Words by Jessica Rayner
Street art continues to bring the streets of European cities alive, transforming derelict buildings into living, breathing pieces of art. From Berlin’s infamous East Side Gallery to the colourful murals of the up and coming city Lodz, Vienna House’s hotels sit amongst streets pulsing with culture. To start you on your visual journey across Europe here is our guide to the best cities to spot street art.
Sculptural Surrealism in Prague
Prague’s iconic Television Tower stands at 216m high and has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. If you look a little closer you will spot giant babies crawling up the tower, created by the country’s most infamous artist David Cerny. The surreal and largely comical work of Cerny has become a major part of the city’s cultural heritage. Turn a street corner near Old Town Square and stumble across Cerny’s ‘Man Hanging Out’ or inside the Lucerna atrium find Saint Wenceslas atop of an upside-down horse.
Berlin’s Alternative City Tour
Bustling independent shops and cafes, vibrant nightlife and an array of museums make Berlin a hub of contemporary culture. Across the city see walls decorated with street art from Kreuzberg’s provocative murals to artwork by top urban artists such as Alias in Friedrichshain. Take a self-guided tour of the city’s murals beginning at the infamous East Side Gallery or try a guided tour such as Alternative Berlin Tour’s Street Art Workshop that offers the chance to meet some of Berlin’s top urban artists.
Polish Innovation in Katowice
A city often overlooked, in the past few years Katowice has seen a major cultural regeneration and is becoming one of the most innovative regions in Poland. The cultural and economic development has fuelled the rise of artist collectives and initiatives including Katowice Street Art AiR, an event dedicated to transforming the city with art. Each year the event brings some of the most exciting street artists from across the globe to the Polish city turning the former coal mining in a vibrant hub of contemporary culture.
STAY | Vienna House Easy Angelo
Old Meets New in Dresden
An under the radar city that is packed full of culture from large murals to snippets of graffiti around every corner. In Neustadt no street remains without a splash of colour, with building sides and doorways covered with artworks by the city’s growing number of urban artists. Not only does Dresden have an innovative cultural offering to explore, see remnants of the city’s rich visual history including The Fürstenzug, a mural featuring 23,000 porcelain tiles.
STAY | Vienna House QF Dresden
International Creativity in Lodz
Poland’s third largest city, Lodz is a vibrant mix of galleries, industrial architecture and street art. The city once overshadowed by its industrial past has been reimagined by street art projects that have seen derelict buildings transformed into public artworks. The city continues to promote the work of street artists with building sides becoming canvases for international artists including Aryz from Spain and Brazil’s Os Gemeos to inject the city with colour and awaken a sense of creativity.
STAY | Vienna House Andel’s Lodz