One of my favourite free and accessible experiences while travelling is wandering through new streets and laneways in the hope of discovering some creative street art. I love learning about the history of street art and trying to decide if it’s actually street art or graffiti. While exploring Asia for 11 weeks I stumbled upon some famous and not so famous street art and wondered if people around the world were doing the exact same thing but in different places.
This is where the World Street Art Bible was born.
Lets take a look at all the wonderful free street art that has been discovered across the globe right now. I have divided the extensive list into Regions to make it easier for travel planning and research.
Do you have a favourite street art?
Oceania. Australia and New Zealand. Melanesia. Micronesia.
Toowoomba, QLD. Boyeatsworld.
The regional Queensland town of Toowoomba was best known for its pretty gardens and beautifully-preserved heritage buildings, but in recent years its art scene has transformed the city. It all started in 2013 when the local council cleverly used graffiti removal funding for an annual street art festival called First Coat in a bid to wipe out graffiti tagging. It certainly worked! Now a growing collection of more than 80 large scale street art works by talented local and international artists adorn the walls of sheds, car parks, shops and warehouses throughout the town. With works ranging from small patterned works to detailed dreamscapes, mural subjects incorporate everything from political statements and portraits to fantasy themes and indigenous art. We’ve now visited twice and the kids can’t get enough of exploring the ever-growing outdoor art gallery.
Wollongong, NSW. Short Holidays and Getaways.
At just 80kms from Sydney, with easy train and road access, spending time Wollongong is becoming a popular choice for domestic and international travellers.
Wollongong has an enviable location situated between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean and is a lot more cost effective than the city of Sydney. Bordered by 17 patrolled beaches and the Illawarra escarpment, The Gong, as it is called by locals, has become a hot spot Australian destination. Wollongong is home to a thriving street art scene and annually hosts the Wonderwalls Street Art Festival where they paint the town from end to end. There is a lot of street art to be discovered in The Gong. This is a piece by Canadian Street Artist, Emmanuel Jarus
Newcastle, NSW. Back Street Nomad.
Newcastle is known for a lot of things, but street art is not generally one of them. But there are a few exceptions to this. One exception is a random alley off Wolfe Street. There is an enormous mural painted on a dingy brick wall out of the way of most foot traffic. It doesn’t try to be “the famous street art of the city” a la Hosier Lane in Melbourne, and it doesn’t invite people to hashtag it on Instagram to plug some brand or business. But someone is clearly immensely proud of it as I’ve seen the colour scheme update a number of times and is very representative of Newcastle as a city: impressive, understated, and rarely frequented by visitors.
Silo Art Trail, Victoria, Australia. Melbourne Minor.
Brim – Guido Van Helten
Patchewollock – Fintan Magee
Rupanyup – Julia Volchkova
Sheep Hills – Adnate
Lascelles – RoneIn Progress:
Rosebery – Kaffeine
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Miss Morni Penni
Of all the street art on the Mornington Peninsula (there’s hidden gems in Rosebud, Rye and Mornington just to name a few) my favourite would have to be the murals of Thompson Lane in the Frankston CBD.
It is a portrait of Afghan immigrant, Said Kabool who came to Australian in 1916 to work as a camel herder. Van Helton tends to showcase people who have some significance in the local community. This one was taken from Mr Kabool’s immigration document that had exempted him from passing the dictation test required to enter Australia under the “White Australia Policy” of the time.
Our favourite is the giant tentacles on the corner of Barry and John streets. It’s enormous and this photo captures only a fraction – you’ll just have to visit Yeppoon to see the rest!
Earlier this year I was in Taupo for the Ironman event at the Great Lake Taupo and luckily for me it is renowned for its street art festivals. This meant that I could spend my downtime exploring the alleyways and side streets around the town centre.
In doing so I found this amazing piece of artwork by Cracked Ink just around the corner from the cinema. Cracked Ink is a UK graffiti artist who has been living in NZ for over a decade and has many art murals around the country.
Wellington, New Zealand. Suzie.
