Best street art tours to join in Spain. Explore 4 cities in an alternative way

street art tours

According to El Pais, Spain’s best seller journal, 13,7% of the countries’ professions are directly related to tourism. Thus, it’s not hard to observe many city guided visits in places like Madrid or Barcelona. The question is, how many of these cities feature street art tours?

As a matter of fact, urban art is a trendy option for alternative travelers. They observe as this type of contemporary art directly involves discovering the off beat districts. That’s one of the main reasons why today’s article will reveal insider information about not touristy neighborhoods.

Here is a short index of the different graffiti tours that you’ll be able to join when visiting Spain:

What’s the longest standing street art tours in Spain?

Picture taken by the guide while at the street art tour in Barcelona, Spain

Even though Barcelona stands as a pioneering city in the street art tours industry in our country, that’s something Spaniards did not invent.

Moreover, we’d have to travel back to 1970s to observe the first graffiti movement. It was in the suburbs of Philadelphia and New York that this new artistic scene broke the ground thanks to the hip hop community.

If it was possible to join graffiti tours in other capital cities like Berlin, London or Paris, why wasn’t it possible in our country?

1-. Barcelona’s street art tours

Sagrada Familia, Parq Güell, Las Ramblas and La Barceloneta beach are Catalunya’s most famous & visited locations. 12 Million travellers arrived to Barcelona last 2019 according to an article shared by local newspaper 20 minutos.

With a pioneering industry, it wasn’t difficult to observe that some of those tourists participated in any of the street art tours offered in town.

What are the cities’ most painted areas and districts?

  • Above all, El Raval which goes from Avenida Parallel to Poble Sec.
  • El Born and Gotic districts, close to each other.
  • Poble Nou, a former industrial area in the northern part of the city.

Who are the most famous street artists names in town?

urban art decoration in Barcelona
Aleix López photographed this electric post in Barcelona/ flickr

First of all, we should start introducing the urban art community in town as diverse. Barcelona does not only count with emergent local talents, but it also features the work of international artists who paint in the city while on holidays along the Costa Brava.

That is to say, we’ll be able to photograph a wide range of techniques, including but not limiting to stencils, stickers, paste-ups, roll-ups or even whole cars (metro wagons and bulk containers) painted by graffiti writers.

Let’s pay tribute to Barcelona’s most famous female and male artists:

  • El Xupet Negre: probably the most iconic logo in town. Have you ever observed a dummy for kids painted in metal shutters around the city?
  • Art is Trash, the name behind contemporary artist Francisco de Pájaro. He creates artworks in the trash. Ain’t that cool?
  • Btoy, aka Andrea Michaelsson. She started painting while studying law at college. Aren’t they complementary activities? She is now one of the most visible faces in Barcelona’s stencil community.

Are there any other street art tours by the Mediterranean Sea?

urban art tours in Valencia, Spain
One of the street art tours that we joined with Caminart

Of course there are! Valencia’s Autonomous Community features some of them. You could either participate in self-guided street art tours in Fanzara, Castellon or a group visit in the capital city watered also by the Turia River.

The former is defined by the general audience as an unfinished open-air contemporary art museum, whereas the latter is not only known because of the Fallas. There is way more artworks than that!

Would you like to have an insider point of view about the best urban art in the region. Let’s start!

2-. Street art tours in Valencia

street art tours in Valencia
Picture taken whilst the explanation of an urban art creation

Similarly to what happens in many other cities around the world, you could either join a guided visit or just discover the best urban art on your own. If you choose the second one, here is a brief information that you should take into account, although we always recommend to be led by professionals.

  • Walk around the square where Valencia’s city council is located. You should start in Calle Peydro and continue towards Plaza de la Merced.
  • Cross the central market and head to Calle del Trench, Plaza Redonda and Calle Calatrava to observe the artworks by local emergent talents.
  • Last but not least, you’ll find a great alternative walking tour around Cabanyal and Canyamelar off beat districts.

