The dark and gloomy weather that is currently hovering over London is reminiscent of the weather of our long weekend in Berlin at the start of this year. This was my first trip to Berlin (and Germany!), people I spoke to referred to the city using the words ‘hipster’ and ‘cool’ so I arrived unsure what to expect, from researching I knew that Berlin had a lot of street art but I was completely taken a back by just how much there is. What was once seen as vandalism is now known as street art, maybe it is the ex-graphic design student in me; but I love seeing the way people use different forms of art to express their emotions, views and even beliefs, and the walls of Berlin show that street art is no different from ‘real’ art. You can even book walking tours that are solely to discover the best of the urban art, all around the city are tourists using their cameras to photograph the murals as naturally as they would the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Cameras, such as the best compact cameras from Panasonic, can be used to capture the vibrancy of the art contrasting against the dull coloured buildings of old Germany.
Street art can be found in all places all over the city, but some of the best can be found at the East Side Gallery (a memorial for freedom), here part of the remains of the Berlin Wall is covered in politically inspired art, including the world-famous ‘Kiss’ between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker. Ironically a lot of the gallery is now protected by metal barriers to prevent people graffitiing over the original graffiti, but do visit there even if street art is not your thing, I do feel a trip to Berlin would not be complete with experiencing the emotions displayed across the wall. Another hotspot for street art in Berlin is the area of Mitte, in this area, you can also spot various originals by Banksy (not pictured) including the famous flower thrower/ catcher image, which can be spotted at the Kunsthaus Tacheles (Art House Tackles). Throughout the streets of Mitte you will also find photo booths, where for 2 euros you can create your own art in the form of vintage style photographic memories.
No European city these days would be complete without a ‘love lock’ bridge and Berlin has a few but the most famous are located along the Weidendammer Bridge but one can also be found on the East Side Gallery. For those that are unaware, love locks are placed to show/ express the commitment to a relationship/friendship, and often have initials and messages engraved into the padlocks before placing. I believe the first was started in Pont des Arts, Paris but most European cities now seem to have a replica.
Berlin is covered in beautiful illustrations, street art, graffiti, what ever you choose to call it. From expressing anger to supporting a political movement or just for the sheer enjoyment of drawing, street art has been a massive part of this part of Germany’s culture and I am so glad that Berlin is embracing the creativity with open arms, as it makes Berlin a unique and fascinating city to visit.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Panasonic.