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World's Top 10 Best Cities for Street Art Photography

New York-United States of America

| 10 mins read

Admiring the brush strokes of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and van Gogh’s Starry Night is a wonderful experience but often associated with a feeling of grandeur. Street art, encompassing graffiti, stencils, and murals, on the other hand, has firmly established itself as a form of contemporary art. Contrasting classical art's emphasis on technique and formal aesthetics, street art, born from counterculture movements, prioritises self-expression and often conveys social or political messages. While classical art resides in galleries, street art thrives in public spaces, fostering an artistic dialogue that can reach the common masses.

To admire the newest and most democratic art form and immortalise it in photographs, here is a curated list of the 10 best cities in the world for street art photography.

New York

Widely regarded as the birthplace of street art, New York is still one of the best places to capture pictures of some of the most stunning pieces of street art in the world. As a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities, and artistic styles from all over the world, New York is home to innumerable artists who express themselves through graffiti, striving to make the plain walls of the city into something meaningful and lovelier.

In a city as huge as New York, it is nearly impossible to see all the murals, stencils, graffiti, and other street art blanketing the buildings, but a guided street art tour through the city will take you through places of great cultural and artistic significance. One of the most popular places to photograph street art is the Welling Court Mural Project (WCMP) in Queens, which started out as an urban beautification project in 2010 and has a collection of around 140 murals to date. Walking along the streets with the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, the Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem (which still frequently invites artists just starting out to work their magic on the walls), and Houston Bowery Wall, created by Keith Haring in 1982 and today is repainted by new artists every several months are a few places renowned for their brilliant street art.


Embracing its designation as UNESCO's "City of Design," Berlin portrays street art as a cultural phenomenon, evident in its newly inaugurated street art museum, the Urban Nation, located near Nollendorfplatz U-Bahn station, with a collection of incredible street art from some of the most prominent artists in the scene and encouraging visitors to engage with the thought-provoking works. 

One of the notable areas for a street art walk includes the East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km open-air display along the Berlin Wall, which starts shortly after Ostbahnhof station and extends to the Oberbaumbrücke bridge. Established in 1990, the gallery is a result of contributions from diverse artists worldwide. East Side Gallery hosts one of the most iconic pieces of street art in the world, ‘’My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love’’, colloquially known as “The Kiss”.

The other important streets for admiring the counterculture in Berlin are Kreuzberg, an organic, non-curated, graffiti-covered district that boasts a myriad of street art on residential buildings, contrasting with specially designated areas, and the Dead Chicken Alley, earning its name from the artists who founded it, featuring ever-changing murals, some altering overnight. Each location offers a unique perspective, from the history of East Side Gallery to the spontaneity of Dead Chicken Alley and the endemic graffiti culture in Kreuzberg.


Penang, Malaysia, boasts a vibrant street art scene that has become a major cultural attraction. George Town, the capital of Penang, is particularly renowned for its captivating murals and installations. The rise of Penang's street art began with the "Mirrors George Town" project in 2012. 

The artworks are scattered throughout the city, turning ordinary streets into an open-air art gallery. Embark on a guided tour to explore these delightful creations, immersing themselves in the fusion of contemporary art and Gerorgetwon’s vibrant cultural tapestry. 

Some murals even include physical elements, most notable in the mural of Brother and Sister on a Swing by artist Louis Gan, a deaf-mute, self-taught artist with a working swing at its side that encourages interaction, making them extremely enjoyable subjects for photography. Another creative and sweet initiative is the 101 Lost Kittens Project, started by a band of Penang’s best street artists to encourage rehoming stray animals. Find all of the 101 Lost Kittens in Georgetown with the help of your local guide! With so much amazing and heartwarming art in the streets of Georgetown, it is no wonder the neighbourhood of Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!


Melbourne is famous for its eclectic laneways with cobblestone streets, with dynamic urban art on bustling streets and hidden away in the nook and cranny of the elusive sideway lanes. The spark of creating street art to beautify the streets of the city began in 1984 when the artist Keith Haring set Melbourne ablaze with colourful murals, igniting a revolution that turned the city into a canvas of diversity and creativity. A street art tour of Melbourne isn’t just a tour; it's a journey into the city's eccentric spirit. 

The Mecca of street art in Melbourne is definitely Hosier Street, situated across from Federation Square and connecting Flinders Lane to Flinders Street. Lovingly referred to as the 'practice' alley, it invites anyone willing to contribute their art and time to paint the walls red - and blue and green and gold. Take your time exploring every inch to ensure you don't overlook the easily missed pieces! Flinders Lane also branches off to a smaller - but much more interesting - AC/DC Lane, whose name is a homage to the renowned Australian rock band, and today boasts the murals of the band members along with an array of imaginary musicians. A few of the other places to visit are Union Lane, near Bourke Street Mall, Rutledge Lane, close to Hosier Lane, and Croft Alley in Chinatown.


