You can find street art in Krakow on any corner. The abundance of beautiful, colorful, and thought-provoking murals are one of the highlights of the city, which is also the cultural capital of Poland. And if you, like me, appreciate street art, then maybe Krakow will become one of your new favorite cities, too. Exploring and admiring the creative murals is one of the best things to do in Krakow.
The topic of street art in Krakow is fairly new. Street art in Krakow has a short but rich history that began in recent years with the organization of a few street art projects – Kazimierz Historical Murals, Artboom Festival, 101 Murals of Krakow, and the Jewish Culture Festival. During these events, murals showcasing everything from Jewish heritage to controversial political statements, and even some commemorating worldwide famous artists were drawn.
In this post, I share with you some of the best examples of street art in Krakow, what they represent, and where you can find them.
Where to find street art in Krakow?
I’ve started by saying that street art in Krakow is on every corner, which is not too far away from the truth. However, there are a couple of areas in Krakow where the street art scene is more distinguished and where you can admire some of the best works of street art in the city.
The two neighborhoods of the city where you’ll find examples of the best street art in Krakow are Kazimierz (the Jewish quarter) and Podgorze, separated by the Vistula river. In this article, I’ll be focusing on these two areas and the city center, but other parts of Krakow where you can find more nice street art pieces include Zabłocie, the Lebanon quarry, the rainbow stairs, and more.
Street art in Kazimierz, Krakow
Untitled by Broken Fingaz
This is one of the most popular works of street art in Krakow. Created during the 24th Jewish Culture Festival, this mural is dedicated to the Bosak Family, a Jewish family that lived in that same house for 300 years until WWII.
The mural was created by a street art crew from Israel, called Broken Fingaz, and mixes Jewish elements with Art Nouveau-style paintings in black and white. At the top, you can read ”broken finger” in Yiddish, and below ”E.M. Lilien” – a tribute to Ephram Moses Lilien, a Jewish Art Nouveau illustrator from Krakow.
This amazing work of street art is located inside a parking lot, which is now ”closed”, but the mural is quite massive so it is hard to miss it and easy to see it even from a parallel street.
Address: Plac Bawół 3
Judah by Pil Peled
Created by another Israeli artist, Pil Peled, Judah is one of my personal favorite works of street art in Krakow. The mural represents the struggle of the Jewish community to survive and preserve their cultural heritage through the tragic history in Krakow. The young Judah, on the other side, represents vulnerability and fear. But the mural also represents strength.
Together with the lion head, the Judah mural shows the need to fight to survive. It can also reflect on the inner child inside all of us and the need of each individual to fight his/hers own fears.
Judah was created during the Krakow 23rd Festival of Jewish Culture at a parking lot. Sadly, this parking lot has turned into a food truck lot and the artwork is partially hidden.
Address: Św Wawrzyńca 16
Singin’ in the rain
Perhaps the most Instagrammed work of street art in Krakow. Maybe this mural got so famous because it was believed to be made by Banksy, or maybe just because of its positivism is why people love it so much. The artwork is a stencil of the iconic image of Gene Kelly’s ”Singin’ in the rain” from the musical of the same name.
Singin’ in the rain illustrates one of the highlights of Gene Kelly’s performance when he wraps his hand around a street lamp exclaiming ”I’m laughing at clouds!”. The scene represented is the same, just the quote from the song is another one – ”I’m happy again!”. I don’t know if it has any hidden message behind it, but the painting tends to bring a smile to the face of anybody who’s seen it since 2014.
I found out that the artist behind is called Mr. Trololo, but because I couldn’t really find any information about him or his work, I would appreciate it if someone enlighten me, or correct me if I am wrong.
Address: Bożego Ciała 18
Kazimierz Historical Mural by Piotr Janowczyk
Created in the fall of 2015, the series of portraits murals bring historical figures from Krakow to life. They represent five Polish historical figures (from left to right) – Emperor Jozef Hapsburg II (born in Kazimierz; after whom the street is named), Helena Rubinstein (founder of one of the first cosmetics companies), Karol Kanus (curator, architect, and artist), Esterka (the king’s mistress), and lastly King Kazimierz the Great. In-depth information about each person can be found in English next to their portrait.
