Valencia is known for its futuristic architecture designed by local boy turned starchitect, Santiago Calatrava. The old city though is a rabbit warren of streets meandering slowly through hundreds of years of history. Along these back streets, you will find yourself the extensive collection of Valencia street art. Valencia’s urban art scene is so renowned that its buildings have become a canvas for international street artists.
Where To Find Valencia’s Street Art
There are several main areas to find Valencia’s street art. Although there are several official street art tours of Valencia, we took the opportunity to just wander the streets of Valencia and check out its graffiti.
We stayed in the old city because we were limited on time. You’ve got El Carmen which is a young and trendy neighbourhood tucked away in the north east corner of the old city. La Xerea is another one of the old city’s six neighbourhoods and is located east of the Valencia’s famous cathedral.
Russafa is another young and trendy neighbourhood southeast of the old city filled with cafes, boutiques and, of course, street art. If we had the time, I would have loved to check out this neighbourhood.
Valencia Urban Art Masters
Like in London’s Shoreditch, the city’s bustling urban art scene has attracted a lot of international artists who are keen to showcase their work. There are many local artists as well as international artists who have left their mark on the streets of Valencia.
Here are a few of the prominent muralists you will see. In fact, their work is everywhere so that it is easy to make a search and find walking game with children. My kids will do anything if there are points and prizes involved, no matter how meaningless.
Blu is an Italian street artist with pieces all over the world. His giant mural of Moses with snakes on his beard is the most photographed piece of street art in Valencia. Of course, I took a photo of it. In our defence, it was at the end of the street where our hotel was located and, really, I just had to.
Escif is a home-grown hero who has artwork of tumbling cars on a wall perpendicular to the Blu piece of Moses.
Another Italian, Erica Il Cane is one of the most renowned of female street artists. She likes large pieces featuring animals.
I loved the masked ‘ninja’ type of men that are David Limon’s trademark piece. They have both wit and simplicity.
More Valencia Street Art
We had a great time looking for street art in the old town of Valencia. Although a very walkable city, my children are not enthusiastic urban walkers. Giving them something to look for made our tour of Valencia’s historic centre made the walking more enjoyable and keep them alert while sightseeing.
Shop Door Art Pieces
I found some of the best pieces on the metal shop doors.
Similar to the street art scene in Sao Paolo, Brasil, Valencia has lots of bare walls and buildings ready for artistic inspiration to strike.
Practicalities for Visiting Valencia
We knew we wanted to stay in the old city of Valencia which luckily meant that we were in walking distance of all this great street art. The city of Valencia is immensely walkable – in fact, the narrow, winding one-way streets make driving difficult.
Of course, there is so much to do and to see in Valencia in addition to checking out its street art! There’s a whole section of the city that is devoted to arts and sciences, a beautiful historic centre with a UNESCO world heritage status listed Cathedral and, of course, beautiful beaches.
Although we used taxis on occasion, we found that thanks to the one-way system and traffic, walking was occasionally just as fast as taking a taxi.
We stayed at the excellent Palacio de Rojas. This family-friendly apartment hotel was located on the Carrer de Quart, which turned out to be a major street art hotspot. It was also very well located for sightseeing in the city. We had a 1 bedroom apartment with a separate bedroom, pull out couch, bathroom, kitchen and cute little terrace.
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