When you hear the words “street art”, you might think of Berlin, London, Melbourne, Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires. Street art in Athens might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, Athens has emerged as a street art destination over the past few years.
Several local and international artists like WD, iNO, STMTS and Sonke have chosen to decorate our capital city with their beautiful art. As a result, the areas of Anafiotika, Psirri, Kerameikos, Metaxourgio and Exarhia are full of street art.
Street art in Athens
If you go for a walk around downtown Athens, you will probably come across one or more of the following works. Some of them are small, others are large, and there are also a few commissioned murals. Here are a few photos of street art in Athens!
Some of the oldest street art in Athens can be found in Exarhia. If you visit this vibrant neighbourhood, you are likely to come across this big graffiti, that has been there for a very long time. In fact, one could argue that this particular piece sums up the attitude of this neighbourhood.
On the contrary, this amazing work below was unfortunately covered by other art a few years ago. To this day, we consider it one of the best examples of street art in Athens.
One of the most prominent buildings in the Exarhia area, is the Polytechnic University. Once inside, you can see some stunning art, such as this very elaborate mural.
We are also fans of this particular graffiti inside the Polytechnic University. The motto next to it translates into “Hate fear”.
Speaking of the Polytechnic University, did you know that it was mysteriously covered in a huge graffiti in March 2015? The graffiti was cleaned very soon, but some tagging has taken place since then.
Anafiotika – Plaka
Plaka and Anafiotika are among the most visited areas of Athens. Tourists and locals can easily spot a few lovely artworks.
This small mural in Plaka was made by Sonke, possibly the most instantly recognisable street artist in Athens and beyond.
Nearby, you can see this smaller image, followed by a text in Greek.“And they came again, on new horse-carriages, to collect more taxes. Going down, however, they felt that they were stepping on cotton, and not on firm ground. They saw countless tortured eyes, with stones in their hands. Many horse-carriages stayed there. They left, and never came back. Never…” We leave the interpretation to you!
The art work below is a little tricky to find, but its vibrant colours are stunning. You can find it if you walk down from Anafiotika into Plaka.
Finally, this graffiti on a temporary construction, is trying to pass a message… or two!
Metaxourgio – Kerameikos
Those upcoming neighbourhoods are home to some of the best street art in Athens. If you walk around, you are likely to come across street artists on-the-job!
You will find street art everywhere, even in abandoned backyards.
Monastiraki – Psirri
Walk no more than 5 minutes from Monastiraki metro, and you will come across one of the biggest and most famous graffiti in Athens. You can’t miss this large commissioned mural – just get to Psirri square and look up.
In Psirri, there is also a mural of Loukanikos, the famous stray dog who ran alongside protesters in Athens and was one of Time magazine’s people of the year for 2011. Loukanikos died in 2014, and this work was created in his memory.
If you like bright colours, this might be the most suitable piece of street art in Monastiraki!
Polytechnic University in Zografou
If you are a serious street art lover, you will definitely want to take a trip to the premises of the Polytechnic University in Zografou area. The closest metro is Katehaki.
Don’t be discouraged by the fact that it’s a university! The guards at the gates are very helpful and they will even give you directions to see the best known art works.
If you are lucky, you might see some of the world-famous artists, like WD, on the job. This is one of his finished works – just stunning!
Allow yourself a couple of hours to fully explore the area – it’s a really nice campus. You may want to pack a picnic as well!
More street art in Athens
You can find this amazing mural in Ampelokipi area, a 20 minute walk off the centre.
You can occasionally find street art on garbage bins. We honestly can’t remember where we saw this one!
We hope that you have enjoyed our pictures! As you can see, they are quite different from the pictures of Ancient Athens, presenting another face of our wonderfully diverse city.
These were some of our favourite street art works in Athens. We have left out several for you to discover!