3 Days in Penang: Itinerary for a Perfect Trip

If you’re planning a trip to Malaysia, you’ve got to have Penang on your itinerary. Penang is vibrant, delicious, and unique – and there’s plenty to do in Penang to last days upon days.

I recommend spending at least 3 days in Penang so you can really get the feel for this special island and see a few different parts of it, beyond just George Town.

Here’s a quick Penang itinerary to help you get started!

3 Day Penang Itinerary: Day 1

Start at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Also known as the Blue Mansion, this was the house of the prominent Chinese businessman Cheong Fatt Tze, and today, it’s both a museum and a guest house. Its architecture is very unique, which is why the mansion received a UNESCO conservation award for maintaining its original look from a hundred years ago. It’s a splendid and magnificent house, and it’s located in the Georgetown quarter of Penang.

Visit Pinang Peranakan Mansion

The Peranakans were a famous and very successful group of Chinese settlers and traders. They left a lasting influence on Penang, and this mansion is a thorough recreation of the home of one of the merchants who lived in the city. The rooms are ornately and lavishly decorated with intricate details, and you’ll get to see magnificent furniture, jewelry, and works of art. It’s a house that explains a long and deep history.

Marvel at the St. George’s Church

Originally constructed two hundred years ago by the East India Trading Company by using convict labor, this is one of the oldest buildings in Penang. It’s also the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia. It’s built using the Ancient Greek style, but it has a unique Victorian feel to it as well, and it features beautiful oil paintings inside. It’s a beautiful building, and it’s still active to this day.

Visit the unique clan jetties in Penang

There were originally seven jetties in Penang, but after a devastating fire, one of them was destroyed. Each of them is dedicated to a different Chinese clan, and they’re one of the last true Chinese settlements on the island. They’re part of a waterfront society, each with its own distinct look and feel, and they have colorful histories that are amazing to explore. Watching the sunset off the jetties is one of the best things to do here.

If you only have time to visit one, make it Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi. Built over 600 years ago, this is one of the clan buildings of the five big clans that represented Hokkien community in Penang ages ago. It’s an intricately decorated house where people gather to worship their ancestors. Today, it largely has a ceremonial and spiritual role, but it also settles disputes between its members, and helps with the education of children. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful clan houses in Penang.

Travel back in time at Fort Cornwallis

This is the largest standing fort in the country, and it was built in 1786. It was named after Charles Cornwallis, the Marquis, and even though only its walls remain today, exploring it still a surreal experience. The gate is guarded by a Malaysian man fully dressed in British regalia, while Tchaikovsky plays on the speakers. Inside, you’ll find a park and several exhibits.

3 Day Penang Itinerary: Day 2

Start the day at Kek Lok Si

Buddhism is a large and important part of Malaysia, and Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in the country. It features several monasteries, temples, gorgeously landscaped gardens, and prayer halls, and it’s a strong symbol of spiritualism in Malaysia. It’s partly carved into the rock faces, while the other part sits atop Air Itam. The pagoda at the center is one of its most famous attractions.

See the stunning 7 Tier Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas

As the crowning jewel of Kek Lok Si, this pagoda is one of the most beautiful buildings in the region. It was built a few decades after the temple, and it has a few different and distinct architectural styles. It represents the diversity in the peoples that live in the country, and it has a large statue of Buddha inside.

Check the views from the Komtar Tower

The Rainbow Walkway atop the Komtar Tower is a transparent observation deck which allows unprecedented views of the city. You’ll get to enjoy Penang at its finest, which is absolutely during the setting of the sun. The platform allows for observing the city’s skyline, the ships floating lazily, and the mountains afar, all of which will be illuminated by the warm colors of sunset.

Eat your heart out on an evening food tour

Malaysian cuisine is one of the most underrated cuisines in the world. It has unique flavors and dishes, all of which are best discovered as you’re learning about the past of Georgetown. Authentic food is only one part of the tour, during which you’ll stop at some tasting locations to sample delicious meals. The other is engaging with the incredible local culture and the traditions that make its peoples stand out.

3 Day Penang Itinerary: Day 3

Choose your own adventure!

Today’s the day to get a bit unique and off the beaten path in Penang. Whether that’s visiting one of the beaches, exploring the national park, or going on a street art tour — or simply exploring some of the smaller wats and temples like Reclining Buddha Temple — just like it’s hard to have a bad meal in Penang, it’s pretty hard to have a bad time.