We came to visit the old American Embassy, that famously was the scene for the Iranian hostage crisis back in 1979. Hollywood gave us their version through the movie Argo, that showed the manic destroying of documents whilst the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line invaded the building.Although these days the old Embassy isn’t open to the public that often, we still came to view the propaganda artwork that is on display around the building. Lining the external walls are a number of anti-American slogans as well as some elaborate murals, including this one of a disturbing Statue of Liberty. As comical as they are menacing, to me they’re actually a good reminder of greater tensions between Iran and the west, as you wouldn’t know it given the very friendly and hospitable welcome the Iranians have afforded us on our visit.
Dubai, UAE. Kirsty Larmour.
El Seed is a French-Tunisian street artist well known through the Arab world and beyond for his beautiful Arabic calligraphy which often adorns the side of a whole building. He has decorated Mosques and apartment blocks across the world, and his work includes one piece which can be seen from the rooftops as it joins up across several buildings in Cairo. He has numerous pieces in the UAE including these in Sharjah and Dubai the colourful calligraphy being on a building on Bank Street, and the silver one being on the side of the Green Planet Building. He shows the process as his work takes shape on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/elseed/
Dubai, UAE. Kirsty Larmour.
Africa. Eastern Africa. Middle Africa. Northern Africa. Southern Africa.
Cape Town, Sth Africa. Adventure Baby.
I went on a walking tour of the street art in Woodstock, one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs. The art played a big part in the neighbourhood’s dramatic transformation from a run down town filled with litter, crime and drugs, to a hip neighbourhood with trendy restaurants, offices and boutiques. I really loved that a group of locals came together to create a street art project with the aim of bringing art to everyone, and making people feel proud of the neighbourhood. The team has encouraged the regeneration of the area with their lofty goal to change the neighbourhood through beautiful, socially conscious murals. The stunning artworks have been created by established artists from all over the world.
Americas. Latin America and the Caribbean. Caribbean. Central America. South America.
Valparaiso, Chile. An Adventurous World.
Valparaiso, the creative and colourful city west of Santiago, has become a honeypot for young creatives looking for ways to express themselves. In Valpo (as the locals fondly call it), street art is used as a form of expression, both politically and socially, and it really has come to define the city.
Under the oppressive regime of Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s, street art was a silent form of protest, although not heard but at least seen, and it gave birth to a mantra still strong today; this is our city, this is our freedom of expression.
Austin, Texas. USA. Kristy Harrison.
Austin is a town full of artists and musicians. It’s the kind of place where everyone is in a band or knows someone in a band. I grew up there, and my hairdresser did my wedding hair and then showed up with two friends to play live country music at the reception. It’s no surprise that Austin is full of street art. You can find art everywhere, but look particularly on South Congress or Guadalupe Street. At Amy’s Ice Cream, you get the bonus of a mural with your local scoop. Eat it quick before it melts in the heat!
New York, USA. Dish Our Town
We live in Alphabet City, in New York. This neighborhood has always been considered a canvas for street artists for as far back as I can remember. The neighborhood, in recent years, has become more developed; but the street art seems to continue to be integrated into the fabric of the neighborhood. Rather than being done away with, there seems to be more than ever, and an upgrade in talent. One of our favorite things to do is walk the streets with our teenage daughter and find new installations in which she can pose in front. This one is on 8th Street between Avenue A and 1st Avenue, NYC.
Montreal, Canada. Smart Mouse Travel
On our first trip to Montreal we knew we had to visit Marché Jean-Talon. This beautiful, expansive, open-air market in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood is the largest in North America. We had spent some time exploring the stalls throughout the market and were getting ready to leave when I saw it. It being “La Pomme du Savoir”. I had been distracted and looking at a map on my phone. When I glanced up to get my bearings I actually stopped dead in my tracks. There was something special about the art awakening me from my distraction. I love this piece because of its beauty, but also because each time I see my photos I am reminded to be present in the world around me.
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Postcards From Ivi
This fantastic street art is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina in Palermo neighborhood. Frida Kahlo was an incredibly amazing and strong woman and I love this version of her. The artwork measures 9 metres high, it is stunning! It was painted by artists Julián Campos Segovia, Jean Paul Jesses and Juan Carlos Campos and this is the facade of a bar actually named Frida. Palermo is an awesome neighborhood for street art lovers, you will find amazing pieces of art in every wall
Mission District, Sanfrancisco. Wayfaring views.
