Spray, Stroll, and Soak: Unveiling Greece's Urban Art Tapestry

© Y. Skoulas

Art is an aspect of culture; one of many faces and expressions. Street art has become very popular in recent years in Greece, as a branch of culture that promotes creativity, extroversion, and innovation, one that is free for all people to enjoy! Here’s a glimpse of the outdoor creative scene of some Greek cities that are definitely worth exploring on your next trip to the country.

Starting with Athens, the Petit Paris d’ Athènes (Little Paris of Athens Festival) takes place in October. This year, the theme title is “Love in the Arts” and it includes a number of happenings, such as concerts, theatre, art exhibitions, street painting, and educational programmes for children and young people. The events on public spaces are free of charge and there is a low-ticket price for indoor happenings. Enjoy them in the neighbourhoods of Omonoia, Vathi Sq, Karaiskaki Sq, and Larissa Station.

In Keramikos, Psyrri, Anafiotika, Exarcheia, and Gazi districts, look for the pretty impressive murals on the side walls of hotels and other public spaces: apart from their great beauty, some of them also carry powerful political and social messages. Alternatively, to save time, you can follow a guided street art tour around the city.
The music fans among you will enjoy a walk down Dionysiou Areopagitou St, in Athens’ historical centre. It is a pedestrian zone lining the south perimeter of the Acropolis Rock, and it is a favourite spot for street performers, who deploy their talents under the Rock and against the impressive Acropolis Museum. You will listen to Greek traditional instruments, guitar, and keyboard music, and you’ll pause to enjoy the artists’ singing; some of these voices are too good to be true, making this experience all the more memorable.

Graffiti in Athens Downtown | © Y. Skoulas

Compared to Athens, Thessaloniki City is none the less impressive when it comes to street art creations. The once grey colourless side walls of blocks of flats, hospitals, the university campus, and other buildings have brightened up with graffiti that are eye-catching as well as food for thought, as their themes relate to various sensitive social issues. Check out some of them downtown on Stathmou St, Monastiriou St, Giannitson St, Sokratous St, Melenikou St, Gonata St, Ethnikis Aminis St, Stratou Ave, and Konstantinoupoleos St (Hippocratio Hospital).

Patras City, too, is no stranger to street art activities. This port city in the North of Peloponnese has been hosting the International Street Art Festival for quite a few years with great success, as shown by the growing numbers of visitors, and it is a contributing factor to the city’s ambitious cultural tourism plans. The Art Walk (this year ‘Art Walk 8’) takes place annually in September and October, attracting renowned artists from Europe and across the world, who work on selected walls. The city is the proud owner of some jaw-dropping murals, created by Greek and foreign artists during the festival, who also participate in workshops for children, teenagers, and adults.

Graffiti in Athens Downtown | © Y. Skoulas