Urban Art: The Essential Street Art Guide To Lisbon

Street art is on the rise, and across the world, there are a huge number of places in which the most cutting-edge urban culture can be found. When it comes to the best of the best, there are few places quite as exciting as Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is buzzing with innovative urban art pieces, and across the city, something new is brewing every day. If you’re making a visit to the city any time soon, doing a street art trail is a must. By looking for these stand-out pieces, you can enjoy some of the very best the city has to throw your way. It’s time to head to the streets.

If you’re looking to take in some of the city’s natural sights while taking a peek at some of the best urban art, try heading directly to the waterfront. Spanning a huge stretch of land, the waterfront is a place where there is much to take in. To allow for a good mix of different styles, try taking Rua Jardim do Tabaco and walking along the water’s edge. Some of the most intricate and epic murals are placed along the route, so make sure you take your camera along for the ride.

Some sites seem to lend themselves more to urban art than others, and for the most creative works out there, few places are as exciting as LX Factory. A creative hub, LX Factory is packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries, having set up shop in a string of old industrial factories. While the buildings might look a little worse for wear, it’s all part of the area’s charm, only serving to set off the impressive set of urban art on show. A huge amount of the buildings are covered in multi-textured works, giving you a great deal to gawp at while you relax into the evening.

Over the years, a number of places have become hotspots for art lovers, and if you’re in the city, it’s well worth hunting them out. Taking form in 2010, the urban art in Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo came about after a government initiative. At a loss in terms of what to do with the abandoned buildings in the district, the local authorities called upon artists to help transform the spaces, turning them into mammoth pieces of street art. Now the results are some of the best examples of the trend in the city, proving just how well buildings can lend themselves to the re-imagination.

Of course, not all urban art is technically on the streets, and in many cases, blank walls are all that it takes to attract the most creatively minded. Take the Chão do Loureiro car park, for one. Nestled underneath a local supermarket, the space serves many people in the area, but on certain levels, there are pieces of street art that are really worth a look. Sprawled across the stark white walls, images of fish, monsters, and faces spring forth, turning the area into a must see spot.

If you’re not ready to take on the urban art challenge yourself, there are a number of options available to you. If you head to a number of cultural hubs, you can sign yourself up for arty walking tours that take in many of Lisbon’s most vibrant sites. While Lisbon Destination Tours will show you some great spots along the way, you can also try heading to Montana Cafe along the waterfront for a well-guided tour. The locals are more than familiar with the culture budding in their streets, and by following the same paths, you can experience life as a true inhabitant!

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.