When the first thing I see in the hotel is the street art map while the regular one is nowhere around I know I came to the right place. And that’s what happened to me in Hasselt, Belgium.
Street art in Belgium
Until recently the only thing I knew about Hasselt, Belgium is that the city exists. I could merely point it on the map, close to the border with the Netherlands, but that was it. But as soon as I’ve learnt about the incredible street art in Hasselt I knew I have to visit the place! And I surely wasn’t disappointed!
I feel like Belgium isn’t often considered as the great street art destination. Everyone keeps talking about street art in Berlin, London, Lisbon or recently Kiev, Ukraine.
But did you know that street art in Belgium is pretty amazing? I must admit that, until recently, I had no idea. But basically every city in Belgium has some cool murals and one of the most known artists – ROA (famous for paintings animals in the distinctive style) – is from there too.
But while everyone admires art in frequently visited Belgian destinations I’ve decided to focus on less known Hasselt street art. And I surely wasn’t disappointed!
Hasselt street art
I’ve found lots of things to do in Hasselt over the weekend but it was street art that impressed me the most. And I think I’m not the only one.
The city puts a big impact on promoting Hasselt street art. The maps with the best works are easily available, a big board telling about the art invites visitors to step in to the tourist board office, guided tours focusing on street art are available. If you’re into this kind of art, like I am, you’re in for a treat!
In the medium sized city of around 75k inhabitants there’re over 150 street art works (at least that’s what’s documented). There’s a street art festival organized on regular basis and as a result even more great works appear on the walls of Hasselt.
Some of them are by well-known and recognized artists, other by local talented people. Together they create a fascinating and creative mixture, giving the city an unique look and feel.
I found the map really useful to give me a general idea where to look for street art in Hasselt. There are 38 places in the center of Hasselt marked, each with short description about the artist and work itself (I found the English version of map in the tourist info, the hotel had only Dutch). It was so good to not only look at the mural but also learn the story behind it – something I’m missing in many places with great street art!
But besides the map there was another great source of information – the street art app! It’s called “Street Art” (duh!), it’s free and available on both Android and iPhone. I used it for all the time during my visit in Hasselt as it helped me a lot to find the exact location of so many works. It was especially invaluable when looking for tiny works by Pablo Delgado that I’d surely have missed otherwise.
The app is based on Google Maps and works very well with the GPS. There’re more cities, not only Hasselt, included and I know I will be using it during my future travels as well. It was the app that showed me how great street art in Minsk, Belarus is – something I had no idea about but now I’m even more excited for my trip there in few months.
You can find the works on the map while you walk around the city, you can also follow two routes: walking (3.5kms walk with 20 works along the way) and biking (11kms and many more works to admire). You can also browse the directory, randomly or by searching for the particular artists or title. There’s also a computer version, with map and descriptions so you can prepare yourself for the trip beforehand – click here to see it.
Pictures of street art in Hasselt
Unfortunately I didn’t see all the works I wanted to – I couldn’t find some while others were a bit out of the center. But what I’ve seen was pretty amazing anyway. Below you will find a photo collection of the best street art in Hasselt, Belgium!
While this piece was among my favorites in Hasselt I sadly can’t find any info about it. The location: Dorpsstraat, next to Oxfam Bookshop.
I also don’t have much information about this one, it’s located at Dorspsstraat as well, above Cambrinus and next to the mural from the previous picture.
Created by Belgian artists SozyOne in June 2015 for the Street Art Festival. Location: Dorpsstraat 21.
Created by Gijs Vanhee in April 2014 for the Street Art Festival. Location: Dokter Willemsstraat 38. Decorating electricity boxes remind me of street art in Sofia, Bulgaria
where this way of expression is very popular.
Created by Bue the warrior and Resto, the Mexican-Belgian duo, for Street Art Festival in 2011. It’s very eye-catching with the multiple cheerful creatures. Location: Dorpsstraat 15.
One of the two works by Smug One you can find in Hasselt. This Australian artist is known for the very realistic works. Location: Dorpsstraat 10.
Created by Zenk One for the Street Art Festival in 2016. Location: Dorpsstraat 1.
Electricity box decorated by Pointdextr in 2014. Location: Schrijnwerkersstraat 9-21.
Yet another cool electricity box, this one was designed by Smates and to be honest it made me feel a bit anxious (which is good, art should give you emotions!). Location: Lombaardstraat 14.
Another one of my favorite works of street art Hasselt and one of the cutest murals I’ve ever seen. It was created by Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva, Argentinian artist widely known as Animalitoland. She is known for putting some lovely creatures in her murals. Location: Maastrichterstraat 59, right next door from the Tourist Information Center
. This is also the first work on the street art walking route
Again, I don’t know much about this work. It’s located in the passage between Maastrichterstraat and Kadettesteegje. There are four walls with pretty nice paintings.
The wall along bike tunnels. This area is full of numerous art, including lots of graffiti Hasselt. But it’s not difficult to find real gems among all the works. This is actually the oldest graffiti wall in Belgium where artists and everyone else could pain legally. You can find out more about particular works at Street Art Cities website
. Location: Koning Boudewijnlaan, near Kolonel Dusartplein.
Created by the duo from Brussels – HELL’O in 2015. This one was among my favorite murals in Hasselt as well. Location: Schippersstraat 51.
