Great street art can take your breath away. In recent years, how this urban art is experienced, interpreted, interacted with, and valued has changed greatly. Our favorite street art – a.k.a. graffiti — doesn’t require a museum or gallery to house it, and is always free to enjoy. Sometimes, it is provocative or humorous, and most always it is colorful, and increasingly celebrated by city residents and tourists alike. Today, global street artists are even commissioned to paint walls and structures in different countries.
Urban walls and other structures have become a (usually) welcoming canvas for these once nearly outlawed artists all over the world. Almost every major metropolis around the globe now features some form of street artwork, and increasingly, urban art tours are becoming very popular in many cities, such as New York, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Medellin. In Munich, Germany, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) opened as Germanys first museum of Urban Art and is well worth a visit.
Websites featuring urban and contemporary street art
One thing is certain: Creations by street artists can convey a culture and its story that is both aesthetic and historical. Sadly, the art is not always permanent, although some urban artists prefer that the walls and buildings get torn down, sending the artist’s creation crumbling too. Because street art is so popular with tourists and art aficionados, it is frequently used by city governments and business associations to inject new life into neighborhoods once overlooked and perhaps falling apart, such as in formerly rejected and drug-ridden Medellin, Colombia.
We absolutely love street art, and seek it out anywhere we travel. More images from our favorite street art will be added to this page frequently, so be sure to bookmark it if you, like us, are fans of great art, especially today’s urban and contemporary art on the street.
If you have some favorite street art photos on your own Instagram feed, share the links to your posts with us please.
Street art in Kiev. This beautiful piece of street art can be found in the Andriyivsky Descent neighborhood of Kiev, Ukraine. Sometimes referred to as the Montmartre of Kiev, the neighborhood is decidedly bohemian and attracts artists and artisans. Be sure to follow us on Instagram.
A street artist and his shadow. On a sunny Sunday in Mauerpark, Berlin, a street artist works on his next creation while his shadow lends a hand.
The street art scene in Buenos Aires, Argentina is so very very rich.
Ride the rails of history in this fantastic street art located on the side of a building adjacent to a parking area in downtown Grass Valley, California — on Church Street.
Old man and a bird. One of our favorite street art pieces in Berlin created during the 2019 Berlin Mural Fest. Smug is an Australian-born street artist – his real name is Sam Bates — and is internationally famous for his detailed murals demonstrating a photo-realistic style. He currently calls Scotland home. This recent mural can be found at Manteuffelstraße 70 in Berlin.
Obama, Merkel & Putin. The three are portrayed in the classic Buddhist pose of the three wise monkeys—see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. This famous piece of street art, created in 2014, is located in Kreuzberg (Berlin) at Ritterstraße 12.
Penguins are always so cute! Here on the back wall of the narrow Richard Gamble Memorial Park, you find this mama and her baby watching you. Step off the N street car from downtown San Francisco in Cole Valley and you are suddenly in a different, neighborly world with great restaurants and coffee houses. Try it some time! And go visit the penquins in the park too.
Street art, Salé, Morocco. Salé is across the river from Rabat, Morocco’s capital, where all the tourists end up in the Medina and Kasbah — both sights worth seeing. Salé however is local and friendly, with a small-town feel. Even Moroccans wondered why we were going to Salé, but it’s a great experience that is entirely the opposite of the circus of large and over-touristed towns like Marrakech. Learn more about amazing places to see in Morocco at http://bit.ly/moroccotravels
Street art around every corner in Berlin. Look up from the Landwehr Canal and a dreary residential area suddenly comes alive. This one, signed by ArtMos4, is on Brachvogelstrasse right at the canal’s south side.
Street art created during Wide Open Walls in Sacramento, California. The annual Wide Open Walls street art event in California’s capital of Sacramento attracts street artists from around the world each August. The city has hundreds of murals all over its streets that add to the city’s vibrance. The beauty of the event is taking walks to see murals being created and interacting with the artists.
Street artists in action! The annual Wide Open Walls art event in California’s capital of Sacramento attracts street artists from around the world each August. The city has hundreds of murals all over its streets that add to the city’s vibrance. The beauty of the event is taking walks to see murals being created and interacting with the artists. Herakut from Berlin was just finishing her workday on this amazing piece last year when we stopped to chat.