6 Adventurous Things to Do in Svalbard

things to do in svalbard

Welcome to another installation of Offbeat Travel, featuring out of the way, lesser known travel destinations that other intrepid travel bloggers have visited. Now let me pass the mic to LC of Birdgehls, sustainable travel extraordinaire and Nordic country enthusiast, so she can introduce you to the northernmost town on earth – Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Svalbard technically belongs to Norway but is geographically and culturally distinct from it. I share her love for all things Nordic, and it seems you guys do too — my post on visiting Sweden in winter and seeing the Northern lights in Abisko remain firm favorites even 9 months after I shared the post! So I’m sure you’ll love to see what she has to say about the best things to do in Svalbard — check it out below!

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Have you heard of Svalbard? Don’t worry if not, as I hadn’t either, until a couple of years ago.

Jump onto Google Maps, or kick it old school by grabbing your nearest map or atlas. Head north, above Europe pretty much as far north as you can go. See that collection of islands, located around 600 miles from the North Pole? That archipelago is Svalbard.

Coming from a land of what feels like eternal summertime (Australia), I’ve had an obsession with the Nordic countries for as long as I can remember. So, I’ve been slowly ticking them off my list. Svalbard isn’t a country – it’s a part of Norway – but it is a destination in its own right. It made the list alongside other Nordic territories, like Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

things to do in longyearbyen

Svalbard is a bit of a winter wonderland all year round, with temperatures in the summer months averaging 40°F (5°C). The sun doesn’t set in the summer and during the shoulder seasons, the light blends seamlessly from sunrise to sunset over the course of a few hours.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard is located so far north that it is shrouded in darkness during the winter months, a phenomenon which is known as the “Polar Night.” The only natural light you’ll see is that of the aurora borealis (the Northern lights), which makes this time of the year quite possibly the most interesting to travel to Svalbard.

So, quite fancy checking it out yourself? Here’s what you need to know.

things to do in longyearbyen

Getting To Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Norwegian Air, which is easily my favorite budget airline, offer flights from Oslo or Tromso in Norway direct to Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s capital. You can fly to either destination from essentially anywhere in Europe – I flew in from London and carried on to Berlin straight after.

What to Pack for Svalbard

All your winter woollies! Svalbard is COLD – which is to be expected, considering its location.

At the very least, I’d bring thermals (merino wool are the best, as the material is cozy and quick drying – polyester ones will do the trick too), a fleece, waterproof trousers, a beanie, gloves, scarf, and boots with good grip (snow boots are ideal, but I made do with faux-fur lined Timberlands).

Don’t forget a decent jacket either – one that can fit over your many layers and is both insulated and waterproof.

Here are some must-haves for your Svalbard adventure:

 

Things to Do in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Despite the weather conditions, there’s plenty to do in Svalbard.

Dog sledding in the snow

I enjoyed this activity above all others, as I am simply mad about man (and woman’s) best friend.

We were picked up at our hotel and went off to the doggie base camp to pick up some mutts. The handlers knew all the dogs by name, which ones had been out recently (they rotate them so that every dog gets a run every couple of days).

best things to do in svalbard

The dogs were more excited to go running than we were and enthusiastically led us around the outskirts of town. Our guide was quite knowledgeable as well and delighted us with even more random facts about the area.

Plus, we got a hot beverage at the end, which was needed – darkness had descended and the cold was rapidly settling in!

Chase the Northern Lights

As I stated earlier, Longyearbyen, Svalbard is not a bad spot for viewing the Northern lights. They can generally be spotted anytime from around October to March.

You have more luck outside of the city boundaries, so I did a tour that took us to a small cabin, built just for that purpose. We were fed reindeer casserole (they had vegetarian options too) and sipped on coffees and tea, in the hope of seeing the lights.

Unfortunately, they did not deign to make an appearance that night, so we spent the evening learning about polar bears instead. That was also the closest I got to seeing a polar bear – despite the ones that were stuffed and sat around town (weirdly, there is one in the airport when you enter, leering over the baggage carousel).

Indulge your sweet tooth at the world’s northernmost chocolate factory

Fruene was started in 2013 in Longyearbyen and make handcrafted chocolates that are inspired by the Arctic.

You can sample treats that are fashioned into miniature polar bears, or display patterning that is meant to represent the Northern lights. Or just escape inside to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the warmth of their cafe.

