Graffiti often gets a bad reputation but when conducted by truly skilled artists it can transform a city into a better place. Graffiti and street art are not always legal, still, legal or not, people flock to see good street art. Street art is known to increase tourist population.
It also tells a story about a culture without saying one word. More and more communities around the globe are adding graffiti and playful statues to their plain stucco walls and walkways.
Graffiti art is most common in urban settings. Without art, city-dwellers only have concrete buildings to look at, which can start to feel pretty bleak and even oppressive. A town can be dark and boring or dilapidated and practically falling down, but with a splash of street art suddenly it’s an attraction people travel to see.
Enjoy these 20 cities featuring some of the best street art around the world!
1. Mexico City
You can see some incredible street art in Mexico City, where public murals with historical significance have been a part of the city landscape for many years.
The city just recently became more colorful after “All City Canvas” went into play. The graffiti art in Mexico City conducted for this project was legal; in fact it took 11 long months to gather the appropriate permissions. 9 artists, some local and some foreign, were then brought in to paint the buildings as they are today.
2. London, United Kingdom
While visiting London is far from cheap, at least you can look at the wide variety of street art for free.
Street art ranges from murals painted on buildings to intricate statues, such as the giant blue rooster that was recently revealed in Trafalgar Square.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
All of the streets of Prague are splashed with graffiti art. Graffiti is an active outlet here, allowing so much culture to be seen throughout the writings on the walls.
Some well-known street artists responsible for a lot of the work done throughout Prague include CRYTIC257, SKARF, TRON, and EPOS 257.
Their real names unknown, this is how they sign their work, both on the streets and some in galleries where their art is also featured.
4. Libson, Portugal
Instead of letting the business district crumble to pieces, the city of Libson came together and created the “Crono Project”.
A number of artists were commissioned to paint neglected buildings, and in 2011 there was an exhibition held to show off the collection of work.
5. Lodz, Poland
With graffiti art as large as 10 stories tall, the scenes splashed on the buildings throughout Lodz are incredible to witness.
Two artists, Przemyslaw Biejzyk and Mateusz Gapski, collectively known as “Etam”, have created most of the artwork graffiti in Lodz. The graffiti paintings are varied and unique, but each one plays on a different Polish folklore.
6. Bogota, Colombia
Street art in Columbia is a true sight to see with vivid art all over the city.
One of the well-known street artists in the area goes by CRISP. As of a few years ago, CRISP offered tours around the city showing off the street art you might otherwise miss. If he’s still doing his thing, he also offers commentary about the paintings and what they symbolize to locals.
7. New York City, USA
New York is a rich city full of history and culture; it also has some unique street art worth checking out.
Lately artists have been flocking to the Bushwick, Brooklyn area. Here you can check out are a few well-known graffiti artists in the NY area, such as Buff Monster, who uses bright pops of pink to establish his trademark signature.
All throughout Valparaiso are amazing collections of street art. The safest, and most tourist friendly hillside neighborhoods include Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion. The art here stands out as different because of how modern many of the pieces are.
9. Sao Paulo, Brazil
There are so much amazing street art found around Sao Paulo.
The Google Art Project even collaborated with the city to show off the amazing Sao Paulo Street Art collection.
10. Paris, France
There are many sights to see in Paris, and street art is definitely one of them.
With so much variety, each piece speaks a new message about life while whispering secrets of the city.
11. Melbourne, Australia
In the 1970s and 1980s the street art throughout Melbourne took off in popularity.
The youth responsible for the original graffiti revolution were largely influenced by the graffiti found in New York.
12. Berlin, Germany
You can find street art all over Berlin. Mentalgassi is one of the street art groups responsible for the unique art all over the city;
the big faces they oddly place on the sides of buildings can identify this group’s artsy work.
13. Cape Town, South Africa
Street art is a regular form of expression throughout Cape Town, where some of the most highly detailed, and layered works of graffiti art exist on display. In Cape Town, street art is not ‘graffiti’ it is instead art found in public places, and for free.
14. Moscow, Russia
It’s not easy to make it as a street artist in Russia, but many do it regardless.
The murals and urban art they have created speak volumes, revealing another world tourists would never get to dive into otherwise.
15. Bethlehem, West Bank
Artists, activist, writers, and people passionate about politicos all use graffiti art to spread their message in Bethlehem. One of the coolest places to see many perspectives come together is at the famous “Security Wall” in the West Bank.
16. Istanbul, Turkey
All of Istanbul’s districts offer a lot of amazing street art, in order to see it all you can download a free iOS app called StreetArt-Istanbul. Some of the best Istanbul art districts to check out include, Istiklal Street, Tunel, Karakoy, and Kadikoy.
17. Bristol, United Kingdom
A number of talented street artists are responsible for the diverse street art found throughout Bristol. With each display unique, there is something to inspire and delight everyone.
18. Santiago, Chile
If you are ever in Santiago, you don’t want to miss out on all of the art in the area. There are local guides that can direct to you to all of the most incredible graffiti art throughout the city, one with high ratings is URBN STGO.
19. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known for its rich art culture, Buenos Aires offers so much to see. From sculpture art in the middle of the streets, to buildings etched in intricate graffiti.
This year new art goes up yet again, some depicting the World Cup.
20. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Entire streets are alive with color in Rio De Janeiro, where street art is used to liven up crime-ridden neighborhoods. With a simple splash of paint some communities have transformed into better areas with more opportunities, less danger, and more tourists.
Image Credits: Daniel Albanese | TheDustyRebel, JR & Liu Bolin, Timothy Saccenti, Etam Cru, ROA, Etam Cru, oueduabroad.wordpress.com, Jean-BaptisteYunis, unknown, curiot, ROA, Adam Jones, fra-biancoshock.org, BLU, Honet. DALeast, Alexis Diaz,David Walker, l7m, Eduardo Kobra, 6emeia, unknown, Levalet, Seth, herakut, ajhaysom, ajhaysom, mentalgassi, JR, interesnikazki, faith47, Agostino Iacurci, Alexandre Farto, c215. Lois Stavsky, banksy, jr-art.net, favelapainting, Franko Fasoli, DHA, Entes&Pesimo, Bogota Sreet Art, unknown, ROA, DALeast, CHARQUIPUNK – LAROBOTDEMADERA, Jano y Basti, Martin Ron, jamesschloeffel.com, Martin Ron, sam3, Os Gémeos, Os Gémeos,