Street Art in Berlin

by Brenna Holeman

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Last autumn, I had the pleasure of returning to one of my favourite European cities, Berlin. There are many things to love about Berlin: its nightlife, its history, its fashion, and, perhaps one of my favourite reasons for visiting, its street art. I’ve written about how I’m huge fan of street art before, and I think that it can be a beautiful contribution to a city, adding art, politics, culture, and social perspective to otherwise bare walls. Note that I said can; I definitely take issue with, for example, someone randomly tagging a historical or religious building, therefore desecrating and disrespecting it. It’s hard to draw a steady line (no pun intended) separating what is acceptable street art and unacceptable street art, but I think that when communities and artists work together, great things can happen.

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The famous Spaceman by Victor Ash in Kreuzberg, thought to be the biggest stencil in the world

Berlin is absolutely covered in street art and graffiti, some of it stunning and some of it downright hideous. As they say, however, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I love the freedom of speech and artistic licence street art allows the individual. Dozens of famous artists have covered the city’s walls, including Jimmy C, El Bocho, Blu, Dede, BLO, Gilf!, Cake, and my beloved Stik (who also has some great pieces in London).

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Part of the East Side Gallery, which covers some of the remaining Berlin Wall

The best places to see street art in Berlin are Mitte, Kreuzberg, and Friedrichshain; another must-see is the alleyway off of Rosenthaler Straße, where many different artists have worked together to create a spectacular, ever-changing gallery.

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All art from the alley off of Rosenthaler Straße, though it has probably changed by now

The trends at the moment in Berlin seem to be paste-ups and stencils, and I noticed a lot more overlapping of artists than in cities like London, Toronto, or Melbourne. It was a huge mish-mash of styles and techniques, but I found it visually appealing. Just when I’d think I’d seen everything a wall had to offer, I’d spot something new.

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If only life were that simple

If you’d like a more formal tour of the street art in Berlin, I’d recommend Alternative Berlin Tours or one of Generator Hostel’s walking tours. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also just wander around the areas listed above on your own; you’ll find plenty of street art to satiate your needs.

Do you like street art? Is it something that you factor in to your holiday choices?

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Helen January 16, 2014 - 9:42 pm

Gorgeous pictures. I love street art and can’t wait to get to Berlin to see it! Thanks for sharing Brenna!

Brenna Holeman January 16, 2014 - 11:22 pm

I’m sure you’ll love it, Helen!

Kaelene @Unlocking Kiki January 17, 2014 - 9:45 am

I have been seeing Berlin posts showing up everywhere and I am loving the street art. I need to get over to Berlin and see it myself!

Brenna Holeman January 17, 2014 - 7:16 pm

It’s such a cool city, no wonder so many people write about it! I hope you get to visit soon…

Zalie January 17, 2014 - 10:34 pm

I actually didn’t know that Berlin was so famous for its street art. Just another reason to go visit I guess! I love all your pictures 🙂

Brenna Holeman January 17, 2014 - 11:53 pm

You really have to go, you’d love it!

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Silvia January 21, 2014 - 2:40 am

These are beautiful, and so spot on for Berlin! Coolest city. Your blog is also so fun! Glad I stumbled on it.

Brenna Holeman January 21, 2014 - 1:11 pm

Thanks, Silvia! I hope you’ll stick around to read more.

Sarah April 29, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Hey Brenna!

Looking forward to visiting Berlin in a few months and wondering what were your favourite places across the city! I have no idea how we are going to see such an amazing city in 2 days!

Brenna Holeman April 30, 2014 - 4:33 pm

I would definitely recommend one of the free walking tours – you get to know the city really well! I like the areas of Mitte and Kreuzberg; there are tons of cool shops and restaurants around. Have fun!

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ian potter April 30, 2019 - 1:40 pm

thank you loved the pix brings back the memories of travelling in germany in 2013 best 2 weeks spent


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