SINGAPORE, 26 May 2022: In Spain, you expect to discover art in elegant galleries and museums, but don’t forget Street Art which is becoming increasingly popular in many towns and villages, turning the side of houses and buildings into authentic open-air galleries.
If you’re looking to do something a bit different on your visit to Spain, here are some tips on following the street art trail to discover murals and façades so impressive that they don’t seem quite real.
In this Basque city, you can check out the Muralístico la Ciudad Pintada or Painted City Route, a gallery of murals spread around the old medieval quarter and other neighbourhoods. The façades of the buildings in the heart of Vitoria-Gasteiz have been decorated by artists and local people together, who have transformed them into huge, colourful and authentic works of art. Some have very evocative names, such as “The Light of Hope”.
Join a guided tour and discover all these highly original façades and the stories behind them. More information and a Google map showing all the points of interest, should you prefer to complete the route on your own: http://www.muralismopublico.com/
It is possible to explore this very touristy city in a different way. Join a tour either on foot or by eco-bike (they’re made of bamboo) with a specialised artist who will be your guide to Barcelona’s best works of street art, many of which are often unknown to the general public. The neighbourhoods where you’ll find the most emblematic murals are Ciutat Vella and Poblenou. In Poblenou, the façades of the old factories have been completely transformed, becoming enormous canvases. More information.
The capital is another place where you can take some of the best urban art tours in the country. Simply take a stroll around alternative neighbourhoods like Malasaña and Lavapiés to find a multitude of examples. For example, you could take the “Cool Tour Spain” to explore the origins of the graffiti movement and discover places like the walls of the La Tabacalera cultural centre. Or why not check out urban art fairs such as C.A.L.L.E. in the Lavapiés district, where local shops welcome creativity to their window displays, Pinta Malasaña or the UVNT Art Fair. More information.
This city on the shores of the Mediterranean invites you to explore the pretty Turia gardens, either on foot or by bike, following the “Abstracte, un riu d’art” route. You’ll be able to see 12 murals along the 10 kilometre route, at the bases of bridges, in sports areas and on garden sheds.
Another option is to join a guided tour around the famous El Carmen district, right in the centre of the city. You’ll walk through streets steeped in history, and learn about the differences between graffiti and street art. More information.
If there’s a neighbourhood in this Andalusian city that’s perfect for enjoying street art, it’s the one known as “Soho”. In this part of the city, graffiti by international artists is mixed with art galleries, craft breweries, café terraces, shops selling comics, etc.
To see all the creations, you can follow the MAUS route – Málaga Arte Urbano Soho – and see streets transformed into canvases with works by artists such as Bohamistura, Roa, D’Face, Obey and more. More information.
Urban art has been transforming the Aragonese capital for years. Organised for the first time in 2005, each September the Asalto Festival fills the city’s streets with impressive participatory art. However, on a stroll around Zaragoza at any time, you’ll find some 70 works that decorate the old quarter with animals, figures and lots of colours.
Make your own map and discover these fascinating hidden corners by yourself, or join a guided tour if you want a more in-depth experience.
Urban art has also taken to the streets of this Cantabrian city. Many of Santander’s walls have been decorated as part of the “DESVELARTE” festival of public art. Every Sunday, you have the opportunity to join a guided tour to discover them all and take some incredible photos. What’s more, you can round off your tour by checking out the exhibitions at the avant-garde Centro Botín on the waterfront.
A great way to admire the work of contemporary artists. More information.
Thanks to the annual Urban Avant-Garde Festival, the old quarter of this Navarrese city has become one of the key places in Spain for enjoying street art. You’re sure to be impressed by the building façades, which will make you feel as if you’re in an open-air museum.
- In addition to these cities, there are many others where you’ll also find innovative examples of street art, such as Zamora, Cuenca, Estepona, Calpe, Vigo, Bilbao and more.
- If what you’re looking for is a rural getaway, you’ll also find that there are lots of villages where street art is a tribute to the people of the area and its traditions. Some examples? Villangómez (a village in Burgos with around 200 inhabitants) and Romangordo in Extremadura. The murals you’ll find there have evocative names like ‘Sounds of an Absent River’ and ‘Flying from the Root‘ and will make you fall in love with them.
- Interestingly, more and more villages in Castile-La Mancha are renovating old grain silos to create fabulous works of street art and turn them into viewpoints. An example? The viewpoint from the grain silo in Almagro.
(Your Stories: Turespaña)