Best street art graffiti tour to explore off beat districts around 5 EU cities.

Participate in a street art graffiti tour in European cities

Joining a guided visit might be one of the best options to explore a foreign country these days. There are tons of classic itineraries for travellers, but trends show us how alternative tourists decide choosing a street art graffiti tour to visit the off beat districts.

We may observe as each city has its own personality. It’s through their architecture, history and culture that we’ll be able to analyze the society. Furthermore, they all share one common thing. That is to say, urban art.

Today’s article will emphasize the color of the following European regions:

Where is the best urban art in Northern European capitals?

Europe’s population is close to 745 million inhabitants and thousands of artists across the continent spread their paint around. Walls might be found not only in the central districts, but also in working class neighborhoods around the outskirts.

Thanks to them, Cooltourspain proves that the street art graffiti tour community is huge. There are dozen places where you could join any of these artists to discover the off beat districts.

Let’s see the following renowned European examples. For instance,

1-. Berlin, more than just a street art graffiti tour

street art and graffiti tour in Teufelsberg
Matt Biddulph captured this image when visiting Berlin’s old telecommunication towers

If New York is the graffiti capital in the United States, Berlin is the pioneer in Europe. Germany has historically ranked #1 as leading country both in economy, technology and street art.

It’s common to observe painted walls in capitals such as Berlin, either vandalized or legal, and travellers and locals enjoy it alike. It was common to observe decades ago squat warehouses which were decorated from top to bottom. Still, there exist several places that you shouldn’t miss.

  • Teufelsberg, a former telecommunication complex which shut down in 2015. It is now probably the best spot to visit either with a street art graffiti tour or on your own. Located in Teufelsseechaussee 10.
  • Mauerpark, the militarized “death strip” of the Berlin Wall is now a social, cultural, and artistic center in the city. Unique spot where to paint graffiti in Berlin. Writers love it!

2-. Antwerp, urban art in Belgium

urban art in Antwerp, Belgium
Zuid | Jan van Gentstraat Street art by photographer Fred Romero

Secondly, we would find Belgium’s street art capital. 698 Kilometers separates it from Berlin, but the urban art is still amazing!

Street art cities is a European cultural project based in Antwerp, which aim is to connect graffiti lovers from all over the world. They share photographs of the latest murals and identify spots recently painted.

Which are the neighborhoods that you shouldn’t miss if you participate in a street art graffiti tour in the city?

  • Berchem is known as the street art district. Did you know that the famous worldwide event MOS ‘Meeting of styles’ takes place here?
  • Park Spoor Noord. It features a BMX park, a skatebowl and a legal wall where to paint. What else could you ask for?
  • Meatpack is an old warehouse/factory which has recently transformed into a creative hub. T.A.G.S., the Antwerp Graffiti & Street art museum is close by.

Exploring with a street art graffiti tour different Mediterranean capitals

After visiting Northern Europe and the Atlantic coast, we will travel south heading to the Mediterranean Sea.

As the landscape and climate changes, we observe how the murals speak up. Artists use facades and walls to paint with a message. For example, artists frequently include social and political ideas in the designs.

These are the capital cities where you should join a street art graffiti tour to discover the most alternative spots:

3-. Athens and its graffiti olympics

street art walking tour in Athens, Greece
Chalandri, Athens – Χαλάνδρι by Dimitris Kamaras/flickr

The rise of a new urban culture might be observed in Greece as well. Travellers interested in the post-contemporary art will capture with their cameras throw-ups, stencils, walls and rollups all around this historical place.

Metaxourgeio district is probably your best bet. It started out as an industrial district at the beginning of the XIX century, and it’s turned into the artsy district of the city.

Similarly to what happens in many other neighborhoods around the world, gentrification has also hit Athens. Psyrri is the second area that we would recommend you visiting. It turned from a not so safe zone, to a trendy and chic one.

4-. When in Rome, do as Romans do

MAAM Rome, Italy
Murals dedicated to Malala Yousafzai in Rome, Italy

Have you ever heard this expression before? So if alternative travellers usually join a street art graffiti tour wherever they go, shouldn’t you?

