Street art is always something I look out for when I travel. Over the years, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the aesthetics of street art, its often thought-provoking nature and the skill required to produce them. Originally a means to convey social commentaries or political ideas, street art is increasingly used in many places around the world to beautify the surroundings, in some cases becoming popular tourist attractions. As a tribute, here’s my photo collection of street art around the world.
18 street art cities around the world
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
My hometown has loads of fantastic street art scattered throughout the city. You can find some cool pieces in the Jordaan neighbourhood but also in the Noord (North) and West districts of the city. One place you absolutely have to visit in Amsterdam is the STRAAT Museum in Amsterdam North (NDSM area). This museum houses huge murals created by artists from around the world in an old industrial warehouse, and is a rich addition to the Amsterdam street art scene.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has an amazing array of street art. There are those which are a reminder of the city’s tempestuous past but there are also many new murals which adorn the walls in and around the Cathedral Quarter. Check out this Belfast street art tour.
Berlin is one of my favourite cities in the world for street art. From the famous ‘The Kiss’ on the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall to the colourful street in Friedrichshain, Berlin is definitely one of the best street art cities in Germany!
Bristol, United Kingdom
The birthplace of Banksy, one of the world’s most famous street artists, Bristol is another of the world’s great street art cities. You can find street art across the city on buildings, alleys and bridges. Or you can go on a street art tour! The annual Upfest, in the Bedminster suburb, during which artists from around the world are invited to create street art on houses and buildings, is a popular attraction. There are also regular street art exhibitions at the Upfest Gallery (198, North Street).
The capital of Belgium has its fair share of striking street art. You’ll find them all around the city, from the historic centre to the lovely Marolles district and the Midi neighbourhood.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is another city that has fantastic street art. Check out the colourful La Boca district and the vibrant Palermo/Palermo Soho district for some great pieces. There’s also a street art tour of Palermo you can join.
This UNESCO World Heritage city in eastern Germany is famous for its historic Baroque architecture but look around, especially in the Neustadt district and you’ll find lots of cool street art. Read more about things to do in Dresden.
The second-largest city and former capital of Lithuania is a joy to explore – from its historic Old Town to the Art Nouveau architecture in the New Town. Stroll around to discover a plethora of street art, including the colourful Courtyard Gallery in the New Town.
Read further about things to see in Kaunas.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In recent years, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, has started to make a name for itself as a ‘street art city’. Works of art by local and foreign street artists can be found across the city but look out for the beautiful street art in Chinatown.
This city in eastern Germany has been a centre of music and culture for centuries. On a stroll around the city, you’ll pass grand historic buildings and tree-lined avenues but the brightly coloured street art will certain grab your attention.
London, United Kingdom
London is one of the best street art cities in the world! You’ll see them everywhere but few places can match the sheer variety and intensity of the street art in Shoreditch and Brick Lane! Check out this street art walking tour or this street art bike tour.
Read further about alternative ways to explore London.
Australia’s second-largest city has a vibrant street-art scene. Most visitors crowd into the famous Hosier Lane to see the chaotic mosaic of graffiti but there’s more: check out AC/DC Lane, Centre Place and the Keith Haring mural in Collingwood. Read about Melbourne’s hidden secrets.
George Town, Malaysia
George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage city, is situated on the island of Penang, Malaysia. In 2012, the city council commissioned Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian artist, to create a series of murals depicting street life in the city. Many local artists followed and these days, the street art in George Town is a tourist attraction in its own right! Read more about things to do in Penang.
Réunion Island, French overseas territory
Réunion Island is a department of France situated in the Indian Ocean. Known as the island of adventure for its incredible natural landscapes, Réunion Island is also home to very talented street artists. You can find their work throughout the island.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro not only boasts a spectacular natural setting, it also has a fantastic street art scene which is evident across the city. For the 2016 Olympic Games, the city commissioned famous Brazilian street artist, Kobra, to create the world’s biggest mural along the Olympic Boulevard. The result is simply amazing! Read more about street art in Rio de Janeiro, or see my photos of Rio de Janeiro.
Valparaiso is Chile’s largest port, situated west of Santiago on the Pacific coast. Known for its colourful neighbourhoods and steep funicular railways, Valparaiso is one of my favourite street art cities in the world! They’re so prolific, you can even join a street art tour. Read more about the street art in Valparaiso.
Montpellier is situated in the Occitanie region in southern France. The old town and the surrounding neighbourhoods such as Verdanson, Saint Roch and Rondelet are home to a large variety of street art: from large in trompe l’oeil murals to portraits and many types of fish! Read more about things to do in Montpellier and street art in Montpellier.
Bayreuth is pretty new to the street art scene but is already making a name for itself. The city commissioned five pieces by artists from around the world, and this has inspired the addition of more pieces, especially around the Liebesbier brewery. Read more about Bayreuth in my Franconia travel guide.