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 Street Art Tour of Berlin with Alternative Berlin.
As a family, we enjoy taking food tours in cities – Ljubljana, Amsterdam and Istanbul to name a few – to get a taste of local produce and also get an insight into the lifestyle, neighbourhoods and citylife. But 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.
Alternative Berlin Tours
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 this 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.
Street Art in Berlin
This 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.
There was graffiti based on controversial beliefs in some parts of the city.
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.
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. 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.
We found more of his works in a building in Kreuzberg towards the end of the tour.
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.
We ended the tour at the YAAM Beach Club where one could enjoy the art with a cold beer.
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 Tour, but Jake pointed out the way to it from YAAM club where we ended the tour.
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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Are you interested in street art? Where have you seen cool street art?
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