The Mission District of San Francisco has traditionally been a working class Latino neighborhood which is currently being gentrified by dotcomm technology workers. You can get a visual history of the neighborhood by strolling the hundreds of murals scattered throughout the area.Along 24th street, there are many murals tell a story of immigration struggles and California Latino culture. In Clarion alley, you’ll find a fair dose of edgy and political street art. It’s a very easy neighborhood to navigate and you can get the most out of it by taking yourself on a self-guided walking tour of the Mission murals.
Tulsa, USA. The Family Voyage
Draped across the side of the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa is a mural of the free spirited artist/musician himself. Looking off into the distance, Guthrie is showcasing his iconic guitar with the quote ‘this machine kills fascist’. The reason I love the mural is that it captures the essence of Guthrie as the original musician-social activist while simultaneously showing Tulsa, OK as an unexpectedly vibrant downtown epicenter in the heart of our country. We were pleasantly surprised to see murals around every corner in the historic section of the city. Don’t miss Woody when you are in the area!
Pisco Elqui, Chile. Mind of a Hitchhiker
Street art is everywhere in this tiny, proud and diverse village in the narrowest part of the Chilean Andes. My favorite piece was one of a wise-looking feline in a robe. It’s on the main street, so I’d walk past it every day on my way to the shop. Besides liking the colors and design, I think it represents one group of the community that makes this town a fantasy come true. There’s so many artisans residing in or passing through the Valle de Elqui. They really do their best to make this the warmest and most aesthetically pleasing area in Chile.
Cuenca, Ecuador . Intentional Travelers.
Cuenca’s Old Town, with its UNESCO World Heritage status, is a charming blend of old world Spanish architecture and the lively colors of Latin America. Colorful doors and balconies grace the cobble-stoned streets, but not all of Cuenca’s cultural flair is so historic. The streets are also full of modern murals. We loved walking around town and discovering hidden pieces of art, like this one. They spark the imagination and bring life to an otherwise ordinary streetscape.
Hope Park, Austin. USA. Naomi.
‘The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a community art park located at 1101 Baylor St. Austin, Texas. Ofﬁcially launched in March 2010 it is the only art park of its kind in the USA. It is recognized as one of the Top 10 Artistic destinations in Texas and contains everything from scrawled tags to amazing masterpieces on every surface. The gallery is easily accessible and open to anyone so if you’re feeling a little creative and want to do more than marvel at the ever evolving creations … grab a spray can and leave your mark.
Ushuaia, Argentina. Travlinmad
The colorful streets of Ushuaia, Argentina – as far south as one can travel in South America to “el fin del mundo” or “the end of the world” – are filled with graffiti, urban street art, and the occasional protest or strike that reflect life in Argentina and the past and present hardships suffered by many who live here. This mural in particular is a chilling depiction of the Desaparecidos (Spanish for “the Disappeared”), the thousands of people – most of them dissidents and innocent civilians – who vanished without a trace after the country was seized by a military junta in 1976. So much of the street art is powerful and haunting, a reminder of past mistakes and at the same time, hope for the future
Santiago, Chile. Travel Past 50.
The Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago de Chile features a nearly endless tableau of street art. A lot of it arose organically, and a lot is the result of shop owners paying artists to illustrate their shop fronts. The quality is uniformly high, and the style is varied. The movement started nearly 40 years ago and has been expanding ever since. Hundreds of international artists have contributed over the years.
Perhaps the best spot to see eclectic art in the neighborhood, however, is La Chascona, the home of Nobel winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. His home, which is open to the public, is a collection of his idiosyncratic vision, and indirectly serves as an inspiration to the entire neighborhood.
Massachusetts, USA. Nothing but New England.
I found this street art mural on my way, while driving to another mural. Street art finds often happen this way. I drive by and some color catches my eye. This piece was found in Worcester, Massachusetts. Later I learned the town is part of POW! WOW! mural festival. The meaning I was not sure of, but the tension and concern were easily seen. The artist is Rustam Qbic and the piece is named The Conference of Birds. It is based on a poem of the same name. The lesson is one does not need someone bigger to follow but they should be themselves.
