Looking for street art was high on my list of things to do in Krakow, and I found some excellent art.
Krakow has very impressive murals, as well as some political and thought-provoking artworks on its walls.
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The two parts of the city where you’ll find the best examples of local street art are Jewish Quarter of Krakow (Kazimierz) and Podgórze across the river.
Street Art in the Jewish Quarter of Krakow (Kazimierz)
The Jewish Quarter in Krakow is the trendy, bohemian part of the city.
Amidst all the vintage shops, indie galleries and hipster cafes, it’s not surprising that street art is blooming.
When you go looking for street art and graffiti in Krakow, this is the place to start.
This is a beautiful black and white piece commissioned by the Jewish Culture Festival, that’s a huge event in Krakow. It was created by Israeli artist Pilpeled.
The young girl that looks a bit like a character from The Lion King is wearing a lion’s head, which according to the artist is a symbol of Israel, being both young and tough.
In the not so distant past, this part of the city used to be dodgy and even dangerous, but it has evolved into Krakow’s hipster hub.
That’s why what used to be a dark parking lot is now full of food trucks. Unfortunately the artwork is partially hidden by the food trucks, but you can see it in full on the artist’s Instagram.
Address: ul. Św Wawrzyńca 16
This massive mural is hard to miss. It was created by a street art crew from Israel called Broken Fingaz.
The piece mixes Jewish elements with art nouveau style paintings in black and white.
The text at the top says broken finger in Yiddish. Underneath it you’ll see the words E.M. Lilien. It’s a tribute to Ephraim Moses Lilien, a Jewish Art Nouveau illustrator from Krakow.
This impressive piece of street art was also commissioned by the annual Jewish Culture Festival.
It’s located inside a parking lot, and while the owner isn’t very happy with people coming in to take photos, it can also be seen from a parallel street.
Address: Plac Bawół 3
Galicia Jewish Museum
The outer wall of the Jewish Museum in Kazimierz has a huge, beautiful mural in black, white and yellow.
It was created by Marcin Wierzchowski and features Jewish symbols alongside famous buildings in Krakow.
Address: ul. Dajwór 18
I’m Happy Again
A cool piece using the pipe at a street corner for Gene Kelly’s character from Singing in the Rain to wrap his arm around.
I have a feeling this is a very instagrammable street corner in Krakow 😉
Not sure if there are any hidden messages behind this one… It certainly makes people smile when they pass by.
I was told this was made by Banksy, but later found out that the street artist behind it is called Mr. Trololo and you can see more of his art around the city of Krakow.
Historical Figures of Kazimierz
This series of portraits across a wall in Jozefa Street blends nicely with the street itself.
It depicts five historical characters from the district: King Kazimierz the Great, Esterka, the king’s lover, Prince Joseph II, Karol Knaus, a local architect and Helena Rubinstein (of the cosmetics company) who was born in Kazimierz.
There’s a plaque next to each painting with some details about each character.
Address: ul. Józefa 17
More Street Art from Kazimierz
Street Art in Podgórze District
When you cross the Vistula River you arrive from Kazimierz to the district of Podgórze.
This part of the city has some very interesting pieces of street art to discover.
The Rainbow Steps
The cheerful rainbow steps have inspiring quotes by famous people (like Einstein or Buddha) written on each step.
You can read the quotes going up or down the stairs (if you can read Polish).
Symbols of Podgórze Mural
This district used to be separate from Krakow and joined the city in 1915.
The mural was painted in 2015 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the event.
The deer as well as the oak leaves are typical symbols of the district. The wall at the bottom refers to the walls of the Jewish Ghetto located in Podgórze during WWII.
Address: ul. Lwowska 14A
Ding Dong Dumb
This is an impressive mural which makes strong statement.
It was painted by Blu, and features a church bell used as a megaphone and a sea of people, all with a blank look in their eyes, looking up at the bell.
It was made as criticism of the Catholic Church. When you look closer you’ll the words “Never Follow” were sprayed on the mural.
Address: ul. Piwna 3A
Stanisław Lem Robot Mural
Science fiction author Stanisław Lem’s quote was the inspiration for this mural, painted by Filip Kużniarz.
The quote is about how we worship technology and the painting is probably the robot that will take over if we go on worshipping it…
Address: ul. Józefińska 24 , Podgórze
The Mayan Apocalypse Mural
Around the corner from the painting that warns us from the robots taking over, there’s another doomsday mural.
A few years ago (specifically, on 21 December 2012), we were facing an apocalypse, according to the Mayan prophecy.
The mural with the words “Game Over?” was made the night before the world was supposed to end…
Address: ul. Józefińska 24
Book Titles Typography Project
A typography project by art students covers the wall of a building in Podgórze and its pretty easy to miss unless you know what it means.
The art students chose to present their favourite books, using only fonts.
It’s designed as a bookshelf and though many of the titles are in Polish, you may still recognise dome.
Hopefully this post gave you a taste of the street art you’ll see when you visit Krakow.
Quite a few of these are legal paintings, so may stay on the walls for a while, although there’s a lot of construction going on in Krakow, so I guess some may be at risk of disappearing.
I wrote mostly about large murals, simply because they’re so beautiful and well executed, but you can also find smaller pieces of street art and graffiti when you walk around the city.
Walkative Tours have a free tour dedicated to street art in Krakow, led by a local guide. I joined one and found out a lot of information about the art and the background stories of the artworks.
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