Travel experts and readers praise the city ’s public collection of murals, statues, and sculptures as  an “open-air museum”  

Philadelphia has been named the 2023 Best City for Street Art by USA  Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Philadelphia was selected by a panel of experts and won based on  reader votes. This designation recognizes that Philadelphia is home to thousands of vibrant outdoor murals,  sculptures, statues, and public art pieces that are easily accessible for visitors and residents alike.  

USA Today cited the work of Mural Arts Philadelphia for helping to cement Philadelphia’s global reputation for  street art. Since its inception in 1984, Mural Arts Philadelphia has overseen the creation of 4,400 works of  public art, engaging local communities and local artists at every stage of the creative process. As a result,  nearly every piece of Philadelphia’s vast street art collection is not only pleasing to the eye, but it also has a  story about a passionate Philadelphia artist or community behind it. Thanks to nearly 40 years of work and  advocacy by Mural Arts, the city is recognized as the ”Mural Capital of the World.” Visitors are encouraged to  explore the city’s street art on foot, by train, by trolley, bicycle or Segway, either guided by volunteers from  Mural Arts Philadelphia or with the aid of a free smartphone app. 

Philadelphia’s street art also won international praise in Michelin’s new Philadelphia destination guide, released earlier in 2023. “Few North American cities have shown such consideration to art and urban  planning,” the Michelin Green Guide states. “Philly is practically an open-air museum. Everywhere you look are  statues, porticos, Greek Revival or neoclassical pediments, museums.” 

Mural Arts Philadelphia Executive Director Jane Golden says in the Michelin Green Guide that Philadelphia’s  street art is her life’s work because of the power that art has to change lives. “Given a chance to improve my  adopted city through art, include both officials and unknowns in art projects, bring meaning to the lives of  young people from complex backgrounds, and change mentalities, I instantly realized that my life would be in  Philadelphia.” 

Golden also shared what she loves most about Philadelphia. “The art. It has museums, cultural centers,  murals, public art, everyone has access to art; no neighborhood is left out. Our diversity! Philly’s history,  multiculturalism colors, aromas…our murals vouch for it: Philadelphia is an incredible patchwork!” 

“We consistently hear that our street art is a large part of what helps visitors learn about and connect with  Philadelphia,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. In Philadelphia, you could say we wear our hearts on our  buildings, playgrounds, and public spaces in the form of street art.”