Everybody loves a good gallery. From the Louvre to the Tate Modern, Europe can offer you some of the best art experiences in the world.
But let's be honest, a lot of the real culture happens on the streets! It's inextricably linked to local lives; the trials and challenges a city faces in its struggle to be heard. Street art is the purest form of this kind of expression and a real thrill to experience, whether you're a true culture vulture or just here to enjoy the vibrant colours.
This week, we're taking a look at some of Europe's street art hotspots to bring you works that will inspire, surprise and enlighten. They'll give you a window into the soul of some of the continent's coolest locations!
These days, Berlin is pretty much the capital of cool in Europe. It’s buzzing, youthful population are permanent seekers of alternative modes of expression and living. Anywhere history, politics and fashion combine with this much vigour, street art is bound to flourish. Frederichshain, Kreuzberg and Teufelsberg are well-known for their beautiful graffiti and murals, so make sure you do some exploring there.
Poland's architectural heritage was decimated during the war and replaced with stoic, concrete living spaces in line with the communist aesthetic. Polish people are hugely creative, however, and simply saw these broad, uniform spaces as blank canvases for their unique artistic spirit. Enormous, stunning murals line the streets show the world that Poland's designers are some of the best in the world.
This little city is working hard to let its unique culture shine. Cool cafes and great street food vendors line the streets, which themselves are becoming increasingly colourful and vibrant. The city has embraced local street artists and given over an entire district - the Mural Harbour - to let them do their thing. The work here is constantly changing and evolving, so try to visit as often as you can. It’s only a short train ride away from Grunau - one of the stops on our Hop-on Hop-off service.
As the city of Picasso, Dali and Gaudi, Barcelona’s love of the visual arts runs deep into its DNA. It’s a place teeming with colour, and the creative atmosphere has inspired some of Europe’s best street artists to do their thing. The city also sponsors artists to help enrich its art scene, and as such you’ll see a lot of large murals infused with a latin feel throughout Barcelona’s residential districts. Much of the street art in the city is blended in with the historic architecture in the Gothic Quarter, creating an incredible patchwork of old and new.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It's without a doubt one of the hippest cities in the world. Amsterdam has it all - a raging nightlife, funky hangouts, amazing live music and, of course, an unbridled creative flair. Street art is an excuse to get off the beaten track and explore the winding back streets of the city. And it's not just graffiti that you'll find here. From scrap metal sculptures to decorated cranes, Amsterdam is teeming with colour. When you pay it a visit, make sure you check out NDSM - the creative heart of the city.
You can visit Amsterdam using our world-renowned Hop-on Hop-off network. Jump on over to our Adventure Planner and build the perfect itinerary for your dream trip across Europe!