Find the best places for street art and graffiti in Berlin with this compact guide that lists the exact locations of the best Berlin murals. Recognised as one of the top street art cities in the world, Berlin is a true walhalla for street art enthusiasts and bloggers like myself. Have a look at this Berlin street art guide and let me know what you think!
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The best places for street art and graffiti in Berlin
Starting with an overview of the main Berlin art districts, I’ll highlight some famous Berlin street art murals you won’t want to miss. Drawing from my trips to Berlin over several years, be aware that some of the featured works in this post might have been removed or repainted by now. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of street art!
1. Raw Gelände in Friedrichshain
Location: Revaler Strasse 99
If there’s one thing I love more than street art, then it’s revitalised industrial buildings. Lucky for me then that the urban hotspot of Raw Gelände in the funky neighbourhood of Friedrichshain offers both! Literally every inch of the walls of this huge former train repair station is covered in extraordinary graffiti and street art.
Housing independent clubs, bars, galleries and quirky shops, Raw Gelände is a fantastic alternative destination for curious minds. While the vast open beergarden looks very inviting, don’t forget to wander around the large compound in search of art. Especially the hidden alleys and corners house the best gems!
You won’t be able to miss this large tucan by Portuguese street artist Bordalo II though. Questioning today’s materialistic society, Bordalo is famous for using garbage to make his large-scale artworks.
Featuring artworks by some of the world’s most famous street artists, Raw Gelände really should be your number one Berlin street art destination! However, the activities here aren’t just limited to street art hunting and drinking beer.
For more active visitors, there’s an indoor skate park and also a climbing wall. But if you’re like me and prefer to take things easier, then come here for the vibrant Sunday flea market.
2. Berlin Mitte graffiti: Haus Schwarzenberg street art alley
Location: Rosenthaler Strasse 39
Right in the heart of Berlin you’ll find a sweet little street art hotspot. Tucked away in a little alley off Rosenthaler Strasse near Alexanderplatz, you’ll find Haus Schwarzenberg.
Owned by a non-profit art organisation, this vibrant cultural pocket is one of the best places to see street art in Berlin. Quite surprising actually since it’s located in a more commercial shopping district.
However, due to its inconspicuous looks, you’d easily walk right past it. I only discovered it by chance because I was attracted by its bright orange and red bunting. Always eager to explore little hidden gems, I marched off, camera at hand while hubby waited patiently across the road.
Despite being an alley, you could easily spend hours here trying to take in the wide variety of murals, graffiti and paste-ups. (Lucky for hubby, I did not.)
Amongst the many new discoveries, I also managed to find some familiar faces. For example, this Snoopy lying on the iconic Berlin skyline by London-based Chilean artist Otto Schade.
But also this striking portrait by French stencil artist C215, often called the French Banksy in popular media. I don’t really see the resemblance between both artists, but I still adore C215’s work nonetheless. I previously found several of his pieces in the bohemian street art district of Cours Julien in Marseille.
And while the artworks in this Berlin street art alley are known to change frequently, there’s one piece that has remained untouched since 2012. Painted by London-based artist Jimmy C using his signature style of large paint dots, the portrait of Anne Frank is a work of significant importance. You can find it on the wall of the Anne Frank Zentrum at the end of the alley.
3. East Side Gallery: Berlin Wall graffiti art
If you’re interested in street art and graffiti and a piece of Berlin history, then head over to East Side Gallery. Running along a 1.3km stretch of Mühlenstrasse, this is one of world’s largest outdoor art galleries. But what makes it even more special is that the works are painted on the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall.
‘The Kiss’, officially called My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, is the most iconic Berlin Wall painting. Inspired by a 1970s photograph of a Russian and German politician sharing a ‘fraternal’ kiss, it’s now symbolic of Berlin’s LGBTQ community. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the most popular Berlin Instagram locations.
Personally, I was more interested in seeing these signature bold cartoonesque giant head figures by French artist Thierry Noir. Known for being the first artist to illegally paint the Berlin Wall in 1984, Noir is considered as a pioneer and inspiration to many who followed his example. You can read more about this remarkable artist on my London blog: Thierry Noir retrospective.
How to get to the East Side Gallery: From Ostbahnhof station it’s approximately a 12-minute walk to Mühlenstrasse. Follow the Wall along the river Spree until you reach the end at Oberbaumbrücke bridge. Either hop on the subway at one of the several local stations or continue your street art explorations with the following tips.
4. Intimes Kino in Friedrichshain
Location: Boxhagener Strasse 107
Looking at the graffiti-covered arthouse cinema, you’d think this was a derelict building. However, located in the heart of arty Friedrichshain, the cosy arthouse cinema Intimes Kino is still in operation. Yet, I think its main draw is its exterior which is an artwork in itself.
Covered in paste-ups, stickers, stencil artworks, graffiti and many other forms of street art, Intimes Kino is a true treasure trove for urban art lovers.
More street art in Friedrichshain
Friedrichshain certainly has some of the best street art hotspots in Berlin. But besides Raw Gelände, East Side Gallery and Intimes Kino, you’ll find numerous of eye-catching murals dotted across this fantastic neighbourhood. Here are some of my personal highlights.
You can find this large mural Suspended by Italian stencil artist Alice Pasquini on Warschauer Strasse near the East Side Gallery. Alice is one of the most respected stencil artists around so I was very excited to see such a large mural by her. Covering 150m2, I read that it took her seven days of non-stop painting to create this mural that contains six female portraits.
