Lisbon street art and graffiti – the world’s urban art capital?

Boasting large-scale murals by some of the best-known international street artists and home to some remarkable local talent, Lisbon can claim to be the street art capital of the world, says Buenos Aires Street Art‘s Matt Fox-Tucker.

lisbon graffiti tour mr dheo mural portugal bairro padre cruz lisboa arte urbano realismo realistic art 3d

1. Hyper-realistic mural by Mr Dheo and Pariz One

The last time I visited Lisbon was in 2012, Portugal was in the throws of an economic crisis following a 78 million euros bailout the previous year. Old buildings were falling down, shops were boarded up and some neighbourhoods felt like ghettos. I returned to Lisbon again last month and was amazed at its transformation. Buoyed by a thriving tourism industry, Portugal’s economy is now on the way up. And Lisbon’s street art scene – propelled by a new generation of home-grown artists and with many mural projects supported by the city government – is booming too. Here’s my round-up of some of the best murals in the city I photographed over two and a half days and where to find them.

Telmo Miel Pariz One mural lisbon portugal bairro cruz street art graffiti murales murais fresques peinture

2. Collaboration between Telmo Miel and Pariz One

This collaboration between Dutch muralists Telmo Miel together with Pariz One was painted during MURO Street Art Festival 2016 in Bairro Padre Cruz. It’s entitled ‘Two of One Kind’.

Styler realismo realistic mural lisbon portugal eagle aguila bairro cruz street art graffiti murales murais fresques peinture

3. Styler

Hyper-realistic bald eagle painted by Portuguese street artist Styler in 2016 in just three days on this six storey building in Bairro Padre Cruz.

Nomen vespa pdf utopia graffiti tour arte urbano Sacavem murais fresques arte callejero monoblock 4 story mural

4. Nomen, Vespa PDF and Utopia

Portuguese graffiti artist Nomen painted this collaboration with Brazilian artists Vespa and PDF Utopia on this four storey building in Sacavém.

Sacavem graffiti tour smile giraffe girafa mural arte urbano Sacavem murais fresques arte callejero monoblock 4 story mural

5. Smile

Smile is another talented Portuguese street artist who specialises in hyper-realistic artworks and painted this giraffe in 2014 in Sacavém.

quinta do mocho lisboa graffiti tour sacavem portugal nark merkel murales savacem street art buenosairesstreetart.com

6. Nark Sacavém

This portrait of Angel Merkel painted by Nark in 2015 is talking about the European refugee crisis with the German chancellor pulling the strings.

bordalo II fox zorro lisbon portugal mural lisboa graffiti tour renard mural sculpture escultura murais trash rubbish recycled material

7. Bordalo II – Fox

Bordalo II is best known for creating eye-popping animals out of trash on walls around the city. Animals like this fox are made from painted car bumpers, tyres, garbage cans, computer parts and waste material. This work was created in relation to a gallery show in November 2017 featuring works by the artist.

bordalo II racoon lisbon portugal mural guaxinim lisboa graffiti tour renard mural sculpture escultura murais trash rubbish recycled material

8. Bordalo II – Racoon at Centro Cultural de Belém

The Portuguese artist says his motivation is to draw attention to the environmental damage and pollution caused by waste and materials that are thrown away rather than being reused or recycled.

One of his largest artworks in his series of ‘Big Trash Animals’ is this racoon that can be found by Centro Cultural de Belém on calle Bartolomeu Dias.

bordalo II trash sculptures bees abejas lisbon portugal mural LX factory guaxinim lisboa graffiti tour renard mural sculpture escultura murais rubbish recycled material

9. Bordalo II Bee at LX Factory

LX Factory is a great spot to check out street art with some cool interventions by different street artists. This giant bee by Bordalo II can be found on the side of The Dorm – Hostel LX Factory.

alcantara station lisbon portugal bordalo II trash peixe sculpture lisbon portugal mural LX factory guaxinim lisboa graffiti tour pez escultura murais rubbish recycled material

10. Bordalo II – Fish

Bordalo II created this installation with a school of fish swimming along a wall on Avenida de Ceuta across from the Alcântara-Terra train station.