Discovering Valencia’s most iconic artists

graffiti tours in Valencia
Graffiti tours in Valencia. Picture by Diari La Veu/flickr

Any street art guide that helps you discovering the the local talent must include the graffiti crew XLF. That is to say shit, although in Spanish language XLF means “por la cara”.

This group of friends and writers started painting in the early 2000s and many of the them have turned into street art as a way of living. Despite some members still produce graffiti related artworks in Valencia, their creations might be also observed around the country.

Who are the most renowned artists in Valencia?

  • Julieta XLF, who paints little characters in a magic world.
  • Pichiavo, street art duo who mixes gods with graffiti tags.
  • Chikitin Valencia, who creates 4 eyed figures in stencils and canvas.

3-. Graffiti art tours in the Spanish capital city

street art tours Madrid Spain
Participants in the street art tour Madrid last January 2020

Madrid is another European capital where travelers could participate in street art tours. Apart from that, you could visit urban art festivals and photograph the artworks of internationally renowned artists at art fairs.

There are two districts within the city center that any visitor shouldn’t miss. The first one is Lavapiés, 20 minutes walking distance from Plaza Mayor, and the second is Malasaña, next to Gran Via street.

In addition, these are the festivals where any street art lover should bring their cameras to photograph amazing murals!

Which festivals do the street art tours in Madrid visit?

group picture of a family tour in Madrid
Family group picture taken during the walking guided visit in Madrid city

It is common to see that street art tours from all over the world take the advantage of festivals. Madrid is one of those cities where walking guided visits use the artists’ works to talk about the professional career and backgrounds.

For instance, these are some of the outdoors events visited:

  • CALLE LAVAPIES. It takes place once a year at one of the most multicultural areas in town. Dozens of small companies (bars, restaurants and shops) allow artists to paint their walls, metal shutters and windows.
  • PINTA MALASAÑA. Likewise, this street art event covers the walls of a hipster and bohemian area within the city center. Get off at Tribunal metro station to observe the artworks of both amateur & professional artists.
  • ARTE AL CUBO. Last but not least, color decorates a hallway/corridor close to Plaza de España. It is during a bicycle street art tour when those artworks might be discovered.

What madrileño artists (born and raised in town) are worth mentioning?

street art tours at Arte al cubo
Sr. Irregular captured this image of Sabek while painting

As you may have observed along the article, Cooltourspain loves promoting the artworks from local artists. Why? It’s thanks to them that our street art tours are possible. If it weren’t because of them, we wouldn’t have anything to explain during the guided visits.

Consequently, here is a brief list of artists who grew up in Madrid region:

  • Sea162: natural landscapes decorated with spray paint. For instance, mountains in Villalba and surrounding areas.
  • Sabek. A local talent who has developed a career in the contemporary art scene from the streets. Pure graffiti is the clue!
  • Keru de Kolorz. This urban artist & tattoo painter loves to draw lines in black color. He then mixes them with colorful bubble graffiti.

Where is the best contemporary art in Andalucia?

street art in MAUS soho
Alejo, from Street art Malaga, leads tours in English language

The most populated Autonomous Community in Spain also features the best street art. We could travel to Seville, Granada, Cadiz, Almeria, Huelva, Cordoba or Jaen to discover it, but today’s article will focus in Malaga.

Costa del Sol is not only known because of its perfect climate all year long, but also because of the urban art development in the previous decade.

4-. Street art tours in Málaga

To sum things up, we will mention which are the most relevant locations in case you only have 24 or 48 hours to spend in the city.

  • SOHO, also known as the city’s most gentrified area or MAUS (Malaga Arte urbano Soho). It features Malaga’s contemporary art museum and a bunch of internationally known street art artists.
  • Lagunillas & Bulevart, the outskirts also count with incredible walls where local creators have developed their artistic skills.

Cooltourspain’s opinion about the street art tours

We believe that the art industry discovered few decades ago the enormous potential that graffiti and street art have. Thus we are just a small piece of sand in the whole castle.

Cooltourspain does not only promote street art tours in the country, but also workshops for an audience interested in participating in alternative ateliers.

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