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.
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.
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
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.
March 27, 2017
March 21, 2017
March 18, 2017