Asia. Central Asia. Eastern Asia. Southern Asia.
Tokyo, Japan. Kid Bucket List.
Takadanobaba, in the Shinjuku neighbourhood, Tokyo, is the birthplace of Astroboy which was created by Anime Royalty Osamu Tezuka. Whilst the youth culture has moved on to more sophisticated anime characters and themes, this little robot boy still draws nostalgia as one of the original mainstream characters. The station music is the theme song to the original series and you can find the most impressive Astroboy street art under the train station bridge which depicts the main characters from the show. Of course, being such a tragic for this show, I booked our accomodation in Takadanobaba so I could hear the theme song every single morning when we headed out for an adventure by train!
The capital city of Mongolia is often just a quick stop until you head out onto the wide green plains or the desert. We were here to experience the Nadaam festival and because of flight connections stayed for a week. We had the opportunity to wander around a bit and discovered this art under a bridge connecting the old part of town with the new business area.
Lamma, Hong Kong. Kat Pegi Mana: Where Is Kat Going
There was only one street art mural found during my last visit to Lamma Island in Hong Kong which is this gigantic pig. Nobody knows what’s the significance of this mural but I suspect that the artist and the villagers love pigs and pork 🙂 Lamma Island is the third largest island of, HK after Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island. The island consists of northern village (Yung Shue Wan), the eastern village (Sok Kwu Wan) and traditional fishing villages. The main attraction of Lamma is the abundance of nature and scenery, you can find beaches and hiking trails.
Phom Penh, Cambodia. Two can travel
Street art being painted by young, local artists in Boeung Kak Art Village in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The area was formerly a lake, and home to thousands of people who depended on it for their livelihoods as fishermen. The lake was filled in after the government leased it to foreign developers in 2007, and over 4,000 families were evicted or resettled. The area has since become home to artists who are breathing new life into the community through constantly changing street art scenes. This off the beaten path area of Phnom Penh is worth checking out on your trip to Cambodia.
Location: Street 93, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Chiang Mai, Thailand. Live Less Ordinary.
Aggressive Me: Mauy Cola
Mauy Cola is known through Asia these days, but his origins are very much Chiang Mai, where he pioneered the local street art movement. One of his more iconic walls, which I found in the Nimman area, is called “Aggressive Me”. Which depicts his face alongside a tiger, and a wolf, which symbolize the animal instinct of man, and how we should stand fearlessly in the face of adversity. It was also politically relevant at the time given the new military government in Thailand.
Mumbai, India. Azure Sky Follows.
Found this colourful street art on the lanes of a very old Christian neighbourhood of Mumbai, India. The first thing which caught my eye was obviously the weirdness of the mural. On closer inspection I noticed the caption ‘Triple Optics’. What I inferred was that, probably this mural was put up as an advertisement of some store which specialises in eyewear and prescribed glasses! I liked how the entrepreneur was innovative with his marketing tactics. Or maybe the artist came across this weird eyewear store somewhere in the world and the name inspired her/him to draw up such a queer piece of art!
Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Lyf & Spice.
I’ve been living in Kota Bharu, Malaysia for over 2 years now. This lesser known city has a lot of elements of surprise, including its street art that I was blatantly unaware of. One fine day, while walking to the State Museum, I decided to take a short-cut to save time. That’s when I spotted three brightly painted walls around the area. I ventured further to see what it was all about and got chatting with the painters. Depictions on the Palestine war, abstract art, the culture of Malaysia and a lot more was displayed in such vibrant hues, that I went on a clickathon right away.
Malacca, Malaysia. Smithsholidayroad.
If you wander behind the river through all the little streets you may be lucky enough to get lost. One afternoon Andrew and Pepper hired a bike and road around this amazing Unesco city. They weaved through alleyways and stumbled across these beauties. Of course we all went back the next day to see the works of art before we headed to find some authentic Indian for dinner.
The concept of street art has never really entered the mainstream culture in China, which means finding good ‘organic’ street art in Shanghai is not an easy task.
