While preparing for my first trip ever to Portugal, I was roaming through a few infos about Lisbon, and quickly stumbled across the fact that this city may have one of the highest density in streetart all over Europe. Another bonus point was figuring out that the hostel where I was staying offered a streetart tour. It couldn’t get much sweeter than that so I didn’t hesitate one single minute to book it.
After watching the Netflix documentary “Saving Banksy”, I really thought that I should have been sharing these impressions of over 6 months ago sooner. Yeah, life sometimes gets in the way. I’ve always been fascinated by any form of streetart I’ve seen while traveling so far. I think it’s an amazing form of expression and it instantly makes the world a much more pleasant place to live. I also find it very interesting that every artist out there lives easily with the thought that his art won’t be out there for long, since there’s a major possibility that it will be covered in a blank shade again, depending on where it’s located or simply overpainted by other artists. I think it’s a humble way of thinking: I put my stuff out there for you to enjoy, and it will stay there as long as it’s supposed to be, no crying over it, period. Of course another important thing to mention is also how the artist’s put themselves in danger by “breaking the law” everyday – creating dope art under pressure must be quite an exhausting feeling if you ask me.
The tour took us a total of 3 hours and I highly suggest it to everyone hitting Lisbon. Some pieces where quite accessible in the center, but the most of them are outside of it. It’s a great opportunity to see district you’d probably never get to go to as a roaming tourist (especially while not having a car) and the national as the international talents contributed with pieces that are literally mind blowing.
One of the most interesting parts for me was visiting a suburbian district called Quinta do Mocho, which is very close to the Lisbon airport area. It’s a multicultural area that’s mostly populated by emigrants and those who weren’t born as wealthy as others. The 50 streetart pieces, partially even 3D ones, make this place a city of its own. They address and play with political issues a lot and almost give us silly tourists a slide show on how colorful, mixed, matched and diverse this place is. The stories behind these incredible works are all unique and should be experienced in person. I had a hard time chosing what pictures to share in here because I didn’t really drop my camera in my backback for a single minute during those three hours.
The Tour: The tour is hosted by Destination Hostels on Thursday and Tuesday at 10am – 2.30pm on weekends. Pickup points are all hostels of the chain: Alfama, Sunset and Lisbon Destination. Cost is 30 Euros, tickets can be bought in advance here.
This post ist also a special thank you to the guides that spent the whole morning with us!
More about my stay in Lisbon and on the Portuguese Coast:
For those interested in the movie – here’s the trailer: