Barcelona graffiti and street art: ultimate guide
Are you a fan of graffiti hunting and exploring art in a city for free? You might not say it but Barcelona is home to a thriving street art scene. If you know where to look, you’ll notice the city is full of hidden art. Artists in Barcelona express their emotions by decorating the city with an extra splash of colour. Despite the fact that this type of art adds more character to the city, some think it doesn’t belong in this place full of historic buildings. What do you think? Find out after you roam the city based on this ultimate guide!
Best neighbourhoods for urban art in Barcelona
The city breathes creativity. How could it be any other way? Barcelona is home to some of Europe’s most renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dalí. They set the tone for contemporary artists, including street artists. Let’s look how their predecessors inspired them!
You can’t go wrong with the neigbourhood of Poblenou. Some of the most attractive urban art spots are located in this part of the city. The district of Poblenou once was the industrial heart of Barcelona. Today the old factories and industrial remains have been converted into the ideal canvas for artists. Since the artworks are frequently painted over, there’s always something different to look at. However, be prepared to let expressive art overwhelm you!
Looking for an area full of creations? La Escocesa – which is a self-managed creation space for visual artists – is probably your thing. Nowadays, the old factory, is a cultural centre that holds 21 ateliers. These are affordable spaces that support local and international artist’s creative development. Through a competition, the artists – who will run the ateliers – are selected. After a few years they are replaced by other artists. Would you like to take a look there? Normally it’s closed to the public but if you go during exhibitions or the Festival de Murales, you can check out the latest creations!
Carrer de la Selva de Mar
More interested in art that you can enjoy at any given moment? Then a stroll down this street will surely delight you. No boring murals here, that’s for sure. Some of the most talented and promising artists of the city went over the walls with their spray cans, creating colourful murals. No shape or size is left out. While you walk down the street, you are able to spot these murals, among other ones:
- “Panorama” by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
This hyper-realistic portrait mural is more than what you initially might think of it. This portrait – that looks like it’s a large-scale picture – is a combination of the facial traits of ten different women from the neighbourhood of Poblenou. A beautiful tribute, if you ask us!
- “The Closing of the Circle” by Crisa
The meaning of this mural? The struggle between the green, natural landscape and the grey, human structures in which mankind tries to find its own space. The Italian artist Crisa symbolizes this with the unstable wooden structure and plants that invade the structure causing butterflies to escape.
“Fer Llenya” by Borondo
Can you guess what this prominent mural represents? If you’re not sure, you probably feel like you saw this scene somewhere before. That’s because it represents the Castells. You know? Those frighteningly high traditional human towers of Catalonia? At first glance, this appears to be an ordinary representation of this celebration. However – upon a closer look – you’ll notice the background elements and realize there’s a greater message behind it.
Wonderful works, is what you find in this neighbourhood with probably the best graffiti tradition. Because of this, the neighbourhood is sometimes referred to as the nucleus of urban art.
Keith Haring mural
We all know Keith Haring right? For this one, you have to head off in the direction of the MACBA museum. This mural – originally painted on a neglected building in the Raval neighbourhood – now finds its place on a new wall near the MACBA. The mural’s red paint reflect all of Haring’s iconography such as: children, life, sex, death and his fight against AIDS. Are you able to break down all of these features in this piece called “Todos Juntos Podemos Parar el SIDA”?
“Ciutat Bella” tribute to Joan Miro de Sixo
“Ciutat Bella” is a project that was initiated in 2014 to honour Joan Miró and to display Barcelona’s constant evolution. Sixe Paredes was the first artist to participate in this initiative. For the project, he created something abstract yet colourful. Moreover, his mural showcases the social and artistic potential of the city. At the same time, it was also an effort to promote coexistence and civic values. No art without meaning, was the approach here.
Makha Diop homage by Conse
This mural by Catalan artist Conse is quite recent. Only been around for a year, the colours are still beautifully saturated and therefore worthy of your visit. This piece is a tribute to Makha Diop who unfortunately died in 2020. He was an activist of the district who was known as the sand painter, located at the Ramblas. Are you among those who were lucky enough to see him in action? He was also a pivotal figure for the African community in Barcelona. For all these reasons, he won’t be forgotten.
After El Raval, Poble Sec is the place to be if you long after electrifying creativity. This neighbourhood has plenty of outdoor spaces where different urban artists give the best of themselves.
Garden of the three chimneys
Located in the district of Sants-Montjuïc, you can find the gardens of Les Tres Xemeneies. The garden is located on the site of what used to be one of the country’s pioneering providers of electric power. The three imposing structures are part of its remains and inspired the naming of the garden. Throughout the park, visitors can observe stunning sculptures that once were antique machines.
The garden also features a lot of walls that serve as the perfect canvas for street artists. You might think that all this graffiti is illegal. But this place is the only purpose-built graffiti park. By registering online, artists can let themselves go all the way in this urban park. From amateurs to professionals. You might strike up some nice street art in this part of Barcelona! Or you could watch some skateboarders doing cool tricks.
Other street art locations in Barcelona
While street art is scattered across these neighbourhoods, there are several places of special interest.
Nau Bostik is one of those places. In the neighbourhood of la Sagrera, you’ll find this cultural center where there is always something going on. Whether it’s an exhibition, an art festival or a vintage market, this place is flooded with culture and art. Many top street artists left their stamp on Nau Bostik so make sure to appreciate the art on the walls. Even though it will be hard not to, since it is quite noticeable. Not to say, in your face. Would you like more information about this unique place? This is their website.
Please remember that street art comes and goes. Even though we mostly picked spots that are unlikely to change or be removed anytime soon, do keep it in mind. Despite this, Barcelona will always be a street-art lover’s paradise!
Looking for more activities during your stay in Barcelona? Keep a close eye on our website in order to stay tuned for upcoming events. Prefer social media? All the better! Thanks to our Instagram and Facebook, you won’t miss a single trip, party or activity. Hope to see you soon at one of our events!