the street art in Athens made me feel like starting a revolution.
When I went to Athens, it had almost been 10 years since the economic crash. Even without knowing this, you could tell from the street art that they were still recovering. I think Athens is one of the best places to view street art because you might not be expecting it in such a historical city, but once you’re there, you can’t escape it.
Especially in Exarcheia, which is a district known for being an anarchist hotbed. Most places you go to in Athens – the metro, the area with museums, even the walk to the Acropolis, will have some street art. But in Exarcheia, literally every street was full of politically active and socially aware slogans across different ideologies. Every building was covered in beautiful, random, creative art.
Shivani from The Wandering Core
Hauz Khas is an upcoming hip place in the neighbourhoods of South Delhi, India. Hauz Khas is mainly known for some quaint cafes and vogue restaurants. Hauz Khas Fort is a historical monument forgotten now as the focus shifted to the cafes. The Fort complex holds not only mosques and tombs but also an alluring lake. But the route to the lake is through the deer park but not through the fort directly. The alternative route includes narrow alleys from the restaurant lane leading to the lake. The walls of the lane are decorated with colourful paintings hidden in plain sight. Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens are renowned for street art but Hauz Khas street is hardly acknowledged. The paintings are sumptuous, overlooking the Hauz Khas lake are a delight to sore eyes. The face paintings, the environmental issues, and many more creative aspects covered in the street art here. Indian street art has come a long way and now it is evident in quaint corners of Delhi. I highly recommend catching up on some of the paintings while on your trip to Delhi, India.
Anisa from Two Traveling Texans
You will find some amazing street art in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn New York. Joseph Ficalora is the curator of the Bushwick Collective, which means he gets permission from the building owners and selects the artists. He wanted to the art to be therapeutic and to beautify the community. You will also find some art in the area that is not part of the Collective.
Some of the artists that have worked in the area include Lexi Bella, Dasic Fernandez, Deface, Adam Fu, Pay to Pray, Pixel Pancho, and Invader. The murals are changed about once a year. Unfortunately, some graffiti artists have taken the liberty of defacing some of the murals with tags, which are just a mix of letters and numbers.
You can find the Bushwick Collective close to the Jefferson subway stop on the L train. If you want to learn more about the Bushwick Collective and the murals in Bushwick, consider taking a Brooklyn street art walking tour.
Kathleen from Dream Wander Repeat
If you are a fan of street art then Bristol is an absolute must visit! The quirky city in the South West of England is the home of Banksy, the guerilla artist who helped bring the street art genre into the mainstream.
Head to Bristol to check out a number of his works from before he became the world's most famous anonymous guy. You can download apps which will take you on a Banksy walking tour of the city. There are a number of organised walking tours run by enthusiastic locals from the artist community which explore the in's and out's of Bristol's thriving street art scene. You can even get down and dirty and take a street art class and learn to make stencils just like Banksy himself uses.
Over the years Bristol has hosted a number of huge street art festivals which have left their mark all across the city, with ten storey tall murals a common sight brightening the city streets. It currently plays host to the annual Upfest. The Urban Paint Festival is Europe's largest free street art and graffiti festival and features over 400 artists from 70 countries around the world. Check it out for a city break with a difference!
Neeharika from Map In My Pocket
La Mer Beachfront in Dubai is one quirky place to find street art in Dubai. This neighbourhood in the suburbs of Jumeirah along the beach has been designed with the ocean in mind. From the rusted metal chains and fishing nets to the wooden crates and driftwood that have been incorporated in its design to the graffiti that adorns almost every wall along the palm lined boulevards, La Mer is a must visit for all those who love design in the context of urban lives. Even the strategically placed maps that guide around this area are made from barrel tops. From shipping containers that have been converted to house hip boutiques to cafes that are edgy fusion places sometimes even those serving traditional Emirati fare, there is a lot one can do here in between hunting for street art. Shop, stop for a quick bite or simply head to the beach for a lazy afternoon under the iconic Dubai skyline, all while you get your dose of contemporary urban art.
Amy from Family Globetrotters
Melbourne prides itself on all things hidden, secret passageways, non-descript entrances and cobblestone laneways. Head down the most famous of the stone lined paths of Hosier Lane and you’ll find yourself in the most decorated graffiti art streets in all of Melbourne. The graffiti is incredible edgy, vibrant in colour and unlike most dedicated street art murals and installations, Hosier Lane is ever-changing. Some of the art work change even daily so don’t think you only ever need to visit it once. The art does need to keep up politically and culturally after all and ensuring the social aspects of the city are well covered.
If you’re an avid fan, you might like to consider hopping on a street art tour so that you can learn more about the artists, their agenda and motives and the technical art form of spray painting and stencilling. A little added knowledge will only enhance your appreciation of this outdoor gallery.
Baia from Red Fedora Diary
I have visited Budapest last October and I must say it’s one of the most creative cities I have visited. I love finding street art in the cities I travel to, so Hungary’s capital was no exception to offer gorgeous and breathtaking pieces of modern art. Budapest’s Jewish Quarter is the hippiest and trendy place to look for hipster ruin bars and admire the works of Hungarian street artists. Since 2011 different walls have become canvases for street artists. Walk down its streets and try to pinpoint them, but if you are in a hurry, there’s a Free Walking Tour of Street and Urban Art, which takes you around the quarter for approximately two and a half hour and shows the important murals of the city.
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