If you roam the streets of Berlin – best done by bike – with open eyes, then you’ll inevitably come across a great variety of creative endeavours whose passion will leave you awestruck and yearning for more. We’re talking about street art. Sure, the tourists who come to Berlin are still drawn to the regular sights, bars and clubs. But they’re also flocking here to marvel at the exceptional works of art that can be found on the house walls and in the inner courtyards. For decades, the German capital has held a special attraction for artists from all over the world. Some even call it the world’s largest art gallery.
Don’t believe it? But it’s true!
Here is a list of my favourite places for urban art:
An enormous black-and-white graffiti of an astronaut covers the entire wall of a house in Oranienstraße in the district of Kreuzberg. “Astronaut / Cosmonaut” was created by French street artist Victor Ash in 2007. It is political street art that references the Cold War. And it is even printed on T-shirts.
Astronaut/Cosmonaut by Victor Ash, Oranienstraße 195, Kreuzberg
Astronaut/Cosmonaut by Victor Ash | © Vienna House
OpenAirGallery is held on two Sundays in the summer on Oberbaum Bridge above the river Spree between the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. The first Sunday has already passed, but the open-air bridge exhibition of paintings, prints, sculptures and photography will be back on 3 September.
Won’t be in Berlin at that time? No reason to be sad. Always open is the East Side Gallery, the longest open-air art gallery in the world. The gallery along Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain is 1,316 metres long and admission is free! The section of the Berlin Wall, with more than 101 paintings by various artists, stands as a monument to German reunification – and has been for over 20.
OpenAirGallery on Oberbaum Bridge and East Side Gallery, Kreuzberg
OpenAirGallery on Oberbaum Bridge | © visit Berlin, Foto: Sarah Lindemann
A giant pin-up girl next to white angels on a black background and brightly coloured abstract forms draw the attention of passers-by in the idyllic district of Schöneberg. The late 19th century building and former apartment house is being transformed into Germany’s first street art museum and will open in September 2017. Dynamic, fast and unconventional, the building’s façade will feature rotating temporary exhibitions. The enormous interior offers enough space for oversized works of art. Thanks to a number of high platforms, the artworks can also be observed from up high and close up. You won’t believe your eyes!
Street Art Museum, Bülowstraße 7, Schöneberg
Street Art Museum Germany | © Vienna House
Still not enough? Want to experience the whole range of street art in Berlin? Then join a walking tour to check out all the newest and best locations for urban art. The 4.5-hour tour will take you through Berlin’s graffiti scene and its development since the 1970s, offers encounters with more than 50 local and international artists, and costs € 20 per person. The highlight of the tour is the visit to a local studio where you can learn more about the unwritten rules and techniques of graffiti and street art and try your creative hand yourself. At the end of the tour, you can take your creation home with you.