IF YOU’VE LIVED IN A MAJOR CITY for long enough, you’ve probably had a moment where you were walking down a particularly gray and drab street to be suddenly greeted with a fantastic burst of graffiti color. And in that moment, it’s quite likely that the word that ran through your mind was not “vandalism,” but was “art.”

The beautiful thing about street art is that it has the ability to take otherwise drab or featureless places, and to make them interesting and engaging. Suddenly, the ugly walls of the inner city stop being community embarrassments, and start being points of communal pride. Here are 13 spots from cities around the world that have been transformed from boring or ugly walls into tremendous art.

Pachuca, Mexico

Vila Cruzeiro, Brazil

Mexico City

London, UK

Washington, DC

13th and H St–Smith Commons #smithcommons #washingtondc

A photo posted by Alicia Vance (@alivant5) on

Lisbon, Portugal

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Berlin, Germany

Paris, France

Reykjavik, Iceland

Sick Street art in Iceland #streetart #notbanksy #notbanksyforum #iceland #reykjavik #reykjavikstreetart

A photo posted by Tasha Rhodes (@purpleshortcake) on

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne was fun! My first upload that's not @vsco edited. All shot with the awesome film app @hipstamatic!

A photo posted by Ry • 羅家樂 (@ryanla_) on

Prague, Czech Republic

Choose to be happy by @pastaoner in #prague #praha #praguestreetart #artspottingprague

A photo posted by Lee Smith/DJ Leekee (@djleekee) on