At Lonely Planet, our experts are bursting with nifty recommendations and off-the-wall travel ideas, so they were full of suggestions for Lonely Planet Magazine reader Dave Simmons, who wanted to see outstanding street art.
If the urban art scene is all about a different take on the creative process, why not combine some graffiti tourism with some more old-school meanderings in a beautiful city? Ghent in Belgium looks pristine and its centre is a place of medieval lanes and timeless canals backed by an impressive castle. Yet the city’s large student population has got to burn off its creative juices somehow, and the solution is to be found on Werregarenstraat. This narrow lane is home to one of Europe’s longest legal graffiti walls, and you’re sure to find at least one street scribbler at work. You can happily combine this with viewing the Ghent Altarpiece, one of the high points of Northern Renaissance painting, found in the city’s cathedral.
You can reach Ghent with a Eurostar ticket to Brussels (from £69; eurostar. com). Ghent is 30 minutes by train from Belgium’s capital. The Harmony Hotel is a good choice to stay (from £130; hotel-harmony.be). See more street art at woostercollective.com.
2. Pittsburgh, recommended by US travel editor Robert Reid
Few cities in the US have had as compelling a makeover in the past decade as Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, with its golden bridges over the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, a walkable downtown area, and a thriving arts scene that’s mostly outdoors. Download the Pittsburgh Arts Council’s free PDF walking tour (pittsburghartscouncil.org) to find your way to the Andy Warhol Museum, the modern art collection at the Mattress Factory, and riverside sculpture playing off the city’s ’three rivers’ location. A favourite, though, are the four-metre-long fish sculptures outside the Children’s Museum on the North Shore, a quick walk from downtown on the Andy Warhol Bridge.
Next, consider a day trip to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic home a short drive away (fallingwater.org). Fly to Pittsburgh via New York, Chicago or Washington DC (from £500; united.com) and stay at the Inn on Negley (from £115; innonnegley.com).
In Melbourne, Australia, the city’s many ’laneways’ have been covered in graffiti, murals and posters. The likes of Banksy and Space Invader have tagged local walls - although, sadly, the local council painted over one of Banksy’s works, and the other was vandalised. Still, there’s plenty to see. Head along Flinders Lane, where art galleries sit alongside street art. Don’t miss Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane (yes, a tribute to the band). Key galleries include fortyfivedownstairs, Flinders Lane Gallery and Anna Schwartz (fortyfivedownstairs.com.au; flg.com.au; annaschwartzgallery.com). The National Gallery of Victoria and the Ian Potter Centre are also close by.