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15 Places for Street Art and Graffiti in NYC

Updated: November 9, 2023

This post lists 15 locations in NYC, accessible to visitors, where you can find high-quality street art including murals and graffiti created by street artists.

We compiled this list from first-hand experience.

We lead daily walking tours of street art and graffiti through NYC.

Our lead guides, Izzy and Mar, are locals in the Brooklyn and Manhattan street art scenes, and with their help, we put together this list of must-see locations.

We also asked the roughly 200k members of our NYC Travel Tips Facebook group what street art and graffiti pieces they liked, and we incorporated a few in this post.

Where to Find Street Art in NYC

Our group is made up of locals (including our tour guides), veteran travelers to NYC, and newbies.

You don't need to join the group to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.


15 PLACES FOR GRAFFITI AND STREET ART IN NYC

Starting in the late 1960s and early 1970s, spray paint became a powerful tool for social change in New York City.

In the face of mass consumerism, graffiti writers and street artists fought back with their individual expression and social commentary.

Among the first graffiti artists to garner attention were Zephyr (Andrew Witten), Taki 183, and Blade.

Back then, if you wanted to see the latest works by these kings of graffiti, you either had to live in the inner city or wait for a graffiti artist to emblaze their name across the subway car.

Nowadays, new murals are popping up every day in the concrete jungle.

Below are the best places to see both timeless masterpieces and the latest works of street art in NYC.

Click here to enlarge the map.

Places in NYC to Find Street Art and Graffiti

1. Bushwick Collective 

To see a collection of stunning murals, head to the Bushwick Collective

There is so much artwork to see you won’t be able to stop talking about it for weeks.

The Bushwick Collective is located in Bushwick Brooklyn, just off of Flushing Avenue.

It is approximately a 7-8 minute walk from the nearest train station Jefferson Street (L train).  

We recommend using this Google map to get directions to the Bushwick Collective from anywhere in New York City.

Bushwick Street Art

TIP: If you prefer a guided tour, which offers a brief history of the neighborhood, and a detailed description of the murals then, be sure to go on our pay-what-you-like Bushwick Graffiti and Street Art Tour.