However, there are a few designated spots where artists can create their work.
The most iconic of these, and the most likely answer should anyone ask where to see street art in Shanghai, is a 500-metre wall that runs down Moganshan Road in the M50 art district. I like how it stands – for now – as an oasis of subculture creativity in a city that is becoming ever more shiny and new. For how much longer it will though is anyone’s guess.
Not far from Taipei main station there are little laneways filled with motorbikes, restaurants and some amazing street art. The perfect place to have a sit and talk with the locals. We spent 8 nights exploring Taipei and its an amazing destination with easy, cheap efficient transport, great food and night markets, and the best hostel to stay in!
Sarawak is without a doubt of our our top family travel destinations for all the wildlife and outdoor adventures. The capital city of Kuching sits along the waterfront. in the evenings the place to wander is along the river near the night bazaar and just up form there I found this piece of street art depicting just some of the ethnic groups here on Sarawak.
Seoul, South Korea.
This street art was discovered in the cool area of Hongdae, just by the Hello Kitty Cafe. Famous for the art and craft homemade market on a Sunday its where all the students hang out after going to University. Our favourite thing to do was head outdoors as the sunset and listen to the buskers while we chose a place for dinner, which was of course Korean BBQ.
Jeju Island, South Korea.
Some people call this island the Hawaii of Korea with its amazing beaches and huge mountains and underground caves. It is famous for black pork and this street art was just discovered behind the Black Pig street. The theme suits the beautiful ocean lifestyle found on the island. You may even get lucky and see the historic women divers searching for seafood to sell to all the restaurants along the piers and jettys.
Georgetown, Penang. Malaysia. Stingy Nomads
‘Boy on a motorbike’ is one of many famous murals by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic decorating the bustling streets of George Town. We stumbled on to this one on the side door of an old shop house in Ah Quee Street and love how he combines the real motorbike with the painting of the boy. Joining the boy on the bike is a very popular photo spot.This work of art represents George Town well; both are fun, interesting and unique. George Town is a fascinating mix of cultures; you walk out of your hostel in China Town to have dinner in an Indian street cafe under the sound of Muslim prayer.
Ipoh, Malaysia. Connie Consumes.
Malaysia is already home to a well-known street art trail in Penang but now the same artist, Lithuanian Ernest Zacharevic, has created another striking trail in Ipoh. All seven murals are clustered in the Old Town of Ipoh, and depict different facets of the city’s culture and heritage. There are a couple which reference the city’s famous coffee and original kopi-o, and even a more abstract piece representing their tin mining evolution, but my favourite mural is one with two cheeky kids in a paper plane – it never fails to bring a smile to my face!
Manila, Phillipines. Maria Rona Beltran
BGC is a business district in Manila that’s also a cradle for street art. Thanks to these local and international artists who did amazing visual arts found at the back of a building, parking area or at a corridor. Some artworks depict futuristic scenarios that are large enough to cover one side of a building. A few ones are just as small as a caricature of a bird painted at the bottom corner of a cemented wall. You need to have your eyes wide open to find these in a maze of skyscrapers and quaint coffee shops that dot the place.
Europe. Eastern Europe. Northern Europe. Southern Europe
Milan, Italy. The Crowded Planet
My hometown Milan has some wonderful pieces of street art, many of which have been commissioned in recent years. However, if I were to choose the best place to see street art in Milan, I would definitely head to Leoncavallo, the city’s street art hotspot since the 1990s, long before street art was cool! Around Leoncavallo there are some amazing street art pieces by artists that are now famous, like this one by Mr.Blob, but the fun thing is that perhaps those very same artists used to paint in the same location, when they were still teenagers!
Lisbon, Portugal. She Escapes.
Lisbon is a city that loves beautiful surfaces. You’ll see intricate tilework covering 7-story buildings and small storefronts. Plazas often display ancient stone patterns. But what you might not expect is the street art. Whether an alligator is crawling up from one abandoned building, or a bandit is darting across another one, it’s worth exploring the city to see what turns up!
Reykjavik, Iceland. Travel with Meraki.
