Arts + Culture cartoon art graffiti font street art illustration modern art
Arts + Culture

9 Best Street Art Cities

Street art is having a moment, with open-air galleries popping up across the globe. Rachel Beard rounds up the best places for spraycations.

10 Destinations You Won't Believe are Real | Next Great Neighborhoods

Photo by Joachim and thanks to graffitistreet.com

See recent posts by Rachel Beard

Arts + Culture building outdoor street art art walking mural graffiti

Photo by Bordalo II and thanks to graffitistreet.com

1

Lisbon

Lined with crumbling pastel buildings and burnt orange rooftops, Lisbon’s vibrant streets provide a colorful canvas where street art is actively embraced. The Crono Project commissions artists to transform neglected structures in the business district. Look for dramatic wall carvings by local resident Vhils and striking 3D murals made from scrap metals and trash by Bordalo II.

Arts + Culture art graffiti

Photo courtesy of Street Art News

2

Melbourne

Dubbed the stencil capital of the world, Melbourne hosts an annual festival dedicated to street art and examples can be found all across town. Hosier Lane, a cobblestone alleyway near Federation Square is the city’s graffiti gateway and acts as an ever-changing gallery that displays works by local artists including Be Free, Ha-Ha and Kaff-eine.

Arts + Culture sky metropolitan area outdoor transport structure landmark aerial photography bird's eye view sport venue metropolis cityscape public transport stadium road railroad highway

Photo by Joyce Division and thanks to graffitistreet.com

3

London

The Big Smoke has been a popular canvas for urban doodlers since the 70s and 80s when wildstyle tags decorated sections of the underground tube network. Satirical stenciler, Banksy, made his name here and a few original pieces can still be seen in and around east London. Head to Shoreditch, Camden or Brixton to see iconic works from the likes of Otto Shade, Stik and Jimmy C. For emerging artists check out Leake Street, a designated graffiti tunnel underneath Waterloo train station.

Arts + Culture outdoor sky building water Town River estate waterway vehicle walkway cement concrete stone

Photo by Space Invader and thanks to graffitistreet.com

4

Paris

Beyond the city's world-class museums and blockbuster exhibitions, the streets are alive with works by A-list urban artists including the master of mosaics, Invader, whose pixelated pieces decorate hidden corners of Paris. Explore the eclectic district of Belleville, the hipster 'hood, Canal Saint-Martin and the 10th and 19th arrondissements to seek out art by fellow Frenchmen JR, known for his giant photographic portraits, and Blek le Rat, the father of stencil graffiti.

Arts + Culture grass tree outdoor City public space Playground art park outdoor play equipment colored

Photo by Thierry Noir and thanks to graffitistreet.com

5

Berlin

At the heart of Berlin’s street art scene is the East Side Gallery, a mile-long section of the Berlin Wall painted in 1990 by over 100 artists from across the globe. In Kreuzberg, east Berlin’s hipster hub, it’s hard to miss Victor Ash’s giant Astronaut on the side of an office block, said to be the largest stencil drawing in the world. Berlin resident El Bocho has made his mark on the city with his signature ‘Little Lucy’ cut outs and painted ladies that decorate Rosenthaler Strasse, one of the city’s artistic arteries. The warehouses around Schleseisches Tor offer good graffiti-spotting opportunities.

Arts + Culture outdoor mural art atmosphere of earth display device screenshot Design painted

Photo courtesy of Street Art News

6

Los Angeles

Pioneering projects like MOCA’s 2011 Art in the Streets exhibition curated by Jeffrey Deitch (the first major retrospective to celebrate the art form) elevate LA’s position as a leading street art city. It also hosted the world's first global street art fair in early October 2015 at the Pacific Design Center, a three-day event that showcased works by 35+ LA-based street artists. Explore La Brea Boulevard for iconic works by Retna and Banksy, Melrose Avenue for vivid murals by A-list artist Shepard Fairey, and the LA Arts District for pieces by David Choe.

Arts + Culture art stone

Photo courtesy of Street Art News

7

Rio de Janeiro

It’s easy to see why Rio continuously tops the charts as the world’s best street art city. According to Design Week “Brazilian graffiti art is considered among the most significant standards of a global urban art movement” and street art was legalized in the city in 2009. You’ll find colorful creations in all corners of Rio, from the favelas to the posh neighborhoods (the high security walls make great canvases) but some of the best works are in the ares of Santa Teresa and Lapa. Climb the famous Selaron Steps created by Chilean artist, Jorge Selaron made from 2000+ tiles from over 60 countries. The walls of the Rio de Janeiro Jockey Club contain the largest collection of street art in the city. Spy pieces by artist and activist Paulo Ito, homegrown hero Smael Vagner and pieces by street art pioneers, the Flashback Crew.

Arts + Culture mural art street art illustration colorful bedclothes colored

Photo courtesy of Street Art News

8

Oslo

Despite a strict no tolerance policy on graffiti, Oslo’s urban art scene is thriving. And where better to get an affordable art fix in one of the world most expensive cities than to take to the streets? Head east to the once gritty Grünerløkka neighbourhood around Ingens gate, an art-strewn alleyway at a bohemian bend of the Akerselva river, and to Sofienberg for multi-story murals. Spot pop art-influenced pieces by DOT DOT DOT, Manga-style works by Arnt Ove Foss and street signs shaken up by Etiskvandalism, a self-titled ‘Scadinavian Troll Collective’.

All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.