a street art guide to Mirissa, Sri Lanka: 11 of the prettiest painted walls + where to find them
Mirissa, Sri Lanka is a surfer’s paradise, but it’s also a great destination for art lovers thanks to its abundance of murals, graffiti, and street art. However, I was underwhelmed with what I found when I did a quick Google search to guide me through the art. For a place covered with colours, there isn’t much to track it all.
From bright peacocks to vivid lion heads, from three-dimensional surfers to footprints— Mirissa has a little mix of everything. Most of these artistic treasures are either on the main road or on the walls of guesthouses and hostels near the beach, so finding them isn’t too much of a mission. Despite how easy they can be to find, I have pinned their locations on a map at the bottom of this post.
When I tried to find information about the artists responsible for each mural, I found next to nothing, so please let me know if you have any!
SCROLL ON FOR A GUIDE TO THE COLOURFUL STREET ART IN MIRISSA, SRI LANKA
palm villa peacock
Perhaps the most famous street art in Mirissa is the Palm Villa Peacock painted by the Russian artist Bozik. The wall sits on the main road, making it impossible for those exploring the town by foot to miss. At some point, the villa property whose wall the peacock sits on added their names below the peacock’s feathers to boost free marketing, though originally they weren’t included.
The surfer dude speaks to the overall vibe of Mirissa. Spend any amount of time on the beach and you’ll see plenty of people lapping up the sea salt. The three-dimensional piece reminded me of my time exploring the interactive art in Penang. The board sticks out of the wall, which means it garners extra attention.
Aesthetically simple, these giant footprints fittingly sit outside a spa and massage parlour. They’re basic, but I found them kind of cute. They’re not much to look at in the way of “art”, but they do brighten up the back roads between a resort and a local café.
Next to MY Hostel Mirissa, on the exterior of a dilapidated yellow building, is an elephant figure. The elephant, which looks like something out of a sketchbook, has birds and hot air balloons attached to its top. “Some treasures fly away without being shirked” is printed at the bottom of the image, like a final note of wisdom.
big blue jellyfish
The big blue jellyfish leading you to towards the beach near My Hostel Mirissa set the tone for my visit to the little beach town. Immediately, I knew I was no longer in the jungle of Udawalawe, living in a magical wooden hut. I was now in the land of sandy beaches and fantastic surf.
The lion, which just happens to be the national animal of Sri Lanka, can be found across the country on everything from the national flag to the country’s bottled beer. Thus, it comes as no surprise to find a vibrant mural of a lion’s head painted on one of the many back streets of Mirissa. Denis Thekko, the artist, has a major following thanks to his signature global graffiti. Hyperlion is super striking and almost impossible to miss thanks to its many colours.
MISTER HOSTEL PEACOCk
The many hostels that pepper Mirissa have to attract their guests by standing out. Mister Hostel has nailed the old “Instagram marketing” technique by having a local artist paint one of their exterior walls with a mural of a giant peacock, feathers outstretched. The yard where the peacock wall is located is a little unkept, but that kind of makes it look like the peacock is loose in the wild. I kind of liked the messiness.
untitled Elephant/butterfly mural
Dana Keren is an Israeli artist who has painted multiple murals for hostels around southern Sri Lanka, from Mirissa to Weligama. This untitled piece sits on the outside of Hostel First Mirissa and caught my eye thanks to the colourful butterfly wings taking the place of the elephant’s ears.
Just down the road from the Palm Villa Peacock, on the other side of the street, is a modern looking palm tree. The tag looked indiscernible to me, but there are similar pieces to this one around town on a smaller scale.
guesthouse PINKI MIRISSA
Like various other guesthouses and hotels in the little beach town, Guesthouse Pinki Mirissa uses the “catch-their-attention-with-a-pretty-wall” technique. It’s a little less artsy than other pieces in this post, but the smiley whale and bright palm tree are fun and welcoming along the walkway to Pinki.
turtle bay restaurant marine life mural
If you’re heading to Coconut Tree Hill, you might want to mosey along to Turtle Bay Restaurant to peep their marine life mural. I, admittedly, took a photo of the dolphin section of the mural to send to my friends as part of an inside joke, since I’m terrified of them.