Rome, alongside with Athens, holds the oldest structures and buildings in the humans’ history. It also features beautiful murals created by Italian artists, for example:

  • Alice Pasquini, one of our favourite Italian artists. Her technique and style create beautiful pieces. Whether she works with small stencils or cherry pickers, Pasquini’s artworks are art masterpieces.
  • Who is Nemos, an inspirational artists who draws ‘strange’ human figures in different settings & scenarios. Wouldn’t you define their creatures as bizarre?

Last but not least, it’s important to support the emergent scene. Cooltourspain wanted cheer the work of a local street art crew called NSN997, from Napoli.

What’s the most alternative & original guided visit in Spain?

Spain received 83,7 million travellers last 2019. International visitors love the country because of its mild climate, friendly locals and delicious food.

Tourism trends show how major capital cities and their tour operators have adapted to upcoming arts & cultures. That’s the reason why we also wanted to feature alternative experiences available in our country.

5-. Street art and graffiti tour in Madrid

street art graffiti tour in Madrid
Guided visit led by Javier for a group of dog lovers

Even though you may relate Madrid to Prado Museum, the Royal Palace and El Retiro Park, there are few locations in town that any traveller shouldn’t miss if spending just a weekend there.

Above all, we would recommend you the following spots:

  • La Tabacalera de Lavapies: former XIX century tobacco factory which turned in the 2000s in a social community center. Locals describe it as the mecca for graffiti in town.
  • Esta es una plaza. A unique urban garden in the city center. It is located in Calle Doctor Fourquet, Lavapiés district. Probably Madrid’s most multicultural neighborhood.
  • La Neomudejar. This avant-garde center is considered as an off the beaten gem. The interior of this, once in history, warehouse is used to exhibit brut, visual and street art.

6-. Barcelona’s contemporary art scene & community

Graffiti tour in Barcelona
Street art graffiti tour in Barcelona led by Antoine

Catalonia is another leading agent in the national street art graffiti tour scene. Furthermore, Barcelona was a pioneering city in terms of the Spanish touristic community.

Wall spot is a cultural project whose aim is to inform international graffiti writers where could they paint in each registered city.

Barcelona features amazing locations where to use spray paint in a legal way over large murals. Let’s see the most relevant ones:

  • Tres Xemeneies. These walls are located in Passatge de la Canadenca, 51. The walls of this 3.1 x 40 meters wall have been painted 2310 times over the past years.
  • Agricultura (Carrer de Veneçuela, 105). The biggest wall in Barcelona city. Close to 400 meters available to paint. Height varies from 2 to 10 meters, for example.
  • Drassanes, a legal spot in Passeig de Josep Carner, 36. It’s frequent to observe artists painting over the weekends.

7-. Málaga & Costal del Sol’s sea views

street art in MAUS soho
Alejo is in charge of leading the street art graffiti tour in Málaga city

In addition, Andalucia features the most important hip hop & breakbeat community in the country. What does that mean? In other words, the graffiti community is alive!

Malaga is a pioneer & leading city in the Mediterranean tourism industry. Russians, Arabs, Norwegians, Danish, Swedish and Finnish choose this area as their favourite holidays destination.

People from all nationalities walk along the city center to discover the artworks of Andalucian talents. Let’s see the most important ones in town:

  • Tenis, the greatest example of how to move from painting graffiti in the streets to work for commissioned murals.
  • Belin, representing Andalucia all over the world with his postneocubism style. Finest technique ever!
  • Dadi Dreucol. This local Malagueño’s goal (person born & raised in the city) is to create an impact in the observer. He greatly gets your attention.

Our opinion of what should a street art graffiti tour be like.

In conclusion, it’s important to remark the alternative characteristic of a street art graffiti tour. It should not only be led for urban art lovers, but also for newbies & people interested in learning about new stuff.

In other words, participating in this kind of experience should allow the visitor to explore the local lifestyle and participate in the communities’ daily life.

We look forward to seeing you soon in one of our guided visits in Madrid.

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