“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
Street art must be my favourite form of art! I really enjoy exploring cities and finding interesting murals and paintings. You can learn a lot from these pieces as murals are usually sending certain messages about current issues such as politics, society structure or simply popular trends.
The best way to find the best places to spot awesome street art is to join a graffiti tour if possible. These are usually arranged by local artists who know the city very well and can tell about the backgrounds and history of the art very well.
Here are some of my favourite places to spot street art around the world;
One of my favourite things to do in Tallinn in addition to visiting the old town was exploring the area of Telliskivi. This place located in the hipster neighbourhood of Kalamaja, not too far away from the city centre. Back in the old days, this area used to be an industrial area but nowadays these old factors and storage building have been renovated into trendy pop-up shops and cosy restaurants.
Behind the shops and restaurants, there are many colourful murals and other types of art as well. Exploring a little creepy yet interesting area is definitely something worth doing in Tallinn.
La Paz, the biggest city of Bolivia is covered in street art! There are not many walls untouched which make the city colourful and interesting! The subjects of the street art are often political, social or even educational.
One popular theme in street art in La Paz (and throughout Bolivia) was the Aymara women. The Aymaras are the indigenous people of Bolivia, mainly living in The Andean mountains of Bolivia, including in the city itself.
As I mentioned before, it is very hard to not stumble upon any street art while walking around the streets of La Paz but here are some of the best places to see some badass murals;
One of the things that I was most looking forward in Cartagena was the street art I had looked up online. I booked my hostel from the neighbourhood of Getsemaní, it's very nearby the touristic walled city. I found Getsemaní more interesting and it charmed me with its authenticity.
Getsemani used to be that sketchy neighbourhood battling with drug problems and high crime rates back in the day but nowadays Getsemani is known for its artistic communities and wonderful live music spots and is safe for tourists to visit.
I had a local friend with me so when I asked to show me the best street art in the city he brought me to the outskirts of Getsemaní (Calle 29). There's a street full of murals, one after another. Some of the most popular themes in the murals are the palenqueras and the local nature.
Thanks to an International Festival of Urban Art (Arte Urbano Ciudad Mural) which was held in Getsemani there are now fresh new art pieces painted around the neighbourhood by 40 well-known street artists.
Best places to spot awesome street art in Getsemaní
Plaza de Trinidad
It might come as a surprise that Cusco indeed has a lot of street art. Most of the murals can be found on the outskirts of the town, not much in the historic centre. Therefore, not many travellers see those or know even of their existence.
One of the most stunning murals I've ever seen was in the neighbourhood of Santiago in Cusco. The gigantic mural is close by the Pachacutec Monument. The mural is all about Peruvian customs and the history. Each section represents different regions of the country from the Andes to the Amazon.