We didn’t have much of a plan when we hit the pavements in Reykjavik so spent the day wandering the streets and having fun getting lost. As we travelled around Iceland we discovered that the locals have a really quirky sense of fun and love being creative. This was even more apparent in the capital, as we discovered wall after wall covered in the most beautiful art. This piece was the front of a bakery. With the delicious smells coming from out of the door, the beautiful colours and the Icelandic language floating in the air, all our senses were covered, creating an amazing memory for us to treasure.
Stavanger, Norway. Contented Traveller.
Stavanger in Norway lies on the northwest coast of the North Sea. As the fourth largest city in Norway, the discovery of oil in the North Sea near Stavanger changed the city enormously. In saying that it looks anything but an industrial city. The town looks pristine, and let’s face it ..very affluent. What is surprising is that amongst these beautiful white wooden houses is some of the most incredible street art in Stavanger from international artists. It is a little hard to find the many prices, but well worth it, as you get to discover more about Stavanger in Norway. There were so many brilliant pieces, by artists we love like Fintan Magee, but this one by Norwegian street artist DOT DOT DOT was the hardest to find, but one we definitely wanted to see.
Bucharest, Romania. Jaunting Trips.
When talking about street art, one would never consider Bucharest to be a city that has something interesting to offer. However, in the past few years, street art has blossomed in the Romanian capital and beautiful murals have started to pop up all over the city.
One of my favorite locations in Bucharest is Arthur Verona Street. Each year, with the occasion of Street Delivery festival, the mural on Verona changes. It’s the canvas most craved by street art crews. For about 11 years now it has become a symbol for urban culture. The level of talent and artistry is absolutely amazing year to year.
Rome, Italy. Chasing the Unexpected.
When traveling to a new destination I’m always on the lookout for some great street art. One of my favorite cities in the world Prague has the gorgeous John Lennon wall. I first stumbled upon it doing my favorite thing, getting lost in a new city. It’s really easy to find, it’s just off of the Charles Bridge on the way to the Petrin Tower. I love that every time we visit the wall it’s different as new artists are constantly adding new art. It’s one of the top Prague attractions so I suggest going early in the morning so you can get photos without a ton of other tourists in them.
Athens, Greece. History Fan Girl.
Athens is a fantastic city for street art. I loved seeing the mix of classical ruins and modern graffiti. I stayed for a month, which gave me lots of time to explore. I found amazing works in every part of the city, regardless of neighborhood. Towards the end of my stay, I went on a self-guided street art walk around several neighborhoods in the city. My favorite neighborhood for the artwork is Exarchia, an anarchist neighborhood that is plastered with murals and artwork. The buildings are a mix of bustling and complete decay, elevating the artwork’s importance. It was intoxicating.
Budapest, Hungary. Cheryl Howard.
Budapest’s a city that I’ve been to so many times that I each time I return, I challenge myself to find new ways to explore the city and one of my favourite ways to do so is through street art. So when my last trip there, I found myself wandering through District 7, a neighbourhood stuffed full of cool cafés, ruin pubs, vintage fashion shops, and community art spaces. It’s also here that you’ll find some of best street art in Budapest, from murals done in collaboration with local authorities, to illegal guerrilla art, to playful instances from world famous street artists like Invader leaving their mark in the middle of cobblestoned street.
Olomouc, Czech Republic. Czech Souls.
This beautiful piece of street art in Denisova street in the centre of Olomouc, the Czech Republic. It’s a mural of King Edward VII is holding a selfie stick, instead of scepter made by Portuguese artist Mr. Deho during a StreetArt Festival Olomouc in 2015. I wasn’t looking for it and although I’m Czech, it was my first time in this beautiful UNESCO town, last week. It’s caught my eye, because it raised many questions in my head. “Why is it here? Why is he taking a selfie? Are selfies as important for our generation as a scepter for a king? Why is he an English and not Czech King?” That’s why I started looking it up and admire it even more.
Kosice , Slovakia. Where Is Your Toothbrush?
