Unlike many other cities, Ghent’s street art legacy developed from the bottom-up, rooted in the passion of local artists and their connections to international artists whom they invited to paint.
When people asked me “Why Bristol?” my reply was always the same: “street art”.
The quiet hiss of the can as someone sprayed, and the shrill metal clacking as they shook it are the most distinctive sounds in Bristol, a city known more for the graffiti on its streets than for the paintings inside its museums.
If you are not into street art, don’t bother going as far as Lagos, in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. The town is very touristy, restaurants aren’t inspiring and, besides a few charming houses in the city centre, the town is made up of ugly concrete buildings and huge hotels.
But if you are into street art, Lagos is the place to go! Especially if, after a graffiti hunt, you fancy a rest at one of the many beautiful beaches not so far from the city centre.
It goes without saying that I picked Lisbon as my summer destination for its street art scene. Lisbon City Council has pioneered an active role for public art in its drive for urban renewal, so it’s no wonder that the Portuguese capital is more colorful and artsy than other European towns. As usual, graffiti hunting allowed me to discover some of the most creative outskirts in Lisbon and get to know the town beyond its touristy city center, confirming that ‘street art tourism’ might be the best way to explore a destination, or at least it works for me.