A Guide to City Art and Street Maps

There are some hidden gems of the art world hiding in plain sight, and its street art. What used to be simple illegal tagging has become its own art form with artists from all over the world travelling to create pieces.

Gone are the 90s style obscene words sprayed on a bridge, now it’s about turning entire buildings and neighbourhoods into canvasses.

You might think we are talking about Bristol and Banksy, but we’re not. It’s everywhere. In the UK, in Europe, in the world; in big cities and small ones. Cities you might think you know have hidden corners, that you’ve probably never explored, because there are no sights there… except for murals dozens of feet tall.

Exploring these open-air galleries is a free way to travel this summer – far or wide. You are outdoors, enjoying what will hopefully shape up to be good summer weather, walking, taking family or friends along, and going on the adult version of a treasure hunt.

Some cities even put up an entire event – a bit like Bristol does – where artists are invited to come and paint and you get to see them at work.

So how do you find all this art, and not just the small tags on your street corner?

Yep, there’s an app for that. (And a website as well, which can be easier to navigate as you plan where to go.)

When you check out Street Art Cities, you can browse the map or search for and in cities. There are 47 cities listed in total for the UK – from Aberdeen to Weston-super-Mare. There are of course some outside these cities, which you will find as you zoom into areas on the map.

It’s worth checking out wherever you are going this summer! Melbourne alone has 2,514 artworks listed, Paris more than 500 (more than London or Bristol), and New York also has almost 1,000. So, as you book your trip, take the time to check out what the street art scene looks like.

Of course, not everything is listed, but the main murals are and a walk to find them will take you into neighbourhoods you may otherwise never have explored. Getting a feel for the local area and finding shops and cafes that aren’t as touristy is half the fun of exploring a new place, and this is how you will get there naturally. You can even start close to home!

Imagery: Claire Herbaux

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