For decades, street art has been a mainstay for hundreds of urban spaces around the world. Many people visit cities to enjoy their eye-catching, culturally inspired works. (How many Instagram travellers have you seen smiling in front of a vivid, artsy backdrop for their profile photo?) For art lovers, it’s always a lot of fun seeking out the unique styles and influences a city has to offer. So if you’re wondering where to find the best works, here are six incredible street art destinations you don’t want to miss.
Valparaiso in Chile is home to an incredible array of street art found almost everywhere. While street art or ‘tagging’ (graffiti signatures) are illegal in many parts of the world, it’s actively encouraged in Valparaiso.
Thousands of travellers visit the city just to discover its unique local art. If you don’t know where to start looking on your visit, you can take an official street art tour which will take you to all the best spots. These tours are a lot of fun and a great way to meet other art enthusiasts.
The Polish capital of Warsaw has gained a fantastic reputation for its legal street artists, who create eye-catching, multi-storey wall murals. Artists often band together and work rapidly over several days to create these incredible works. They encompass a rich assortment of narratives from traditional folklore to abstract splashes of colour.
Ask locals for advice on where to find the most prominent or interesting murals. Then enjoy where their recommendations take you! If you already have a favourite mural that made your jaw drop in a book or online, plan your visit to stop by that area so you don’t miss out seeing it.
Colombia’s capital city has a diverse range of street artists who create thought-provoking work. The moment you start exploring Bogota, you’ll quickly discover colourful, inspirational, unique artwork, in particular in the historic La Candelaria district.
Street art is legal in many parts of Colombia, which has given artists the freedom to create some truly controversial murals. Unsurprisingly, much of the street art is heavily focused on Colombian politics.
Mexico City, Mexico
It’s certainly not difficult to spot fantastic street art in Mexico City. Walls and buildings throughout the Mexican capital are wonderfully decorated with culturally inspired patterns and designs.
Head to La Roma for some of the city’s most vibrant works or the Coyoacan neighbourhood for art with a more religious theme. However, if you’re not sure where to start looking, guided graffiti walking tours are available to give you a deeper insight into this city’s diverse offerings.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo is one of Brazil’s most vibrant cities, and this is reflected in its colourful and unique street art. The city’s walls and alleyways are packed with amazing murals created by some of the world’s most impressive street artists.
Many of these artists use their art to address critical issues, like poverty and unemployment. Making for both an exciting and educational viewing experience.
The city of Istanbul has seen more and more street artists emerge in recent years. The Mural Istanbul Street Art Festival, in particular, has become an excellent way for new street artists to show off their unique talents.
As a result of the growing street art culture, Istanbul’s once empty walls are now more colourful than ever. And whilst you’re exploring, don’t miss out on top sights such as the Blue Mosque and vast Grand Bazaar.
Harper has travelled to many amazing parts of the world but has yet to tour the best travel destinations in South America – her wish list starts with Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her work can be found on various sites and blogs, including New Zealand business site Keith Andrews. Say hi to Harper on Tumblr.