As Graffiti Art Murals Continue to Adorn Our City Walls, Here’s A Comprehensive List of Some of The Most Instagrammable Street Art in The World.
Article Updated September 2018
Street art wall murals around the world have gathered cult like followings that all began with the mysterious Banksy. Some of the more famous street art are easily found whilst others are hidden away so safely, you would need a local to help you find them. From 3D art on buildings and pavements to gigantic murals where you have to tilt your head upwards towards the sky, there certainly is no shortage of some super cool and highly Instagrammable street art. As with anything of this generation, they are not always permanent, so the cityscape is ever changing. Don’t think that just because you had visited it once, that it will either be the same upon your return of it has simply disappeared due to construction. Photograph them all now before they are all gone!
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – HOSIER LANE & AC/DC LANE, MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA
- #02 – DISTRICT OF BARRANCO, LIMA, PERU
- #03 – WYNWOOD WALLS, MIAMI, FLORIDA
- #04 – GRAHAM ROAD, HONG KONG
- #05 – FORTITUDE VALLEY, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
- #06 – MELROSE AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, USA
- #07 – GEORGETOWN, PULAU PINANG, MALAYSIA
- #08 – CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
- #09 – GORNJI GRAD, ZAGREB, CROATIA
- #10 – SANTA TERESA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- #11 – MONTREAL’S EAST END, QUEBEC, CANADA
- #12 – BERLIN WALL, BERLIN, GERMANY
- BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED STREET ART
#01 – HOSIER LANE & AC/DC LANE, MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA
By Amy Chung @familyglobetrotters
Melbourne prides itself on all things hidden, secret passageways, non-descript entrances and cobblestone laneways. Head down the most famous of the stone lined paths of Hosier Lane and you’ll find yourself in the most decorated graffiti art streets in Melbourne. The graffiti walls are incredibly edgy, vibrant in colour and unlike most dedicated street art murals and installations. Hosier Lane is ever-changing. Some of the art work change even daily so don’t think you only ever need to visit it once. The art does need to keep up politically and culturally after all and ensuring the social aspects of the city are well covered.
Also running off Flinders Lane, close to Hosier Lane is AC/DC Lane. In 2004, this laneway was renamed AC/DC Lane to pay homage to the famous Australian rock band. If you’re a fan, check out the tribute art of Malcolm Young and the fairly new addition of Bon Scott. AC/DC Lane also features other musicians both fictional and otherwise. Loop around the lane and you’ll find yourself in Duckboard Place and be faced with a colossal mural creeping up the walls of a tall building.
Melbourne street art has always been a wonderful addition to this Australian city. There are so many other streets and laneways to discover of which I always advocate all guests to this city to hop on a street art tour of Melbourne, so you can learn all about the art pieces and its artists. Street art is but one of many things to do in this great city. Check out the Top 50 things you can do in Melbourne if you’re heading this way for the first time.
#02 – DISTRICT OF BARRANCO, LIMA, PERU
By Shrawanti Saha @dustyroads_beckon
A stroll through the streets of Barranco, the bohemian neighbourhood of Lima, the capital of Peru threw open vibrant and colourful new surroundings right in my face. Almost all the streets were painted very thoughtfully and it’s a delight to see such beautiful and massive artwork on the walls. What is more interesting is how the paintings in public places have been done without disturbing the existing setup of the adjacent houses or roads. In this shot of mine you can clearly see how the flower pots coexist with the painting and adds up to the grandeur of this stunningly gorgeous piece.
The entire district of Barranco has such vivid street art murals popping out of their walls, which serve as a canvas to the street art artists from all discipline and background. These murals are the outcome of a competition held by the local government for bringing out the potential mural artists and their work. 10 best entries were given wall space but then the whole city saw a makeover and a break from the monotony of plain or uniformly painted walls post this initiative called “Las Paredes Hablan” or The Walls Speak.
The walls in Barranco speak indeed and the language they speak will leave you spellbound. The local government continues to allow more murals to be painted on the street’s walls, thus morphing Barranco into a colourful and lively street art gallery. The picture here has me camouflaged in this colourful mural.