Street art extravaganza at Mauerpark. On many Sundays when the weather is nice, a section of the Berlin Wall in Mauerpark attracts street artists from around Berlin, Germany, Europe and the world to create new, colorful, masterpieces. Each works, side-by-side with others, on their own section of wall as music from performers on the open grass space below reverberates through the air.
Feeling the street art vibe. On the opposite end of the spectrum from chic Blankenese in Hamburg, Germany, is the counter-cultural area of Sternschanze or Schanzenviertel not far from the Hamburg Congress Center. Like street art? More buildings are decorated here than are not. Looking for organic restaurants, hip cafes or alternative cuisine? This could be for you. We frankly love it. If street art is your thing – as it has become ours in seeking it out around the world – you could opt for a Street Art Tour in Hamburg too, such as with Alternative Hamburg. Learn more about Hamburg here — http://bit.ly/hamburg-guide
Falcons flying over Rochester at sunset. Located on the side of Cook Iron Store on Andrews Street in Rochester, New York, this amazing street art was created by local artists Justin Suarez and Sarah C. Rutherford. The street art scene is vibrant in Rochester!
“New Dawn” by artist Miles Toland — a street art mural installed on the Everhart Hotel in Grass Valley, California. The installation highlights mental health awareness and suicide prevention. The mural features a faceless figure. The messages that circle the head read, “We all get lost inside our minds” and “You are not alone. Be a survivor” circle the figure’s head. There is a Pelton water wheel behind the head — a tribute to the hotel owner’s grandfather, A.D. Foote who was superintendent at the North Star Mine and installed the largest operating Pelton water wheel at the time.
Stand, stare, smile and wonder at this fanciful street art scene created on a building in Chinatown, San Francisco.
Man in a mural. This Chinatown mural depicts San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1889. It is a proud photo opp for many residents and visitors.
Martini rabbit in black and white. Street artist Brett Crawford created a wonderful piece of street art in downtown Sacramento for the Wide Open Walls street art festival. The artwork has touches of color, but we wanted to show it in stark black and white for your viewing pleasure.
Street art in Lyon. Therese grabbed this photo as a motorbike passed in front of the magical colors and art on Rue Diderot in Lyon. Large street art murals abound in Lyon, France.
Leipzig — Where the protest movement against the GDR regime began in 1989, a movement that led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. This is a small part of an enormously impressive mural painted by Leipzig artist Michael Fischer-Art on the side of the Leipzig Marriott hotel. You can see it from the main train station.
Watching the flowing and colorful street art style of Yandy Graffer (aka Abraham Portocarrero) during ReTrouvailles My Presqu’île 2018 in Lyon, France.
Street art surprises! Hidden in the back alleys and beside parking lots of Midtown Sacramento is some stunning street art (and sometimes a great insider coffee house). So don’t ignore the little alleys with names like Jazz, Improv or Kayak! This glorious piece of art is behind 2020 J Street on Jazz Alley.
Michael trying to become one with the street art near Urban Nation on Bülowstrasse in Berlin. Not sure he’s really “blending”. Artwork is by street artist Rabbit. And because we will get asked, Michael’s Panasonic G5 camera is secured to his pack strap with a Peak Design Capture clip (which he loves) and the strap is an ultralight one also from Peak Design.
Celebrating street art in Berlin. Berlin Mural Fest 2018 gathering street artists and urban art lovers from around the world. This is Therese showing love for some amazing existing street art at Teufelsberg, a must-see destination for street art lovers visiting Berlin. Learn more about Teufelsberg here — http://bit.ly/visit-teufelsberg
Amazing, colorful street art by Hamburg artist Nulon (Aimal Jahed, from Kabul, Afghanistan). A Hamburg resident since 1982, Nulon created this artwork in 2017 in collaboration with the St. Georg district to celebrate cultural diversity in the community. Learn more about Hamburg here — http://bit.ly/hamburg-guide
Award-winning travel writers and photographers, Michael Hodgson and Therese Iknoian, use words, art, video and photography to inspire you to embark on your own travel adventures. They are members of the North American Travel Journalists Association, the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association, and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
Destinations Our favorite street art from around the world