Over the past years and especially during and after the decade of the big economic crisis (2008-2018), the art scene in Athens flourished. Greek artists felt the need to express their thoughts and emotions while foreign artists from all over the world visited Athens and made the city their new home.
Old, abandoned houses, massive, blank, concrete walls as well as boxes of the National Telephone Company, became the ideal canvases for some of the most wonderful pieces of street art and murals. Furthermore, festivals, the School of Fine Arts as well as the Municipality of Athens, commissioned huge murals by famous artists in order to add colour to the city. Numerous hotels, cafes and restaurants following the urban trend drew their exterior walls with beautiful paintings and designs.
Street art locations and artists
Athens is an open-air gallery and you will find beautiful graffiti and murals in every corner. The neighborhoods with the most important ones are Exarxeia, Gazi, Kermeikos, Psiri, Plaka, Syntagma, Monastiraki and Omonia.
Walking around the city, and in the least expected places, you will find works of Wild Drawing, Ino, UrbanAct, Oré, Basek, as well as Alexandros Vasmoulakis and Vangelis Hoursoglou and many more talented street artists.
Street art tours
Although you can randomly spot street art during your strolls around Athens, it is strongly recommended to book a street art walking tour.
Since most of the works are scattered in different parts of the city while it's in the nature of ephemeral art to appear or disappear overnight, taking a guided tour is the best option in order to keep traces of this alternative art scene.
A guide will also share with you facts about the work, the artist as well as information about the neighborhood or the building on which the mural is embedded.
The most thriving guided tours are:
• Athens Original Street Art tour: This 3-hour tour is run by a street artist himself. The meeting point is in Thissio metro station and you will be discovering on foot 3 neighborhoods and their fascinating art scene.
• Guided Urban Street-Art tour: During this 2-hours tour, you will be exploring different districts of Athens such as up-and-coming areas as well as more underground ones. You will have the chance to discover some of the most colorful graffiti and impressive murals in the streets.