A guide to street art and graffiti in Barcelona – The city centre

I recently published a guide to street art hunting in the Poblenou area of Barcelona and now it’s time for the city centre to be featured. I won’t be quite as detailed in terms of directions on this one since the areas are a bit more spread out so you’ll have to use Google maps just that little bit more if you are going exploring.

As the city centre is more populated than the outer reaches of the city the amount of legal walls is not quite as plentiful, what with so many apartments, shops and offices lining the streets. That’s not to say there aren’t any but in the centre you are more likely to find paste up’s, stickers and painted shop shutters than you are bigger muralistic pieces.

I’m going to start off with the legal walls as they are two of the most popular areas in the city for both local and visiting artists alike. The first is the famous Tres Xemeneies (Three Chimneys) which in 2012 became the first legal wall in Barcelona. This area of 3 double sided walls, one large box like structure and another smaller phone booth style structure is painted daily by a wide range of different artists and no matter what day you visit, there is bound to be something that catches your eye. Due to the sheer amount of artists that paint there, pieces don’t tend to last long so most day’s you’ll find me running around taking photos of new pieces before they disappear forever.

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The next legal wall in the centre is just a few minutes walk from the three chimneys in the Jardins de Walter Benjamin. This area which consists of two large long walls and then one long winding wall within a park is almost if not as popular as Tres Xemeneies. It’s another area that changes almost daily and is frequented by all types of artists and due to the wall shape in the park area showcases some pretty large and interesting pieces. Once again the pieces in this area don’t tend to last long so best to get those photos in quickly!

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Moving onto the winding streets of the city centre itself there is a street named Carrer Dels Banys Vells which is situated in the heart of the city’s El Borne barrio. This narrow street is home to literally hundreds of paste up’s and stickers due to the amount of large wooden doors lined up along the street. On my first visit to the street, in the pouring rain I may add, I reckon I spent around one hour trying to snap everything (without drowning my phone) and see if I could recognise which artist did which piece. It’s definitely one to visit if you are a fan of paste ups and stickers.

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Another street to definitely check out is Carrer de les Guilleries in the Gracia Bario. I have mentioned this street before as it’s the one that French artist Oreo has completely taken over, painting his Badass Bears on multiple shutters along the street. There are now, if I remember correctly, 8 shutters with different pieces on each one, It’s also the home to Oreo’s Endzlab shop and the Montana Cans shop which are both worth checking out for clothes and art/art supplies.

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The rest of the city centre is there to be explored, in other parts of El Borne, Gotico, Gracia and The Raval you will find paste up’s, stickers and a few cheeky sprays on almost every street corner, far too many for me to detail anyway!

Hopefully this gives any art hunters out there a decent overview of where to find some art in the city centre but if anyone would like any more information you can contact me any time and I’d be delighted to help.

Happy hunting!!

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