Celebrated as one of the most art-friendly cities in the world, Bogotá has wholeheartedly embraced the counterculture, painting even its seven-storey buildings with beautiful murals, and the city council making active efforts to protect artists' rights and running numerous city-sponsored projects.

The buildings in Carreras 3a and 2a in La Candelaria and Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo, an iconic square, serve as a cultural hub for free expression, and the charming Usaquén neighbourhood displays a mix of traditional and contemporary street art on Calle 119. Galería La Localidad in Teusaquillo showcases local artists, and the walls of Puente de la 26 over Avenida NQS capture the dynamic spirit of Bogotá's evolving street art scene. A guided walk through these locations collectively offers rich and diverse locations to photograph the breathtaking art, showcasing the city's cultural tapestry through urban creativity.


London's vibrant street art scene unfolds as an expansive canvas of ingenuity, characterised by a few hubs that showcase diverse self-expression. In the heart of East London, Shoreditch stands out, adorned with perpetually changing murals and graffiti along streets like Brick Lane.

The renowned Leake Street Tunnel, also recognised as the "Banksy Tunnel," near Waterloo Station, is the only place in London where graffiti is sanctioned and promoted. London is also home to some of the most popular graffiti and murals by the mysterious street artist Banksy, with the newest one - depicting 3 military jets resembling drones - appearing on a stop sign in the neighbourhood of Peckham. Camden and Brixton also boast a plethora of urban artworks, beckoning exploration with the guidance of a local guide. Hackney Wick is a bit different, with industrial spaces decorated by immersive murals and graffiti.


Lisbon, the lively capital of Portugal, has a rich cultural history, and its vibrant street art story is integral to its identity. Following a devastating earthquake in the 18th century, the city transitioned from all-white buildings to colourful expressions on walls and pavements, increasing in intensity around 1974. 

Some of the major hubs for street art are neighbourhoods like Bairro Alto, Alfama, and Mouraria. Colourful murals and graffiti are blanketed on the buildings, creating an open-air art gallery. The LX Factory is a creative centre in an industrial setting, featuring large-scale murals reflecting the area's artistic spirit, while São Bento serves as a centre of political significance and surprises visitors with thought-provoking street art, seamlessly blending with the historical backdrop. The modern Amoreiras quarter showcases a fusion of traditional and contemporary street art, illustrating the evolution from traditional to modern techniques. Engaging with local guides passionate about the counterculture provides insights into the artists' stories and the socio-cultural context of each piece. 

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a vibrant hub of street art, where the city's walls become an ever-evolving gallery of expression. Neighborhoods like Palermo, San Telmo, and La Boca boast an array of murals, graffiti, and stencils that reflect the city's cultural richness and social history. Renowned street artists like Martin Ron and Jaz have left their mark on the urban landscape, contributing to Buenos Aires' reputation as a global street art destination. 

The expansive and vivid murals on Villa Urquiza and nearby buildings resurrect abandoned buildings, turning the empty walls into a captivating outdoor art spectacle. These murals now draw a significant number of tourists, photographers, and street art enthusiasts from around the globe just to witness their remarkable street art scenes. From pieces which tell a story to abstract creations, the street art here is a testament to the city's heart and soul. Guided street art tours offer insight into the stories behind the artworks, providing a deeper understanding of the context that shapes the city’s ever-changing street art scene.


Montreal's streets thrum with vibrant urban art, a kaleidoscope of murals, stencils, and portraits, becoming an open-air gallery which whispers secrets in every corner. In this diaspora of urban masterpieces, Plateau-Mont-Royal stands out as a hotspot, featuring numerous murals and graffiti across the neighbourhood's streets and alleys. The iconic Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent Street pays tribute to the legendary musician and poet. Mile End and Saint-Laurent (also known as The Main) also captivate visitors with their beautiful artworks. Curated street art tours around the city will unveil many more less-renowned art pieces, expanding the horizons of the enthusiasts and adding some flavour to the journey in the form of anecdotes about the paintings.

The gem in the crown of Monreal’s street art scene is the MURAL Festival, held annually in June, which transforms the city into an open-air art gallery. Local and global artists create large-scale murals, adding a temporary but vibrant layer to Montreal's urban scenery.

Mexico City

Mexico City is a vibrant hub of the street art culture, where walls transform into colourful canvases expressing the city's rich cultural tapestry. Roma and Condesa streets boast murals, stencils, and graffiti, showcasing diverse artistic styles. Renowned artists like Smithe and Saner have left their mark, contributing to the dynamic visual landscape. A walking tour of the historic district of La Merced reveals hidden gems in narrow alleys, capturing the spirit of local life. Coyoacán, with its bohemian charm, seamlessly integrates street art with historic surroundings.

Initiatives like the All City Canvas festival demonstrate the city's commitment to public art, inviting both local and international artists to leave their imprint. Mexico City's street art adds vibrancy to its urban spaces and is a powerful medium for conveying social and political messages, reflecting the artist's engagement with the contemporary world.