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Jadore Tong’s Elephant Playing with a Balloon mural

If you’re a fan of street art, Berlin is a must-see destination. Even if you consider all painting on the side of a building, graffiti, exploring Berlin might make you stop and look a little closer. The city is an ever-changing gallery filled with large scale murals by world-renowned artists as well as random graffiti tags. I recently visited Berlin, and took a fantastic private street art tour called Writing on the Walls to see some of the best known works in world of street art.

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Our tour guide, William

A good tour guide can make all the difference and our tour guide, William, was excellent. In addition to showing us some of the city’s urban art highlights, he gave us context for each work. Berlin once was as a city divided by communism, and political street art was a form of expression and protest. Since the Berlin wall came down in 1989, the city has remained one of the best cities in the world for street art.

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The colorful alley of Hackescher Markt

In addition to seeing well known works on buildings and exploring street art rich neighborhoods like Kreuzberg, we also visited Urban Nation, the museum for urban contemporary art, which opened in 2017. It’s a really great space that features works by some of the best known street artists in the world.

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Left: I want to revisit this alley when the weather is better Right: Anne Frank mural in Berlin

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Photographing street art in Berlin

A necessary stop on any tour of Berlin is the Berlin Wall Museum and Eastside Gallery, a former stretch of the Berlin Wall which as been transformed into the which the largest open air gallery in the world.

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Section of the Berlin Wall help visitors get a sense of what the city felt like before it came down

Berlin has a rich history and dynamic present. It’s a city with buzzy vibe that feels like things are happening here. And street art is part of that vibe.

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Meat mural that depicts the history of Berlin

One of the most interesting stops on the tour was the meat mural by Marcus Haas that depicts the history of Berlin as a divided city from 1961-1989. It’s really smart when you take the time to look at it for a few minutes.

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Street art has long been an expression of political protest

Another perk of this private street art tour was being able to escape the miserable January weather in the comfort of our own van. Private transportation is also included.

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The bathrooms at Urban Nation encourage guests to create their own street art

I’ve never felt compelled to photograph a bathroom until I visited the one at Urban Nation, where visitors are allowed to write on the walls and contribute to the street art scene themselves.

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The stairs at Urban Nation

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Some of the works currently on display at Urban Nation

Urban Nation does a really good job of making art feel accessible. There is no snobby vibe.

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Nick Walker’s Marge Simpson-inspired work at Urban Nation

 

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street art on the side of the Mecure Hotel in Berlin by  Interbrigadas

Some of the city’s best known works were commissioned, which shows just how intrinsically linked Berlin is to it’s street art. The mural on the side of the Mercure Hotel by Interbrigadas is a great example of this.

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The Cosmonaut by Victor Ash 

If you’re looking for things to do in Berlin, the Berlin Graffiti & Street Art Tour: Writing on the Walls is great option. It’s a great alternative culture tour and feels very of-the-moment. The itinerary for this tour changes with the street art scene.

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Magazine of Street Art in Berlin

Berlin Experiences

Our guide was William

tel: +49 1762 9913011

email: info@berlinexperiences.com

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