Athens, capital of Greece, might be known especially for the Acropolis and its ancient ruins, but as you get around into the city what really hits you is the street art: even you are not into graffiti, you will be amazed! When street art is mentioned, cities like Berlin, New York or London normally come to mind, but Athens is a city rich of graffiti art: it covers an important position and it is loved by International artists all over the world. In fact, the word “graffiti” derives from a Greek word! This trend emerged in the city around late 80’ and little by little it has become a way to express widespread unrest. The art form really took off, developing its distinctive style over the past 10 years, particularly as the country’s economic crisis unfolded.
So we decided to discover this fascinating side of the city booking a tour on getyourguide and it was a great idea: see Athens street art with a real street artist guide it is something unique because it helps you to learn more about the place through its graffiti and decipher the hidden messages behind spectacular examples of urban art on a visit of the city’s neighborhoods, where the immense richness of street art is concentrated. You can experience the city in an unconventional way learning all about artists as WD, iNO, Moralez and many others and see how Athens’ economic and social crisis is portrayed by street artists. You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy this activity and during these 3 hours guided tour, which offers an alternative way to experience Athens and take a look at what’s happening at its core, we got how artworks rapidly change in the streets of the city, essentially providing an outdoor, large contemporary art gallery.
While we are getting around and discussing the reasons why street art has flourished throughout the city, we noticed there’s no corner left untouched by spray cans and covered with personalized tags: walls, street signs, shutter’s restaurants and cafes, dumpsters and so on, including the ancient rocks surrounding the Acropolis. We walk thorough famous quarters such Anafiotika, Plaka, Psyrri, Metaxourgheio or Gazi and we discover the different styles, techniques and terminology: stencils, paste-ups, throw-ups, bombings, tags, pieces, murals, installations and wild-style graffiti! We were so enthusiastic and excited at the end of the guided tour because Athens is well known for its ancient history throughout the centuries but we had never thought to experience something like that!
Unique reality in Europe and quite particular neighborhood Exarcheia is known as the “university and anarchist” district. The real soul of the city where police is “not allowed” to come by , it is not only a space for urban resistance but also an amazing flourishing place where street art makes its way everywhere. You can admire different stories made by WD, INO, Oré or Borondo who describe many situations.
Once the industrial district of Athens and very infamous place because long period of abandonment, this neighborhood located north of the historical centre of Athens, it has been flourishing in the last years (due to the opening of many art galleries, museums, and trendy restaurants and cafes) and trying to become the center of creativity: here you can see amazing works by artists like Borondo or INO for example.
Well, if you are looking for the greek real life and you want to experience something typical this is the right place. Psyrri is one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city’s center and one of the best places where you can drink some ouzo or tsipouro accompanied by delicious mezedes: people come here to get together in its typical bars and clubs so you can taste the greek culture. But Psyrri is also important for the street art and walking through its narrows is very fascinating because you can admire incredible murals created by artists like Vasmoulakis, Woozy or Blaqk.
Next to Keramikos and close to the Acropolis, Gazi is a neighborhood around the old Athens Public Gas Works. Today is known as Technopolis and the area is used as an industrial museum and exhibition space. Over the past couple of decades this district has been changing a lot and nowadays it became one of the coolest place in the city: full of restaurants and cafés, gay bars, cinemas and music venues, Gazi is perfect to experience Athen’s nightlife. And of course it is one of the best to observe street art because strolling around its alleys you can found artworks made by INO or Borondo for example.
These two districts are the “easier ones” and you can enjoy them while you are walking through its alleys for shopping or just relaxing yourself at one of thousands of restaurants and cafes along your way. Plaka is located between Syntagma and Monastiraki square, on the northeast slope of Acropolis. Its most famous street is Adrianou which is full of shops, restaurants, cafes and museum. This district is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year and it is a must. Here you can see different artworks made by Oré, Dimitris Taxis, Basek and many others.
This tiny neighborhood is the most picturesque part in the heart of the city and it is located on the northeastern side of the Acropolis hill. This “tiny village“ of Athens is part of the old historical neighborhood of Plaka and it was built to resemble the architecture of the Cyclades islands: its stark white-washed cubic houses built of stone, the flat roofs, brightly painted shutters and doors, the bougainvillea spilling over the walls and narrow alleyways ending in dead end terraces, will make you feel as you were in island village. Strolling around its narrow streets, just underneath the Acropolis, you can discover numerous creations made by different artist as Oré, Dimitris Taxis, Basek and others.
Would you like to have a street art tour in Athens? click on the link below and find the most suitable tour for you.