Now, we’re not talking about the artsy European capitals like Amsterdam, Berlin, and London – these places are always jam-packed with tourists and don’t always offer the true ‘local’ vibe. If you’re after street art and cool one-off events, considering going to places outside of the usual tourist hotspots is highly recommended. Here’s our guide to point you in the right direction.
Hamburg is a city full of energy; there’s so much buzz behind the conservative front. Much like Berlin, there’s a hip feeling about the city, with festivals and celebrations a common occurrence. During the summer months, you’ll see ‘open air’ parties pop up and in the Schanzenviertel you’ll find some really cool bars that spill out onto the street. In this area, there’s also a lot of street art so when you are in Hamburg do not overlook a visit to the Schanzenviertel. When it’s time to hit the clubs, move on to the St Pauli district, where you’ll find the famous Reeperbahn and a great side street called Hamburger Berg, full of unique bars but all serving the local Hamburg shot, which you have to try: The Mexicaner. Hamburg should not be overlooked when Interrailing and it’s a great stop in between Amsterdam and Berlin.
This is a hidden gem in Poland. Lodz is promoting the work of street artists from around the world by starting the Urban Forms Gallery, which has overseen the installation of more than 20 large paintings on buildings in the city centre. It’s a way of cultural re-invigoration and has attracted many famous street artists, including Os Gemos from Brazil and Remed from France. Definitely a place to check out if you’re in Poland!
Ljubljana – the capital of Slovenia – is a very up-and-coming city and is getting more and more popular for Interrailers. The whole city is a hive for creators but the Metelkova district, a former military barracks, offers the most to see in terms of street art. It is perhaps the most successful urban squat in Europe and has become the leading underground music and art centre in the region. You’ll see all sorts of sculptures, creations and graffiti here and if you go at night you will be able to mix in with the thousands of students who party at one of the many bars around.
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Porto is a beautiful city and an undiscovered gem, with it often being overshadowed by Lisbon. It’s a city that holds a thousand secrets, etched on porcelain-tiled buildings, and in abandoned romantic gardens, teeming with flowering camellia trees. The architecture makes Porto very unique and even though many of it’s buildings have been for decades, they possess a charm that is still as strong as it was when the first brick was laid. The reason for the crumbling buildings is Portugal’s strict restoration laws and the economic crises of recent years. They can’t be sold or repaired, so for now many of the buildings are just being transformed into art galleries on the streets and alleyways of Porto. How about take a tour and gain a local’s perspective of the city here.
Honourable mention: Prague
The John Lennon wall provides so much street art in Prague alone. And many an Interrailer has, indeed, added their own tags about their adventures to the wall. Here’s a picture someone sent us from last week – anyone recognise their tag? Check out our Prague city guide.
So there we have it! Be sure to squeeze some of these places in on your next Interrail trip. Start planning your Interrailing adventure with our Interrail planning tool.