#03 – WYNWOOD WALLS, MIAMI, FLORIDA
By Samita Moolani Katara @whereissamm
Let the colours around you in the world bring out the madness in your soul. Walking around the Wynwood walls in Miami was a journey of reflections within me. From sombre art, to walls making a social impact and statement. This is what I love about art, you see it the way you want to, interpret it the way you feel like and there is no wrong or right. It is definitely modern street art at its best. This wall by Maya Hayuk brought out the crazy in me to match the riots of colours and organised chaos in this piece of modern graffiti art!
#04 – GRAHAM ROAD, HONG KONG
By Edit Zsido @edit_zsido
With this mural, local graffiti artist, Alex Croft reminds spectators of the old townhouses that used to be prevalent in the city. The artist was inspired by the signature print of the lifestyle store G.O.D (Goods of Desire), located just around the corner and thanks to his work, these days it is the most photographed wall in Hong Kong.
What I liked about this piece is the fact that it gave me an idea about how the former city looked like and was amazed of all the little details that were projected. Traditionally Hong Kong has not had a strong urban art culture but the already third edition of the annual street art festival called HK Walls and similar movements are contributing to the creation of a more vibrant and artistic scene in the city.
#05 – FORTITUDE VALLEY, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
By Daniela Matinho @danielamatinho
“Live your light” by Ekaeris is located in the suburb of Fortitude Valley in Brisbane. Tryp is the only hotel in the city with rooms and common areas designed with urban street art. I was walking in the area last week when one of the Tryp Hotel’s graffiti caught my eye. I immediately ran into the hotel to discover the Chur Burger, the colourful onsite food spot of the hotel. This fast food restaurant is full of street art from the graffiti’s in the halls to the chairs or even the tables.
The “Live your light” graffiti made by Ekaeris was the one that really grabbed my attention. I was amazed by the mix of colours, the figures and the countless eyes in that huge drawing on the hall. The several eyes in the picture makes me think about other people’s eyes always looking at your life and criticising it. The graffiti states, “LIVE YOUR LIGHT” and I see it as “live your way, no matter the judgment from others”.
That’s what I try to do: Follow my light and live my life in my own way.
#06 – MELROSE AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, USA
By Michele Dudamel @itineraryshelly
My favourite thing about Los Angeles is that you can find beautiful murals everywhere! I literally stumbled upon this mural, which isn’t just street art, but an ad for a beverage. I absolutely loved the creativity of this company and their out of the box thinking with this genius marketing piece! This mural is one of the great places to take pictures in Los Angeles.
#07 – GEORGETOWN, PULAU PINANG, MALAYSIA
By Celene Pretorius @celeneepretorius
Before 2012 the streets of Georgetown, on the island of Penang, Malaysia, were like most places in the world…quiet and beige. After a commission made by the Municipal Council in 2012, however, Georgetown has since seen over 52 energetic murals splattered across the inner city. Penang wall art was initially thought to simply bring colour to the Georgetown festival, but it became a special movement and a celebration of artists within this old colonial town.
6 years later, not only are the original 12 murals still glowing, but the momentum has carried through to shopfronts, houses and hotels; it seems as though they found a new tourist plug and an amazing one it is.Did you know Malaysia has some of the world's most fascinating Street Art? Almost Banksy like, check out where you can find them with Family Globetrotters #streetart #fmailytravel Click To Tweet
The Penang mural of Marilyn Monroe, located on Lebuh Chulia in front of the Grand Swiss Hotel, welcomes guests with a cheeky smirk. You can tell she is from out of town, however, she looks more than comfortable with calling this place home for a few days. I love that it gives guests of the Grand Swiss Hotel an interactive calling card before they even step in the door. This definitely puts a smile on everyone’s face.
I fell in love with this 3D street art due to its optical illusion. While it may look like I am sitting on the bench next to Marilyn, in actual fact the mural is completely flat, and I am just resting against the wall. It took a bit of adjusting (and a good ability to squat) but definitely something everyone tries as they make their way past. Penang street art is so unique compared to the other more grungy style of art and definitely a must do attraction in Malaysia.
By Mariene Arangoso @sossytraveller
Unassuming, raw and bold – that’s who we are – this mural and I. This feel good and unique street art draws coffee lovers, gen-exers and baby boomers alike into Christchurch’s shopping street across the Avon river. As much as I want to thank the artist, he/she seems incognito.
The worldwide street art phenomenon is a big deal in uplifting New Zealand’s post-quake city Christchurch. The city centre is an urban art gallery with the tourism sector even encouraging visitors from around the world to embrace the artists’ creations in a tour of its so-called street art trail.
#09 – GORNJI GRAD, ZAGREB, CROATIA
By Amy Chung @familyglobetrotters
Unartistic graffiti with clumsy tags are a prevalent sight in Zagreb. The government seems to have a nonchalant attitude towards eliminating this unsightly nuisance across the city. Beautiful historical buildings are vandalised and my first impression of Zagreb wasn’t a favourable one. But like most cities around the world, Zagreb is also beginning to embrace organised street art murals. It certainly wasn’t to counteract their graffiti issue but it at least helped to balance out the awful scribes and so called “art”. Essentially its street art vs graffiti.
This art piece is the perfect example of some of the wonderful Zagreb street art available for viewing. This mural is of Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (1871 – 1922) who was an engineer and inventor. He created the automatic mechanical pencil, the first solid-ink fountain pen, laundry detergent, rotating toothbrush and the thermos bottle. During his lifetime, he completed 80 inventions in physics, chemistry, mechanical, medicine, and aviation.Did you know that Zagreb, Croatia is home to some of the most Instagrammable Street Art in the world? Only things is, you need to know where to look! Click through to find out! Click To Tweet
This wall is located near Gradec in Gornji Grad (Upper Town) and was created by Boris Bare of Pimp my Pump and Dominik Vukovic. Pimp my Pump is a fantastic urban Croatian story. Pimp my Pump is made up of 5 artists who took it upon themselves to transform the old, dark, neglected and rusty water pumps around the city into pieces of art. Every water pump got a facelift and often painted in vibrant colours with pop culture references such as Marge Simpson. Street art in Zagreb continues to become a major part of the city. Hop on a walking tour of Zagreb to include a street art tour so you can enjoy all these amazing works or check out 10 Zagreb Off The Beaten Path Things To Do.
#10 – SANTA TERESA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
By Abena Williams @abena_goes_places
The hilltop neighbourhood rose from the Santa Teresa convent in the 1750s. It is known for its narrow, winding streets. Santa Teresa has the only remaining streetcar in Brazil. The unique street art mural is fun, colourful, and captures the spirit of the funky neighbourhood.
#11 – MONTREAL’S EAST END, QUEBEC, CANADA
By Rebecca Chant @maybethiswayblog
This mural is not famous, you won’t have heard about it, and it is unlikely that you’ll stumble across it. This mural takes over an entire alleyway in Montreal’s east end, and you have to know where to look or come across it at random to even know it is there. This mural by HOARKOR, a collaboration between artists Clarence Quirion Nolin and Shawn Davis might and they may not be well-known but it is representative of the mural culture that is growing in Montreal.
Since 2007, there have been a total of over 177 new murals. Not just small displays of artwork – large murals that span entire buildings. Many of these murals are funded by the City of Montreal. The murals are all done in completely different styles, many by local Montreal artists. This particular one stands out to me with its bold purple design and futuristic vibes – a true hidden gem.
#12 – BERLIN WALL, BERLIN, GERMANY
By Patricia O’Brien @tisha_84_
“A wall with a thousand stories memories laughter and tears”
This is myself Trish in Berlin at the famous Berlin Wall. A wall full of history both good and bad. Built 13th August 1961 this wall cut off West Berlin from East Berlin in an effort to stop the people of West Berlin from crossing during the Cold War. This wall was once a symbolic sign of the lack of freedom which existed.
However, this picture was taken on the East side gallery. In November 1989 the wall was knocked down and the pieces left were painted by artist from all over the world. These murals now symbolise a time of freedom peace and greatness. It represents hope for a free future for all people of the world. In total there are 105 paintings. I felt amazed by the sense of history which surrounds this wall. Along it u find locals selling “pieces” of the wall fridge magnets and ordinary people telling stories. Musicians dot the street also. This stunning piece of art is well worth a visit and represents some of the best street art in Berlin.
Street Art tourism is booming all around the world and whilst it’s easy enough to head to some of the more famous murals in any particular city, we still think street art tours make all the difference. Most of the best street art around the world have significant meaning and are borne out of socialism, politics, a citywide project to revamp the city and of course, celebrating prolific street art graffiti artists. Where is your favourite street art located?
BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED STREET ART
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