Created by INTI – one of my favorite artists whose work I could admire already in Kosice, Slovakia
and Lodz, Poland
. Obviously seeing this mural made me overexcited as it was as beautiful as I expected. INTI’s works never disappoint! Location: Schippersstraat 9.
Created by the German artists SokarUno, it was among my favorites too. I also liked the location, in the industrial part of Hasselt. Location: Ankerstraat.
Created in May 2015 by Smates. It’s best seen from the sidewalk next to the graffiti bike tunnels. Location: Koekerellenpad.
Created by Dutch artist Johan Moorman in April 2016 for the Street Art Festival. It was the very first mural I’ve seen in Hasselt as it’s located on the wall of the hotel I’ve stayed at (YUP Hotel, definitely recommended
). The work was eye catching especially for its futuristic design. Location: Burgemeester Bollenstraat 70.
Created by Dzia. It looks more like the advertising billboard but it’s actually an art, really nice one. Location: Melkvoetstraat 43.
Created by the well-known Spanish artists ARYZ. His works are among my favorites, especially the one in Lodz, Poland
. The giant duck was created in 2011 for the Street Art Festival. Location: Melkvoetstraat 19.
Created by the French artist Pro176. I really liked this one, it reminded me a lot about pop art comic books, with its vibrant colors and shapes. Location: Mouterijstraat.
Parking lot and surrounding at Kon. Astridlaan (extension of Frans Massystraat) is the biggest hub of street art I’ve seen in Hasselt. Numerous murals of different styles can be found around and some of them are really good. I especially liked the wall with a boy in the far end of the parking lot and the scary rabbit that reminded me of “Donnie Darko” movie
(and, ultimately, on that song
that I really like).
Created by ROA, probably the most famous street art artist from Belgium. His works can be found all over the world, we even have one in Warsaw (but I’ve seen it also in Lodz
). The owl he created in Hasselt is the most beautiful of his works I’ve ever seen. I’ve spent way too much time just standing there and admiring it, I must have looked stupid but I didn’t care really as the owl was such a beauty! Location: Vaartstraat 14.
Created by the Spanish duo Pichi&Avo for the 2017 Street Art Festival. They are known for incorporating mythological characters into their works and this one is no different. Location: Capucienenstraat 1.
Created by PsoMan. It is such a beautiful mural really. Location: Stadsomvaart 83.
Created by Oli-B. You can see this work from away thanks to bright colors and eye-catching shapes. Location: Stadsomvaart 5.
Another of my faves. Created by the Spanish artist Belin, known for his fascination with cubism
(probably that’s why I liked it so much). Location: Schoolstraat 4.
Created by Super A, Zenk One. One of the most known works that can be found on the walls of Hasselt. And I can definitely see why it is so popular as this chameleon is just beautiful. Location: Schoolstraat 1, next to Belin’s girl.
Created by B-Art. It’s best seen from across the railway track, at the corner of Runkstersteenweg and Spoorwegstraat. Location: Passerelstraat 1.
Created by the Greek artist Insane 51. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable, to be honest. Might be too bright colors, the optical illussion or the crazy face. Location: Runkstersteenweg 69.
While in the app I’ve seen many spots where I was supposed to find works by Pablo Delgado I have a big problems with tracking it down. Eventually I’ve found only two and I quickly realized why it was such a challenge. His works are really tiny, like few centimeters only. But they are great, I really liked these two and from what I see on the pictures I’d probably have enjoyed others as well. Again, if it wasn’t for the app I’d have never spotted them. Locations: Woutersstraat 40 and Normandiëstraat 28, very low at the ground level.
Created by Steve Locatelli, it can be found next to the train station. I didn’t like it all that much to be honest, it was a bit too dark to me. Location: Spoorwegstraat 86.
Created by Jaba. Hidden behind the glass wall on the side of youth hostel. For me the glass spoiled a lot but it was still a beautiful piece to admire. Location: Spoorwegstraat 86.
Created by art collective Farm Prod. Location: Spoorwegstraat 86.
Created by HNRX. Location: Oude Kuringerbaan.
That’s not a street art as such but during my visit the walls along Dokter Willemsstraat and Schrijnwerkersstraat were decorated with posters telling about different issues in a fun way. Most of them were really cute and lovely and I found them to be a nice addition to the overall Hasselt street art experience hence they are worth mentioning here too.
And below are few more random pieces I’ve found around the city.
I’ve spent most of my weekend in the city just looking for the street art (well, that was my main reason to visit Hasselt anyway) and still I could see only maybe half of the great work that are there. I was really impressed as I would never expect so much street art in the city of this size.
That put Hasselt very high of my list of favorite street art cities. If I only have a chance I will gladly return there to track down some more great murals, graffiti, stickers and stencils.
If you like street art as much as I do you should consider a trip to Hasselt as well. It’s only an hour away from Brussels and I can’t think of a better street art destination in Belgium!
Normally I’d put in here a map with all the locations marked. But there’s no need for that as everything is clearly described at Street Art Cities website. (I’m seriously wondering how come I didn’t know about it before, it’s a great resource for street art all over the world, not only in Hasselt!)
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Disclaimer: during my trip to Hasselt I was hosted by Visit Hasselt. As always all opinions and experiences described above remain my own.
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