Check out the Svalbard Museum

This is ideal for learning some background information on this strange and eccentric archipelago. Did you know that Longyearbyen was once a mining town? Or that all locals need a license to drink? Have you heard that you can’t step outside of the city limits without a gun, due to the fear of polar bear attack?

Here are some more facts about Longyearbyen, some of which are downright odd.

things to do in svalbard

Snowmobiling through the… well, snow

I was gutted to discover that there wasn’t enough snow for me to go on my pre-planned snowmobiling adventure (highly irregular for that time of the year, we were told).

In normal conditions, snowmobiling is readily available in Svalbard. It’s a pretty normal mode of transport for locals.

Learn about the Global Seed Vault

The Global Seed Vault in Longyearbyen was the sight I was most excited to find out more about, as a biology nerd.

The vault was installed in 2008 by representatives of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland (so, each of the Nordic countries). Think of it as insurance for the planet itself – as the vault contains seeds from countries all over the globe.

If ever there was some worldwide emergency where crops were wiped out, these seeds ensure that we can continue to feed ourselves. The seed bank has already demonstrated its worth. Seeds native to Syria were removed, to be grown in Morocco and Lebanon, as the country’s crop supply has been devastated by the civil war.

You can’t actually enter the vault (to my bitter disappointment) but you can learn about the history of the seed bank and how crops are grown in the arctic north. That’s right… there are greenhouses in Svalbard!

There are plenty of other activities available, depending on the time of year – from glacier hikes to boat trips to the north in the summer and ATV adventuring up and down mountains.

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With an end in sight for the coal mining industry, Svalbard will continue to grow as a hotspot for travelers the world over, as it becomes more and more accessible. For those who are obsessed with Nordic territories and the various adventures they offer, this strange and beautiful archipelago is a must-see.

 

LC is an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia and plastic free living on her blog, Birdgehls. You can also look her up on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase something using one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no added cost to you. No BS – I only recommend accommodations, services, and products I truly believe in.

 Longyearbyen, Svalbard in Norway is full of things to do, from winter dogsledding to polar bear sighting to learning about the Seed Vault to seeking out the elusive Northern lights. Learn how to prep for your Arctic adventure!
 Longyearbyen, Svalbard in Norway is full of things to do, from winter dogsledding to polar bear sighting to learning about the Seed Vault to seeking out the elusive Northern lights. Learn how to prep for your Arctic adventure!

10 Lively Things to Do in Livingstone, Zambia

Let’s take a break from our regularly scheduled program to hear from a travel blogger friend of mine in my new guest post series, “Offbeat Travel” – highlighting lesser known destinations that I’ve yet to visit. Here’s Nicole of Travelgal Nicole, a whirlwind of a world traveler who has visited over 90 countries to date, including some of the least visited – or even heard of – countries like Micronesia. Yes, that’s actually a country, and not just a joke from Zoolander! She’s even been to Nauru, which sees only 200 visitors per year! So, without further ado, here’s Nicole telling you all about Livingstone, Zambia – things to do, what to see, and more!

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Livingstone is located in the southwestern part of Zambia and is the tourist capital of Victoria Falls. Livingstone is a historic British colonial city and is named after David Livingstone, who first explored the area. It’s a great place to base yourself while taking day trips to do other things from there. Here are some of the best things to do in Livingstone, Zambia and the surrounding areas:

1. Visit the Victoria Falls, or Mosi oa Tunya (“The Smoke that Thunders”)

Victoria falls is #1 of the things to do in Livingstone Zambia

Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Zambia. While it is not the tallest waterfall at 108 meters or the widest at 1708 meters, it is classified as the largest waterfall in the world for the combination of both. You can actually hear the waterfall in the surrounding area, which is why the locals have named it Mosi oa Tunya, “the smoke that thunders.” At times there is so much spray from the waterfall that you can’t actually see the water itself, but only the “smoke” surrounding it. The “smoke” from the waterfall can be seen up to 30 miles away! This is definitely number one of all the things to do in Livingstone.

2. Visit Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe (90% of the falls are on the Zimbabwean side)

Another great thing to do in Livingstone - see Vic Falls from the Zimbabwe side!

Which side to see the falls from? I say both! We walked about half an hour from the Zambia side to the Zimbabwe side of the falls (you can also take a bike ride tour). 90% of Victoria Falls is located on the Zimbabwean side. They have turned the area into a park with walkways and cafes. We started at the beginning of the trail, where we saw a rainbow over the falls. As I was there in the dry season, the Zimbabwean side was much more impressive.

