This article is a must-read for street art fans. Belgium has a lot to offer for those who love graffiti and murals. Although the government isn’t always satisfied with graffiti and murals, in many cases it results in amazing artwork.
The Italian word ‘graffiti’ literally means ‘scratched drawings’, and the phenomenon is older than you might think. The Romans and Vikings already expressed themselves by creating murals. Graffiti gained popularity in the second world war, when soldiers often left the sentence ‘Kilroy was here’ behind, accompanied with the drawing of a bald man. The meaning behind the sentence and drawing is still an unanswered question.
In the late sixties, graffiti began to spread in New York among the youth and the trend reached Europe in the 80’s.
Scherpenheuvel-Zichem is a small city located in the northwest of Belgium and it takes about 50 minutes by car or train from Brussels. This place might not seem worth the travel, but it sure is. In February of 2021 the young artist named ‘Tuzq’ won the ‘best of Belgium’ with his mural called ‘the old fox’. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Antwerp can’t be missing from this list. This bustling city is full of amazing artwork. Don’t know what to do during the weekend or on holidays? A street art tour is all you need. On the website of the city you can find several ‘street art routes’ to stroll along.
Not sure yet? Check out this Instagram page to discover more.
Of course, Brussels can’t be missing from this list. On the website of ‘parcours street art’ you can find a big map that marks all the art pieces in the streets of our capital city. Moreover, the website offers several routes you can walk to admire the street art.
My personal favourite? The colourful piece by artist Rikardo Druškić that you can find at Huidenmarkt 3, 1000 Brussel.
Charleroi has a real ‘underground’ hike in store for you. Because of the city’s industrial history, a lot of empty and abandoned cities have now been brightened up by colourful murals.
The hike starts at the Charleroi South train station and ends near the train station of Marchienne-au-Pont. The route is 8.6 kilometers long, but has an easy hiking level. Ideal for those who want to admire street art and get to know the city of Charleroi.
You can download the hike here.
In the city of Luik you can find numerous unique works of art that give the city that little extra colour. In Luik there’s also a beautiful route which takes you along thirty works of art throughout the whole city. The walking tour is called ‘Paliss’art’. It’s an initiative of the tourism office of the city together with the non-profit organization Spray Can Arts. Spray Can Arts provide the city of more than 75 works, created by about a hundred artists across the city.
The walking tour is 25 kilometers long, but can be done in several times. No need to walk the tour in one day. The ideal excuse to go on a weekend trip!
Discover a preview and the walking route here.
Street Art Cities app
In 2016 ‘Street Art Cities’ started to create an online map to help out two street art hunters in Heerlen and Antwerp. The goal was to help them ‘hunt’ street art more effectively. A year after launching those two websites, the founders decided to open the platform for other hunters and street art fans. Anyone can fill out a form and get their own city.streetartcities.com website.
Within a few months, the Street Art Cities community grew enormously. In a really short time, dozens of cities appeared on their platform. A few months later, the founders decided to launch the first version of the app, and since then they’ve seen an explosive growth in the number of hunters, artists, cities, app users and partners that have joined the platform.
Take a quick look on their website and download the app to see more of the street art in the country!