Zurich’s Graffiti Renaissance: From Vandalism to Art

Zurich, like many cities around the world, has a vibrant street art and graffiti scene.

Sure, if you ride the train into Zurich, you will likely only see vandalism and overtures of love for the local football club.

However, over the years, the city has transformed from viewing graffiti as a mere act of vandalism to acknowledging it as a legitimate form of art and self-expression.

Vandalism - Zurich Graffiti
Simply vandalism – Zurich Graffiti

You can now see some stunning pieces of graffiti art all over the city. Some of it is very prominent, while others require a little more work to find.

Legal Spaces For Graffiti in Zurich

Rote Fabrik graffiti in Zurich
Rote Fabrik graffiti in Zurich – Courtesy of Wikimedia

Recognizing the talent and the cultural importance of graffiti, Zurich has designated certain areas where artists can paint without fear of legal repercussions.

These areas act as open-air galleries, constantly changing and evolving.

Some of the more unusual places you might find include many legal walls around Zurich. (There is more information on those in German if you wish to read it.)

Some of the popular areas to find street art in Zurich include Hardplatz, Rote Fabrik, and the districts of Zurich West and Langstrasse.

Rote Fabrik

One of the more notable areas where graffiti (or spraying!) is allowed is in the Rote Fabrik. If you have never been there, it is a place where a huge range of cultural and other events take place throughout the year.

And yes, it is mostly in an old red factory. They have been allowing graffiti for over a decade now and even have a helpful PDF showing where you can spray around the area.

Hardplatz

There is another large wall near the bridge in Hardplatz which also has a map from Stadt Zurich on where you can graffiti there.

Notable Graffiti Artists In Zurich

Harald Nageli graffit under Rheinkniebrücke, Zurich
Harald Nageli graffit under Rheinkniebrücke, Zurich – Courtest of Wikimedia

One of the most notable graffiti artists in Zurich over the years is Harald Naegeli. He is known for his simple stick figure graffiti that can be found all over the city. But to many, his work is nothing short of vandalism.

One Truth graffiti in Zurich
One Truth piece on Zollstrasse – courtesy of Duncan Cummings

Another famous pair of local graffiti artists in Zurich is called One Truth. The pair, Dr.Drax and Pase, are renowned for their stunning mega-murals on large buildings in Zurich and their work is a sight to behold.

If you want to see one of One Truth’s works you can head to

  • Rötelstrasse 98
  • Zollstrasse
  • end of Sihlpromenade
  • Gotthelferstrasse 53
  • Wehntalerstrasse 312 ,Affoltern

See some examples of One Truth’s work.

Partrik REDL Wehl also has some stunning pieces in Zurich, and all over the world. The one in the featured/top image in this post is an example you can see from the bridge over Bahnhof Enge where the tram passes.

Map of Graffiti Art in Zurich

There is a fantastic open map of graffiti art in Zurich that you can use to find many of these pieces. I used it to take most of the photos in this post.

Graffiti Art In Zurich (Photos)

Graffiti on Badenerstrasse, Zurich
Graffiti on Badenerstrasse 141, Zurich
Overgrown graffiti near Kalkbreite Zurich
Overgrown graffiti near Kalkbreite Zurich
Courtyard shop graffiti in Zurich
Courtyard shop graffiti in Zurich
Shop shutters graffiti Zurich, near Bahnhof Wiedikon
Shop shutters graffiti Zurich, near Bahnhof Wiedikon
Wall art in Zurich
Wall art at Strassburgstrasse 9, Zurich
Zurich Graffiti at Köchlistrasse 14
Zurich Graffiti at Köchlistrasse 14
Organic Zurich Graffiti
Organic Zurich Graffiti
Alien animal - Zurich graffiti
Alien animal – Zurich graffiti
Simple Zurich graffiti
Simple Zurich graffiti

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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