In Lisbon the walls speak

In the city of the Seven Hills, walls tell us stories, move us, even provoke us. There is no doubt that Lisbon has established itself in recent years as a true capital of urban art. So much so that some specialised publications consider it to be the sixth city in the world with the most and best urban art. Extraordinary Portuguese artists and muralists from all continents have transformed the Lisbon capital into one of the most important street galleries of this form of artistic expression.

We can enjoy colour, design, messages or textures on any façade, in any corner, inside subways, in public car parks or on any old and secluded wall in Lisbon’s historic quarters, slums, social districts and modern shopping streets. The Portuguese capital has one of the most vibrant Street Art scenes in the world, with leading local and international artists attracted by a city at the service of urban creativity in all its expressions.

This is all thanks to the Galeria de Arte Urbana (GAU), an initiative of the Lisbon City Council. It is a working team under the Cultural Heritage department that was created to eradicate graffiti vandalism in the Bairro Alto and the degradation of the historic buildings of this popular 16th century neighbourhood. Mercilessly, ruthlessly, unorderly, without order, without quality and without any control, the walls were painted over, giving way to beautiful artistic creations. GAU manages street art, looks for walls in every corner of Lisbon, contacts their owners and proposes to paint them as an element of revaluation of their property and of Lisbon’s artistic heritage. But the promotion of the works has its limits: respect for the stone and tiles, the works must remain there for a minimum of three months and any kind of advertising is forbidden. Moreover, artists are paid for their work.

Walking the streets and neighbourhoods of Lisbon has become a visual experience that combines the ingenuity and creativity of emblematic artists with other traditional forms of art and culture in both the city’s oldest and most contemporary neighbourhoods. Two examples:


Represented by a colossal “oil king” sucking up a planet Earth. This work was recognised among the best works of urban art in the world in the 2010 ranking by the British newspaper The Guardian.

ecological critique of blu



Along the Calçada da Glória (and the largo da Oliveirinha), a picturesque street where the Glória lift, one of Lisbon’s most famous lifts, operates, we can see the works of various artists in successive editions of Urban Art. A public space in the Bairro Alto, with large panels made available to artists by the Lisbon City Council.




If you are in the Portuguese capital, you like art and you want to see live more works that are part of the city’s Street Art accompanied by explanations of one of our wonderful guides and end the visit with a dinner with live Fado, book our Mouraria tour (from Wednesday to Sunday at 19:00pm at Praça do Rossio), the best way to see more of the city’s Street Art. soak up culture

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