CULTURE & ARTS
12/09/2015 09:00 am ET

The 17 Lesser-Known Cities You Should Visit To See Street Art

Various street art festivals and creative organizations are luring international art stars to the walls of lesser-known cities.
JOEL SAGET via Getty Images

London. Berlin. Paris. New York. These are the cities oft ballyhooed for their vibrant walls and eclectic outdoor art. They are the major cultural hubs that attract stars like Banksy and Shepard Fairey and JR, artists who happily spray, paste and paint their ways across the towns. Add in Mexico City, Prague, Montreal and a few other familiar capitals and you've got yourself a list of the best street art cities to visit.

While these epicenters of street art are certainly worth visiting, there is street art life outside them. If you're not looking to soak in a tourist experience, but you're eager to gaze upon the wild-hued worlds lurking beyond the well-known, there's a list for that too. In fact, this is that list.

Behold, 19 lesser-known cities you should visit to see street art, from Grottaglie to Stavanger to Panang. The cities themselves are not necessarily tiny or off the beaten path, but they haven't been celebrated enough.

1. Grottaglie, Italy

#streetart #painting by #ericailcane @potentedifuoco in #grottaglie for #famefestival

A photo posted by alex pistoja (@pistoja) on

Why? The once-lively Fame Festival has brought some stunning international street art to the walls of Grottaglie in southern Italy.

2. Borås, Sweden

Todays guided tour visiting the mural of @kobrastreetart from 2014 festival. #mural#nolimitboras##publicart

A photo posted by No Limit Borås (@nolimitboras) on

Why? The No Limit festival, held around September every year, is a delightful chance to see murals amidst a city founded in 1621.

3. Besançon, France

Why? Bien Urbaine is a lovely festival that brings street art to Besançon, located close to the border of Switzerland.

4. Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile. #streetart #Gatekunst

A photo posted by Kristian Elster (@kristiane23) on

Why? The port city of Valparaiso has long been a cultural hub -- poet Pablo Neruda called La Sebastiana home -- but in recent years, its street art game has reached new heights.

5. Lodz, Poland

Łódź 🖖🏻 #lodz #poland #city #streetart #mural #art #groomyday

A photo posted by Jagoda✌🏻️ (@takabaka92) on

Why? This Polish city is exploding with colorful murals, in part thanks to Urban Forms Gallery.

6. Santurce, Puerto Rico

#streetart #santurce #PuertoRico #PRvida

A photo posted by Lauren Conn (@barelyhug) on

Why? Located in San Juan, the barrios of Santurce and Río Piedras are brimming with inventive urban imagery.

7. Penang, Malaysia

Apa nama

A photo posted by Hafizuddin Syafiq (@hafizuddinsyfq) on

Why? George Town -- a UNESCO World Heritage site and the capital of the region -- is a great street art destination.

8. Stavanger, Norway

Ja, det er kanskje tid for juleverksted snart? #stavanger #stavangerstreetart

A photo posted by Stian Kvil (@stiankvil) on

Why? All you need to know is: NuArt.

9. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond street art on point 👌🏼 #RVA

A photo posted by Lexi Janz (@lexirike) on

Why? Richmond is hardly lesser-known to Americans; however, it's not often included in international street art roundups. It's teeming with new murals.

10. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

Why? In 2015, we learned about the ArteSano Project in Rio San Juan. And we're still intrigued.

11. Shahpur Jat, India

More art in Shahpur Jat. This is by Sé - @secordeiro_art

A photo posted by Spencer Elzey (@spencerlz) on

Why? The St.ART Delhi festival has spanned three of Delhi's major districts, Shahpur Jat being one of them.

12. Honolulu, Hawaii

#Kakaako #street #art #honolulu #hawaii #808 #夏威夷 #街头 #涂鸦

A photo posted by 阿扁 (@s1yu4n) on

Why? Because tourists visit Honolulu for the sun and surf, but they shouldn't miss the outdoor art either.

13. Reykjavík, Iceland

#streetart in #reykjavik #iceland

A photo posted by Emily Vandenberghe (@emilymayvandenberghe) on

Why? What goes better with grey skies than off-white street art?

14. Gdynia, Poland

Why? Another city, another festival. This time we're talking about the Traffic Design Festival in Gdynia.

15. Panama City, Panama

Panamaniacs #CascoViejo #SanFelipe #PanamaCity #Panama #StreetArt #Graffiti #Mural edits w/ #vsco #vscocam

A photo posted by Ricardo Rendon Cepeda (@rendoncepeda) on

Why? If you like street artist ROA, Panama City is a great place to see his work.

16. Kampong Glam, Singapore

Why? Gorgeous architecture + rainbow-colored street art = a trip well spent. 

17. Djerba, Tunisia

JOEL SAGET via Getty Images

Why? If you have not checked out Djerbahood yet, you should.

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