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Enjoyed the tour, the food and the people on the tour were friendly!Anushree S.Anushree S. ★★★★★ The Brooklyn Bridge walking tour was so incredible! Learning the history behind how it was built, and New York’s architecture was so interesting to me. John was an incredible tour guide and he really made the whole experience engrossing. I would recommend the morning walking tour 🙂Julie W.Julie W. ★★★★★ We were on the Harlem and Grand Central Station tours. Both were excellent. Would highly recommend Free Tours by Foot.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P. ★★★★★ Renée was a wonderful tour guide. Recommend the tour very muchU R.U R. ★★★★★ We had an absolutely fantastic morning with Lori walking from City Hall Park over Brooklyn Bridge into DUMBO and then Brooklyn Heights. Lori has so much historical knowledge and great storytelling ability so it was an absolutely lovely way to spend a few hours in New York. Highly recommend!Fergus D.Fergus D. ★★★★★ A very high quality tour with excellent levels of insight and an appropriate but entertaining delivery from the guide, who seemed to know every other person in the neighbourhood. One of the highlights of the ten busy tourist days I’ve spent in NYC.Jen B.Jen B. ★★★★★ We had a great walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Hts, DUMBO and the area. John Gallagher was funny and engaging, and his anecdotes enhanced the experience. My teenagers even had fun. His recommendations for dinner were also great.Melissa W.Melissa W. ★★★★★ Had a Brooklyn Bridge tour today with Katie. She was brilliant. Utterly miserable weather, raining and cold, but Katie was energetic, interesting and super informative.We went with a 9 and 13 year old and they didn’t complain at all (except about the rain, which Katie had no control over!)Highly recommend! Thanks so much Katie.Domenic S.Domenic S. ★★★★★ John was a fantastic tour guide - we had a great tour, learned so much and had a lot of fun. Thanks John, especially for making it so enjoyable for our kids too!Christian A.Christian A. ★★★★★ HiMy tour with Jon was exceptional.Jon is knowledgeable and picked fabulous eating establishments with a rich history and delicious tasting tidbits. The split pea soup at Cozis was to die for. I went back for dinner that night for a full bowl. The Ukrainian kitchen was quirky and fun and the Cabbage rolls were super delicious.The Brooklyn dumplings were delicious and the finale, a dessert cafe had the richest yummist Cannoli.Jons knowledge ie the history, culture and choice of venues in East Village was top notch.Jon was kind enough to share his mobile if we had and further queries (which I did) about places to see or eat and he answered my texts immediately.Jon was a sensational tour guide. 10/10.When I’m back in NY again from Australia I’ll be doing another of his tours!MarzenaMarzena ★★★★★ I had a tour (Chinatown, Little Italy etc.) with Jon - absolutely perfect! Jon's enthusiasm, fascinating stories and his sense of humour just made to me the NYC really "alive"! Hope to repeat a tour guided by Jon!Pa QPa Q ★★★★★ We’re native NY’ers who love being tourists in our own city; there’s so much to see and learn. We took the Meatpacking District tour and had the pleasure of having Ron as our tour guide. We walked through the Highline, visited Little Island, and learned fun historical facts about the neighborhood, including Ron’s own stories about celebrities that grew up in the area. So glad we took the tour. Be sure to tip generously for your tour guide. They work hard to make your tour fun and personalized.Thanks again, Ron. We will see you on the Harlem tour.Anna M.Anna M. ★★★★★ Had a great tour with Lori as a guide. She introduced us to some of Greenwhich village best food and dessert spots. Definitely would recommend!Ayla G.Ayla G. ★★★★★ I really enjoyed the tour. Garret told really interesting storys and kept us engaged for six hours which is pretty incredibleKathy F.Kathy F. ★★★★★ Tour of Brooklyn with John Gallagher was amazing! Very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Followed up with a group photo and tips on where to eat in NYC.Jessa F.Jessa F. ★★★★★ Jon, our tour guide for the walking food tour of Chinatown and Little Italy, did amazing! He was very descriptive and did great about explaining the food we were going to eat at the beginning of the tour. He also made sure everyone was present after we ate at each place. I would definitely go to him again!Victorious Word M.Victorious Word M. ★★★★★ We took New York Little Italy walking tour with Jon and Jon exceeded our expectations of an excellent tour guide. Jon is very knowledgeable about history, New York in general and this particular route. Jon delivered this tour featuring interesting facts, appropriate jokes and humor, and perfect verbal delivery (100% no repetitive words such as "like” or ”you know”, which is very important to fully enjoy the tour). At any given moment he knew where is each member of his group, he watched the speed of walking and was mindful of everyone's safety. Jon is very nice, polite, relatable and thoughtful. We are greatly impressed and enjoyed it so much! 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Much thanks to John!Miguel de la OMiguel de la O ★★★★★ Took a tour of Grand Central Station with John and of lower Manhattan with Renee. Learned all about Grand Central, the surrounding area, and the history of NYC. Highly recommend these tours!Celeste F.Celeste F. ★★★★★ John has been a delightful tour guide of New York City.My husband and myself got an amazing time being taught about NYC history, architecture, urbane design, and curious facts. Mister Gallagher was both, a fantastic and engaging storyteller as well as a city savvy.Thanks for all the tips, and for showing around the city you’ve resided for some many years.Big pleasure!Celeste and GustavoTerra R.Terra R. ★★★★★ We have such an amazing tour guide-Garrett-which gave historical insight to the city of New York. I love his enthusiasm and energy. My family and I booked this tour with hopes of learning about particular sites such as the 911 Memorial, China Town and Little Italy, but learned so much more. Being an Army veteran, I was emotional when we went to the 911 memorial because I served in the Operation Iraqi Freedom. He embraced that and gave me a chance to share my story with the group. Garrett kept the tour interesting and loved the red umbrella idea which kept us all from getting lost. We had a great time.Joanna and Glen A.Joanna and Glen A. ★★★★★ We booked a full day NYC walking tour for