Route for the Best Urban Art in Barcelona

Barcelona and art have always gone hand in hand. One of the things that most characterises the city are the great pieces of street art that can be seen throughout Barcelona. Street art arrived in Barcelona at the hands of national and international artists some time ago.

Over the years, our neighbourhoods and streets have been filled with colour and messages. If you don’t want to spend money on museums in Barcelona, come with us to discover the best Barcelona graffiti and street artworks in the open air!

Below you’ll find the best places to find street art in Barcelona.

What about joining a street art tour in Barcelona? Here’s a great one to check out.

Ready to discover the best street art in Barcelona?

Here are a few places to find artworks of the most popular Barcelona street artists.

See also: Exploring Las Ramblas de Barcelona Step by Step

El Raval: The nucleus of urban art in Barcelona

Today, most of Barcelona’s urban art is concentrated in El Raval, one of the best neighbourhoods with the greatest graffiti tradition. Surrounding the MACBA (Museo Contemporáneo de Arte Moderno de Barcelona), we can find truly fantastic works.

Right next to the MACBA is the Keith Haring mural. It was painted in 1989 in an abandoned building in the Raval neighbourhood. This piece seeks to highlight the importance of preventing AIDS, a disease that the artist himself suffered with throughout his life. Haring died just a year after painting this design.

Keith Haring street art mural in El Raval
Keith Haring street art mural in El Raval

Other works of urban art that you will find are those proposed by artists such as Sixe Paredes. This Spanish artist painted the Mural Joan Miró, a work of an abstract and figurative nature.

Street art in Barcelona
Street art in Barcelona

Poble Sec: Electrifying creativity

After El Raval, the Poble Sec neighbourhood is another of the neighbourhoods loaded with exhibitions by different artists. It offers plenty of outdoor spaces for urban artists to unleash their creativity.

Street art in Poble Sec, Barcelona
Street art in Poble Sec, Barcelona

A clear example of this is the Garden of the Three Chimneys. Its name comes from the fact that in this space three tall chimneys rise from what was once La Canadiense, a power plant that supplied electricity to the entire Barcelona metropolitan area. In this park, any street art enthusiast can paint their works, after having previously registered online or by phone.

See also: Unique Things to do in Barcelona

Gothic Quarter: In love with art

Walking through the narrow streets of the city centre you will discover some of the pieces of Barcelona street art that the Catalan capital hides. One of the works that stands out the most in Ciutat Vella is the mosaic El Beso de la Libertad. This work by Joan Fontcuberta, inaugurated in 2014, is made up of a multitude of tesserae of photos sent from people of Barcelona that altogether form two kissing mouths.

Mosaic El Beso de la Libertad - Graffiti in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter
Mosaic El Beso de la Libertad

This photomosaic, also known as “The world begins with each kiss”, was created for the 300th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession and has the following phrase as its motto: “The sound of a kiss is not as loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts much longer.”

Poblenou

In the Poblenou neighbourhood there are several urban art spots with some of the most attractive works in the city. Which was once of the most powerful industrial areas in Spain, but looks very different today.

Poblenou street art
Poblenou street art

Today, modern buildings and skyscrapers coexist with the remains of old factories, which have been converted into the perfect canvas for artists.

One of the examples of Poblenou street art is the work “The Closing of the Circle”, by the Italian artist Crisa, where she reflects on the natural elements and the balance that persists with urban environments.

Another of the great Barcelona street artists who have left their mark on the Poblenou neighborhood is Jorge Rodríguez Gerada. His work “Panorama” was presented for the OpenWall 2015 conference, and consists of a 29-meter-high composite portrait that unites the facial features of ten different women from the neighbourhood. It is a tribute to celebrate the local community, and aims to remember the importance of the role of women, humanity and the importance of each individual in a world as changing as today’s.

To finish our route through Poblenou, we want to present the striking mural by the artist Borondo, entitled “Fer Llenya”. This expressionist-style work represents the Castells, the traditional human towers of Catalonia. Although the expressive brushstrokes and colors of Borondo make us think that it is a simple representation of this festivity, we can intuit from the background elements that there is a message behind it.

"Fer Llenya" street art in Poblenou
“Fer Llenya” street art in Poblenou

Be that as it may, these pieces are just a small part of the urban art that you will find in the streets if you want to travel to Barcelona. Not only that, the truth is that our city has always been a place of expression for many artists, from abstract urban art, to majestic modernist works to touch the sky like the Sagrada Familia basilica. Barcelona is a city that captivates you and you will surely discover some hidden gems that will make you fall in love!

For more on exploring Barcelona, check out the below posts:


Museum of Naive and Marginal Art – The Centre of Naive Art in Serbia

Thinking about visiting the Museum of Naive and Marginal Art (Muzej Naivne i Marginalne Umetnosti) in Belgrade? Read on to follow our complete experience of visiting this fascinating museum.

Starting from how we got there:

Getting to Museum of Naive and Marginal Art

We crossed the only bridge in Belgrade over the Danube River – the old metal, heavy thing built in 1935.  

Once on the other side of Belgrade we continued towards Pancevo city, well known for its accident-prone factories which sometimes pollute the whole of Belgrade.

As it was Sunday, the day for the local antiques market, we couldn’t resist stopping for a quick browse for a “good deal”. We didn’t get anything except an old CD for 50p which worked until song number four. Regardless, we considered it a good deal.

Crossing the Danube River means entering the flat Pannonia Plain where you orientate yourself only by the next tree or lonely house. Considering that the official alphabet in Serbia is Cyrillic and that road signs are rare then that tree or house takes on more importance during your journey.

Nature at this time of year (May) generously painted everything in a lush green cloaking the trees and houses from sight. Everything looked the same especially for four city girls.

Confused and tired by the oppressive heat we decided to stop along the way at Salas, called Sekin Salas which means Sisters Ranch. If you want to experience the real Serbia you should try to stay at one of the many ranches which offer a combination of rural Serbia with good food, clean air and lots of activities – horse riding, fishing, cooking classes…embroidery classes…

During our hour stop we managed to meet the loveable Rasha, a ginger corgi who we considered stealing away, but after realising that Rasha has friends on the Ranch – three cats, two goats, a pheasant, an over-protective chicken with eight yellow chicks and two more dogs lazily asleep in the front garden – we decided that Rasha had a better life than we did, so we left him in his natural surroundings.

After refreshments and taking photos of everything that represented the old, disappearing Serbia that was so generously on display in the house, we continued driving towards Kovacica, a place well known for its Slovak naive art.

The Museum of Naive and Marginal Art is situated centrally on the main street. 

Panorama of Belgrade at night with river sava
Panorama of Belgrade at night with River Sava – depositphotos.com

See also Places to Visit in Belgrade.

Visiting the Museum of Naive and Marginal Art in Belgrade

The Museum itself is very small but very rich in the numbers of paintings they own so the exhibition keeps changing all the time. The first one to strike you is a huge, colourful and lively painting by Jan Glozik illustrating the 200 years since the Slovak people moved from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the eastern border, nowadays Serbia, by order of the Emperor. The painting consists of 200 people representing each year since they moved to this part of the world. If you have a very good eye you can see a self-portrait of the painter incorporated into the maze of colours.

The left side of the museum has an exhibition of another famous naïve art painter, Martin Janos, whose paintings emphasise the hands and feet and thereby the hard manual work on the farms of the region.

The third room is dedicated to the Queen of naïve art, Zuzana Halupova. There are 31 paintings exhibited here, most of them oil on canvas. She, as with Martin Janos, has a leitmotif which is that each painting has a girl in a pink skirt somewhere in it. Zuzana never had kids of her own and so she put one in every one of her paintings. She was member of the children’s charity UNICEF and in 1974 she painted the UNICEF Christmas Card which was sold worldwide.  She left more than 1000 paintings to the museum but due to the lack of the space only a certain number can be shown.

There are talks about a new, bigger Museum to be opened in a different location.

Outside the Museum there is a courtyard with three galleries, in one of them you can have your own portrait painted. All the galleries are run by local painters who can tell you about local life and how they have preserved their culture and traditions for over 200 years. Mr Pavel Babka, a successful painter who exhibits all around the world and is the owner of the largest gallery, pointed out that even when a painter becomes worldwide successful, he still stays in Kovacica, within very strong Slovak Community.

Museum of Naive and Marginal Art
Museum of Naive and Marginal Art

Learn more about the current exhibitions on their website.


A Guide to Porto Street Art

Porto is Portugal’s second biggest city and has a growing reputation for being a cool place to be which means the Porto street art scene is always worth checking out.

Of course, what can be seen changes regularly but it’s always worth exploring the city streets to see what’s out there.

Some of the street art in Porto is more on the side of ‘big bubble letters’ and tagging with artists just wanting to get their name more well-known but some shows real artistic skill. Stencil art, the style from artists such as Banksy, can be seen usually in black and often with an underlying message.

Porto is a college town but is a historic area too so the mix of young life and old architecture brings plenty of artistic inspiration.

Porto street art, Portugal
Porto street art, Portugal

Where to find Porto street art

In Vila Nova de Gaia, the neighbourhood known for fortified wine, there are great views by the Douro River to inspire further. It’s for sure a spot where you should try to find an apartment for your stay in Porto. That way you would experience the local life and vibe best.

Porto’s stucco facades may be crumbling but street artists are having a lot of fun with the streets as their canvas as graffiti tolerance is very high here and there seems to be little restriction although graffiti is still illegal. Some artists have complained that it’s hard to get a permit to decorate a large wall in the city centre but the fact most buildings have brick walls around them there are plenty of side streets for artists to use.

Bring your camera and just walk the streets as there’s too much Porto street art to just name one area although Lapa Metro Station is a good location to see the latest street art as is Rúa Miguel Bombarda where there are many art galleries too with street art between them all.

As you walk you may start to recognise some of the more popular local Porto street artists’ work such as Hazul who does large-scale two colour (usually black and white) pieces consisting of lots of teardrop and geometrical shapes with more intricate ‘fretwork’ patterns filling the spaces.

While Hazul’s artwork has soft edges and feels rather freeform, another local artist, Mr Dheo, has a much sharper style. He likes colour and crisp lines and often incorporates a face with real character into his spray paint designs. He uses photorealism to challenge himself to be better every time.

Porto graffiti in Portugal
Porto graffiti in Portugal

Porto street art tour

You’ll find a few great Porto street art tours in the city. We love this private urban tour from Get Your Guide with a local guide. This two-hour tour takes your past the historic and modern architecture while exploring the traditional tiles and new urban street art.

The tour includes walking through Rua da Madeira, a hub for street art with incredible murals along with exploring graffiti gems in the side streets of Rua das Flores. You’ll start the tour at the Municipal Library and end it off strolling through the historic and charming area of Ribeira.

Book the tour now.

Porto street art tour
Porto street art tour with Get Your Guide

Photography tips for street art

Whether you bring a professional camera equipment or a just a camera phone the streets of Porto offer lots of opportunities for memorable shots. The juxtaposition of the crumbling walls and the vibrant street art make this a perfect place to practice new styles of photography.

Instead of standing try laying on the ground or climbing up high to get a new angle. And be patient so try waiting long enough so you blend into the scene and see who walks by.

Change to a slower shutter speed to blur movement of someone running or riding a bike in front a brightly painted wall. And try and get different shots so don’t aim to capture the whole of wall but move in close to photograph small sections in more detail.

Check out our guide to street photography for more tips.