Where to Find Street Art in Europe

Where to Find Street Art in Europe

Travel Tips

Wandering through the quaint and picture-perfect UNESCO town of Česky Krumlov in Czechia, I didn’t expect to find much street art. When you think of street art in Europe, you definitely don’t image this little cookie-cutter village. Česky isn’t Berlin, to state the obvious. But to my surprise, I turned a corner and saw this image staring back at me:

I was instantly amused. It’s a beautiful piece of street art, sending a clever message, and creative in composition. But what struck me the most was its odd placement.

I looked left to find a winding cobblestone street, the average wanderer ducking into a narrow alley. I looked right to find rows of pastel facades, immaculately preserved and protected. It’s no secret that Česky Krumlov is one of Europe’s favorite fairytale towns. Yet here stood a piece of street art, seemingly out of place.

I whipped out my cell phone to snap a quick photo while thinking, why is it still here?

Of course, the answer is clear: it remains here for a reason, and my mobile clutching hands were the answer. (At least I wasn’t taking a selfie, right?)

Is the Selfie Ruining Travel?

Česky Krumlov is the definition of romanticized European tourism: a winding river circumventing the Old Town; adorable facades, red roofs, and old iron signage; the castle’s tower dominating the scene; sprawling royal gardens with little huts surrounded by dense woods. I mean, this town even has a bear moat. (I’m serious, look it up!)

And you know what, Dan and I guiltlessly joined the ranks on a long holiday weekend. We knew it was a tourist beacon, but this town was worth it. After immediately entering the Old Town, however, we witnessed actual busloads of tourists, each one carrying their own camera (or two). Selfie sticks stood high, bouncing along with the crowds, constantly ready for the next moment to strike a pose.

Well, doesn’t this play perfectly into the artist’s message? It’s easy to get lost behind a camera screen and forget where we are when we travel. Sometimes I watch people take selfie after selfie, then grumble about the uneven cobblestones of a street, or (ironically) that there are too many people to get the perfect shot. To me, I interpret this street art as a cautionary tale. Our obsession with the perfect selfie is distracting us from experiencing a place. Well done, Česky, well done. 

10 Cities For Street Art in Europe

Whether it be the support of the arts or to send a message to onlookers, street art in Europe has become a popular option for city expression, and an awesome way to spend an afternoon. I enjoy it in general, but I especially love when its creative twist makes a controversial statement, when it forces me stop and think. Street art is a big part of urban culture, and many flock to find the best scenes. Here are some of my favorite places to find street art in Europe.


Berlin, Germany

Why you’ll like it:

Berlin is the king of hip, the coolest cool city in Europe. It practically breathes street art. So not only is it easy to find in the city, but some of its murals have become famous pieces of art and viral political images. It requires almost no planning: just walk and look. So if you’re on the hunt for street art in Europe, you should start here.

Where to find it:


→ Check it Out: 5 Cities More Hipster Than Berlin 


Milan, Italy

Why you’ll like it:

Milan is a surprising city when it comes to street art in Europe. It’s the fashion capital of the continent, so artistic expression should be expected. But in this polished business city, it’s half the fun to happen upon these pieces.

Where to find it:


Prague, Czechia

Why you’ll like it:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the John Lennon wall in Prague, right? It’s famous for a very good reason. It promotes a peaceful message while paying tribute to one of music’s most famous legends. The colors are so bright and it’s located off a side street in Prague’s hip Malá Strana neighborhood where you can mosey around and find other unique pieces.

Where to find it:


Munich, Germany

Why you’ll like it:

If you feel a bit too cool to flock to Berlin to find street art in Europe, then check out Munich instead. Again, art is all over this city, so there’s really no reason to plan it. The urban vibe contrasts perfectly with some of Munich’s monuments and historical sites. And as a bonus, you can meander through the city’s beautiful parks on your way to-and-from these gorgeous murals.

Where to find it:

  • Ludwigs Bridge underpass
  • Near the Angel of Peace
  • East train station
  • English Garden – Brudermühl Bridge

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Why you’ll love it:

Ljubljana is one of the most arts-centric cities in Europe. There is art in every corner, you just have to keep looking. You’ll find it in parks, on main streets, in hidden alleyways, in the sky hanging from wires, or at the city’s (not one, but two) autonomous public and social art spaces.

Where to find it:


→ Check it out: How to Spend Two Days in Ljubljana


Zagreb, Croatia

Why you’ll like it:

Zagreb is another city where it’s easy to find street art; but what I love most about the public art in Zagreb is the poetic attitude from the artists themselves. It’s ever-changing, and the artists know and accept that. This means you can keep going back to the city and see an entirely different show. Make sure you take photos because you won’t know if your favorite will be there come morning.

Where to find it:


Paris, France

Why you’ll like it:

Street art in Paris? I know, it seems so odd to find graffiti in one of Europe’s most posh cities. But it’s there and it’s waiting for you. There’s even an entire neighborhood filled with it, but you can go to any arrondissement and find a little art poking out of a side street.

Where to find it:

  • Ordener Street
  • Laurence Savart Street
  • Belleville

Krákow, Poland

Why you’ll like it:

Well, Kazimierz is the perfect place for street art in Europe. It’s the old Jewish neighborhood of Krákow, so the art tends to be both visual and mental. But you can find art all over the city, including an entire park devoted to graffiti. Or, shop your favorite art at the city’s trendy poster gallery.

Where to find it:

  • Kazimierz
  • Poster Gallery
  • Graffiti Park near Museum of Contemporary Art

→ Check it Out: A Photo Essay: Krákow, Poland


Barcelona, Spain

Why you’ll like it:

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is one of the most beautiful displays of architecture in Europe, in my opinion. Wandering through this narrow streets is the dream. But you can’t walk far without stumbling upon some amazing street art. You can also hang out in La Carbonería, one of the city’s oldest buildings, where public art has taken over.

Where to find it:


Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Why you’ll like it:

Aside from the fact that the city hosts a festival devoted to its remarkable street art every year, Mostar is a part of a recovering region, one hit by tragedy only a couple of decades old. A lot of the art is either symbolic of the war or located in abandoned Yugoslav Army buildings. So art truly meets history here.

Where to find it:

 

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Europe has a lot of street art. Here is some of the best and where to find it!

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski
    February 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I’m obsessed with street art and love the images you found on your travels. I wish I could have spent more time in Krakow, Prague, and Barcelona to find it. We have quite a bit here in Los Angeles.

    • Reply
      ashmerscher
      February 4, 2018 at 10:44 am

      I’ve never been to Los Angeles, but now knowing that there is a lot of street art, I suppose it’s a must! Thanks for the tip. I hope you can return to those cities one day, or plan some new street art travel 🙂 Thank you for reading, Rebecca!

  • Reply
    Patrick weseman
    February 3, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Wow, so cool. What a great guide. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      ashmerscher
      February 4, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I’m happy your enjoyed the guide! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    Christine
    February 3, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Love all your street art finds! I’m saving some of them for future trips!

    • Reply
      ashmerscher
      February 4, 2018 at 10:41 am

      Thanks for reading, Christine! So glad your future trips will involve some beautiful street art 🙂

  • Reply
    Kat
    March 3, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    This is so interesting, thanks for posting! Worth checking out Glasgow in Scotland too, there’s an incredible trail of murals throughout the city centre.

    • Reply
      ashmerscher
      March 7, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Thanks for the tip, Kat! I was in Edinburgh recently, but I’m already wanting to go back to see more of the country. I’ll definitely check out Glasgow too! Thanks for reading 🙂

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