Address: Józefa 17
The joy of life by David Shillinglaw, Billy and Merny Wernz
This mural was created as part of the local project ”101 Murals for Krakow” that was created by local artists in response to the increased popularity of street art among both locals and tourists. It was painted in 2016 on the side of an old townhouse illustrating the joy of life.
Address: Corner of ul. Nowa & ul. Józefa
Lookarna Illustrations Shop
I am in love with this mural which is painted at the entrance of the Lookarna art shop in Kazimierz, Krakow. It is created by the owner of the store and the author of the original and hand-made posters, postcards, magnets, etc., that you can find and buy from it.
Address: Józefa 11
Street art in Stare Podgórze, Krakow
Ding Dong Dumb by BLU
Ding Dong Dumb is another one of my favorite works of street art in Krakow. Created by a well-known Bolognese artist BLU in 2011, this mural is possibly the most controversial of all street art pieces in the city with a strong statement. It represents the relationship of Poles with the Catholic Church and how important the Church became to the Polish people and how they absorb any information delivered by it. It illustrates depicts scores of gawking, empty-eyes zombie people staring up as they receive the blaring commands of some higher power.
The mural is located where a small part of the former Krakow ghetto was and is dedicated to the Polish writer, Witold Gombrowicz.
Address: Piwna 3A
Think: Literature by Filip Kuźniarz
Imagine a future dominated by machines. Can you? Perhaps you can even if you don’t like the idea.
This mural is dedicated to the native of Krakow science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem and anticipates the eventual domination of machines over mankind. It was created in 2012 as part of the Conrad Festival of Literature. The quotation at the top is from Lem’s Dialogues and translated from Polish to English it reads:
In the end, people will be dwarfed down to the size of brainless servants of the iron geniuses and, perhaps, will begin to worship them as gods.
Address: Józefińska 24
Street art in Krakow’s city center
Mural no. 658 (Józef Mehoffer House) by M-City
Mariusz Waras, better known as M-City, is one of Poland’s most known muralists and currently Mural no.658 is his only work in Krakow. Created as part of the ArtBoom Festival in 2021, the mural illustrates Krakow as a dystopian fortress/steamship, bombarded from all sides by fish resembling ammunition. A truly interesting piece of street art in Krakow.
The mural is painted on a side of the Józef Mehoffer House that now serves as a museum (Polish painter and decorative artist, one of the leading artists of the Young Poland movement), and in its courtyard, you can visit the Meho Cafe garden.
Address: Krupnicza 26
Street art, graffiti, and urban lifestyle go hand in hand by Paparazzi and Alex Martinez
I am so happy that I stumbled upon this beautiful artwork on my way to one of my favorite coffee spots in Krakow – Massolit books and coffee. The mural is very new and the artists behind it say that they’ve had street art, graffiti, and urban lifestyle in mind while creating it, and how they go hand in hand. I’m not really sure if it is supposed to represent any human in particular, but the moment I saw it, I was like ”Lol, is this Lewis Hamilton?”. To me, it really looks a lot like him.
Address: Dolnych Młynów 11
Chester Bennington by Pieksa
As everything about this mural suggests, it was made in tribute to the former Linkin Park lead vocalist and songwriter Chester Bennington following his tragic death in 2017. I was very excited when I noticed his face near the Krakow train/bus stations and want to thank Pieksa for his amazing work illustrating one of my all-time favorite artists.
We all read dead people
While not technically a street art piece, but in fact a banner, I still think it qualifies and deserves its spot on this list. The slogan and the banner are part of a promotional campaign by the largest network of bookstores in Krakow.
Address: Krupnicza street (just opposite Tektura coffee shop)
Other works of street art in Krakow
A stencil on the front wall of the Corpus Christi church.
Another mural on Józefa street.
Another cool piece of street art in Krakow which could be found on the Piwna street if you walk from the Ding Dong Dumb mural toward the Jewish Ghetto Memorial.
Józefa street again.
Two very beautiful murals of girls that I didn’t find any information about. They are in Kazimierz on Kupa or Jakuba street (sorry, I don’t remember exactly).
I hope that this article gave you a good overview of the best street art in Krakow and where to find it. If you have any additional questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below, and don’t hesitate to contact me.