Our first recommended “Economical & Entertaining Excursion” in 2016 comes in the form of a walking tour of our own creation with the objective of introducing you to one of the longest physical stretches of continuous arte callejero, or street art, in the entire city. If you enjoy this form of artistic expression and you enjoy free activities, then you must make this walking tour an essential part of your stay here in Guadalajara. We’ll fill you in on all the details, including where to start, when to go and how long to go for, among other things.
Along the southern edge of Agustín Yáñez (Avenida Washington) lie some rather long, continuous stretches of tall concrete wall, owing to the fact that there are some very serious industrial train tracks and stations on the other side running through the city. Between Avenida Union to the west and Avenida 8 de Julio to the east, these barriers have been covered and covered, and then covered again with some of the best street art Guadalajara has to offer.
What we’re talking about here is an almost 2km, nearly unbroken chain of piece after piece sprayed by this city’s regulars, some anonymous and some not so much. Not every section is out of this world – there is some mediocre work, especially at the 8 de Julio end of the cement barriers. But, that doesn’t mean you should skip that part. In fact, to skip any part of the entire stretch would mean missing out on some excellent work that is lodged between less impressive stuff and shines out among all of the pieces to be seen. One of the most beautiful things about it is that it’s all in flux. What we show you today via photos we’ve taken may no longer exist when you yourself make the walk and see brilliant new art that wasn’t there before.
Go during the day on a Sunday and you’ll be able to photograph your favorite pieces in a more leisurely fashion; there will be less traffic and fewer people walking about. Keep in mind that given the nearby railroad tracks, there are some inevitable signs of vagrancy and street activity along Agustín Yáñez/Av. Washington, including a small encampment down Avenida Mariano Otero to the south.
If that makes you uncomfortable or you worry you’ll stick out too much, then go during the day on a weekday when you’ll be sharing the street with other city residents walking about, catching the bus, going to and from work or otherwise generally going about their daily lives. Also know that we’ve visited the area many times without incident.
We’ve plotted the walk on a map, for your convenience. Throw on some decent walking shoes, bring your favorite camera, begin at either end and allow for approximately 3 hours or so to see it all calmly and comfortably. And then, once you’ve walked the walls, keep an eye out when you’re in other parts of the city for additional signature pieces that have been created by the same great artists utilizing whatever structural article they have at their disposal as their canvas.