In neighborhoods all over the world, you don’t necessarily have to pay for museums or pricey exhibits to experience incredible art.
A great way to keep money in your bank account while traveling is to experience as much of a city’s charm as you can for free. Exploring street art is a great way to do that.
Massive murals have become a staple in many hot travel destinations. Following are 12 murals around the world that you have to see to believe.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast is full of massive murals and beautiful street art that tells the story of Northern Ireland’s 20th-century political struggles.
During that time, citizens clashed over whether they should reunite with the rest of Ireland or remain a part of the United Kingdom — and the art reflects varying opinions on that matter.
Within the city, visitors can find beautiful murals meant to honor casualties of the political turmoil, an ode to the Titanic (which was built in Belfast), and even a tribute to South African activist and politician Nelson Mandela.
If you’re planning to spend time in Germany, checking out the nearly mile-long section of the Berlin Wall painted with a variety of beautiful murals is a must.
The East Side Gallery is painted onto a remnant of the wall that fell in 1989. It features more than 100 works of art from artists all around the world. The common theme is a message of peace and unity inspired by the end of the Cold War.
George Town, Malaysia
The street art scene in George Town, the capital of Penang, Mayalsia, really took off in 2012. That is when Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic created six murals depicting life in the city.
Those murals are now famous throughout the world, and the art scene in George Town has only continued to grow, with many international artists creating beautiful work on its walls.
Hosier Lane in Melbourne is a beautifully decorated bluestone street that’s known around the world.
Murals and installations cover the walls of this Australian city and invite guests to admire an array of colors and beautiful paintings created by both local and international artists.
Visitors hoping to learn more about the art can sign up for a walking tour in the area.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
La Boca is a popular neighborhood in Argentina’s capital city. It is known for its beautiful, colorful buildings, papier-mâché statues that pop out from windows, and a unique and thriving street art scene.
Visitors to Buenos Aires can find messages of protest and plenty of political imagery within the many murals and other works found throughout El Caminito (the popular tourist spot) and beyond.
Visitors to Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon will find all different forms of art lining the streets, including enormous murals, sculptures, and graffiti.
For a particularly beautiful use of hand-painted tiles known as azulejos, visitors can check out a gorgeous wall panel in Campo de Santa Clara designed by artist André Saraiva. It is meant to represent Lisbon’s top landmarks.
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London is filled with incredible street art, and each neighborhood has its own famed murals and works.
From the enormous crane and vibrant graffiti in Brick Lane and Shoreditch (respectively) to colorful works in Brixton and Peckham in the south, you will find incredible street art no matter where you go in England’s capital city.
You can find all sorts of artwork lining the streets of Mexico City, where graffiti and street art have centuries-old roots.
Visitors can simply take a stroll around Mexico’s capital and find massive murals, poetry, political messaging, and so much more.
Many murals are painted on metal roll-down gates stores use to lock up overnight. So you should do your street art tour of Mexico City at dawn or dusk, when stores are closed.
Nashville is one of many cities across the U.S. known for its murals.
The street art here — featured on everything from restaurants and shop walls to garage doors and water tanks — has become extremely popular as backgrounds for Instagram snaps.
A fan favorite in this Tennessee city is a massive mural of Dolly Parton in East Nashville.
Rio de Janeiro
Before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra was commissioned to create what would become the largest graffiti mural in the world along Rio de Janeiro’s waterfront.
Those visiting Brazil should make time to see the breathtaking and record-breaking mural that represents indigenous people from all across the world, with the underlying message that we are all connected.
Valparaíso is a port city in Chile that is lively, colorful, and covered in gorgeous street art.
The artwork across the city attracts massive crowds of tourists every year thanks to enormous murals, colorful graffiti, and buildings and stairways covered in poetry and messages of unity.
Travel experts recommend starting with Concepción Hill before heading to Gálvez Alley.
The street art museum in Wynwood Walls has transformed the Miami art district.
You can find incredible modern art in massive hand-sprayed murals and two vibrant street-art galleries. Visitors can even try their hand at graffiti by enrolling in a spray-painting class.
There is a small cost of general admission for Wynwood Walls, though, that tops out at $12.
Graffiti and mural art have become popular mediums in recent years, as more cities commission renowned artists from around the world to decorate streets and buildings.
In addition to providing beauty to urban areas, a vibrant street art scene is a jackpot for travelers looking to experience the heart of a new city and avoid wasting money during their vacation.
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