Istanbul – the City of Street Art

Istanbul is a great city where you can see street art and a lot of graffiti from all sides. The city is amazing with its abundance of beautiful drawings drawn by both ordinary people and famous artists.

There are several types of street art. The first is monumental art, it is otherwise called mural (mural). Murals include many frescoes, for example, the well-known evil panda from Leo Lunatic. This panda is known to all Istanbul residents, you can see it literally on every wall in the Beyoglu area and every time in a new image, a panda with flowers, a panda with ice cream, a panda with a spray can. One of the most famous is located near the Galata Tower. The artist Leo Lunatic is very famous in Istanbul, his creations are approved even by the city administration.

City Art

In Istanbul you can also see Frida, her drawings are very popular in this city. Here, for example, in the Karakoy area, there is an image of her from the author of Hig Hero.

Walking through the Beyoglu district, you will find many unusual and interesting drawings from people who grew up on the streets of this city.

The other side of Istanbul – Kadikoy, will also be very interesting for connoisseurs of street art. Since 2012, the city has been allowed to hold a festival of murals among foreign artists such as Aryz, Fintan Magee, Herakut, Inti and Pixel Pancho, who have left a big mark in this capital. Of course, the purpose of this festival is to decorate the city. Now the Kadikoy district resembles an open-air museum, which is so loved by tourists and locals.

A few examples of famous works:

In 2017, the Australian street artist Fintan Magi visited Istanbul and painted a beautiful mural “Pray for Rain”, which depicts a group of young people with buckets, which is attributed to climate change and is a reference to the artist’s hometown.

In 2018, Alexey Maksiev painted a mural depicting a seagull, which makes the square a unique place of street art with three large murals in one place.

In 2016, The Writer Material team painted a mural depicting nature and birds.

Another type of street art is graffiti. The difference between graffiti is that they are not painted on the entire wall. This part of street art is not legal in Istanbul. They can often be found on buildings that have historical value.

Unfortunately, photos do not convey all the beauty of Istanbul’s street art, so we advise you to come and see, because there are much more works, authors and styles. Therefore, when walking around the districts of Istanbul, we advise you to put your phone away and look at life around you.

You can read this article in Russian language: Стамбул – город уличного искусства

Anna Yablochkina

Hi, I'm Anna. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

One Comment

  1. Hello Anna, your article on street art in Istanbul is wonderful. I will be in Istanbul next year in May. I know it’s a bit early, but I wanted to hire a guide to show me the street art in Kadikoy. Is that something you can arrange for me? Thank you very much Patsi Mednick.

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