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See Great Buenos Aires Street Art in 4 Colorful Neighborhoods

Buenos Aires is a great city for the visitor who enjoys a bit of hip, a bit of grit and a whole lot of street art. You can find the genteel side of Buenos Aires in the beautiful stately neighborhoods of the Retiro and Recoleta. But take a stroll in the San Telmo, Palermo Soho, Chacarita or Los Colegiales neighborhoods and you will get a hip scene with markets, cafes, bars and a big dose of urban art.

Buenos Aires street art is the pride of the city and a close look at the walls will reward you with colorful insight into the culture of the city.

These dudes were on their way to a political protest being hosted by the labor unions. It’s as if the character in the mural is pointing the way for them.

uenoBuenos Aires Street Art San Telmo
This is located in the San Telmo neighborhood.

Buenos Aires Street Art Offers Great Variety

It’s stunning how much variety can be found in the size, style and subject matter of the street art.

Size

Some of the murals are at a massive scale and impossible to ignore. Huge walls and buildings completely covered in art. But there also a lot of smaller, more subtle pieces made from small stencils or little sketches painted onto a bit of wall.

This huge mural covered the full flank of a 10 story apartment building.. Note the tagging and political flyers on the very bottom. There is a courtesy among artists not to cover each others’ work with graffiti in Buenos Aires, so these tags are just at the edge of the major work.

Buenos Aires Street Art Horse Mural. Located in the Los Colegiales neighborhood of Buenos Aires
Located in Los Colegiales.

This whimsical submarine was commissioned by the building owner and the wrap around covers the full street frontage on both sides.

Buenos Aires Street Yellow Submarine
Painted by the artist Gualicho and located in Los Colegiales.

This cute little stencil was unobtrusively located on a wall and it exemplified the whimsy and humor that characterizes a lot of the street art in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires Street Dog Stencil

Get Lonely Planet’s guide to global street art.

Style

Each artist brings their own vision and method to their work. Sure, you can find the traditional tagging-style graffiti in Buenos Aires– but you’ll also see pieces using stencils and fully painted murals in painterly, cartoonish, geometric, fantastical and photo-realistic styles. If you can imagine it in a painting, you can put it on a wall.

I believe that this giraffe stencil was created by the artist Stencilland. Unlike the tiny dog stencil above, this one was large scale with 6 foot giraffes.

Buenos Aires Street Art Giraffe Stencil
Located in the Chacarita neighborhood.

Note the traditional graffiti tags which are blended in with other styles.

Buenos Aires Street Art Graffiti Tags
Located in the Los Colegiales neighborhood.

This section of wall is a good representation of painted (rather than tagged or stenciled) murals. It is the collaboration of several different artists using the existing space to blend their work together.

Buenos Aires Street Art Arrow Guy
It can be found in the Chacarita neighborhood.

If you have a few days for the city, check out this three day guide to Buenos Aires and these tips on how to travel safely there.

Subject Matter

There are so many messages on display with Buenos Aires street art. You can find statements on the state of pop culture or meditations on traditional cultural myths. Buenos Aires is a very political city and the street art reflects that through protest messages and political flyers. In the Los Colegiales neighborhood, there are even personal messages written on the walls by a father to his children which the kids read as they walk to school.

There are constant protests of one sort or another at the downtown Casa Rosada government building and taggers here have made a visual statement on the fencing surrounding the plaza.

Buenos Aires Street Art Casa Rosada
Found at the Capital La Rosada

Here you’ll find pop culture with a side of rust.

Buenos Aires Street Art Simpsons
Found in the Chacarita neighborhood

The following is one of the most stunning and complex pieces of street art in Buenos Aires. Look carefully at this mural and you will see cultural myths of the Andes. Step back…and you will see something else altogether.

Buenos Aires Street Cultural Myths
You can find this mural at the Mercado de las Pulgas in Los Colegiales.

Graffiti Tours in Buenos Aires

You can do a  DIY tour of street art in Buenos Aires by wandering the following locations

  • Los Colegiales: on Jorge Newbery @ Conde and several blocks north. Also lap the block around the Mercado de las Pulgas.
  • Palermo Soho: visit the Post Street Bar. They have murals inside, outside and all over the building. You can also explore the surrounding streets.
  • Chacarita: near the railway line and surrounding streets.
  • San Telmo: between San Juan/Avenida Independencia (south/north) and Avenida Paseo Colon/Peru (east/west).

Or you can take a guided Buenos Aires street art tour

  • Graffiti Mundo offers several different graffiti tours. We took the one in the Los Colegiales/Palermo Soho neighborhood and loved it. They are a nonprofit that supports the artists by running the tours and providing gallery space. You can also check out their artist page for more great examples of local artists.
  • Get Your Guide offers a three hour graffiti tour for small groups.
  • Take all day general walking tour of Buenos Aires which will include Palermo, San Telmo, La Boca and other popular neighborhoods.

Study great street art in other cities by checking out my guides to:
Top Street Art Cities in the World | Books About Street Art|Street Art Festivals | Buenos Aires | Bogota | San Diego | San Francisco | Los Angeles |Nashville | Chicago | New York | Havana | London | Reykjavik  | Belfast | Bristol | Berlin | Paris | Estonia | Rural Australia | Melbourne | Honolulu | Salt Lake City

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See street art in Buenos Aires Argentina with this walking tour of four neighborhoods. Things to do in Buenos Aires | Palermo | San Telmo | Graffiti & Murals

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Laura @ Grassroots Nomad

Wednesday 30th of March 2016

So cool! I love seeing street art when I travel to a new city and BA looks like it is so colourful! I particularly love the painted mural of the hand - such great work!

Carol Guttery

Wednesday 30th of March 2016

Thanks Laura. It's a really great city for street art

Roberta

Friday 11th of March 2016

I love the third one and last one the most! I always love stumbling on these types of blog posts because I love street art! thank you for sharing :)

Carol Guttery

Friday 11th of March 2016

Thanks Roberta. I agree- that last one is amazing. The detail and puzzle-Ike nature of it had me standing in the middle of the street staring. Not a good move on the busy streets of Buenos Aires