Photo Essay: An enjoyable Street Art tour with Alternative Berlin

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Berlin is known for its cool street art. It is among the Top 20 cities to see cool street art. You can wander around the city and see graffiti and wall art all over. I opted to take a free Street Art Tour of Berlin with Alternative Berlin. You can pay whatever you think is appropriate after the walking tour is over.

I am so glad to have taken this street art tour in Berlin, even though it turned out to be a solo experience. My 7-year-old daughter didn’t follow the exchange of ideas and had to be taken elsewhere by my husband. Couples and families with older kids would definitely enjoy this tour.

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Such cool street art to be found in Berlin.

Alternative Berlin Tours: A great way to see Street Art in Berlin

This 3-hour Berlin street art tour is free, but they do expect you to tip the guide in the end, only if you are happy with the tour. It is a great way to see multi-cultural neighbourhoods, urban art projects, local spots to hang around and made for a good addition to my diverse 4-day Berlin itinerary.

There is no booking necessary for the Alternative Berlin street art tour. You can just show up on time at the meeting point. Alternative Berlin also runs other local paid tours – do check out their Street Art Workshop, Craft Beer Tour. Jake, the guide for my tour and an artist himself – who had made Berlin his home for more than a decade – had a running commentary of what made Berlin a hotspot for art, culture, architecture, political ideas and radical beliefs.

As a family, we enjoy taking food tours in cities – Ljubljana and Istanbul to name a few – to get a taste of local produce and also get an insight into the lifestyle, neighbourhoods and city life. And a food tour in Berlin would be a good way to try some traditional German Food. But I am glad to have taken this tour to see vibrant Berlin neighbourhoods.

Street Art in Berlin

The Alternative Berlin Street Art tour was not just a way to see a lot of cool art, but also understand some of techniques used in making that art, the motivation for some of the artists, the political and radical ideas that the artists wanted to convey at times, and see some of the edgy neighbourhoods in the city. I hope you enjoy this tour virtually via this blog!

At the start of the tour on Oranienburger Strasse, we found graffiti made by sticking posters and not by colour painted on walls. Jake informed us that this is a quicker and easier way for the artists to do public street art that is not considered legal by the city administration.

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So evocative.
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Charged with radical ideas!

There was graffiti based on controversial beliefs in some parts of the city.

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And political beliefs.

This was a walking street tour, where we discussed what went on in some of the neighbourhoods as we walked along. Jake pointed out some buildings and the history behind them.

The coolest courtyard in Berlin

Then we came upon a small area full of awesome street art in all of Berlin. Hackescher Markt has to be my favourite location in Berlin to see cool street art. We entered not expecting much and then the scene burst upon us. A courtyard full of colourful graffiti, see the slide show below.

Several international street artists have left their mark as well in this courtyard.

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How can not love this piece of Anna Frank?
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The courtyard led to a building covered with graffiti.

Famous street art works

Berlin is filled with tags from little-known names across the city, but it also has recognisable art by well-known graffiti artists from all over the world. I am so glad that some of these works are part of this free Berlin street art tour. One of the most is Victor Ash, a Copenhagen-based artists who did a lot of work in Paris. His most famous piece, ‘Astronaut Cosmonaut’ depicts a lonely faceless astronaut on a building.

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Astronaut by Victor Ash.

We found more of his works in a building in Kreuzberg towards the end of the tour.

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Cool work by Victor Ash.

Kreuzberg is an interesting area, not just for its street art but also some quirky buildings that Jake made alive with his anecdotes and commentary. Plus the parks and trees in fall were beautiful to walk by. Berlin is a lovely city to visit in autumn, as I am told is most of Germany in autumn.

This house was made on the border on East and West Berlin and has an interesting history.

We ended the tour at the YAAM Beach Club where one could enjoy the art with a cold beer.

The street art in YAAM club was a surprise!
I found this outside the club along with River Spree.

East Side Gallery

You can’t be interested in street art and not see the East Side Gallery, located on the banks of the River Spree. This wall is not covered in the Alternative Berlin street art tour, but Jake pointed out the way to it from YAAM club where we ended the tour. The East Side Gallery is one of the coolest places to visit in Berlin and is part of this 2-day Berlin itinerary as well.

It’s the longest remaining stretch of the Wall, standing at 1316 meters long and showcases the largest selection of street art the city has to offer. I wanted to cover some of it before calling it a day, and I am glad I did.

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‘The Kiss’, one of the famous works on the East Side Gallery.
Many works here are about peace.
And freedom.

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Are you interested in street art? Where have you seen cool street art?

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Author: Shweta Singhal

Hi! I am Shweta, the zest behind this blog . I play several roles – parent to a 6-year old, adventure enthusiast, travel blogger, generally open to trying out new things in life. Besides travel, I love books and theatre and art. I would love to hear from you; do drop a comment. Join me on Instagram / Twitter @zestinatote.

25 thoughts

  1. I like the colorful artworks on the walls but I am not a fan of too much graffiti. Berlin seems to be very iconic and has a lot of personality. Great photos!

  2. I love street art and have written about it in other parts of the world. There are some great images here and a variety of styles. It is always good to see different expressions of this art form.

  3. I’m not so in to street art, but I also did a street art tour in Berlin a few years ago. It was very informative and I learned a lot about the different kinds of street art. I don’t think I’d even seen yarn bombing yet before that tour. I’m also amazed that some of the street art remains the same, presuming you did your tour more recently.

  4. Nice post! I wrote a street art guide to Berlin myself (I run a street art blog), the city is full of urban art by renowned artists from all over the world! It is really the right city to admire street art!

    1. I always knew it is one of the most amazig cities to views street art, but the art I saw surpassed my expectations. I will check out your blog.

  5. I love street art and have been exploring it a lot where I currently live. It’s amazing to me the talent that the artists have. It’s nice to see that section of the Wall with lovely art now. When we were in Berlin, several years ago, the Wall was just covered in nonsense tags. The picture of Anne Frank is my favorite.

    1. Yes Kathleen, the talent of these artists is astounding. That courtyard where Anne Frank mural is fascinating – such cool street art in one single courtyard!

  6. Wow, those are indeed cool pieces of art. When you mentioned graffiti, I thought that’s not art but your photos display a lot of serious street art. No wonder it’s in the Top 20!

  7. Berlin is such a cool city, I want to go back in the summer to explore more (it snowed when I was there!) I went to the East Side Gallery but hadn’t realised how much other street art there is to see in the city, the Astronaut is my favourite!

  8. I love the street art scene in Berlin and try to explore it whenever I am there. You have, however, discovered some awesome pieces on your tour I did not know about before. Can´t wait to see them in person some day soon. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You have made my day, Eva 🙂 That’s what this blog is about – to share stuff that other travellers find cool and want to try themselves.

  9. I wrote A blog post on top things to do in Berlin & street art locations were one of the main talking points! Hackescher Markt Is amazing so much to see and of course the easy side gallery with its original pieces & new ones popping up! Love that you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  10. i had experienced the same thing at Turkey also and road graffiti can be a very important way of representation of current socio – political situation . Loved reading this

    1. Somehow missed observing it in Turkey. Perhaps different interests at that time. But Berlin has always been about radical ideas and voicing those through various ways.

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