Alternative Athens Street Art Tour

Alternative Athens Street Art Tour

The Alternative Athens Street Art Tour gives incredible insight into the Greek capital’s booming identity as a street art mecca in Europe.

Athens Street Art

Athens lately is a pretty creative place, and many would say more so than it has been in a long time.  From new cultural venues, documenta14 scheduled to be in town and the rise of independent galleries – art is being defined here.

Throw in the effect of an economic crisis, the inspirational beauty that is Greece as well as cheap rents and hipster hoods perfect for starving artists – it’s a mecca for creativity.  One major outpouring of all that is fantastic street art.

For more, check out my story for Lonely Planet: Art Revived: The New Athens Scene.

All About Street Art in Athens

Part of my research for a magazine feature I am writing brought me on an Athens street art tour to discover more. You see, over the past few years Athens has been gaining notoriety for its world class street art. So much so, Athens now has themed tours covering it.

“Loukaniko” is a work by several street artists that can be admired in Athens’ Psirri district.

Street art here is being compared to Berlin, Paris and London. That’s a big deal. Public art has become a part of Athens, another creative layer to add among all that is ancient, historic, modern and everything in between.

By Athens artist N_Grams.

A Street Artist Guide

Nikos, our Alternative Athens tour guide, is a freelance graphic designer and a former street artist. He told us why (oh, why!) there are way too many terribly ugly dizzying tags, how artists get started and where they figure out where to place their work.

 

He also talked about how Athens’ artists get commissioned as well as the disrespect that happens between graffiti artists. We also informally discussed the current political situation that has inspired the messages and he explained different street art techniques.

Explore Non-Touristic Neighborhoods

Let’s face it, the best street art anywhere isn’t going to be in a city’s leafy clean corners. Nikos was an excellent guide, taking us through the gritty neighborhoods to bring us up close to the art. No worries, Athens is totally safe. These are just “non-touristic” streets a typical visitor to Athens would never bother to seek out.

By the end of the tour I got to know the names of famous “celebrity” street artists, even recognizing their styles and methods.  I learned about the different mediums used to create the art. I also learned which ones are commissioned works.

I also loved analyzing some of the significant works with the tour group, what the messages were and the meanings behind them.  Most of all, I loved being surprised! There were some pieces that, in my everyday existence here, I somehow overlooked. Coming upon a mural’s vicinity, turning my head up, and realizing what has been there the whole time was kind of thrilling — like I was getting in on a big wonderful secret finally.

Alternative Athens Street Art Tour Conclusion

Yes, you can roam around the streets of Athens to search for street art by yourself, but I promise you that the Alternative Athens Street Art Tour is a better and much more insightful use of your time.

The tour takes guests through the backstreets of hip alternative Athens neighborhoods such as Gazi, Monastiraki, Psirri, and Thiseio to get up close to the murals.  So, it’s another way to get a real authentic taste of the city with a local leading the way.

If you simply love creativity, this tour is absolutely for you.  New perspectives, alternative ideas and sheer talent has given birth to a new era of street art culture, one that is redefining modern day Athens. If you’re in Athens, it’s worth experiencing up close.

Alternative Athens Street Art Tour

www.alternativeathens.com

40 € per person; discounted rates for children

Pin For Later

Besides the alternative side to Athens, are you planning to see the major sights of Athens?  I highly recommend the Athens City Pass, a discount city card that gains you access to many of the capital’s most loved sights. I reviewed it earlier and featured it on this blog. For more information, click below!

Do you like street art? I’d love to hear about the cities that you’ve visited with incredible street art. Feel free to comment in the comment boxes below.

Athen City Pass



Share

I'm a writer and journalist, originally from New York, now loving expat life in Athens. Join me on my travels as I explore Greece and Europe.

Comments

  1. Πωπω! Υπάρχουν τόσο όμορφα και εντυπωσιακά graffiti στην Αθήνα; Μου αρέσουν και τα βλέπω ως τέχνη αλλά δεν μπορώ να ανεχτώ τα graffiti που είναι μόνο γράμματα ή έγιναν χωρίς άδεια σε σημεία που μοιάζουν περισσότερο με καταστροφή του κτηρίου ή του τοίχου.
    Πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ξενάγηση!

    • Το άσχημο graffiti χαλάσει το έργο των καλλιτεχνών στην Αθήνα. Δεν μου αρέσει καθόλου αυτό το graffiti αλλα δεν υπάρχουν οργάνωση για αυτό. Σε κάποιες πόλεις εχουν δωρεάν μαθήματα για τους νέους που κανουν παράνομο γκράφιτι και tags και τους μαθαίνουν να ζωγραφίζουν καλό street art. Αυτη θα ήταν μια καλη λύση πιστεύω!

  2. I definitely am impressed by the street art in Athens. It really is amazing. However, I don’t like the grafitti. It seems to be everywhere and takes away from what the talented street artists are doing. It would be great if the city cleaned up the terrible graffiti.

    • Hi Theo, I agree. It would be nice if the messy graffiti was gone and it was just beautiful street art. But, I guess you can’t have one without the other. I just think the other (bad tags and scribble) are just too much lately too.

  3. So glad I got to read about it- looking forward to your other article!

  4. Wow, this is really amazing. I have been to Athens last Summer but did not see it from this side. We are currently in South America and here you can also see a lot of impressive street art in many cities, I am really impressed by it.
    Next time in Athens I will keep an eye open for this. Thanks!

    • Hi there. Glad you liked the article. You kinda have to go off the beaten path to find the best murals around. Definitely look out for the art next time you are in town!!

  5. Looks like I need to return to Athens and enjoy all the incredible street art. I would definitely take the tour to maximize my time and also to support the locals. Such a comprehensive article with so many photos and great descriptions of your experience. Nice post.

  6. Athens is high on my list to visit, so it is great to see a post about the city. Thank you for sharing, your pictures are beautiful. I will definitely check them out when visiting – I hate graffiti so hopefully street art project like this will help to deter vandalism. Great post!

  7. That’s a lot of talented people in Athens! I guess street art would be another reason for me to visit Athens. It is lucky for you to be here long term.

  8. I was in Athens not long ago! I really liked the street art and also the vibe. Athens is alternative itself. Something that I remember is all the cool bars with dj’s everywhere in the city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge