magazine | Travel | Art + Design

13 of the Best Cities for Spotting Street Art

photo: Autumn Studio
There are cities where you might spot a beautiful work of art down a hidden alleyway, and there are cities where you wind up spending an entire day weaving in and out of neighborhoods with colorful murals and graffiti adorned buildings. Street art brightens up cities around the world and allows artists to really get their names out there while creating something accessible. In this day and age, nearly every city we visit has some sort of street art scene, but it's the cities that are commissioning murals and protecting famous street art pieces that are the focus of today's escapades. So, come along as we stroll along the banks of the Seine, pop into Miami for an art walk and cross the globe in search of the best cities for spotting street art.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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Lisbon

Portugal
Lisbon’s aged architecture proves a great backdrop for some of the city’s best street art. While the city has been known to foot the bill on street art commissions for installs that cover dilapidated buildings, the local art galleries also play a big role in bringing in international artists for large-scale murals like this piece by PichiAvo.
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Paris

France
There are plenty of tourist groups that offer street art tours of Paris, but you can easily spot some of the best works on a walk through the 13th, the 19th, or from Oberkampf to Ménilmontant. Earlier this year, the street artist known as Seth Globepainter was commissioned by Itinerrance Gallery to create an epic rainbow walkway painting along the banks of the Seine.
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Vienna

Austria
Vienna is home to a whole lot of talented street artists. Just take a wander through the street art passage that leads to Museumsquartier and you’ll spot plenty of styles, patterns, portraits, tags and more. A recent art festival known as Calle Libre brought in artist Zesar Bahamonte to paint this epic mural at Ludwid-Hirsh-Platz park.
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Miami

Florida
Miami’s Wynwood Arts District is a neighborhood of art galleries, museums, and warehouses that have been transformed into mural canvases. Every second Saturday of the month, there’s an art walk with food trucks, live music and artisan markets, making scoping out art into a monthly event.
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Melbourne

Victoria, Australia
Melbourne’s laneways and arcades stretch along Flinders Lane from Russell Street to Swanston Street, creating a maze of ever-changing graffiti, murals, stencils and posters. Scattered among the artworks are cozy cafes, boutiques, bars and restaurants. You’ll also find murals and street art dotted throughout the city’s northside neighborhoods.
Photo: Andrew Ridley
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Berlin

Germany
One of Berlin’s most famous mural pieces is of a floating astronaut/cosmonaut by artist Victor Ash that’s been around for over a decade. New street art goes up daily in this city, with the East Side Gallery exhibiting a long stretch of murals and graffiti right on the remnant of the Berlin Wall.
Photo: Low Bros
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Los Angeles

California
A walk through the Arts District in LA never disappoints for spotting incredible murals. This summer, an exhibition called Beyond the Streets featured over 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor artworks from over a hundred artists that have been a big part of the global street art scene, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami and more.
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Mexico City

Mexico
The museums and galleries of Mexico City are always a big hit with tourists to this bustling metropolis, but the street art is equally impressive. Short on exploration time? Head straight to Foro Cultural MUJAM to lay eyes on wall-to-wall murals by local and international artists.
Photo: mhoo_krobb
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London

United Kingdom
Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Camden and Brixton are some of the best neighborhoods for street art spotting in London. Renowned street artist Banksy has pieces strewn throughout the city and you’re likely to spot a rat he’s stenciled or a political commentary piece around town.
Photo: reaganzara
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Austin

Texas
Austin’s “I love you” graffiti on South Congress is a must-Insta for coupled-up tourists visiting the Texan town, but it’s not the only street art you’ll see. In fact, this is probably the only city in the world where you can scope out a giant Willie Nelson portrait, a Ron Burgundy mural and a Selena tribute on the streets.
Photo: loumdt
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Brooklyn

New York
Brooklyn is, and always has been, a mecca for street artists. For decades, the streets have been filled with graffiti tags and pop-up art pieces. These days, the legacy continues and nonprofit organization, The Bushwick Collective, hooks up local artists with a place to paint, and visitors with a place to see one-of-a-kind artworks in the popular Bushwick neighborhood.
Photo: Ivan Roque
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New Orleans

Louisiana
With its famous street performances, music that pours onto the streets and wildly creative parades and festivals, New Orleans is a city that’s known for its eclectic art scene. In recent years, it’s also become a popular destination for street artists looking to create large-scale murals. Local organization Nola Mural Project matches up artists with walls where they can install their vibrant creations, so you can find these artworks all over the city.
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Reykjavik

Iceland
Lax graffiti laws in Reykjavik allow street artists to do their thing throughout the city, and you’ll spot plenty of art installations on a stroll through downtown. Over on the west side, Australian artist Guido van Helten painted his mural, “Hell is other people...” on the Loftkastalinn Building back in 2014 and it remains in a series of three photorealism murals based on local artists’ photography.

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