World's top 10 best cities for street art

BUENOS AIRES

Relaxed laws around street art, a plethora of abandoned buildings and the Latino taste for adding magic to the mundane make the Argentine capital a free-for-all playground for street artists. The city hosts international street art festivals and its well-organised Buenos Aires Street Art collective has sponsored mural projects in Coghlan and Villa Urquiza that have transformed these neighbourhoods into the city's first urban art district.

See buenosairesstreetart.com

EAST SIDE GALLERY, BERLIN

Berlin, Germany - September 28, 2018: People walking on the western side of the East Side Gallery wall of Berlin Germany at day SunOct6Ten - TRAVELLER 10 Top cities for street art - Michael Gebicki
iStock image for Traveller. Re-use permitted.

Photo: iStock

While the western side of the Berlin Wall was always a target for graffiti artists, the east side, facing communist East Germany, was bare. In 1989, when it ceased to be a barrier, this 1300-metre section of the Berlin Wall morphed into the world's longest street-art canvas. Edgy and often sardonic, many of the gallery's 100 murals are now celebrated for their iconic status.

See visitberlin.de

PRAGUE

Prague, Czech Republic - September 11, 2014: Famous John Lennon Wall on Kampa Island in Prague is filled with Beatles inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics since the 1980s. Graffities are drawn on daily basis. SunOct6Ten - TRAVELLER 10 Top cities for street art - Michael Gebicki
iStock image for Traveller. Re-use permitted.?The famous?John Lennon Wall on Kampa Island in Prague is filled with Beatles inspired graffiti and lyrics.? Photo: iStock

From the 1980s when graffiti artists began daubing the city's walls by night in protest against the communist regime, street art has morphed into a more whimsical form of expression not just for the discontented. While the Lennon Wall, the city's street-art icon, has suffered from graffitists, the former working class suburb of Zizkov, Vltavská Metro Station and the boho-favourite Holesovice are where the action is. Expect a touch of Kafka.

See prague.eu

THE LANEWAYS, MELBOURNE

Melbourne, Australia - Sep 9, 2015: Street artist creating graffiti at Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia. Hosier Lane is a laneway in CBD of Melbourne, It is a popular landmark in Melbourne due to its graffitti covered walls and urban art. SunOct6Ten - TRAVELLER 10 Top cities for street art - Michael Gebicki
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Hosier Lane. Photo: iStock

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Street art has blossomed in the dark and narrow passageways of the laneways at the heart of the city, with love, politics, anarchy and social angst spelled out on the walls in a world-class display. Hosier Lane, Union Lane, AC/DC Lane and Croft Alley form the nexus, a perfect side serve to the laneways'??bar/cafe?scene, but Fitzroy's Johnston and Rose streets deserve a long look.

See melbournestreettours.com

NEW YORK CITY

02 April 2019: Chelsea Square Market, Building at the corner of W 18th Street and 10th Avenue, Manhattan, New York, USA. Wall painting of Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi created by Eduardo Kobra Mural. SunOct6Ten - TRAVELLER 10 Top cities for street art - Michael Gebicki
iStock image for Traveller. Re-use permitted.

Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi mural created by Eduardo Kobra?at the corner of W 18th Street and 10th Avenue, Manhattan, New York. Photo: iStock

The white-hot centre of the genre, NYC has a long and vibrant street art scene, helped along by an enlightened administration that has recruited more than 200 young artists to paint the city's dull and crime-ridden housing projects. Just off Brooklyn's Flushing Avenue, the Bushwick Collective is a transformative graffiti and art project that has attracted the supreme talents of the genre, displayed on the area's industrial and residential buildings Download the Street Art NYC app and you're away.

See?freetoursbyfoot.com

LONDON

Witty, irreverent and pointed, the capital's street art is focused on Shoreditch, with Covent Garden and Camden as sidebars and Leake Street Tunnel beneath Waterloo Station a pilgrimage site for connoisseurs of the genre. The city's East End walls were the scene of a famous shoot-out with paintbrushes drawn between the legendary Banksy and King Robbo, who ritually defaced each other's art in a running street art battle starting in 2009.

See?shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk

VALPARAISO

Photo: iStock

This is Chile's cultural cauldron, a hubble-bubble of creative energy, vitality and itchy spirits. Some of its artists have taken their brushes to the streetscapes, decorating the houses with huge murals that celebrate, criticise, inflame and entertain. A distinctive South American voice emerges in the narrative street-art works that spread their wings as they abandon dull reality –?magical realism transported from print to walls, paint instead of pen.

See valpostreetart.com

ARTS DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES

This post-industrial streetscape of former warehouses and factories in Downtown LA has become a city-sanctioned mecca for murals with more than 100 artworks. Some of the biggest names in contemporary street art have left their mark on the walls including Nychos, Ricardo Gonzalez, Chris Chan Shim, LA's own illumin-arty Tristan Eaton and Neuman, one of the small but growing number of women street artists.

See discoverlosangeles.com

PARIS

Witty as well as pretty, the street art of Paris is as accomplished as you'd expect from the city that gave the world some of the greatest names in 19th and 20th century art. Works are scattered throughout the city, aided and abetted by a city hall with a new-found enthusiasm for street art. The mother lode is to be found in the north-east of Paris, in the louche districts of Belleville, Oberkampf and Menilmontant.

See en.parisinfo.com

MEXICO CITY

Street art took root here in the 1990s with returning emigres fired by the urban artworks of New York and LA, but rather than a derivative form these bright, exultant murals take their cues from the fantastic and Mayan-infused Mexican culture. The hotspots include La Romita, Plaza Luis Cabrera, Coyocan for its naive religious art and add an asterisk to Avenida Reforma, where you can see some of the finest works of Axolotl Collective.

See stylewalkmexico.com

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