3. Take a helicopter ride over the falls

I took a 30-minute flight over the falls in a helicopter. This was my first time in a helicopter, and I was sitting shotgun with the pilot. It’s a totally different experience being in a helicopter! In a plane, you move side to side, whereas in a helicopter, you move nose to tail. It gets a bit windy up there. The flight itself is stunning: we flew over the falls and through the “smoke.” The visibility was really good on the day we went and we were able to see elephants and giraffes from the helicopter as well. You can also go on a micro flight over the falls – another one of the great things to do in Livingstone, Zambia!

4. Have High Tea at the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Hotel

Drink tea with zebras - one of the must do things in Livingstone Zambia

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. I think high tea at a five-star resort is up there with treating yourself to a little bit of luxury! This hotel has everything you need after an adventurous day out enjoying all the things to do in Livingstone. We chilled on the deck overlooking the Zambezi, having a glass of wine and watching the hippos. Then we had some visitors to the gardens – zebras! I wasn’t expecting them to show up as guests to our lunch date, but we were cool with that. Between the wildlife, the views, the cakes and teas, this hotel is definitely worth checking out. We even saw giraffes on the way in.

5. Go swimming in the Devil’s Pool

Yes, you really can go into the waterfalls! In the dry season, the Zambezi River level drops quite a lot, and it is possible to walk in the river to the Devil’s Pool where you can look over the side and swim in the pool — with a guide of course. It is only available from the Zambian side. There is nothing quite like looking over the falls to an almost 1 kilometer drop below as the water is rolling over the side! The Devil’s Pool is a real adrenaline rush for anyone who has done it, and probably the scariest of all things to do in Zambia.

6. Take a Sunset Cruise down the Zambezi River

A sunset cruise is a must of the things to do in Livingstone Zambia

When it comes to exploring the river, a Zambezi sunset cruise is a must. Most of these turn into a bit of a booze cruise, but we had a really cool group of volunteers on our cruise and we ended up talking travel the entire time. We spent about two hours on the river meandering through the islands and enjoying the abundant wildlife along the banks of the Zambezi River. It was great to experience the serenity of the river while spotting elephants along the banks and more hippos and crocodiles than you can imagine.

7. Visit the Big Cat Rehab Center

Hanging out with cheetahs - a great thing to do in Zambia

One of the highlights of my time in Livingstone was spending the day at a Big Cat Center where they take in orphaned lions and cheetahs. This is a volunteer facility that is working with the community to increase the numbers of big cats in Zambia. My experience with the cheetahs will always be one of my top wildlife experiences. My cheetah’s name was Susan, and even though she was the fastest runner of the group, she was the slowest walker. That was okay because we really just ended up hanging out under the shade of a tree for most of our time together. I spent an hour petting her and listening to her purr. You can also interact with the lions here and go for a walk through the bush.

8. Eat like a local at the Café Zambezi

I heard about this place from some of the locals. It’s a nice, clean café with huge portions and good service. Café Zambezi is on the main strip in Livingstone and serves some local delicacies such as crocodile ribs, mshina (local maize dish), kudu stew, impala stew – it’s good food with an African vibe. It’s a bit touristy but worth the hype to try dishes from this area.

9. Visit a local village nearby

I visited the Mukuni village just outside Livingstone. This was the first settlement Livingstone found when he stood at Victoria Falls and was looking for people around the falls. We spent three hours in the village learning about the culture and origins of this Zambian village. The village has over 5,000 people who live there, and they have been living there for generations. We toured their homes and saw how they lived and also checked out their arts and crafts for sale.

10. Visit Chobe National Park in nearby Botswana

Visit elephants in Chobe - one of the greatest things to do in Livingstone, Zambia

Chobe National Park is located in the northern part of Botswana, along the border of Zambia and Namibia, and is another one of the more popular things to do in Livingston, Zambia. We drove from Livingstone to the ferry (approximately one hour) and took a 15-minute ferry ride across to Botswana – but guided tours are also available for those without cars.
Our safari guides picked us up at the ferry and we had a quick 10-minute drive to the park. The day safari that I booked was a morning boat ride through the park, then lunch, and then back out again for an afternoon safari in an open top safari truck. The highlight of the trip for me was the morning boat ride. Chobe has approximately 120,000 elephants in the park and in the morning all the animals come to the river to bathe. This was the first time I had seen elephants swimming and playing in the water. I also saw a baby elephant that was only two weeks old. So cute!

