Trivial as it may seem in theory, an outer layer of paint can make a destination memorable. Jaipur, India is known as the Pink City because of the dusty rose-colored buildings that make up its historical center. Santorini is known for its white buildings against the brilliant blue sea, and the colonial towns of Mexico for their bright multicolored rows of buildings.
In Berlin, rather than a color or set of colors, the decorative theme that lingers in your mind is the collective scrawl of anyone who can get their hands on a can of spray paint.
The combination of abandoned spaces, drab boxy buildings, decades of formidable history, and an outspoken population that seems to both struggle with and thrive on its city’s reputation of being poor have all contributed to Berlin becoming one of the most graffiti-heavy places in the world: