Graffiti in Granada: The Backstreet Art Gallery of Spain

Updated March 3, 2016

If you know anything of Granada, it might be about the Alhambra, Flamenco or the Sierra Nevada, but there’s a more hidden gem in this beautiful city in the south of Spain. Look at the top things to do in Granada and you won’t see viewing the backstreet art galleries on the list.

So what are the backstreet art galleries? All it takes is a wander through the Realejo area near the Alhambra and it’s hard not to stumble across graffiti. This isn’t just any graffiti though, it’s the graffiti of Granada at it’s finest.

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Who is Granada’s Street Artist?

Nowadays many cities have embraced graffiti instead of trying to paint over it, as long as it’s more art than straight tagging. Some cities even commission graffiti or street artists to paint things in their city. The artist of much of the graffiti in Granada has been around for awhile, from the 1990s, and he goes by El Niño de las Pinturas, real name Raúl Ruiz. Some call him the “Banksy of Spain” because they consider his work to be more art, like Banksy, than graffiti.

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

I fell in love with El Niño’s street art my first visit to Granada and the second time I hunted it down once again. I was happy to see most of it still intact and some new pieces as well, and it’s not hard to find time when you’re in Granada to find some of this awesome street art.

What I love about the graffiti of Granada and especially El Niño is the people pictured in them. Their eyes and expressions draw you in. The street of Granada and El Niño looks more like a watercolour painting than graffiti.

How to find the street art in Granada

Most of the graffiti in Granada is located between the river the the Alhambra. If you walk west along the river until you reach the bridge of Calle Puente Verde, then head up to the left and you’ll stumble straight across an abandoned house that is fully painted in graffiti and street art. Right next to it is a small plaza named after Joe Strummer, the guitarist of The Clash. Granada and Spain influenced the song Spanish Bombs on the London Calling album and Joe Strummer later moved to Spain.

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Just above this on the corner of Calle Barranco del Abogado is another house that’s fully painted with graffiti.

Head back down to Plaza Joe Strummer and up Calle Vistillas de los Ángeles, you’ll know it’s the right place because of the graffiti on the right hand side of the street.

Take a left at Cuesta del Caidero to see more Granada street art. If you continue up this way you’ll reach the Alhambra and the free gardens next to it. This gives you a great overview of the street art in Granada, but if you’re craving more head to the Realejo quarter when the shops are closed and you’ll also see a lot of graffiti on the pulled down shutters. Instead of heading up Cuesta del Caidero to the Alhambra continue straight on Calle Molinos and you’ll see more art on a few corners and the street shutters. At the end take a left to Plaza del Realejo and then a right.

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

There’s much more hidden around this area so keep hunting, or drop me a message and let me know specifics if you find anything great!

Is graffiti in Granada a good thing?

Street art in Granada isn’t without it’s controversy. The government has at times painted or made artists paint over their work, especially in the more historical neighbourhoods. I love the street art in Granada, and I think it adds another element to the historical nature of this city. It bridges the gap between the ancient inhabitation and the wonderful history of the city and now. I think when it’s done in the right places and especially with the permission of property owners then there is no harm, and actually a benefit.

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

Graffiti and Street Art in Granada, Spain

What’s your take on graffiti or street art, good or bad? Should it be in historical places like Granada or just in more modern cities? Have you ever taken a street art tour or deliberately went looking for graffiti and street art in a city you visited? Let me know!

Sonja x

If you liked it, pin it!

Graffiti in Granada Pinterest

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14 Comments

  • Reply Jaimee Nicole March 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I love this post! I have visited the half abandoned town of Doel (Belgium) many times and I find new, beautiful art there every time I go. I love grafitti/street art! Really informative post, I’ll be able to find it when I visit Granada (eventually..) 😉

    • Reply Migrating Miss March 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Jaimee! I hope you make it to Granada it’s such an AMAZING place. It has all of this awesome history plus this complete other side of it too. I’ve never bee to Belgium but hopefully will make it soon and I might just have to check that place out 🙂

  • Reply Loui March 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I think graffiti has it’s place, even in historic areas of towns and cities. It’s where old expression meets new expression. Of course there are some places it shouldn’t be done, but they are usually pretty obvious. Great post!

    • Reply Migrating Miss March 4, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Loui! I definitely agree. Of course there are places where it shouldn’t be done and I think they re obvious too. I have never seen any of El Niño’s work in places where I thought it didn’t belong in Granada, and in fact have seen places that would be a good place for it! It’s a great way for the old to meet the new.

  • Reply Tess Andrade March 5, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Those photos are spectacular! I LOVE street art – this will surely be on my list of places to visit!

    • Reply Migrating Miss March 5, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks! It wasn’t hard to get great photos of this amazing street art. I’d definitely recommend Granada anyway for all of the usual things like the Alhambra, the Albayzin and just the general awesomeness, but this is the icing on the cake!

  • Reply Caroline March 26, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Love this! Lots of great shots.

    • Reply Migrating Miss March 28, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Thank you! I tried to capture it as best I could but in person it’s even better 🙂

  • Reply AJ March 29, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Wow, such beautiful artwork. I was just considering writing a future post on the street stencils of Tarragona. Your pics are beautiful. Great piece!

    • Reply Migrating Miss March 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Thank you so much! I absolutely love the street art there so I’m glad other people have been able to enjoy it too. You should definitely write a post!

  • Reply Katie Featherstone April 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    These are beautiful, I think I might have to make a trip to Granada . 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss April 10, 2016 at 11:52 am

      I’d definitely recommend it! There’s so many great things to see, but the graffiti is a bit overlooked I think!

  • Reply LRF June 26, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Wonderful photos and article. I am planning a trip to Spain and will choose Granada, and make sure to search out this itinerary of street art. Vitry sur Seine, just outside of Paris, has amazing street art all over the town. The city tolerates and even encourages/facilitates street art. Also, 1% of the town’s budget is used for public art. This means everyday people going about their lives are surrounded by art in some form, in an urban setting that can be pretty drab otherwise.

    • Reply Migrating Miss June 27, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy Granada, it really is an amazing place! That place outside Paris sounds amazing, especially spending some of the budget on public art, that’s such a great idea! I’ll add it to my own list 🙂

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