Location: Turn left on Warschauer Strasse coming from Mühlenstrasse. You’ll see the portraits on your left-hand side. Continue the road and you’ll arrive at Warschauer Strasse station on your right.
You can find this rather disconcerting mural called Pink Man by Italian artist Blu right next to the beautiful Oberbaumbrücke. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the giant figure consists of dozens of naked human bodies. And if you look even closer, you can see the despair and fear on their faces whilst clinging onto the giant figure. It’s not one of the most cheerful murals in Berlin perhaps, but it is one of my favourites.
Cranio mural in Friedrichshain
Location: Holzmarktstrasse 25 (on the side of restaurant / bar Katerschmaus)
It’s hard to miss the characteristic blue figure by Brazilian artist Cranio. His curious Indigenous Blue Man always finds himself in some quirky situation, blending the world of native Brazil with Western capitalism. I love the work by Cranio as they always manage to criticise today’s materialistic and status driven society with a great dose of humour.
Butterfly girl by Michele Tombolini in Friedrichshain
Location: Krossener Strasse 36
This striking blue mural of a girl with butterfly wings has a bit of a sad backstory. Because, painted as part of the Indelible Marks Project, it represents the issue of child abuse. With her hands drawn behind her back and tape on her mouth, Butterfly is unable to speak out. It’s sad this is an issue we still need to be reminded of today.
Located next to Friedrichshain, the multi-cultural neighbourhood of Kreuzberg is home to some of the most important Berlin murals. Crossing Oberbaumbrücke from the end of the East Side Gallery, follow the murals in the order I’ve listed them below.
Os Gêmeos in Kreuzberg, Berlin
Location: Oppelner Strasse 3
Finding this huge mural by legendary Brazilian combo consisting of identical twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo felt almost like finding a dodo. Because I’m mostly familiar with their curious yellow figures from pictures in books or websites, I was so excited to see a giant an Os Gêmeos mural in Berlin!
I don’t know that many places in Europe where you can see their work ‘in the wild’. The only other place where I saw an Os Gêmeos mural was in Athens, one of the best street art cities in Europe I’ve ever been!
Location: Oranienstrasse / Skalitzer Strasse
The Belgian street artist ROA is one of my favourite street artists. Whenever I discover a work by him abroad I get geekishly excited. Like that time when I suddenly bumped into his gorgeous, yet slightly nasty, mural in Spain as part of the Málaga street art trail!
ROA’s works are typically large-scale black and white drawings of (dead) animals. Besides ROA’s mural on the left you can also see work by One truth, 1Up and Berlinkidz on this wall.
Location: Mariannenstrasse (in the direction of Heinrichplatz)
This spectacular mural of a cosmonaut floating in space is made by Danish artist Victor Ash. Having become an iconic piece in the streets of Berlin, it was the first ever work I had seen by him. As you can imagine, I was truly impressed! Ash’s Cosmonaut was created in 2007 and is supposed to be the largest stencil drawing in the world.
Dscreet & Stik
Location: Falckensteinstrasse 46
I became almost frantic when I spotted this shop. Not because of what they were selling, but for the art around the shop window. I’m a huge fan of the London-based artist Stik. He manages to convey so much meaning and emotions in his – at first glance – basic stick figures. You can find his works all over the world, but especially around East London where he lives.
I was so happy to find works by another East London street artist in Berlin. You can see Dscreet’s cute signature owls painted on the sides of the wall. It actually turned out that a group of London-based artists had come to Berlin a few months prior to my visit. (They even stayed in the same hotel as I was in!)
Underneath the shop window you see work by Endless. I have a feeling the majority of the works are gone by now. But if you’re in the area, do try to check for yourself!
Shepard Fairey in Kreuzberg
While he’s often criticised for being too commercial, I actually like the bold artworks by Shepard Fairey. The flourishing career of this American graphic designer, activist and urban artist, kicked off in the 90s when he designed a sticker based on wrestler André the Giant. Following a true guerilla sticker campaign, his name shot to fame.
Usually containing a reference to his famous design or catchphrase ‘Obey’ it’s not that difficult pick out a Shepard Fairey artwork. You can recognise them by their bold colours and striking graphic design.
Explore more fantastic street art in Kreuzberg with a local guide! Book your ticket here.
You’ll have to travel outside of Berlin’s city centre to see the amazing street art and graffiti hotspot that’s Teufelsberg. But since this former US listening station was supposed to be a secret, it obviously had to remain far from the public eye. The Teufelsberg listening station was used during the Cold War, one of the most feared wars that fortunately never happened.
After the Americans finally abandoned in the early 1990s, it became the playground for street artists, graffiti writers and urbexers.
While it used to be quite an ordeal to visit this abandoned secret Berlin location, it’s far easier today. This private Teufelsberg tour even includes a pick-up from Berlin city centre which makes the journey so much easier and more convenient.
Join a Berlin street art tour
Although this blog post is a great introduction to the best murals to see in Berlin, nothing beats exploring the streets with a local guide. Being a London tour guide myself, I know that the easiest way to discover the best graffiti locations and street art hotspots is with a local.
Offering a wide variety of Berlin street art walking tours and tours by bike, here are some great guided tours I selected for you. If you’re Dutch, then I highly recommend booking a tour with Emma. She’s the owner of the fantastic Dutch-language Berlin blog Doen in Berlijn.
- 3.5-hr Berlin street art bike tour
- 3-hr off the grid Berlin street art and graffiti tour
- Berlin street art tour and graffiti workshop
Now you’ve got a taste of the Berlin art scene, tell me, are you just as impressed as I am? Let me know in a comment below!
Thanks, Zarina xx
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