The Best Street Art on the Globe

by | Jul 6, 2023 | HelloVacay, Inspiration | 0 comments

For the last fifty years, there’s a good argument to be made that the most innovative, interesting or at the very least iconic visual artists of their time haven’t come from prestigious art universities—but have come from the street. Cities who birth masters may find brush strokes across their buildings. Famous for their distinct style honed over years of practice on the sidewalk and walls, Artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Shepherd Fairy have all become superstars with their original art now selling for multi-million dollar tickets and their prints on various articles of clothing and merchandise.

As the art world continues to evolve, with new technologies that expand what is possible both in the creative process and in the distribution and sale of art—the street remains a laboratory where the world's next genius can experiment. Here are some of the most creative cities on the planet when it comes to street art.

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss.”

New York City, USA

Let’s get the most obvious choice out first, New York is the birthplace of the modern street art movement. While the city recently suffered a great loss with the demolition of 5 Pointz, the graffiti mecca of Queens, the city still abounds with creativity in all five boroughs.

Street art in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

Poetry, Traditional Imagery and Political Messages are all common sites on Mexico City's walls. The history of city art stems back even before the street art boom of the modern day, back to the 1920s when Mexico City was famous for its murals—they’ve been a cultural capital for city art ever since.

Street art in Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

The walls of Berlin are tagged with paintings from some of Europe’s best street artists—from new and evolving scenes to the historically significant East Side Gallery which memorializes the protest of Communist-era Germany—you’ll find creativity all around.

Street art in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

The launch of the Crono Project in 2010—a group who commissioned street artists to transform Lisbon’s neglected buildings—brought international attention to the city. With a history of colorful streets stemming back to their Azulejos tiles, today the city maintains this tradition and attracts artists internationally.

São Paulo, Brazil

Since the Brazilian government legalized street art in 2009, the largest city in South America has enjoyed a flourish of color throughout its streets. While there are a few iconic spots in Sao Paulo, if nothing else make sure to see Batman Alley (Beco do batman) whose winding streets have become something of a street art Mecca.

Street art in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is one of those special cities where the local government embraces and guides the emerging street art scene, rather than erasing it. The government of graffiti management plans and commissions pieces from local and international artists, and it shows on the intricately designed streets of the city.

Street art in George Town, Malaysia

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

This UNESCO world heritage city is also home to one of Asia’s most famous collections of street art. The city already has a tremendous amount of character with its colonial-era buildings, but thanks to artist contributors like Ernest Zacharevic, George Town has an added layer of creativity.

Street art in Angoulême, France

Angoulême, France

Home to the European School of Visual Arts, this small town a few hundred miles away from Paris has been dubbed the “Capital of the Comic Strip” with the help of its creative campus and annual comic festival.

Street art in Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaíso, Chile

The bohemian hub of Chile, known for its beachside buildings that are bright and colorful, “Valpo” has a special history with its street art scene. Pablo Neruda, at the time a Chilean diplomat to Mexico (and later a Nobel laureate poet), was so impressed by the murals in Mexico City that he invited many of the artists back with him to Valparaíso—sowing the seeds of creativity in this coastal city.


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About The Author

Bradley Beachum

Bradley Beachum

Bradley Beachum is a content marketer, entrepreneur and artist whose interests range from blockchain technologies to filmmaking. His passion for emerging technologies and media, and the way these forces will shape our day to day lives in the near future, bleed through in all his work.

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