Unconventional tour: Street art of Hamburg, Germany

Depending on which side of the city you visit, Hamburg, Germany can be either a very wealthy or a very gritty place. The walking street art tour I did was definitely on the gritty side.

Upon a recommendation from a tourist I met in Amsterdam, I found this “pay-as-you-like” walking tour of Hamburg here. Lucky for non-German speakers, English tours were readily available, mostly from college-aged locals looking to make a little pocket money. My guide was an Australian studying in Hamburg who became fascinated with street art culture after having a roommate who was deeply involved in the scene—way cooler than your typical tour guide.

Thanks to this great experience, I’m definitely going to keep looking for walking tours by locals when I’m checking out a new city.

A note from the official street art tour site:

“This is the original Alternative Hamburg walking tour which we established to showcase Hamburg’s diverse culture and community spirit.

Throughout the tour we will not only introduce a number of local, national and international graffiti and street artists, we will offer you an inside look at Hamburg’s bohemian districts and alternative culture. You will learn about community protests, gentrification threats, pirate legends, urban art movements and get to visit squatted buildings, re purposed bunkers, nature reserves and creative hubs. “

Hamburg 1
This gritty street corner near the St. Pauli U-Bahn station is typical for this area of Hamburg, which takes pride in its street artists.

 

 

Hamburg 2
Street art in the St. Pauli area

 

Hamburg 3
A street art target marks the separation between the old and new sections of the city.

 

Hamburg 4
Even the alleys are full of art.

 

Hamburg 5
Major works commissioned by private businesses and the city also appear in Hamburg.

 

 

Hamburg 6
3D street art made of foam has become increasingly popular.

 

Hamburg 7
This World War II bunker in Flora park has been repurposed as a graffiti artists’ paradise. Artists can practice complex pieces all over the sides of the building. The building also doubles as a climbing wall.

 

Looking to add another city to your Germany itinerary? Check out my budget guide to Berlin including sites, food, shopping, and hostels.

 

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