We have penned a number of odes to Berlin. After all, it is one of our favourite cities in Europe. On a long weekend away, we spent our time devouring its street art when we were not binging on the scrumptious cheap food in Berlin. The dynamic and vibrant street art culture was definitely one of the reasons we loved Berlin so much .
Street art has long been associated with vandalism. But things are changing. Graffitti, paste-ups, and stamps seem to be the buzzwords of the decade. The walls of Berlin are a living testimony to the fact that street art is no different from ‘real’ art. It has the potential to evoke political and social sentiment. Berlin’s street art is playful, evocative, and memorable all at the same time. Here’s presenting The Ultimate Guide to Street Art in Berlin aka our choicest hubs for street art in Berlin :-
We booked a hotel in Mitte and started our street art journey, as we like to call it, in the neighbourhood. We highly recommend doing the same. With Alexanderplatz as your starting point, start walking towards Rosenthaler Strasse – the walls of this area are covered fully with graffiti, paste ups, and stencils. The famous street artist El Bocho makes his presence felt frequently through his Little Lucy figures.
Mr.6, another famous street artist, loves this particular area. Apparently he goes around painting the digit 6 on the walls, old furniture, and pavements in Berlin (on a bike at that!). A major part of his 650,000 6’s are found in Mitte – how exciting, and well, eccentric 😉 !
2) ROSENTHALER STRASS
On reaching Rosenthaler Strasse, make your way to the Otto Weidt Museum. The courtyard where the museum is built reminds one of a bygone era. The Dead Chickens society, an independent organisation, has succeeded in maintaining its post war state in order to oppose the gentrification which is visible all over Berlin. An independent cinema and a bookshop are also included in the area. But what captivates the interest of street art enthusiasts is the wall opposite the Otto Weidt Museum. This wall is graced with the stunning works of famous street artists like D Screet and Jimmy C.
3) THE EAST SIDE GALLERY
The Ultimate Guide to Street Art in Berlin would be incomplete without mentioning The East Side Gallery. This gallery may not be the best example of street art per se but it indeed is politically and socially relevant. One cannot leave Berlin without examining the famed murals of the East Side Gallery. Huge crowds throng the wall during daytime, so we suggest an early morning visit. Try to spot the famous kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker while taking a walk along the gallery.
4) SCHLESEISCHES TOR
Gentrification is visible all over Berlin, but Schleseisches Tor somehow seems to have escaped it. The city’s most laid-back area, it is a street art lover’s dream come true. On getting off at the Schleseisches tor U Bahn station, just start walking towards the Overbaum Bridge – you are bound to notice the graffiti laden walls of warehouses and large unused industrial spaces packed full of artwork.
Berlin’s bohemian hub Kreuzberg is a treasure trove, full of street art gems. After getting off at the Kottbusser Tor U-bahn station start walking towards Marianneplatz. Since Kreuzberg is at the centre of Berlin’s alternative scene, there is a lot of politically motivated street art here. The highlights of this particular area are the firewalls with huge murals on them.
That’s it – five areas and some crazy street art. Of course it is fun discovering hidden gems and stumbling on street art masterpieces. However, if you enjoy guided tours, you could opt for Alternative Berlin’s Free Street Art Tour. It offers the perfect introduction to Berlin’s street art scene.
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If you find yourself in Berlin, make the best out of the city using the Berlin Travel Card. (use code JULY6 at checkout to get 10% discount on all passes)
Have you been to Berlin? What did you think of the street art scene in Berlin?