Barcelona’s Shutter Art and Garage Door Graffiti, Barcelona, Spain. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Barcelona Street Art, Shutter Art and Garage Door Graffiti

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Barcelona street art, shutter art and garage door graffiti abounds in the capital of Catalunya. While you can check it out on a self guided stroll through the Barrio Gótico or Gothic Quarter, these days there are an array of other ways for you to enjoy this dynamic urban art.

Barcelona Street Art, Shutter Art and Garage Door Graffiti

Barcelona has become a giant canvas for street artists and activists. Stroll its most interesting neighbourhoods, such as the Barrio Gótico or Gothic Quarter during the afternoon siesta or late at night when the shops are shut, or amble around Ribera-El Born, Raval and Gracia when the bars are closed, and you’ll notice Barcelona’s brilliant shutter art and garage door graffiti in the form of vibrantly painted shop shutters and garage doors everywhere.

Sure, you’ll see the spray-painted scribbles of vandals, the nonsense of bored juveniles, and the curses of angry young men too. But the most exciting, thought-provoking work is by street art activists and some of the most creative, attention grabbing shutter art has been commissioned by the shopkeepers and property owners.

While the local police fight an ongoing battle with vandals, talented street artists and graffiti artists, many of whom were born out of the Barcelona street art movement that emerged here in the 1990s, are celebrated in Catalunya’s capital.

Expect to stumble across all forms of urban art, from vibrant murals and illustrations by established street artists such as Imnotic whose large format art breathes new life into decaying old spaces, to tiny drawings and tags by graffiti artists, some anonymous, others recognised by those in the know.

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While there’s plenty of fantastic urban art to be seen on a self-guided stroll as you mosey the alleyways, there are now an array of other ways for you to take in and learn about Barcelona street art.

Barcelona Urban Art Galleries

Galleries specialising in urban art hold exhibitions of street art and events with live painting where jaw-dropping art emerges before your eyes. Their owners and staff are often terrific sources of information.

Base Elements Gallery is a commercial gallery focusing on street art on Carrer del Palau 6 and owner Rob is keen to share his knowledge with enthusiasts. His online shop is also an excellent resource with a great guide to artists and their work. His blog is one of the best sources of information on the scene.

The Montana Gallery and shop at Carrer Comerç 8, Ribera is the place to head to learn more about the scene, find out about shows, buy paints and art supplies, and connect with artists.

Barcelona Street Art Tours

Barcelona Street Style Tour

Claiming to be the first street art tour company in Barcelona, operating since 2012, these tours, on foot and bike, take participants along streets and alleyways of various neighbourhoods to learn about the emergence of the street art and graffiti movement in Barcelona while highlighting skate spots, galleries, boutiques, and bars with ties to the street art scene. The guides are street art enthusiasts, one with a degree in audio-visual media. See the Barcelona Street Style Tour website for info. Walking tours are free but donations are appreciated.

Street Art Barcelona Tour

Ran by a group of street artists and activists who have been active since 2010, these street art tours treat the city as an open air gallery and promise to take you off the tourist path and introduce you to the most important murals and show you the secret spots. You’ll learn about the history of the street art movement in Barcelona, the most significant forms of art, the most important artists and activities, the techniques they use, and the alternative spaces dedicated to street art. They offer several tours, on foot and bicycle, covering different neighbourhoods, in a handful of languages. See the Street Art Barcelona tour website for details. Walking tours start from 12 euros.

Barcelona Street Art Workshops

Barcelona Street Art Style Workshops

Experiential travellers will love these hands-on 2-hour workshops by an active street artist with 15 years experience, including a demonstration on popular street art techniques and the chance to try your hand at producing some art, which you can take home. The workshop covers the fundamentals of graffiti, using spray paint and tags, sticker making, stencil making, and mixed media installations. For those short on time, they also offer a 1½ workshop on basic, classic graffiti techniques with the chance to produce a collaborative group graffiti piece. Workshops can also be customised. Book through the Barcelona Street Art Style website.

Barcelona Street Art Online

The best source of information is the website Street Art Barcelona which promotes itself as a collaborative platform to promote and support the street art scene. It features art news, information on exhibitions and events, and interviews with street artists. The site has a blog, videos and images of art, and street art tours.

The Graffiti Street website has a bite-sized introduction to how the Barcelona street art scene emerged and how it got cleaned up (if the work isn’t commissioned on private property and isn’t “efficient” there’s a 3,000 euro fine!), and the many collaborative urban art spaces which were established, everywhere from community gardens to open air cinemas, after the death of a street artist in 2013.

If you’re not heading to Spain soon, you can enjoy more urban art on the website Barcelona Street Art.

Though no longer active bcn graffiti gives an insight into the scene, including graffiti art exhibitions by local and overseas artists that were held up until 2009.

UPDATED: July 2016

Are you a fan of street art? If you’re not, have you noticed Barcelona’s shutter art and garage door graffiti while exploring the city? Any favourite lanes, shop shutters, garage doors, or works of street art you recommend? Tips welcome in the Comments below.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

8 thoughts on “Barcelona Street Art, Shutter Art and Garage Door Graffiti”

  1. I love seeing good street art while traveling, almost as much as great traditional art and architecture. We found that around the old city center and student area in Bogota, Colombia there was some amazing street art as well.

  2. I love it!

    (I actually wanted to do some ‘street art’ on my garage door … a portrait of Marina Sirtis in her role as Deanna Troi … but my wife wouldn’t let me)

  3. Thanks, Keith! But that’s a shame about your project – although I can guess why your wife wouldn’t allow it! Don’t have a double garage? Your wife could paint one too?

  4. I recently visited Barcelona on my honey-moon and saw many of the amazing street art. In fact i even watched the Banksy documentary, I forget the name now. We did see many of the amazing pieces. Great post and thanks for bringing back the memories :) We didn’t get round to taking photos of them

  5. I’m completely obsessed with street art! And I’ve just been living in Barcelona for 8 months – I can definitely agree that the street art is amazing there! Also, in response to the above comment: The Banksey documentary is called ‘Exit Through the Giftshop’. Well worth a watch for anyone who loves street art.

  6. I would love to contribute with your website, by updating the content related to the street art in Barcelona. Cheers,

  7. Hi Javier, we don’t accept contributions, as explained in our About pages. Everything we write here is based on our own firsthand experience and that’s what sets our site apart from many. We do go through a cycle of updating all content periodically but Grantourismo is a 13 year old site and we have thousands of posts so we can’t update everything at once.

    You’re very welcome to provide additional tips for our readers right here in the comments, whether it’s your recommendations of outstanding works of street art to see and where to see them, or your favourite street artists to look out for, etc, whatever you like :)

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