Where to Stay in Livingstone, Zambia

Budget: There aren’t that many hostels in Livingstone, but of the ones there are, two are widely considered to be the best — Jollyboys and Fawlty Towers, both of which have dorms with air conditioned rooms and pools.

Midrange: There are lots of mid-range options between about $40-80 per night which offer no-frills private rooms. Tabonina Guesthouse is a well-rated favorite with breakfast included and simple private rooms. ZigZag Town Lodge is a bit more pricy but has more modern design and a pool.

Luxury: There’s no shortage of luxury digs in Livingstone. The River Club is the nicest hotel in town, with riverside rooms that overlook the Zambezi below where pods of hippos roam free, fine dining, and stunning decor — at a price. The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara is another great luxury option, with free roaming zebras on the grounds. If you want luxury on a budget, AVANI will give you the best bang for your buck — plus they also have a live-in zebra and giraffe on property!!

 

About Travelgal Nicole

Nicole LaBarge got her first taste for travel when she was 16 years old. Ever since then, she has been hooked and calls herself a travel-holic. She believes you can travel and have a career and she is halfway to her goal of visiting every country in the world. She is a serial expat who has lived in five different countries to date and is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. She loves traveling and is currently planning a trip to visit all 12 countries in South America. You can follow her adventures on Instagram.

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Livingstone, Zambia in Southern Africa is chock full of fun things to do, from seeing Victoria Falls to going on safari in Chobe National Park. Here's why you should add this often forgotten African nation on your bucket list.

12 of the Best Cities for Street Art in Europe

When I asked travel bloggers to tell me their favorite cities for street art all over the world, I was overwhelmed by all the amazing responses. So much so, in fact, that I had to create two separate posts to contain all the beautiful art – check out the first part of the street art series here!

Europe is home to some of the best street art, so I decided to create a whole post dedicated to street art exclusively in Europe – and not just the heavy hitters like Berlin and Barcelona.

Who would have known you’d find amazing street art in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in Ponta Delgada, Azores (which is part of Portugal), or in tiny Larnaca, Cyprus?

Read on to discover some amazing new street art done by talented street artists around the world to add to your bucket list or your next European adventure!

Athens, Greece

Street art in Athens, Greece
Street art in Athens, Greece

Stephanie from The World As I See It (find her on Twitter & Facebook)

I was completely surprised and amazed by the street art in Athens, Greece. It shouldn’t be any surprise considering the word graffiti steams from the Greek word graphi. Athens’ street art is diverse, covering subjects ranging from Greek mythology to political statements, and of course, love. I loved so many pieces, but my favorites were of crazy curly-haired ladies that could be found across the city. I later learned the story behind this awesome vixen. The story is that a guy whose girlfriend broke his heart decided to remind her of his love by creating these piece, resembling her, along her route. Sad and romantic – all in the name of love and art.

Great neighborhoods to explore for street art in Athens are: Anafiotika, Psiri, Plaka, Exarchina, Gazi and Metaxourgeio.

Further reading: Check out some other street art in Athens here!

Belfast, Ireland

Street art in Belfast, Ireland
Street art in Belfast, Ireland

Lance and Laura of Travel Addicts (find them on Facebook & Instagram)

In many cities in the world, street art or murals are the work of graffiti artists. The themes they chose are often personal or whimsical. But in Belfast, Northern Ireland, all street art is political.

The street art in Belfast in centered in two sections of the city that fairly close to each other: The Shankill Road neighborhood and the Falls Road neighborhood. In a city that has been deeply divided and tragically scarred by “The Troubles,” the murals are every bit as charged. However, these days, many murals are taking a softer, more conciliatory tone as “The Peace” has settled into the city – and economic progress has follow. The murals today serve as much a remembrance of the bad times as they are a call to protest.

Regardless of political ideology, the murals – all the murals – are extremely powerful statements.

London, England

Street art in London, England
Street art in London, England

Stu & Eloise of Am I Nearly There Yet (find them on Twitter & Facebook)

London! Although grey and wet for half the year, it can sure do graffiti culture well. London is awash with street art, and the world’s best artists all end up here at some point tagging up walls with the rest of the cool kids. Southbank is probably my favorite spot in London for graffiti – head down towards the skate park by the bridge and you’ll be rewarded with some epic montages and mind-blowing visuals! Other infamous spots include the ever-cool Shoreditch and Hackney, and if you head to The Grange in Camberwell you’ll see ‘Choose Your Weapon’ – my personal Banksy favorite.