Since 2008, Street Art Communication collective has been elevating graffiti into an art form in Slovakia’s second largest city (and my hometown), Košice. In 2011, the group formalized their work into a regular festival, inviting mural artists from around the world to create large-scale murals on apartment buildings, transforming the place into the Open Mural Gallery. Street art around Košice particularly enlivens the socialist-era housing developments, injecting color and playfulness where the Communists only saw featureless function. Today you can find graffiti in some unexpected places, e.g. at the medical school dormitory complex. Whenever I visit, I enjoy finding new murals around town.
Sardinia, Italy. Well Traveled Mile.
Orgosolo is a small hillside town in the historic region of Barbagia in Sardinia, Italy. Upon arriving, the streets feel just like another sleepy town located in Sardinia’s harsh and rocky interior, however they harbor a hidden gem that reveals itself as you explore off the main road.
Although it’s not located along the coast and doesn’t offer stunning beaches like other locals in Sardinia, the town is well-known for it’s complex past featuring stories of bandits, kidnappings, murders—and incredible street murals. Decorating the narrow streets you’ll find approximately 150 murals depicting stories from the towns rough history to other landmark world events. The best way to experience the murals of Orgosolo is to rent an audio guide from the central plaza which explains the story behind each mural as you wander through the streets.
Paris, France. French Moments.
Glasgow, Scotland. Migrating Miss
Glasgow has been evolving over the past few decades to become an edgy and hip city, rivalling it’s more prim and proper neighbour Edinburgh for the cultural capital of Scotland. As part of a regeneration of the city centre and an effort to brighten up some of the grey and brick buildings, street art has been a growing feature around Glasgow since 2008. It’s a welcome addition to the city’s excellent museums, great shopping and vibrant nightlife. The street art features icons of Scotland, history, music and sport related pieces and is well worth walking around the city centre to see.
Camden, London. Erica Louise.
Camden is North London’s hip and happening part of town. It is here you’ll find the coolest little boutique shops, markets, vintage stores, vibrant little pubs, music, entertainment and general quirk. Being one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods, one would expect pockets of street art scattered around town, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Camden Town. Along Camden Road, Camden Lock, Kentish Town Road and nearby streets you’ll find a whole heap of magnificent art works adorning the walls of buildings and doorways. World renowned street artists paint and paste-up all manner of subjects in Camden Town. Due to the nature of such work, the artworks are constantly changing, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed when you visit.
London, England. Worldering Around.
As a street art fan, I decided to explore London’s East End with a colourful Brick Lane. I loved diving into the maze of the small streets, galleries, great food places and vibrant, ever-changing street art covering each corner. My main goal was to discover the street art piece made by Banksy. I was following his life and work since my teenage years and I always wanted to see his art in reality. Banksy’s “Designated graffiti area” is located in the beer garden of the Cargo nightclub, currently protected from the damage by the sheet of plastic. With that piece, Banksy gives himself an artistic license for graffiti. The art shows the policeman and his fluffy poodle guarding the area, that it’s said to be designated for graffiti. That’s an interesting twist, which is also in line with Banksy’s anti-establishment views, seen in his other works. Brick Lane and amazing street art located there, including Banksy’s work, is definitely worth a visit.
Shoreditch, London. UpandAtemTravel
Shoreditch is London’s primary stomping ground for both street artists and street art aficionados. The work varies from enormous airbrushed pieces to bold political posters and thought-provoking stickers plastered on light poles. Though I visited many times, I was introduced to Otto Schade’s “Say It With Flowers” on a street art tour. The contrast between the crisp black silhouettes against the warm, dreamy background stood out to me. Upon closer inspection, the flowers the girl picks are actually “toxic” symbols, demonstrating how the world she has inherited has been tarnished. Not just a beautiful piece, the art speaks to change makers.
Northcote Lane, Cardiff, Wales.
Walking around the back streets of my former home city of Cardiff became much more enjoyable in the last few years thanks to an amazing array of street art. My daily shortcut from my office to my son’s pre-school took me through student-land Cathays and down Northcote Lane in Roath, with three striking murals painted on end-of-terrace houses. My favourite was this one by the duo Colour Doomed and HB, called Pedal Power. These and the many other murals made such a difference, turning a visually dull part of the city into something special and thought-provoking that I looked forward to passing every day.
I would love to keep adding to this list so if you have a city, town or country not featured here please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it.