We love street art, so when we decided to visit Berlin we made sure to reserve ample time to search out Berlin street art as well. In the end we spent almost half our time in Germany’s capital walking and cycling through the city to find some of the best pieces (and seeing many of the regular tourist sights in the process). At the same time we missed out on a lot of street art since Berlin is by many considered the street art capital of the world.
With so much going on in Berlin we were surprised at how difficult it was to pinpoint the locations of much Berlin street art. We expected to find websites detailing where to look, but the most specific most sites got was: there’s a lot of street art in Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, two popular neighborhoods that are home to most of Berlin’s artistic and underground scene, and a reference to the East Side Gallery.
Our personal itinerary
Of course there’s the possibility to join a street art tour. There are more on offer in Berlin than in any other European city. But since we like to explore on our own we resorted to our usual tactic: Surfing the internet and jotting down street names we found on sites and on Instagram and creating our personal Berlin street art itinerary, with the risk of street names being wrong (which happened a few times) or pieces of street art being gone (which is always a risk with this contemporary art form).
Still we got home with more street art pictures than ever. Below we’ll give a breakdown of where we found street art in Berlin, trying to be as specific as we can about where we found it. Because Berlin is a big, spread out city it’s advisable to rent a bicycle for at least a day to make more progress. We also walked a lot and our feet hurt like hell at the end of the day.
Berlin street art locations
Mitte/North of Mitte
On the brick walls of the elevated train tracks from the Alexanderplatz station to the Hackescher Markt station along Dircksenstrasse there are many paste-ups and stencils. This is not our favorite kind of street art and we were not really impressed by this.
The Haus Schwarzenberg courtyard walls (Rosenthaler Strasse 39) are almost completely covered with some great murals and paste-ups by artists like El Bocho and Stinkfish.
On Schönhauser Allee we found some street art in a side courtyard, while at the intersection with Kastanienallee there are two murals next to Konnopke’s Imbiss, a hugely popular spot to try the (in)famous currywurst (we didn’t order one as we were still full from our buffet breakfast, lol).
The Mauerpark has a huge stretch of wall covered with graffiti, while further along on Bernauer Strasse there are some famous Berlin Wall photos painted on apartment buildings. They are part of the open-air Berlin Wall Memorial, that explains about the division of East and West Berlin in the cold war days. The Berlin Wall ran right through Bernauer Strasse.
Located on opposite sides of Park am Gleisdreieck (a nice spot to relax on a summer’s day) Bülowstrasse and Luckenwalder Strasse sport some very nice street art. There are several pieces (murals and stencils) in Bülowstrasse between Zietenstrasse and Frobenstrasse (which is also a hot spot for street prostitution we found out). At number 101 is the huge ‘One Wall’ mural by Argentinian street artist Marina Zumi covering an entire apartment building.
Near the U-Bahn station Bülowstrasse is another piece.
At Luckenwalder Strasse the left wall of the Mercure Hotel Mitte features Berlin’s largest and most colorful mural.
Mitte south/Kreuzberg west
One of the most well-known spots for Berlin street art is the Tommy-Weisbecker-Haus on Wilhelmstrasse 7, a former anarchist squat turned creative co-operative with murals covering all walls. Walk to the back to see a mural of a giant elephant’s head on an adjacent apartment building.
About two blocks down the Tommy-Becker-Haus is a set of apartment buildings between Wilhelmstrasse and Friedrichstrasse with murals by the creative collective Graco Berlin covering the outside ground-floor space.
Nearby Mehringplatz also has some street art.
People say that street art can be found around every corner in Kreuzberg. If all graffiti is taken into account this statement will not be far from the truth, but we don’t consider graffiti street art. But even when taking graffiti out of the equation Kreuzberg is one of the best places in Berlin to see street art, with some of the best known Berlin murals found in this multi-ethnic neighborhood.
On Heinrich Heine Strasse (at the intersection with Köpenicker Strasse) is one of the most awesome pieces we’ve found in Berlin: ‘Unter der Hand’ by German street artist CASE Maclaim. Further down the road we saw two apartment buildings with other large murals.
Among the must see pieces are ‘The Astronaut’ by French artist Victor Ash on Mariannenstrasse, the Jack Nicholson picture on shutters of the Basic Sole store at the intersection of Mariannenstrasse and Oranienstrasse and the picture of a deer, hare and bird hanging from a wall at the intersection of Oranienstrasse and Skalitzer Strasse by Belgian street artist ROA.
Other spots where we found street art were Lobeckstrasse, Moritzplatz, Oppelnerstrasse, Cuvrystrasse, Arena Berlin and the Oberbaumbrücke, where you have to keep an eye out for a big rose-colored mural by Italian artist Blu of many small figures compiled into one big face. We also read about the Eisfabrik on Köpenicker Strasse being a great street art venue, but is seemed inaccessible.
East Side Gallery
One of the most famous locations for street art in Berlin (and probably in the world) is the East Side Gallery. This 1,3 kilometer stretch of original Berlin Wall has been an open air gallery since the people of Berlin took all they got to tear down the wall that had separated them for over 30 years in 1989. Regretfully there were fences along most of the wall to keep people from defacing the murals. We saw people carrying markers for the sole purpose of writing their name on the wall. Such a shame. The East Side Hotel on the other side of the road opposite the East Side Gallery souvenir shop has a regularly changing mural covering the entire left wall.
An apartment building on the corner of Mühlenstrasse and Warschauerstrasse, just across from the East Side Gallery has a nice mural that everybody seems to ignore and YAAM Beach had some (not too great) paintings.
The number one sport for street art in Friedrichshain is the RAW-Gelände, a former train repair station on Warschauer Strasse and Revaler Strasse that is now an offbeat creative center with all kinds of activities (there was a market going on when we were there) and murals all around the premises.
In the streets around Boxhagener Platz (which has a popular flea market on Sunday) we found murals on Gabriel Max Strasse, Boxhagener Strasse and Kreutzigerstrasse.
The last spot we visited was the Wiesenweg. If you look closely, though, you’ll find stencils and paste-ups all over Friedrichshain.
We visited Berlin in July 2016