readers’ favorite street art in Europe

Winner’s trip: Artistic heights, Esch, Luxembourg

The European Capital of Culture 2022 Esch-sur-Alzette (or simply Esch) is full of beautiful urban art. Some of it refers to the city’s industrial past, some of it to its modern cultural development and local heroes. Many of them are as tall as the buildings they appear on, which creates a spectacular impression. Artists come from all over the world, Dulk from Spain, Mantra from France for example, to realize their projects with the support of the city of Esch. It’s hard to pick a favorite. They give the city color and character and make a statement to everyone who visits. Here is art! I just love it.
Chris Vandermerghel

One Love, Bristol

Bristol is synonymous with music and street art, and there is no better example of the two combined than the massive mural One Love DJ Derek, created by some of the finest street artists in the world. Inkie, Hazard One, Kosc and Zed in the Clouds painted this colorful and vibrant tribute to the enigmatic DJ. It’s a celebration of the multicultural approach Bristol holds close to its heart. The biggest scoop for all you street art fans is that an augmented reality experience centered around the mural will be announced soon. Celebrating Derek’s life and 40-year DJ career, it was created by digital artist Marc Marot and is accompanied by music from Bristol legend Laid Blak. It can be found near junction 2 of the M32 in Eastville.
Jonathan Savage

Hill Street view, Birmingham

Peaky Blinders fans visiting Birmingham this summer should head to the brilliant art installation on Hill Street. Local artist Jon Jones’s paintings weave fact and fiction to explore the criminal underworld of 19th century Birmingham. Working with the West Midlands Police Museum, he has created haunting images that delve into police records and mugshots to portray the protagonists of the notorious gang – Tommy, Polly, Arthur, Alfie and more. The sponsor, Castle Fine Art, will donate £1 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, every time a photo is posted on social media, using @castlegalleries, #Brum4BCH.
Sue Bell

Wilfred Owen on a tram, New Brighton, Merseyside

I am a proud resident of this once neglected seaside town. Thanks to the efforts of local entrepreneur Daniel Davies, every available wall has been covered in street art, celebrating the best of local culture and restoring pride in our community. My favorite is the mural of a tram: look closely and you can see Wirral poet Wilfred Owen on board, lovers kissing, a seagull stealing a cheeky bag of crisps. Also celebrated are the Beatles (who played here in the long-gone ballroom), Guide Dogs for the Blind (a New Brighton initiative – the first four dogs were trained here in 1931), a local lifeboatman, our teenagers and a host of pets. The funniest thing was that Boris Johnson was the subject of a piece of art when our local pub (James Atherton) decided to call itself The Lying Bastard – although no sign was made. It had previously been called The Three ****ends – a reference to Matt Hancock, Johnson and Dominic Cummings – and The Two Helmets, once Cummings had left the stage.
Gillian Homery

Billy meets Banksy, Glasgow

You’ll find images of Billy Connolly looking down from Glasgow’s gables and artists whose skilled and humorous work is rich with social commentary, very much in the tradition of Banksy. A great introduction to the art on display is with the Glasgow Street Art Walking Tour, which costs £12. Our guide, Karen, explained the background of the genre and introduced us to some wonderful and iconic examples around the city centre.
Jane Burke

Peng art in Penge, London

The profoundly untrendy south-east London suburb of Penge is an unlikely mecca for both street artists and lovers of their work. Brilliant, often exciting, ever-changing works of art adorn walls, shutters, doorways and hoardings, along main roads and in back streets and alleys; it seems like every week there is new and often fabulous work. There are pieces with a message, others that make you smile and many that are simply beautiful. There are plenty of cafes and pubs to ease tired feet and even a brewery with a taproom.

Lose yourself, Marseille

L’art de rue is a gem of an open-air museum in Europe, largely undiscovered by British tourists. Head first to the Panier district – which has plenty of art on every corner and a vibrant hybrid cultural character. Get lost in the narrow streets, where you will find the true spirit of this great city. Then stroll along the streets that connect Cours Julien with Place Jean-Jaurès – discover walls covered in the most extraordinary tags and graffiti. Finally, mull over your finds in one of the many delightful cafes. Ça vaut le voyage – you won’t regret it.
D Preston

Cobbled corners, Kaunas, Lithuania

Street artists in independent-minded Kaunas, former capital of Lithuania, have almost 50 years of Soviet concrete to work with. Witty, thought-provoking and downright strange murals are around every cobbled corner. The artists decorate the mundane spaces between the stunning modernist buildings from the interwar period – some of them crumbling, some being restored. However, the face of Kaunas is changing rapidly, as glittering steel and glass structures appear along the old streets. Perhaps now the opportunities to visit this European capital of culture are fleeting. Use the excellent buses to get around.
Martin Charlesworth

Port of cool, Bordeaux

We have been to Bordeaux several times but missed this place until we found it after renting bikes and visiting the port area. The artwork is at the entrance to a German U-boat base built during World War II. There are art exhibits inside, but you can visit the base for free. With lots of street art in the surrounding streets and close proximity to the Halles de Bacalan (amazing food market) and La Cité du Vin, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Paul Almeroth

Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be presented online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition, visit the Readers’ Tips website

Socialist slant, Barbagia, Sardinia

The small town of Orgosolo, in the Barbagia region of central Sardinia, is known for its political murals, mostly of socialist, communist and pacifist leanings. Not too many years ago, the town was known for the bandits that roamed the region, but it seemed quiet and peaceful when I visited, although I did see a couple of brass cartridge cases on the ground.

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