By Briana Seftel
Love it or hate it, street art is here to stay. In cities around the world, street art has blossomed into a must-see attraction for many. For those who find themselves seeking out colorful murals, check out these nine destinations where street art is king.
One of the most recognizable figures in street art is the elusive Banksy, whose political and often funny stencil artwork has enraptured London for more than a decade. While his artwork often creates a frenzy, there are many other street artists to enjoy in England's capital, particularly in the neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Camden.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazil's largest city buzzes with incredible street art. One of the best places to see art is the neighborhood of Vila Madalena, where the Beco de Batman (Batman Alley) is covered with street art. You can also head for the Cambuci neighborhood where the famed artists OsGemeos got their start.
After the economic downturn in 2010, Greece's capital saw a huge increase in street art and graffiti often ripe with political tones. Nowadays, Athens is a mecca for street artists looking to push the envelope. Most of the city's street art can be found downtown.
There is much to love in Colombia's capital, from the historic La Candelaria district to Monserrate. It's also a great city for street art lovers. Since graffiti isn't strictly illegal in the city, it has encouraged artists from around the world to create beautiful and colorful murals. You can even take a street art walking tour with Bogota Graffiti Tour.
Like many cities in Belgium, the port city of Ghent is a wonderful mix of medieval architecture and modern flair. It's also home to a vibrant street art scene, most notably on the aptly named Graffiti Street (Werregarenstraatje), an open-air gallery filled with unique artworks. There is even an annual arts festival "Sorry, Not Sorry" celebrating street art.
Another South American city known for street art, Santiago bursts will colorful murals inviting quiet contemplation or joyous celebration. Any street art tour should begin in Barrio Bellavista, a neighborhood where business owners have commissioned artists to make their buildings more attractive. The Museo a Cielo Abierto, an open-air gallery commissioned by the Chilean government in 2010, is also another hot spot for art peeping.
Cape Town, South Africa
Shedding its difficult past, South Africa has blossomed into a bucket list destination for safari, vibrant cities, and stunning coastline. In Cape Town, this resurgance has translated into a world-class street art scene, evident in neighborhoods like Woodstock, Distict Six, and Cape Town CBD.
Australia's alternative hub has gained international notoriety for its street art, made legal by the government. Head straight for Hosier Lane, where art covers every nook and cranny, then continue wandering around the city for more works of art. Check out this helpful map for a guide to Melbourne's street art.
Alternative and edgy, the capital of Germany has unvrivaled street art around every corner. Don't miss the East Side Gallery, a portion of the Berlin Wall that is the world's largest open-air gallery. In September 2017, Urban Nation opened in Berlin, becoming the world’s first major institution dedicated to street art and graffiti.