Other great trash animals by Bordalo II can be found all over Portugal. One of our favourites is the kingfisher by Bordalo II in Estarejja. Also the rabbit by Bordalo II in Porto is worth checking out if you go to northern Portugal.

vhils lisbon portugal alcantara sculpture lisboa mural graffiti tour escultura

11. Vhils in Alcantra

Portuguese artist Vhils uses a hammer drill, chisels and other tools and to create amazing relief carvings on walls. Vhils painted this portrait of an anonymous old man on the of an abandoned building close to the Santo Amaro Docks in 2014. Unfortunately the wall was destroyed in October 2018.

vhils shepard fairey lisbon portugal lisboa mural graffiti tour escultura underdogs gallery

12. Vhils and Shepherd Fairey in Graça

Vhils teamed up with U.S. artist Shepard Fairey for this collaboration featuring the face of a woman along Rua Senhora da Glória in the neighbourhoods of Graça. This mural was organised by Underdogs Gallery in conjunction with a show at their exhibition space.

odeith 3d art lisbon portugal mural graffiti tour lisboa zeca afonso fado

13. Zeca Afonso by Odeith in Amadora

Odeith is another incredibly talented Portuguese artist. Best known for his eye-popping 3-D pieces and ‘anamorphic art’ with animals bursting out of corners of abandoned buildings.

In Amadora, Odeith has also painted a series of murals dedicated to Fado legends such as Fernando Pessoa, singer and activist Zeca Afonso, guitarist Carlos Paredes and singer Amália Rodrigues.

odeith 3d mural lisbon portugal graffiti tour lisboa carlos paredes fado

14. Guitarist Carlos Paredes by Odeith

odeith graffiti mural lisbon portugal graffiti tour lisboa fernando pessoa fado

15. Fernando Pessoa tribute by Odeith

These murals by Odeith were sponsored by the Amadora Council and can be found near Amadora-Este subway station.

graffiti tour lisbon portugal mr dheo pariz one lisboa beso beijo

16. Mr Dheo and Pariz One

Mural by Mr Dheo and Pariz One (Armuyama Collective) entitled ‘When you close your eyes and nothing matters’, on Rua do Conde de Redondo.

street art tour lisbon portugal mario belem fresque peinture lisboa fumar esqueleto

17. Mário Belém

Anyone trying to quit smoking should check out this mural by Portuguese artist Mário Belém painted in 2017 that can be found in the neighbourhood of Santa Apolónia. It features a smoking skeleton holding a hangman’s noose and a dying plant. The mural in fact commemorates 150 years since the abolition of the death penalty in Portugal in 1867.

drawing jesus mural street art portugal lisboa murales buenosairesstreetart.com

18. Drawing Jesus

Portuguese artist ‘Drawing Jesus’ painted this haunting face with a nose ring in 2014 with help from GAU. This artwork can be found close to Palacio de São Bento and seen from the tram on route 28.

aka corleone graffiti murales arte urbano lisboa portugal buenosairesstreetart.com

19. akaCorleone and Hedof

This mural by akaCorleone and Dutch artist Hedof was commissioned by KLM to commemorate 75 years of regular flights between Lisbon and Amsterdam. It’s located on Rua Damasceno Monteiro, not far from the viewpoint at Nossa Senhora do Monte.

blu os gemeos lisbon street art tour portugal graffiti lisboa fresque peinture murais buenosairesstreetart.com

20. Blu and Os Gemeos next to Picaos metro station

Italian street artist Blu and Brazilian twins Os Gemeos joined forces in 2011 to produce a stunning mural for the Crono project. It hits out at petrol companies depicting an oil baron sucking natural resources of the earth through a straw. The mural covers a three-storey building located on Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo.

Ericailcane, Sam3 and Lucy McLachlan also painted murals for the Crono project on adjacent buildings on the same street. See more photos here.

