The city of Vienna is loaded with history. Neoclassical, Baroque, Jugendstil and Romanesque influences alternate in the architecture of the city. The city is also famous for having produced some musical geniuses like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert and famous painters like Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
Walking through Vienna is walking through history. It’s at every corner, in every park, in every building. But the city also is home to more modern and underground art forms. Spread throughout the city pieces of street art can be found. The big problem, however, is finding it as information on street art in Vienna is scarce.
The problem of finding Vienna street art
Free Vienna Tours has a street art tour, but it wasn’t running yet when we visited in the middle of May, while Inoperable – a gallery specializing in contemporary art emerging from urban subcultures – was not open when we visited. So we resorted to scanning social media to find out where street art can be found and create our own personal itinerary (and probably missing out on a lot).
This tactic turned out to be hardly foolproof as many of the beautiful pieces of (undated) street art that we saw on Instagram had in the meanwhile disappeared, sometimes being painted over by newer – mostly inferior – pieces, or completely covered with tags and graffiti from others. Though we understand that street art will in the long run always be temporary, we also think it’s a shame that there’s not more respect for this form of art.
Vienna Street art found
This doesn’t take away the fact we were able to spot some great pieces. The most obvious place to look for street art in Vienna are the banks of the Donaukanal which in fact are one big urban canvas. Most of it can be seen near the city center, but the best ones we found to be near the Spittelau subway station. The Street Art Passage, a bridge that leads from the Museumsquartier to Spittelberg is often mentioned in regard to street art too, but except a permanent piece by French artist Invader, not much was there.
The Brunnenmarkt is another area with some street art, but the offerings were a little disappointing. We also spent a morning wandering through the Mariahilf neighborhood where, if you know where to look, a few of the best street art in Vienna can be found. We ended our search at the Naschmarkt, which is also supposed to be a street art hot spot, but found mostly graffiti. But our feet were pretty tired by then and maybe we didn’t look close enough. Below are some more pics.
We visited Vienna in May 2016