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Why Berlin is the Best City for Street Art

Dave and I spent a week in Berlin back in 2013 and I instantly fell in love with the city. It just felt different from any of the other cities I had been to in Europe. More alternative. More grungy. More underground. It just felt like a city with a ton of characters and layers.

While one week is not nearly enough time to unpeel all those layers, we did get to see a few different sides of the city in the days we were there.

One of the first things I noticed when walking around was the huge amount of street art everywhere. It wasn’t disruptive either – it blended in with the surrounding neighborhoods as if the cafes, shops and house were all intertwined with the murals on the walls.

The street art felt symbolic. It was telling a story. There was a lot to find out. You wanted a local guide to describe each and every detail of the street art, you just knew that there was so much you were missing without a proper in-depth explanation. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to meet the artists themselves and interview them. I hear the artists use different graffiti supplies such as Molotow or Ironlak paint but I wanted to see all of their supplies for my own eyes. I wanted to catch them in the middle of turning those supplies into the art we were seeing all over the city.

I love that Berlin embraces it’s street art culture. The street art is not hidden away, but displayed for all to see. The artists are welcomed into the city and their contribution is appreciated both from locals and tourists alike. If you are into photography (as I am) you can simply spend your days wandering around aimlessly just finding tons of incredibly and brightly colored murals to photograph.

If your time is limited and you want to see just one vibrant street art filled area, be sure to head to the East Side Gallery which is a 1.3 kilometer section of the Berlin Wall where you will find over 100 works of street art, painted by artists from all over the world. Take the time to really take all the works in, don’t rush this part of your visit. Better yet, if you can find a local guide to explain some of the significance you’ll be getting even more out of the experience.

If you are a fan of street art Berlin is one of the best cities in the world to see it. Other cities that we have traveled to with impressive street art include Bogota, Colombia and Valparaiso, Chile.

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