The simple answer to where you can find street art in Lisbon – just about anywhere you can imagine!
Lagos and Porto both had amazing artworks in their street, but for sheer volume, variety and star power, Lisbon is where you can find stuff from some of the best street artists in Portugal and the world. I managed to find some random wonders by just wandering the streets, but I also managed a more curated viewing through maps and a guided tour. I love how hunting for street art has become such a great and fun way to explore and understand a city!
Here are some spots in Lisbon to check out for a good dose of street art – this is by no means an exhaustive or definitive guide of Lisbon’s street art works, merely just a recap of some of the places I visited and see some of the awesome art that I saw – there were plenty of places left unexplored. Sometimes you come across the coolest things most unexpectedly, like this great Vhils exhibition in Belem that I stumbled upon… till next time perhaps? 🙂
Most of the time I google a destination to decide on some obvious must-sees like I did with Lagos, but it was a little impossible with Lisbon just because there is so much going on, so I made use of a couple of resources:
Lisbon Street Art Tour: This is a great way not just to see some of the good street artworks, but also to learn a little about the street artists and their backgrounds, and a bit of the history of the places that they are found in. Our guide Gabriela was really great, and even though we missed the first half of the tour because we were late, she went out of the way to show us around and even brought us to a more out of the way area to check out works when she found out we were really interested.
Currently, the tour is conducted on Wednesdays 10.30am and Saturdays 3pm (Oct – May) or Sundays 10.30am (Jun – Sep) and last about 2-3 hours, with the meeting point at the Luis de Camoes Square (Praca de Camoes). Payment is by donation, usually 10-15 euros on average, though the amount really is up to you.
* Tour timings + website updated in 2017
Street Art Lisbon Vol 1: I bought myself this little book from Ler Devagar at LXFactory for 9 euros (I saw it marked up to 18 euros at other smaller shops!) which comes with a handy map cum poster that shows you where to find the works within the book, though remember that with the ephemeral nature of street art, some works might not exist any more! With the map in hand, I could pinpoint whether there were works in the area around me wherever I happened to be.
Check out my handy Google map where I’ve done my best to mark out the spots so you know where you can head to yourself!
GAU / URBAN ART GALLERY
Street art is so important to Lisbon that they set up GAU – Galeria de Arte Urbana or the Urban Art Gallery under the wing of the city’s culture and heritage department as a place for street artists to let loose. Proposals are put forth and those accepted get to translate their ideas onto large billboards set up along the sloping street – these works change very regularly so you’ll always see something different here. There is another long wall on the adjacent street about halfway down the slope which is a more free for all type of wall where people can just let loose.
How to get there: Take the subway to Restauradores and if you’re feeling rather sprightly, walk up the crazy steep slope of Calçada da Glória where you’ll find the works near the top of the slope and on the adjacent Largo da Oliveirinha. If you have a day pass, why not take the very graffiti-ed funicular (which costs 3.60 euros per trip without!) to the top, and then slowly make your way down. Alternatively, approach from the Bairro Alto side of Rua São Pedro de Alcântara. Definitely better to walk down than up this slope!
TEATRO MARIA VITORIA / MARIA VITORIA THEATRE
This old theatre district only has one functioning theatre now – the rest of it is like a very large empty parking lot, but within its walls it is both bigger than it looks, as well as contains more street art than you would think. Definitely have to thank the street art walk and Gabriela for bringing us here, I doubt we would have walked here on our own!
How to get there: It was a short walk from GAU – Parque Mayer is off the main Avenida da Liberdade close to the metro station Avenida. You should be able to see the sign for Teatro Maria Vitoria outside, and another sign which points to Restaurant A Gina, which is apparently quite good.
The Crono Project that happened back in 2010 was one of the events that garnered quite a lot of international attention and placed Lisbon on the top of the street art map, by inviting international names to collaborate with local Portuguese street artists. These works are pretty eye catching and hard to miss if you take the bus from the airport into the main city area.
How to get there: The buildings are located on Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo. The closest subway station is Picoas on the Verde/green line where the right entrance will put you right next to the building. Alternatively, I walked from Parque station on the Azul/blue line which was about 5 minutes away. There are two more works in the Crono Project which are at other locations – more info at Stick2Target.
This particular spot is for those who really are quite passionate about street art and don’t mind a bit of a workout to get there – big props to Gabriela for bringing us here after the official street art tour tour was over to make up for us missing out on the first half of it! There is a massively long stretch of wall that surrounds an old fortress, which is now entirely covered with street art. It is one of the first places where street art first grew in Lisbon in about 1995 and some of its works have been on its walls for a very long time so its earned its place in Lisbon’s street art history. Gabriela recommended the West side walls along Conselheiro Fernando de Sousa for newer and better works – this stretch is almost 1km long so you can imagine the amount of art here!
How to get there: Amoreiras feels like a suburban area – bunch of fancy hotels in the area and much quieter than the downtown tourist stretch. The closest metro station is Marques de Pombal, but be warned that Avenida Eng. Duarte Pacheco is a really, really long steep hill to climb up, and that’s saying something considering the number of slopes and hills there are in Portugal. You could take a bus – I grabbed a taxi from the nearby Amoreiras Shopping Centre after that because I could not walk any further, so that’s another landmark you can use for directions. The walls run along Rua Artilharia 1, Rua Marques de Fronteira and Conselheiro Fernando de Sousa.
SANTA APOLONIA COASTLINE
I passed this coastal stretch while heading up to the Azulejos Museum in Madre de Deus, and on the way back I decided to drop by to get a closer look at these works. Here you’ll find the larger than life collaborative works of local legend Vhils and Pixelpancho, and Wall Lisbon – Santa Apolonia painted under the Pampero Public Art Project in 2010. After that I walked inland and up towards Lisbon Se and the Castle.
How to get there: Take bus 728, 735, 759,794 and stop at Casa Conto bus stop along Avenida Infante Dom Henrique. It’s hard to miss the large collab works on the buildings by the coastline when you travel along this road.
PÁTIO DOM FRADIQUE
Perched right on top of the hill, the castle of Saint George has some pretty amazing views of Lisbon, but on the way down, make sure to look for Patio Dom Fradique. It’s where the remains of the Cerca Velha wall are, and this part of the ruins has been transformed into a rather organic outdoor gallery of sorts with various artworks and graffiti all over.
How to get there: Take Tram 28 or bus 736 up the hill to the Castelo and walk down. This particular spot is on the southeast corner of the hill. Look for Marker #2 Patio Dom Fradique, or if you’re going uphill, look for Beco do Maldonaldo off Rua Sao Tome
This is just a smidgen of what I managed to find while I was in Lisbon in such a short period of time, so, Drop a note here if you know of any other street art hotspots in Lisbon to share! Also, check out my street art guide to Lagos if you want to see more awesome graffiti and murals in Portugal.