Ghent, Belgium

Street art in Ghent, Belgium
Street art in Ghent, Belgium

Valentina of Guenda’s Travels (find her on Twitter & Facebook)
Ghent is just not a simply a very nice town to visit, but there’s also plenty to see. It’s a completely “graffiti friendly” city and along its roads and alleys we can find some pretty good works. Around Ghent there are a lot of very colorful street art works, but there’s an alley in particular where you can find lots of them, so if you don’t have a lot of time, you can just decide to walk along this tiny road and discover some. I am talking about Werregarenstraatje or Graffitistraatje, which host hundreds of different graffiti. If you do have enough time, like about half a day, well, then you have to try the Concrete Canvas Tour that will take you to the most famous masterpieces in town on a 7 kilometer route.

Lodz, Poland

Street art in Łódź, Poland
Street art in Łódź, Poland

Kami of My Wanderlust (find her on Facebook & Twitter)

Łódź (pronounced “woodge”), a city in central Poland with a rich industrial heritage, is probably the most alternative and creative place in Central Europe. One of the ways to redefine the present of the city was street art. Łódź was probably the first city in Poland where murals were introduced, playing an important role in shaping the cityscape. In 2009 the local foundation Urban Forms invited local and international world famous artists (INTI, ROA, or Etam Cru just to name few) to create art on the walls of Łódź. What we can see now is a great urban gallery, perfectly fitting the vibe of the city. The best way to enjoy Łódź street art is to download the map from the foundation’s website and track down all the works – there are over 30 of them marked there, but that’s not all Łódź has to offer!

Belgrade, Serbia

Street art in Belgrade, Serbia
Street art in Belgrade, Serbia

Stefania of Every Steph (find her on Facebook & Instagram)

I visited Belgrade for the first time this past summer, and it was a great surprise. The city blends old and new well, and I was conquered by the Savamala neighborhood, which is often considered the hipster neighborhood of the city. It’s nice to bike around the river, or walk through the narrow alleys to find the graffiti. You can find some beautiful ones, and a few from famous graffiti artists such as Blue. You can also join one of the many tours that will show you the area and help you find the best graffitis. The neighborhood also offers traditional kafanas where you can eat for very cheap, quirky cafes, and nice bars (often open air during the summer) that offer a vibrant nightlife. Ready to dance by the river?

Berlin, Germany

Street art in Berlin, Germany
Street art in Berlin, Germany

Emily of See Her Travel (find on her on Instagram & Facebook)

Berlin is undoubtedly the coolest city I have ever been to; I am not a cool enough person to be there. Between the history, the food, the green spaces, and the bars, Berlin gives the impression that there is always more to discover, that you will never experience it all. My favorite part of Berlin though (after the cheese!) was the street art.  Almost every free wall in the city has something sprayed across it, ranging from graffiti and tags to commissioned murals to Hackescher Markt to the famous East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall. The artistry on these walls of the city is for all to enjoy; no hiding it away in stuffy or expensive museums.  The modern capital of Germany is built on creativity; it welcomes artists, writers, filmmakers, and performers from all over the world to join the ranks of freethinking Berliners, coming together to make a city so unique, so rich in diversity. Roaming the streets of Berlin is a street photographer’s dream… you never know what gorgeous sampling of another person’s talent you will find next.

Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Street art in Ponta Delgada, Azores
Street art in Ponta Delgada, Azores

Cathy of Roar Loud (find her on Facebook & Twitter)

Ponta Delgada in the Azores surprised us with an incredible amount of beautiful street art. Yearly the city hosts an urban art festival, which draws artists from around the world. Down alleys and along highways, street art is everywhere. We found small pieces while walking near our hotel and larger murals on the side streets of downtown. Locals were helpful in pointing us to spots we hadn’t found on our street art treasure hunt. Our favorite was this unique piece on an old farm watch tower. The world-renowned street artist Vhils uses his signature carving away at buildings to create a pieces unlike anything I had seen.  The best thing about the street art in Ponta Delgada — you know next year there will be more incredible pieces to see!

Brighton, England

Street art in Brighton, England
Street art in Brighton, England

Kathryn of Travel with Kat (find her on Twitter & Instagram)

Brighton is a wonderful seaside town, just an hour from London by train. It’s known for its bohemian vibe, a great music scene, the stunning Royal Pavilion, a thriving LBGT community and, among other things, its street art.

