This is not something we claim to know a lot about and we haven’t nearly seen them all, not even close. However, if like us you love finding little hidden gems then keep reading as below we’ve list the best street art stops from our travels so far.
Batman Ally – Sao Paulo
In our eyes the mother of all street art lives in Sao Paulo – more specifically in the North West of the city on Batman Ally. The skill in these immense pieces of art is amazing and you can spend hours wandering up and down this street, as well as the surrounding streets, seeing something new every time.
If we’re honest, Brazil on a whole is a street art lovers dream! But, this is where it all comes together. The intense colours and thought provoking designs are second to none – a truly special sight to behold.
Surprisingly, it’s not the easiest thing to find and you’ll feel like Aladdin searching for the diamond in the rough. However, once you’ve battled your way there, it is hand on heart worth it.
The neighbourhood in itself is a quirky destination, with independent art galleries and lots of little coffee shops – a must see if exploring this metropolitan South American city.
Freetown Christiania – Copenhagen
Now, this is another diamond in the rough, a lot bigger at 34 hectors, but still a challenge to find. Potentially because the people who live there don’t really want to be found?
The Freetown of Christiania is an autonomous anarchist district with around 1,000 residents. It’s a magical, but rugged area of Copenhagen, covered in some incredible and thought provoking art.
The residents occupied some abandoned military barracks in the early 1970’s and have made the site their home ever since. Again, the area holds many art galleries, workshops, quirky homes, cafes and an abundance of art.
It does have a darker side as it’s a hot spot for the purchasing the illegal substance cannabis. However, we had no trouble while in the area and it truly is a must see if you’re an avid street art fan, or simply looking for something a little different in Copenhagen.
Factory Quarter – Lisbon
Factory Quarter in Lisbon is a little bit more commercial, but still holds the same theme of independent coffee shops, quirky bars, unique antique brick-a-brac stores and impressive street art.
The colours around the streets of the Factory Quarter are the best in Lisbon, again another city in itself known for street art. Made all the more impressive by the setting being nearly right under the 25 de Abril Bridge.
Here you can spend a whole day browsing the variety of street art, wandering around the shops and feasting in the organic restaurants, supported by a tipple or two. If we’re honest there’s pretty much no reason to leave.
Metelkova Mesto – Ljubljana
Although Ljubljana might not seem like a street art city straight away, we have to recommend Metelkova Mesto! It has some of the most incredible street art we’ve ever seen, especially the sculptures. Everything about the art was wacky, emotive and creative.
Now, we have to be honest and say this was probably the least safe we’ve felt in any of these locations. It might have just been a bad day or at a bad time, but there was an uneasy feeling. There were lots of group of people hanging around drinking and smoking – the place just didn’t shout friendly vibes. However, if this is something you have the stomach for and if you’re not travelling alone, go – the art is definitely worth it!
And last on our list…
Brick Lane – London
Of course we couldn’t end this post without bigging up our home town: London!
Plus, we don’t think we are being bias at all when we say the city is home to some of the most impressive street art you will see. London is covered with impressive pieces of work, around pretty much every corner. However, many of the gems – and our favourites – are based in the East End of London.
So, when you’re visiting London, head towards Shoreditch and Brick Lane – we promise you there is a world of street art to explore.
Recently, we were lucky enough to hear about a free walking tour, Free Tours By Foot, and we thought instead of just gawping at the street art, we would learn a little more about it. We had a fantastic guide called Gregory – who was in fact a street artist himself! He directed us around all the back alleys and car parks to find the best pieces.
Not only on this tour did we see some incredible art, but we also learnt about the history, the rivalry and how to market yourself and earn respect as a street artist. We also learnt the difference between graffiti and street art – a lot less complicated than you may have thought.