Amsterdam Street Art – Bright & Colorful Artworks in the Dutch Capital
Amsterdam is perhaps most famous for its canals, coffee shops and lush green parks. Yet, the colorful city is also pretty artistic too! Apart from the array of fine museums,which can be quite costly to enter but otherwise completely worthwhile, there’s also plenty of street art to see in Amsterdam’s open-air museum. So, if you happen to have some free time to explore the Venice of the north, rent a bike and get ready to explore the world of Amsterdam Street Art! Below our article highlights a few murals and works of art that can be found all around the city. Have a read through this post and find out where you can spot them!
Amsterdam Street Art Guide
Street Art Spuistraat
Roughly 5 minutes away from the city center is an artistic gem called Spuistraat. The street, which serves to connect the Hekelveld and Spui, is literally peppered with colorful street art and features a vast array of graffiti ‘tags’ and large murals. On visiting Spuistraat, it will become more than evident to you that the area is run by Amsterdam’s street artists who’ve sprayed everything from furniture, pavements, doors, facades and flanks of buildings and round about everything in sight.
One of the most famous buildings in Spuistraat is the light blue BOOM building which has had its facade completely spray painted. The style the street artist seems to have used is reminiscent of pop-art and ‘70s comic books and can be admired as a whole from across the road.
Right opposite the BOOM building is another tall building which will most probably capture your eyes on seeing it. The bright yellow snake building right across the road is one which also cannot be missed. The intricately decorated snake with multicolor elements seems to start off at the bottom and coils up at the top.
Albert Einstein graffiti
Another much smaller artwork in Spuistraat is Ah2’s street art. The subject of the artwork seems to be a man who bares a strong resemblance to Albert Einstein. In his hand, is what seems to be a plastic shopping bag.
Interestingly, Amsterdam’s largest supermarket chain is called Albert Hein. So, perhaps the combination of the supermarket chain and the greatest scientific minds to walk this earth which played a huge part in inspiring the street artist to create this visual pun.
The Pink Flamingo
The pink flamingo splayed out on the flank of yet another building in Spuistraat is also a noteworthy artwork that the area boasts.
Although, it’s far more simplistic in form and is not as intricate as other artworks that can be seen in the area, what’s amazing about this pink flamingo is perhaps the fact that it spans almost four stories which leaves the imagination wondering how the street artist managed to reach such a great height in order to spray paint it.
Fish Graffiti By Sjem Bakkus
Dutch artist, Daan Dirven, who is better known by his street name Sjem Bakkus has also left his mark in Spuistraat. Indeed, on walking through the area, you’ll definitely not be able to miss Sjem Bakkus’s fish graffish.As you pass down the road, the upside-down fish will stare out at you with its bulging eyes and menacing stare. And its toothy grin will desperately seek your attention and trigger feelings of curiousity and perhaps even laughter.
The orange fish contrasts with a lot of other colorful artworks in the area due to the fact that the artist chose to use darker shades instead of bright colors.
Read More: Fish Graffiti, Amsterdam by Sjem Bakkus
Street Art in Voetboogsteeg
If you enjoy roaming around Amsterdam’s alleys, you should head to Voetboogsteeg where you’ll be able to view Icy and Sot’s mural.
Mural of an Iranian Woman by Icy and Sot
Through their mural, Brooklyn-based Icy and Sot revive the themes of protest and rebellion pertaining to dramatic scenes in their native country, Iran. The artwork which was spray painted on the bricks on the side of a building features an Iranian woman as its main subject who is heavily clad in a burka. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the artwork also features other people who appear to be engaging in a protest. Ergo, it’s evident that the stencil artists aim to showcase the socio-political situation in Iran.
Street Art at Heinekenplein
The circular shaped square, commonly known as Heinekenplein or Marie Heinekplein, is found in central Amsterdam and is most commonly visited by tourists who wish to see Heineken’s former brewery and go on the Heineken experience. It’s also used for open-air events such as a book market and open-air cinema. It’s also home to one of Fabrice’s masterpieces.
Mosaic Street Art by Fabrice
Fabrice Hund is a true pioneer of the street art scene in Amsterdam who’s been adding color to Amsterdam’s dull corners since the ’70s. This particular artwork, which comprises of several small glass mosaic tiles is called ‘Compass’ and is found in the center of the city in Marie Heinkein Street. The work of art represents four cardinal points of the globe and features a number of exotic animals; including a polar bear, a parrot, a fish, a bear and more; and also a few women.
Street Art by the Singel Canal
If you happen to be in Amsterdam, you’ll most probably want to visit the world-famous flower market, Bloemenmarkt, which is located along the Singel Canal between Muntplein and Koningsplein squares. And although the flower market is definitely a must-see whilst you’re there, there’s plenty of other colorful things to see too. Have a look below to discover some of the area’s street art!
Zaira’s Mural of a Woman with Flowers
Swiss street artist, Zaira, has definitely left an edgy, yet feminine twist on the Dutch Capital’s street art scene. As can be seen through this particular mural, her style is soft, playful and quite girly. Typically, Zaira works with stencils and loves to incorporate women’s faces, flowers and butterflies into her artwork.
Bustart’s Mural of a Woman and Pluto
Bustart is a Swiss street artist who often collaborates with Zaira. His art is usually very provocative and typically incorporates elements of pop culture. This detailed mural, which features a woman clad in a veil, was done in 2015. The evil expression on her face contrasts with pluto’s innocent expression.
The street art you’ll see in Amsterdam is extremely diverse. Whilst some of it appears to have been drawn for the fun of it and has little if any connection to anything, other artworks come across as political and reflective of societies around the world.
Have you seen any interesting artworks in Amsterdam? We’d love to see your favorites!
Back to our Travel Blog: