Now typically I am not a huge fan of guided walking tours. But, while traveling Europe, I discovered the beauty of alternative tours. Locals take you beyond the tourist destinations to the heart and soul of the city. Rather than history or architecture, you get a taste of a city’s modern culture and street art. Berlin, dubbed a UNESCO’s City of Design, is one of the top cities for an experience like this. Since the reunification of Germany, Berlin has given rise to a vibrant street art scene. From the refurbished East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall and political statements galore, Berlin has been dubbed “the graffiti Mecca of the urban art world.” Let’s take a journey to uncover Berlin’s underground sights & sounds, and you will see why! Floating high above Mariannenstraße, Kreuzberg is one of Berlin’s most famous works of art – Astronaut Cosmonaut – done in stencil. An ode to Berlin’s divided past of the Cold War, Artist Victor Ash claims it represents “the space race between America and the USSR, to the idea of fighting for something that isn’t with soldiers, that isn’t here on Earth—it’s in another dimension. That’s the kind of idea that inspires me: it’s more global, more human.” This piece embodies imagination and the desire to explore the unknown. A stroll through the hip Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain districts will greet you with a plethora of eye candy. Tags, paintings, paste ups, stencils, murals, and sculpture cover everything from houses to shop fronts, to trains, bridges and historical monuments. Next time you visit a large metropolis, I urge you to look into an alternative tour. Many times they are free and run by locals or expats who know all the best spots.