Spanish destinations with the most surprising urban art
Art in Spain is not only in museums, but also in the streets. Street art has become increasingly popular in many cities and towns, and even authentic open-air galleries. For an original experience when visiting Spain, we suggest one of the following urban art tours. You'll see murals and facades so amazing they seem unreal.
Visitors to this city in the Basque Country can take the Painted City Mural Tour: a gallery of murals scattered throughout the medieval quarter and other neighbourhoods. Artist and residents have collectively decorated the façades of the buildings in the heart of Vitoria-Gasteiz, transforming them into colourful, large-scale works of art. Some of them have such suggestive titles as “The Light of Hope”.You can sign up for a guided tour where you'll discover these original façades and the stories behind them. More information and a Google map showing all the points of interest in case you want to do the route on your own: http://www.muralismopublico.com/
An alternative approach to exploring this popular tourist destination is possible. Sign up for a walking or eco-friendly bike (made of bamboo) tour where a specialised artist will guide you through Barcelona's most recommended street art works, often unknown to the general public. The districts where you can find the most representative murals are Ciutat Vella and Poblenou. In the latter, the façades of the old factories have been transformed into huge canvases. More information.
You can also take some of the country's best urban art tours in the capital. Just take a stroll through alternative neighbourhoods such as Malasaña and Lavapiés to find plenty of examples. You could, for instance, sign up for the “Cool Tour Spain” to learn about the origins of the graffiti movement and discover places like the walls of the La Tabacalera cultural centre. You can also attend different urban art festivals such as C.A.L.L.E. Lavapiés, where locals showcase their windows for creation, Pinta Malasaña or UVNT Art Fair. More information.
We recommend that you explore the beautiful Turia gardens on foot or by bike along the “Abstracte, un riu d'art” (Abstract, a river of art) route. You will be rewarded with 12 murals along 10 kilometres at the base of bridges, sporting venues and garden huts.You can also sign up for a guided tour of the famous El Carmen neighbourhood, right in the centre of the city. Wander through streets steeped in history and learn about the differences between graffiti and street art. More information.
The best place to enjoy street art in this Andalusian city is in the neighbourhood known as “Soho”. This part of the city is a blend of graffiti by international artists, art galleries, craft beer bars, terraces, comic book shops, etc.You can follow the route through the MAUS (Málaga Arte Urbano Soho), where the streets are transformed into canvases with works by artists such as Bohamistura, Roa, D'Face, Obey and others. More information.
Aragon's capital has been evolving for years through urban art. The Asalto Festival has been held since 2005, and every September it fills the streets of the city with impressive and participative artistic proposals. There are also roughly 70 works of art peppering the historic centre with colours, animals, characters, etc., which you can discover strolling through Zaragoza anytime. Get your own map to discover these amazing places or sign up for a guided tour to get to know them in depth.
Urban art has also “taken over” this Cantabrian city. A large number of Santander's walls have been decorated for the DESVELARTE public art festival. Guided tours are available every Sunday to discover them and snap some amazing photos. You can also complete the tour with a visit to the exhibitions at the avant-garde Centro Botín, on the shores of the bay.A great way to admire the works of contemporary artists. More information.
Through its annual Avant-Garde Urbano festival, the historic quarter of this Navarrese city has become one of the essential places in Spain to enjoy street art. The building façades are sure to impress you, as if they were an open-air museum.
There are many more cities with innovative examples of street art such as Zamora, Cuenca, Estepona, Calpe, Vigo, Bilbao… But if you're looking for a rural getaway, you'll also find many villages where the street art is a tribute to the people and traditions of the area. A few examples: Villangómez (a village of around 200 inhabitants in Burgos) or Romangordo, in Extremadura. Its murals with evocative titles such as “Sounds of an absent river” or “Flying from the root” will enchant you. Another curious fact: an increasing number of villages in Castile-La Mancha are rehabilitating their abandoned silos (where wheat used to be stored) not only to create fabulous examples of street art, but also to turn them into viewpoints. An example? The viewpoint from the silo in Almagro.