Siestas! Yet another reason the beautiful city of Barcelona is our kinda town. After a sangria-soaked, leisurely luncheon, what better way to prep yourself for your evening shenanigans than a nice, long snooze? Venture out for a ramble around Las Ramblas, exploring the twisty lanes that make up the Barrio Gotico, La Ribera/El Borne and El Raval barrios during afternoon nap-time and you’ll notice the streets can be like a ghost town. Shops and bars are shuttered up with sliding, garage door covers dragged down like great, big blinking eyes taking their own little break from the outside world. But in these arty barrios, instead of leaving their shutters as boring, old eyesores, canny shop owners are giving us some visual candy by commissioning street artists to turn these plain, metal jackets into vibrant murals.



Garage door graffiti, street stencils and shutter art effectively turn the slumbering walkways of Barcelona into a walk-thru gallery, giving an insight into the hefty street art scene that emerged in the city back in the 90s. Barcelona is famous for its abundance of street art from simple black and white stencils to full on, brightly-coloured, abstract pieces… simply wandering the city streets reveals a thriving art scene bursting with talent. The scene itself has flourished from a tiny acorn back in the day when nearly all the artists knew each other like family and sprouted roots in the 90s when MTV and hip hop culture ushered urban art into the glare of the spotlight. Nowadays, it has flourished into a mighty oak – a culture celebrated widely throughout the city on the walls of the barrios, up on speeding trains, in galleries and now legally displayed on shop shutters. This shutter art movement has led to the formation of collectives such as Persianes Lliures and Entrotlla’t – projects that let artists make a bit of legal dollar whilst showcasing their skills.




Barcelona’s shutter door street art and garage graffiti breathes a brighter shade into an already vibrant city and big names such as El Pez, well known all over Europe for his iconic happy fish tag (and other super happy animals), have been getting commissioned for this kind of shop shutter artwork. Just like the underground scene street art blossomed from, these works of art are hidden away during the working hours until the rolling blinds are pulled down, revealing these colourful canvases guaranteed to brighten up anyone’s day.




If you are the kind of person that loves a bit of visual candy out on the streets, then maybe check out one of the Barcelona Street Style Tours that regularly take visitors round the city. A 2 hour tour promises to show off some of the best artwork the Mediterranean has to offer as well as throwing in a whole bunch of urban cultural insights into the city such as the popular skate spots, hidden contemporary galleries and some of the best bars and places to grab a bite on the urban scene. Anyone who’s been to Barcelona would surely agree it’s great to have a bit of local knowledge and juicy back story due to the somewhat labyrinthine streets so laden with tucked away treasures it’s easy to miss them for looking! Walking tours are free but donations are greatly appreciated.





I always appreciate street art and the way it helps me look at everyday sights in a whole different light. Team it with Barcelona, a city already close to my heart with its romantic, historical architecture and the juxtaposition of old and new just blows me away. Yeah, sure I know looks aren’t everything but a little bit of eye candy never hurt anyone, right?


Pics by Alex Saint

Alex Saint is a writer based in Bristol, England – a place she calls home due to its friendly, diverse atmosphere and never-ending list of fun things to do. She loves tattoos, quirky fashion, pugs and, of course, travelling.

Keep up with the Saint sisters and their adventures in Bristol, London and beyond at and @saintsonaplane or Alex herself @alexsaint13