Traveling is the world’s greatest luxury in my opinion. When exploring any new city my eye is immediately drawn to street art. I seek it out at every new destination. Art defines culture. And street artists represent the everyday people of the city rather than the (sometimes) elitist artists that are displayed in museums. The best part is that street art is free. Having and outdoor museum experience as you’re off to grab lunch makes any city so much more special. Europe is a great part of the world for such art. Traveling through Europe you’ll find the cream of the crop in every medium of art and the street art is no exception.
Of all the colorful and artistic cities in the world Lisbon may be my favorite. This is a wonderful and friendly city that is made even more captivating by it’s street art. Art is everywhere in Lisbon. Lots of the hilly urban streets have amazing works of art from a variety of artists. What’s most intriguing about Lisbon is the social commentary painted on its walls. Portugal was freed from dictatorship in 1974 so its new found political and social freedom is splattered all over the capital city of Lisbon. These artists aren’t afraid to express their opinion and the city is all the better for it. Street art is Lisbon is incredible.
For more Lisbon street art click HERE
Although Amsterdam isn’t quite as filled with street art the way other European cities are it still is worth a mention when it comes to quality urban art. There are many replicas of classic pieces painted outside of buildings and even public restrooms. Rembrandt’s “Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild” (above) is reproduced in the Red Light District outside of what I believe is a brothel. Other masterworks are reproduced all over the city. Amazing Dutch masters aren’t just inside the museums in Amsterdam. They are outside on the streets for everybody to love. The classic old-world beauty of this city is enhanced by this art and makes it a fantastic places for some great photo ops.
Dublin is not heavy on street art. Though it is a world-class destination for museums. In fact it is one of the most underrated cities in the world for quality museums. The streets, however, have the occasional art piece that helps to make the city even more special. Near Trinity College and the National Wax Museum there is an excellent shopping/dining district that is very animated and richly decorated. These colorful streets are the prettiest part of Dublin. The city is quite colorful and many streets have a rainbow of differently painted buildings. The spectrum of color in Dublin is impressive.
Artistically it’s easy to identify Athens with its ancient ruins and statues of Greek gods and goddesses. While these relics are as amazing as one could imagine there is a lot more to Athens than Ancient temples and marble statues. The Plaka neighborhood of Athens (which is near the Acropolis) is a pretty colorful and fun experience. There are a number of street art pieces here that are worth note. While most of the city seems to be painted white (white buildings are a trademark of Greek culture) some areas explore a little more color and variation. Street art is not huge in Athens but it’s worth a glance.
Barcelona has this incredible personality that is hard to describe. It’s a little bit kooky and a little bit sophisticated. The streets are unlike anywhere in Europe mainly due to the unusually beautiful architecture across the city making it the perfect city for street art. Barcelona’s artistic history is very unique and the street artists painting the walls today are just as unique. “Alternative” would certainly be the word to describe the street art scene here. The city is colorful and full of life and the murals, graffiti and street art match this spirit.
For more Barcelona art click HERE
Paris is a true street art haven. This may be the world’s best city when it comes to art in general so the street art truly delivers. The 5th and 13th arrondissement of Paris are the most heavily painted but really the whole city is replete with jaw-dropping street art. The variety of styles is endless. There is very specific Parisian personality in all the pieces. The streets of Paris just wouldn’t be the same without all this modern and amazing paint.
For more Street Art in Paris click HERE
Brussels is perhaps one of the world’s greatest cities for street art. Most of the works within the city are Comic Frescoes. Belgium has a thing for comic strips and even has the nickname “Comic Strip Capital of Europe”. Brussels even has an epic museum dedicated to this medium called the “Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée”. Though the museum is incredible, the streets of Brussels are an outdoor museum in their own right. Gigantic comics can be found around every corner on apartment buildings and shops. Jean Roba is one of the best known Belgian artists for this style of street art. This childish and fun approach to street art is certainly not typical of most other European cities. But this is what makes Brussels so special. The innocence of the art is refreshing. In art terms, Brussels is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Click HERE for most Street Art in Brussels.