March break, and were SO thrilled to have had Garrett show us around the city. He was amazing - we loved his personality and depth of insight about NY. He made the tour better than we could ever have imagined! Thank you!Ryan W.Ryan W. ★★★★★ Renee was a fanatic guide, highly recommend taking the Greenwich Village tour!Marla S.Marla S. ★★★★★ The Harlem tour with Ron was great. The tour was well paced and interesting. Ron has an obvious love for the neighborhood and shared his stories with enthusiasm. It was a great introduction to a part of the city that was unfamiliar to us.Anne R.Anne R. ★★★★★ Great tour with John in Brooklyn, thank you!shirley E.shirley E. ★★★★★ We came to NYC for my birthday and took the 6hr tour of NY with Garrett. We have taken walking tours all over Europe and I can say that Garrett was among the top tour guides we have had. He was full of wonderful information and stories and gave the tour a wonderful flavor of NYC. He made my birthday extra special. I am so glad that we took the tour with him,Julie C.Julie C. ★★★★★ We did the full day NYC tour with Garrett and he was amazing. The tour is loaded with information and Garrett did a great job of sharing information and adding personal insights. The pace was great and accommodating for the entire group. I highly recommend this tour, especially if you can get an amazing guide like Garrett!Emil A.Emil A. ★★★★★ great soho. little italy and china town tour with John.really funny and nice, and addon bonus we went for 2 good places to eat, one in little italy and the second in china townFiona W.Fiona W. ★★★★★ We had a lovely, almost private tour with only 4 people in the group. John was full of info, with some tasty side notes thrown into the mix too. Highly recommend doing this tour, it's a fun and informative 2 hours of your day.Anthony J.Anthony J. ★★★★★ John was an excellent guide. Very friendly and knowledgeable!Emelia C.Emelia C. ★★★★★ John was absolutely amazing on our Chinatown/ Little Italy/ Soho tour!! There were so many new things that I learned, John makes you appreciate New York City way more than I thought I ever could! My friends and I will 100% be returning and will do a John tour again.Teagan K.Teagan K. ★★★★★ I did a tour with John Gallagher a year and a half ago, and I knew I had to do another one when my friends came with this time! We did the Wall st, 9/11, Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy tour and it was amazing! He is so informative, kind and hilarious. We learned and laughed a lot got to experience the churches and he recommended the best restaurants! I will do a tour with him each time in New York because he makes such an amazing experience!Evan L.Evan L. ★★★★★ Took three tours with FTBF during my time in NYC: East Village food w/Jon, Little Italy/Chinatown food w/Kathleen, and NY in one day with Garrett. All were amazing experiences!Jon's East Village food tour really gives you the local flavor of the area, the portions are small but just enough for a taste of various things. You can also pay a little more for extra samples of things if you'd like. Also, food bought on the tour is a bit cheaper than just walking in off the street, so it's well worth it. Jon has a great way of sharing the history of the area which is engaging.Kathleen's food tour through Chinatown and Little Italy was filled with yummy food and lots of history. This was probably the most detailed tour, as Kathleen provides unique perspective on the area and the history behind each stop. The food was really good and she makes sure everyone is taken care of! What I appreciated about her is how she related the historical pieces to the city as a whole and described where the city is currently which was really interesting to learn about.Garrett's full day NYC tour is not to be missed. The tour has a bit of a feeling of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka as Garrett brings such high energy, humor, and fun to the day. His great personality enhances the very fascinating history he covers at each stop. Most stops are brief but there is plenty of time to take in the scenery. Especially poignant is his first hand stories about 9/11 and the many stories of heroism and tragedy that day. He'll make you laugh, cry, and truly enjoy the big apple as you tour from Wall St. to Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. A wonderful tour.One final note, the guides are all really good about not being pushy about what to donate for each tour, but with the high quality of each one these experiences are priceless! Be sure to take care of your guides at the end!Jodie H.Jodie H. ★★★★★ A group of 4 of us did the china town and little italy food tour, it was fantastic. The guide was very knowledgeable and passionate. The food was cheap and delicious, you bought what you wanted from the places you were taken too. The recommendations were perfect, we tried dumplings and pizza, plus much more. Me and my husband and I go back this year, and we are booked on to the east village food tour and Greenwich village food tour.Laurel W.Laurel W. ★★★★★ Absolutely wonderful tour of Grand Central Station!John was extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun. Thanks!Maja E.Maja E. ★★★★★ I’ve done three tours with this company since moving to New York: Lower East Side food tour with Kathleen, Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo with Onel and Soho/Little Italy/Chinatown with John. All have been great experiences with knowledgeable and kind guides who truly love the city! My son (11) joined the food tour and my daughter (12) the two other ones and they loved it as well! Highly recommend!David Y.David Y. ★★★★★ Jon was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Highly recommended.Tracey B.Tracey B. ★★★★★ What a wonderful idea. Never used before. But definitely recommend. Great way to gain knowledge of the district you are visiting. At a cost to suit your budget…. As you pay what you feel is appropriateFrank W.Frank W. ★★★★★ John was a great tour guide. We recommend this tour as it was interesting, informative and amusing. We were never bored. We especially loved the delicious dumplings at the end.Sukanya S.Sukanya S. ★★★★★ It was so much fun with John today at the walking tour through SoHo, Liitle Italy and China town. He was wonderful and patient even when I joined the tour group a bit late. He shared incredible stories of Little Italy with us from the past and also showed us several famous restaurants and joints in China town. Would love to take a tour of Brooklyn with him in the near future. Thank you John!Avner S.Avner S. ★★★★★ js_loader

