Poblenou is a curious part of Barcelona and often completely bypassed by tourists. It stretches along the coast from Parc de la Ciutadella up to the popular shopping centre Diagonal Mar. Once it was a heavy industrial area full of factories and was known as the Catalan Manchester.
As these industries declined redundant factories were left abandoned. Recently, however, Poblenou has undergone a major transformation to revive it, with an emphasis on the arts and creative industry. Parts of its industrial heritage still remain today but are positioned in stark contrast against ultra-modern high rise hotels and offices. This has created an unusual mix of the modern and the derelict side-by-side.
Nevertheless, Poblenou has become a hub for the creative industries and a key location for many start-ups, studios and galleries. More importantly, the combination of derelict spaces and creativity has enabled street art in Poblenou to thrive.
Where to find Street Art in Poblenou
The main places to find street art in Poblenou are:
Carrer de Pere IV
Carrer de la Selva de Mar
Most of these areas are located around Parc del Centre del Poblenou.
One of the great things about looking for street art is that you often come across an artist working on their next piece. On my own street art tour in Poblenou I met one of the artists, Sebastien Waknine, working on a piece showing two sumo wrestlers.
As Sebastien explained, some of the pieces only stay up for a week or two. There are some spaces which are available for two years or more, however, as there are not many spaces for street art you will often see the graffiti changing every other week. This makes every visit unique and you never know what you might find.
Other sights in Poblenou
The Ramblas of Poblenou has become a great place to eat, have a drink and relax with friends. This long street guides you all the way to a quieter section of the beach compared to the crowded Barceloneta. There are of course plenty of galleries and boutiques to visit. Each year Poblenou hosts an Open Night where art galleries, studios and bars stay open until the early hours of the morning. The idea being to showcase the arts and creative atmosphere of Poblenou.