Off the wall: Six great cities for street art

Off the wall: Six great cities for street art

Urban art has come a long way. Here are six great cities for street art.

By Carla Grossetti

Bristol, south-west England

The city of Bristol located between the Cotswolds and rural Somerset in south-west England is a magnet for artists. The vibrant street art scene here was led by the now world-famous street artist Banksy, who was born with a can of spray paint in his hand in Bristol in 1974. A number of Banksy original pieces are located throughout Bristol – and another could pop up at any time. Take a Banksy Walking Tour to learn more about the elusive graffiti artist.

Dunedin Street Art Trail 

Home to New Zealand’s first public art gallery, Dunedin’s artistic roots are expanding al fresco. Two years ago the city’s art scene enticed celebrated Belgian artist ROA to paint a tuatara (local reptile) on the side of a building in historic Bath Street. Since then local and international artists have used Dunedin’s walls as a canvas for creativity. Today the Dunedin Street Art Trail takes in 25 walls on a 90-minute walk that meanders from the harbour to Queens Gardens. Heads-up: art lovers can download the map.

Mid Winter Carnival

Belfast’s Political Murals

Northern Ireland has witnessed much political and religious division over the years. And the 2000 murals around the city of Belfast document ‘the troubles’. Many of the murals from the 80s — considered the most famous political murals in Europe — tend to endorse Republican or Loyalist views and depict tragic sectarian events such as the Balllymurphy Massacre. These days, the political street art tends to be more about representing peace and tolerance. Take a 90-minute Black Taxi Tour and see what the walls of Belfast have to say.

Melbourne, Australia

Bold colourful works of art cover walls, stairwells and the sides of buildings in and around Melbourne’s trendy laneways. Hosier Lane, opposite Federation Square, is a good place to start exploring the city’s street art and stencil work scene. Fuel up on a latte and then check out the art spray-painted and splashed all over the city renowned around the world for celebrating the arts. Croft Alley in the heart of Chinatown is also an indicator of the Victorian capital’s vibrant arts scene.

New York City, US

There’s always a twist at every turn when you’re exploring New York City’s street art scene. The best way to learn about the city’s influence on street art is to join an artist-led graffiti tour with Graffiti Tours New York. Graff geeks should also find time to visit the world-famous Graffiti Hall of Fame, which features works by famed street artist Manny Vega and touches on the history of street art in NYC.

Berlin, Germany

Berliners view walls a lot differently these days. Take to the city streets in Berlin to appreciate the graffiti art that is helping to reshape the urban environment. From Kreuzberg to Grunewald, the city’s streetscape has become somewhat of an evolving artwork for street artists who have transformed the German capital into one of the most ‘bombed’ (slang for graffitied) cities in Europe.


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