Over the last few years Barcelona’s once industrial Poblenou neighbourhood has begun a steady transformation from area full of disused factories to one of hi-tech office blocks, stylish hotels and modern apartment buildings.
Many of the abandoned factories have been torn down. Some have been restored and converted into offices. Others stand derelict awaiting redevelopment, trapped in a kind of speculative limbo and have been transformed by local artists into an ever changing gallery of street art.
This post features a small area of about 5 blocks just north of the Parc del Centre de Poblenou.
The quality, quantity and sheer size of the images make it well worth a visit. At the end of the post I’ve included a map and suggested walking route.
One of the things I love about street art is that it’s continually changing. The fact that an artist is prepared to spend their time and money on something which will only be there for a few days or weeks is inspirational.
In an attempt to keep this post up to date I walk the route several times a year and share my photos on Instagram with the tag #bcnlowdown_walks
Update March 2022
Since I wrote this post back in 2015 many of the abandoned factories in Poblenou have been torn down and replaced by modern office blocks, apartment buildings and a university campus.
Although this is good for the neighbourhood as a whole, unfortunately, it means that, apart from a couple of short sections, most of the walls featured in this post no longer exist.
I am currently working on a new self-guided street art tour, probably using public transport. In the meantime, if you want to discover some of Barcelona’s best urban art, you could take this graffiti tour or check out some of my other posts.
Self Guided Street Art Walking Tour of Poblenou
Take tram line T4 to Pere IV, from here follow Carrer de Marroc along the west side of the Parc del centre de Poblenou.
Just before you get to Carrer de Espronceda you will see a large metal gate which is the entrance to an old factory that is now an art research and production centre. If the gate is open take a look inside, otherwise continue along the perimeter of the site.
The walls are covered with street art from the pedestrian crossing around the corner and along Carrer de Espronceda for almost half a block. Don’t forget to look up or you might miss the the 5 story high corinthian column and the home made statue of an alien (on the other side of the road).
From here the route follows Carrer Pere IV. At first the left hand side of the road is fenced off by steel hoardings and brick walls. If you look over the wall you will see a haunting black face painted by Axel Void on a tower of the old La Escocesa chemical factory which is now a centre for artists.
After you pass the Parroquia del Sagrat Cor church there are a couple of large murals on the right hand side products of the second ÚS Barcelona street art festival by the artists Mariela Arias and Btoy.
Turn left along Carrer de la Selva de Mar. Once you pass the Nissan car showroom and auto repair shop the rest of the block as far as Carrer de Peru is covered with graffiti including several images by Rubicon1.
This street is in a continuous state of flux and the walls are painted over regularly.
Double back on yourself and head east along Selva de Mar, just after you cross Pere IV there is a portrait by Jupiterfab of an old man who was evicted from his home after his wife died. On the other side of the same building is a large painting by Crisa which at first glance looks like an eye but which I think represents the world and the universe.
Further along on the other side of the road is a tiny temporary allotment with a large painting of a diabolic fruit tree.
Keep heading towards the sea, just before you reach Av. Diagonal are two of the largest works of street art in the area.
The first is a large derelict building which has been turned into a giant head. The same building continues along Carrer de Veneçuela with a huge mural of a group of greyhounds running (Now painted over and replaced by several smaller pieces). The other side of the wall is covered with several interesting and colourful compositions.
Next we head north along Carrer de Veneçuela two blocks to the intersection with Carrer de l’Agricultura. As you reach the intersection you can’t miss the high walls which are covered with street art.
All four sides of the block between Carrer de l’Agricultura and Carrer de Josep Pla are covered in graffiti. I suggest you walk around the block an in an anticlockwise direction. This is another area where you will often see street artists at work at the weekend.
We then finish our self-guided street art walking tour of Poblenou by following Carrer de Veneçuela back to Selva de Mar where we can catch either the tram or metro at the stops near Av. Diagonal (see map below).
Time needed: One hour.
I love myself walking and looking around for street art, found a lot in Barcelona and went looking in Poblenou last week (1st week nov 2021). The neighbourhood north of Diagonal is full of building sites and new glitzy highrise is built as we speak and less street art can be found. Still enough but the long wall on Selva de Mar will not be there for a long time as the shiny new building will be finished in a couple of month. The old guy and the green thing are still there and will be for a while I guess. All street art around Veneçuela is gone with one exception covered behind a wall somewhere.
Thanks for your comment and the update about the current state of things.
This area of Poblenou has changed a lot since I wrote this post back in 2015, a little over six years ago. As you say, the walls on Carrer de Veneçuela disappeared earlier this year and what’s left of the wall on Selva De Mar has its days numbered.
Hello Richard, we are considering using images 16 and 17 to promote a plastic recycling project in some schools in Rome Italy, we would like to ask permission and attribute the authorship of the works to their creators.
What can we do? If the answer is affirmative and they allow us to use the images, would you have better photos that you can send us? Thank you very much for helping to create a better planet
No problem, if you could contact me via the contact form I’ll try and find the original hi-res versions of the photos for you.
What’s up Richard!!! is this map still good to follow? will be there next next month.
Yes, most of the designs have changed since I took these photos and a short section of the wall at Selva de Mar has been torn down but the route is still good.
Wow, that’s a good place to visit. Especially for my boy, he loves street art so much. Thank you for sharing.
If your boy loves street art then Barcelona is the perfect place to visit.
Thanks for your comment.
We really enjoyed this tour when we completed it on Wednesday as a family. Our boys (aged 10 and 7) loved exploring the area and seeking out the artwork. They particularly loved the robot droid and the whole wall of art on Selva del Mar, especially as there was a street artist at work whilst we were exploring. Thanks for the guide!
Thanks for your comment, I’m glad to hear that you and your boys had a good time.
Thank you so much!
We followed your tour and enjoyed immensely!!!
Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad you liked it.
Great art! I would love to see this…
I can see it’s a run-down neighbourhood. But these places are the best for street art-hunting.
Hi “Escape Hunter”,
Although the buildings featured in this post are derelict, on the whole Poblenou is an up-and-coming neighbourhood which includes the charming Rambla de Poblenou and some of the most modern buildings in Barcelona like the Torre Agbar and the Disseny Hub. If you have time and are interested in street art and architecture then it’s a great place to explore on foot.
Thanks for stopping by and happy travels.
Images 1 and 10 used to be my view from my balcony. Poble Nou has some great graffiti going on!
Agreed, the large number of disused buildings combined with a couple of “free walls” and the street art festivals organised by Rebobinart have meant that Poblenou has become a bit of a graffiti showcase. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the old buildings are replaced.
Thanks for reading!