2. World Trade Mural Project

For years, Ground Zero was a construction zone that reminded New Yorkers and visitors of the September 11th attacks.

But if you visit the World Trade Center’s Oculus today, you will see the work of some of our favorite street artists commissioned by 2WTC. 

World Trade Center BoogieRez, Stickymonger, JCBKNY

Artists: BoogieRez, Stickymonger, JCBKNY  Photo by: tour guide Mar

Don’t miss these eye-catching walls, which have given downtown Manhattan a new sense of hope. 

Mar and Izzy, street art tour guides with Free Tours by Foot, are proud to have consulted on the World Trade Mural Street Art Project, which was a result of their co-curating the 69th floor of 4WTC.

They are the tour guides leading street art and graffiti tours for Free Tours by Foot.

And you can see this artwork on our Lower Manhattan Tours as well.


3. Harlem Street Art + Grafitti

Harlem is definitely worth a visit for street art, particularly murals.

We spot at least 5 different murals on our tours of Harlem, including the Know Your Rights mural.

Know Your Rights Mural

There is one particularly large mural on the side of the Harlem Hospital, which consists of 3 panels telling stories of the African-American experience in the U.S. and was commissioned back in the Great Depression.

Harlem Hospital Mural

In East Harlem, there is the Graffiti Hall of Fame, which still periodically invites lesser-known artists to come and paint their murals.

Unfortunately, most of the artwork is behind a gate, but you can still see it from a distance.

Dizzie Gillespie Murals

A pair of relatively new murals to the neighborhood are of Dizzy Gillespie, the great jazz musician well associated with Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance.

There are a number of other smaller murals throughout Harlem.

Let us show you. Take our daily guided tour or our GPS-led audio tour.


4. Houston Bowery Wall

In 1982, legendary artist Keith Haring painted his first iconic large-scale mural on a wall on the corner of Houston St. and Bowery (map). 

Back then, that wall and building were privately owned and Haring and the artists who followed his lead had no permission to paint there.

Fortunately, the property was bought by a real estate developer who was also an art aficionado, Tony Goldman. 

In 2008, Goldman brought on well-known curator Jeffrey Deitch to manage the wall (he was then replaced by the owner of a contemporary art gallery, The Hole). 

In the video, you can see a time-lapse of artist Ron English transforming the wall into his unique style of mural art.

English has also contributed to the L.I.S.A. Project which has artwork on walls throughout Little Italy.

Houston Bowery Wall - Queen Andrea

Select artists from around the world are invited to bring their unique style to the wall. The wall is repainted by new artists every several months. 

Past murals included works by Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, AIKO, Os Gemeos, and many others.

TIP: This seminal street art wall is included in our pay-what-you-like Manhattan Graffiti and Street Art Tour. Your guide will discuss the history of the wall as well as the current mural on the wall when you visit.


5. The Little Italy Street Art Project (L.I.S.A.)

This non-profit organization brings street artists to the Little Italy neighborhood in Lower Manhattan to paint murals on the walls of participating businesses and residential buildings, mostly along historic Mulberry Street.

There are several important pieces here, though they do change periodically.

Audrey Hepburn Mural

Audrey Hepburn Mural Little Italy

There are so many that we visit Mulberry Street on our Lower Manhattan Street Art Tour.

We also walk past it on our Downtown and NYC in a Day Tours.

Check our schedule.

Temper Tot

Temper Tot

 

Find out more about the project on their website: https://www.lisaprojectnyc.org/.


6. The Museum of Street Art

This museum is located in the basement of the CitizenM Hotel on the Lower East Side.

It's a family reunion of sorts for the original artists of 5Pointz in Long Island City.

The museum is free of charge but you should make a reservation because it's more a stairwell than a traditional museum and they limit the number of people in it at any time.

The museum is just 1 block away from the start of our Lower Manhattan Street Art Tour, something you could do just before the tour begins.


7. The High Line

This revolutionary park that sits on the remains of an elevated commercial rail line on Manhattan's West Side has a changing contemporary public art program that includes murals.

Street Art High Line

But it's also the street art that is parked up alongside the High Line that is of interest to the visitor.

Let us show it to you on our walking tours of the High Line or take along our self-guided walking tour map.


8. First Street Green Art Park

A must-see space located in the East Village is the First Street Green Art Park.

You can find the entrance to the park on the corner of Houston Street and 2nd Ave (map). 

This public space supports emerging artists who work in different mediums.

You can see large murals, photography, and art installations.

There are also community and cultural events held there.

First Street Green Art Park - Lexi Bella, Cernesto, Daniel Mastrion

TIP: On our pay-what-you-like Manhattan Graffiti and Street Art Tour, a knowledgeable guide leads you to this park and other street art hot spots. 

Along the way, you will learn about the artists whose work you see and about the neighborhoods you pass through on the tour.

Be sure to also check out the East Village.


9. Welling Court Mural Project (WCMP)

A little off-the-beaten-path, but well worth the trip is the WCMP, in Astoria, Queens (map).

You can get there easily by subway but you can also take the East River Commuter Ferry

The WCMP is a massive collection of murals meant to beautify the neighborhood and transform how people experience their environment.

The project was launched in 2010 as a way to beautify the neighborhood.

The first mural project had over 40 murals.

Now the WCMP has more than 140 murals by both New York graffiti artists and international artists.!

It is free to visit and open to the public 24/7, all year long. See the WCMP website for more information.


10. DUMBO Walls

The DUMBO Walls project began in 2012.

Eight walls near the York Street subway station were selected as sites for large murals by famed artists like Shepard Fairey, MOMO, Yuko Shimizu, and several more.

Some of these eight sites have the original murals, while others have new ones.

For example, as of 2019, one can still see the original, though somewhat faded Shepard Fairey mural at the corner of York and Jay Street.

Also, some of CAM's huge colorful owls are still visible along York Street between Adams and Pearl Street.

Other walls have had several new murals since the DUMBO Walls were installed, like the corrugated metal wall on Front Street between Adams Street and Pearl Street. 

Street art is temporary in nature.

There may be a specific artist's mural on a wall one year and then the following year a new mural may be painted.

On the positive side, all sorts of art pop up in DUMBO constantly, so be on the lookout for random art in unexpected places! 

Use this map to find the DUMBO Walls.

Be sure to look at our post on things to do in DUMBO to find out what else to do there.

And if you are wondering how the neighborhood got its name (no, it's not named after Disney's loveable elephant), read our post on What does the acronym DUMBO stand for?"


ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS

11. Coney Island Art Walls in Coney Island.

12. Crack is Wack by Keith Haring at E. 127 St/2 Ave and Harlem River Drive on the Upper East Side.

13. Hammer Boy by Banksy at 233 W 79th St on the Upper West Side.

14. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol by Kobra, at N. 9th St. just east of Bedford Ave in Williamsburg.

15. Big Pun Memorial by Tats Cru at 910 Rogers Place, in the Bronx.

Contributions to this post by Izzy and Mar.

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: November 9th, 2023
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