Shepard Fairey lisbon graffiti art tour portugal arte callejero grafiti lisboa fresque peinture murais buenosairesstreetart.com

21. Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey, who is best known for his famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster and his Obey Giant brand, painted this mural in 2017 in Graça depicting a woman wearing a beret holding a Kaslashnikov with a flower in its barrel.

pichiavo mural portugal arte urbano graffiti lisboa graffiti art tour portugal arte callejero grafiti lisboa fresque peinture buenosairesstreetart.com

22. Pichiavo

In April 2018, Spanish duo Pichiavo were invited by Underdogs Gallery to paint this giant mural in Santa Apolónia. The pair from Valencia combine graffiti and classical art to stunning effect.

aryz mural lisbon portugal horse caballo murais arte callejero murales buenosairesstreetart.com

23. Aryz

Spanish ‘painter of walls’ Aryz created a horse on the facade of this seven storey building in 2011. I interviewed Aryz in 2012 in Buenos Aires. Check out the interview here. This mural is located on Rua Rodrigues Sampaio, just around the corner from Avenida da Liberdade.

lisbon graffiti tour toys omik brasil lisboa murais cartoon caracteres graff caja animacion ilustracion bear oso nena

24. Toys and Omik

Brazilian duo Toys and Omik gave this flower stand in Baixa a facelift with some of his fun and fantastic cartoon characters. I met Toys when he was in Buenos Aires in 2014 and he was painting a series of newspaper kiosks around the city.

lisbon graffiti tour eduardo kobra brasil lisboa muraies raoni warrior chief amazona lisboa

25. Kobra

Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra painted this mural in 2017 during the MURO Street Art Festival in Marvila. It features a stunning portrait of Raoni, the brave chief of the Kayapo people, who has been fighting to preserve the Amazonian rainforests and indigenous tribes from deforestation and industrialisation.

steep mural lisbon ecuador artista murais graffiti street art arte callejero tour lisboa hombre aerosol

26. Steep

Next to the mural by Kobra is a beautiful artwork by Ecuadorian artist Steep entitled ‘Consejo de agua’. or ‘Water council’. Steep likes to create murals relating to Latin American culture and ancestry and in particular biodiversity and man’s relationship with nature.

okuda san miguel mural lisbon marvila artista arte escultura graffiti street art arte callejero tour lisboa colores formas exposicion canvas

27. Okuda

Spanish artist Okuda created this mural entitled ‘Jungle King’ in Marvila in 2014. Okuda combines geometric structures and bright colours with grey bodies and organic forms.

GLeo artista colombia ojos eyes lisbon mural portugal marvila GAU buenosairesstreetart.com

28. GLeo

This mural by the Colombian street artist GLeo is called ‘Heart of Gold’ and she painted it in Marvila in 2017. GLeo also painted a mural in Buenos Aires with Bastardilla in 2016. See photos here

colectivo licuado mural portugal lisboa barrio padre cruz arte callejero artista muralismo arte urbano buenosairesstreetart.com

28. Colectivo Licuado

Uruguayan artists Colectivo Licuado painted this mural entitled ‘The meeting of a Past and a Present’ was painted in Marvila in 2016. It features an explorer and sailor relating the weight of the past – colonisation; and a woman holding a bunch of carnations relating to the lightness of the present – revolution and freedom.

nunca mural portugal lisboa artista brasil murais artist arte callejero artista muralismo arte urbano buenosairesstreetart.com

30. Nunca

Brazilian street artist Nunca was in Lisbon in 2014 and left his mark with this mural of Portuguese explorer and sailor Pedro Álvares Cabral who is credited with discovering Brazil in 1500. This artwork can be found in the neighbourhood of Chelas.

maye artista mural lisbon mural savacem teddy bear mural street art oso de peluche lisboa arte urbano portugal

One more… love this teddy bear by French street artist Maya

Matt Fox-Tucker is a journalist and street art expert and is author of the book Textura Dos: Buenos Aires Street Art and also founder of Buenos Aires Street Art. He has also written numerous articles in international media about street art and graffiti.

Check out our street art guides to different cities here

All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art

Share this post

Leave a Reply

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