The Waterford Walls Street Art in Waterford, Ireland

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Earlier this year (when I was still living in Dublin) I went on a quick trip to Waterford. This is a small city in the south of Ireland. It’s actually the oldest city in Ireland as it was the first place that the Vikings landed in Ireland. Unlike my trip to Kilkenny (where I just went for the day), I decided to spend a night in Waterford. One thing that surprised me was all the fantastic street art that I saw.

I soon learned that the street art was originally part of a festival called Waterford Walls, which takes place in August. The 2018 edition for the festival will be from August 17 to 26. Here artists from Ireland and abroad are commissioned to add some artistic flair to the walls of Waterford (hence the Waterford Walls name). This makes Waterford Walls the most extensive open-air gallery in Ireland. Even if you aren’t in Waterford for the festival, you can still walk around and see some of this amazing street art for free.

I thought I’d show you some of the pieces of street art I saw in Waterford. While I’ve taken the photos in this post, I have credited the artists. Be sure to click on the links in the captions if you want to see more of their amazing works.

Female portrait street art by Dermot McConaghy Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

When I got to Waterford this portrait by Belfast artist Dermot McConaghy (DMC) was the first piece I saw. I didn’t know it’d be one of many amazing pieces I’d see on my trip.

Fisherman at Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

This portrait was close to where I stayed and is by US artist ARCY.

1Vunik Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland

This street art of fighting birds is by Vunik an artist from Austria. It wouldn’t be the only time I’d see birds in street art…as you’ll soon see.

Good Morning Waterford at the Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland

I did see this one in the morning, and it was a good one. Piece by Mr. Oner from Spain.

Elephant by Louis Masai at Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

This little baby elephant was one of several by UK artist Louis Masai. This street art some great information about the horrors of elephant poaching. Say no to ivory. And if you’re visiting a country where elephant rides are offered, please refuse. These gentle giants go through a torturous process for people to ride them and it’s not worth it. D Travels Round wrote a great post about why you shouldn’t ride elephants.

Waterford Walls by Fintan Magee in Waterford, Ireland. One the side of the previous building was this massive piece by Australian artist Fintan Magee.

Lula Goce mural Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

Love this floral mural by Spanish artist Lula Goce.

James Earley Waterford Walls street art in Waterford, Ireland.

This is a piece from James Earley, a Dublin-based artist. He also has several works in Dublin that I’ve seen. The most well known being the Bloom Hotel.

Dan Leo bunny street art Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

Another Irish artist Dan Leo did this colourful bunny. Love it.

Orange bird by Bird0 Waterford Walls, in Waterford, Ireland.

Found out this bird was one the pieces from a Canadian (from Toronto) artist Jerry Rugg (Bird0).

Magdalena Karol Waterford Walls street art in Waterford, Ireland.

This girl with a birdhouse backpack/rucksack is by Polish artist Magdalena Karol.

This piece was by Mexican-born artist (now living in Dublin) Kathrina Rupit.

Iljin street art at Waterford Walls in Waterford Ireland.

Another Irish artist Iljin created this beautiful work.

Shane O'Malley street art at Waterford Walls in Waterford, Ireland.

Love this graphic design by Irish artist Shane O’Malley.

I loved seeing all this street art in Waterford. It made for some fun discoveries to wander around and see what amazing art I’d get to see on the next corner or block. I’m not an artist, but I love street art and I loved seeing such talented artists bring colour and life to what would otherwise be dull concrete walls.

Things You Should Know
This post isn’t associated with or sponsored by Waterford or the Waterford Walls festival. If you visit Waterford, the street art you see may be different than what I saw as street art is a temporary art form. If you want you can download a festival map of the most recent Waterford Walls here. The cost to walk around and see this amazing art is free, although there may be costs for other events at the Waterford Walls Festival. The Waterford Walls featured here were curated by another artist Louise Flynn. Her Instagram is well worth a look as well, especially if you love tattoos.
While in Waterford I stayed at the Portree Guesthouse. I stayed in a six-bed dorm. There is breakfast (for a small fee), kitchen facilities, and onsite WiFi. It was close to the ARCY Street Art as you can see the sign pointing to the hostel in that photo. It was also only a 6-minute walk from the bus station.
Book your room at the Portree Guesthouse Here. 
To get to Waterford I took the M9 Dublin Coach Bus from Dublin city centre (at Bachelors Walk) to Waterford (stopping at the city centre at Merchants Quay). A return ticket was €20. This bus makes a few stops along the and took about 2.5 hours. The coach was also late arriving when I was departing from Waterford back to Dublin. It was all right, but next time I would take a more direct bus or train. Or even better you can drive and get to Waterford in 2 hours.

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Have you been to Waterford? Which of these Waterford Walls was your favourite?

10 comments on “The Waterford Walls Street Art in Waterford, Ireland

  1. I love street art, and was impressed by the street art I saw in Ireland (in Cork rather than Waterford). I adore the elephant painting – and you are right to draw attention to stopping elephant rides etc – they are such gentle creatures and deserve so much more! I haven’t been to Waterford in 20 years, so must go back to see this impressive art.

  2. Thanks for sharing all this great street art, and I love that you credited the artists too! How did you learn who had created each piece? I especially love the elephant and that the artist shared about elephant poaching to make it even more meaningful. The Waterford Walls festival sounds very cool, hope I can visit one day.

  3. I love to see street art in a new city, it makes the city come alive for me, and also tells me a bit about the socio-cultural-political undertones. What you have showcased here of Waterford is quite nice.

  4. I miss street art like this in Austria but I guess most buildings here are too old and beautiful to be painted on. If it’s done right, like in Waterford, it’s an asset to a city. The guy in the portrait by Arcy looks like he’s gonna come alive any minute.

  5. I’m a huge fan of street art, and Waterford, Ireland seems like an amazing destination for that! I love the baby elephant and the flowers and leaves going all up and around the windows of the other building as well. What a gorgeous destination.

  6. Glad to see there is a Canadian in the mix! I love the bunny and the portrait by Arcy – so realistic – and the humour in the bird mural by Vunik. What a great thing to see. When I think Waterford I always think crystal!

  7. Wow, I love street art and I had no idea they had such beautiful street art in Waterford. I was in Ireland a couple of months back and I crossed Waterford during my road trip through the south but I didn’t catch a glimpse and if I had known where to look then, I would’ve searched for it!

  8. I love street art and it’s something I specifically look for when I travel. I love that more cities are embracing this culture and having festivals to create more murals throughout cities. If you’re ever in Miami, head over to the Wynwood neighborhood. There’s street art and murals everywhere and I think you’d really enjoy it. 🙂

  9. Impressive Alouise. I would not equate Ireland with street art, but goodness, the place rocks some sweet work. Eye-popping colors. These artists rarely get the credit they deserve. Even if they are breaking the law LOL. Still insanely impressive. Pinned and Tweeted.

    Ryan

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