The most famous example has to be Banksy’s Kissing Policeman. You’ll find it on the corner of Trafalgar Street and Frederick Place, on the side wall of the Prince Albert pub. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the railway station. The colorful wall of fame that surrounds the Banksy is a tribute to musical legends, a collaboration between graffiti artist Req and the original creator, SinnaOne, together with Chris Steward, the owner of the pub. Everyone who is anyone is there, from Elvis to Amy Winehouse.

If you continue east along Terrance Street and turn south into Terrance Lane, you’ll find another favorite haunt of mine. The walls either side of this narrow road are covered in street art and every time I visit new pieces appear, a continually evolving work of art. These are just a couple of highlights, but if you explore Brighton’s streets, you’ll find many more wonderful paintings depicting a myriad of subjects. It’s a fabulous town that I never tire of visiting.

Bristol, England

Street art in Bristol, England
Street art in Bristol, England

Jen of The Trusted Traveller (find her on InstagramPinterest)

What a lot of people don’t realize is that you can barely walk 100 meters through the city of Bristol, in England’s west, without stumbling across an interesting lane way or street full of incredible art. But for diehard street art fans this won’t come as a surprise, because this is where world famous street artist Banksy hails from.

For me, it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise discovering this world-class street art scene on my day exploring the city with friends. There are hundreds of awesome pieces to be found around the city. But I found this one, my favorite, right in the heart of the city on Nelson Street. It’s called ‘See No Evil’ and was created by famous Italian street artist Mr. Wany.

If you want to time your visit to Bristol just right and really appreciate its street art, then head there in July for Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, UpFest. This festival attracts artists from all over the world wanting to add their mark to any vacant piece of wall to be among street art royalty.

Barcelona, Spain

Street art in Barcelona, Spain
Street art in Barcelona, Spain

Edwina of Traveling German (find her on Twitter)

Barcelona has a great street art scene. Historically, building facades in Barcelona were very ornate and colorful (check out the work of Antonio Gaudí, for example), and the city’s street art is both complement and contrast to this. 

There are a wide variety of styles and graffiti works in all sizes, ranging from small tags to massive multi-story murals. The shutters on the city’s many shops and bars are popular canvases for works of street art, many of them commissioned by the shops’ owners. Barcelona is also home to many works of Francisco de Pajaro and his “Art is Trash” project that turns trash into creative art installations.

One of my favourite places for street art is the Túnel de Mundet, which has become a bit of a street art gallery. Passeig Taulat (on the corner with Lope de Vega street) in Poblenou is also full of interesting works and often busy on the weekends. If you want to see more hidden works, try one of the free walking tours that Barcelona Street Style Tour offers. Or if you’d rather explore on your own, take a walk through the neighborhoods of Gotico or Raval – preferably at a time when most shops are closed and the shutters are down.

Larnaca, Cyprus

Street art in Larnaca, Cyprus
Street art in Larnaca, Cyprus

Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys (find them on Instagram & Facebook)

A few years ago we visited Cyprus, where Stefan’s family is from. Larnaca is the main transport hub into and out of the island, where the main airport is based. It’s also the go-between town connecting Limassol and the east of the island and a vital stop over if you’re relying on the buses instead of renting a car.

Whilst waiting for the bus in Larnaca we had some time to kill, so we walked around the backstreets of the city and stumbled upon this gem. The words on this street art literally translate to: “Put fire into everything which takes your fancy, into everything which eats at your soul”. At that particular moment the intense heat was eating away at our soul, so we hurried into a cafe and had a nice cool frappe coffee to cool down.

Everyone knows Berlin and London are famous for their street art, but have you ever heard of Lodz? Ponta Delgada? Larnaca? 12 travel bloggers share their favorite European cities for street art, both on and off the beaten path. Read on to discover some surprising new places with fantastic street art culture!

14 of the Best Cities for Street Art Around the World

All over the world, cities young and old are being refreshed with street art. Sometimes political, sometimes whimsical, street art is always about accessibility. Unlike museums, seeing street art is always free, making it perfect for budget travelers. I asked travel bloggers to share with me some of their favorite street art around the world. I was so overwhelmed with the responses that I split it up into two posts: one focusing on worldwide street art and the other more specifically on street art in Europe.

In this roundup, you’ll find street art from around the world – from Asia to Australia to the US and beyond. Stay tuned for next week’s post on street art in Europe!

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