I am not one for museums when I travel.
It’s not that I don’t like museums. It’s just that with limited time and lots of things to see and do on a trip, spending hours looking at old or odd things inside of a building doesn’t seem like the best time management strategy. Usually, I’ll save a museum visit for a second or third visit to a destination, or if I happen to stay in a single place for a long period of time.
Yet, even on a first trip or a short stay in a city, I like to get a feel for the culture and energy of the place – and viewing the work of local artists is a great way to do just that.
The Unexpected Value of Street Art
Street artists, in particular, often combine their art with a message that is highly relevant in their surroundings, their work can convey a sense of the politics of a particular area – what’s going on beneath the surface of the neighborhood or city you’re in. There’s also an ephemeral quality to street art that makes it more precious somehow. While a traditional work of art might show over and over again at a number of galleries, a piece of street art you see today may not be there tomorrow or next week.
Capturing street art – whether stumbling on works by accident or intentionally seeking them out – has led me down some of the most unexpected paths and into some of the best memories (and photos) during my travels.
Here are some of my favorite cities for capturing impressive works of street art:
Where to find street art in London:
About.com’s London street art walking tour (self-guided)
East London street art walk (self-guided)
Where to find street art in Lisbon:
Where to find street art in Barcelona:
Where to find street art in Málaga:
Where to find street art in Berlin:
Are you a fan of street art? Where have you seen some great works of graffiti or street art during your travels?