Beautiful stairs and steps: Istanbul rainbow steps

Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

Murals and street art can say a lot about a city. Of course, these beautiful works of art aren't just relegated to urban walls — a simple set of stairs can provide a beautiful canvas for an inspired visual artist.

In the case of the Rainbow Stairs of Istanbul, Turkey (seen above), a retired man spent four days and $800 on his guerilla neighborhood beautification project.

Below are just a few other staircases around the world that have been spruced up using a bit of paint, mosaic tile, greenery and, of course, clever wit.

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Piano steps in Valparaiso

Photo: Lynda/Flickr

Valparaiso, Chile

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Beautiful stairs and steps: San Francisco mosaic staircase

Photo: Hue Walker Bumgarner-Kirby/Flickr

San Francisco, California

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Santa Maria del Monte stairs

Photo: Wikimedia commons

Santa Maria del Monte, Caltagirone, Italy

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Mural steps in Berlin, Germany

Photo: Sivi Steys/Flickr

Berlin, Germany

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Valparaiso mural steps

Photo: Esme Vos/Flickr

Valparaiso, Chile

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Escadaria Selarón in Rio de Janeiro

Photo: Alicia Nijdam/Flickr

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Origami steps in Angers, France

Photo: Philip Claboter/Flickr

Angers, France

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Pilsen, Chicago subway stairs

Photo: Richie Diesterheft/Flickr

Pilsen, Chicago, Illinois

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Beautiful stairs and steps: Rainbow steps in Valparaiso

Photo: Kimberly Jones/Flickr

Valparaiso, Chile

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.