What’s the first thing you think of when you imagine the streets of Bristol? Of course – street art! You can find it around every corner, ranging from simple images created with spray paint and stencils, through stickers on lamp posts, to multi-coloured, large-scale graffiti and murals. Bristol is also home to Banksy, the world-famous graffiti artist whose real name is still a mystery. His and others’ work is not just decoration – there is often a message or a comment on today’s culture and society hidden within it.
If you want to see some of his famous work and much, much more, go on a tour around the city and discover its street art for yourself. You can do it on your own, with friends, with a guide, or you can join one of the TEG tours of Bristol graffiti. And don’t forget your camera!
Here are a few neighbourhoods of Bristol where you can find some of the city’s best pieces:
It is simply impossible to walk around Stokes Croft and *not* see any street art! It covers every wall and gives Stokes Croft its one-of-a-kind character. There is a lot to admire around here, so take a stroll up the street from the Bearpit towards Gloucester Road, but keep an eye out especially for Mild Mild West by Banksy, and Breakdancing Jesus by Cosmo Sarson. They’re both outside Hamilton House and are difficult to miss! One of our favourites is also the red wave mural by Phlegm in Hillgrove Street.
Harbourside / Nelson Street
There might be less graffiti here than around the Harbourside, but then it’s not all about quantity! Look out for Banksy’s Hanging Man, which pictures a naked man hanging out of a window near the College Green. In the nearby Nelson Street, you’ll find a few tall, impressive wall paintings: a gorgeous portrait of a woman and a child by El Mac, The Vandal by Nick Walker, and a colourfully dressed dog by Aryz, an artist from Spain.
Southville / Bedminster
If you’re heading to the south of the city across the river, make sure you visit North Street. There are several outstanding works here, including John Lennon by Kobra, but also unique works by Jody and Andy Council. In West Street, see if you can spot the people with umbrellas, painted by Dan Kitchener.
Wander around St Mark’s Road and you’ll discover even more hidden gems of street art. One of the newest additions appeared in June this year on a house in Devon Street – a stunning mural celebrating the local community by Andrew Burns Colwill.
Local railway stations
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Montpelier, Stapleton Road, Redland – all these Bristol railway stations boast their own unique artwork on their walls. It’s worth catching a train just to see them!
Want to see more?
If the answer is yes, make sure you come to Upfest, the largest street art festival in the whole of Europe, which takes place in Bristol every year. The next edition is a while away, but you can get updates here.
With fresh pieces of street art appearing every day, and old ones being covered up, the tour of Bristol graffiti is something you can do again and again, and never get bored. Make sure you catch your favourite piece before it’s gone!