Dublin Street Art is Larger Than Life

Dublin street art is magnetic and larger than life. Part of the charm of travel for me is seeing the many ways cities use street art and public art to make their city unique. Before I took my trip to Dublin, I associated the city with pubs, literature and castles. But it’s so much more. In fact, Dublin is a dramatic contrast of youthful energy and creativity, surrounded by tradition and history. Of course the traditional architecture, history and literature are what we know the Irish city for. But Dublin also has a flirty, creative, youthful spirit on display in the streets, alleys and storefronts. It’s an extremely creative city and the use of art is intentional.


Dublin Street Art Captures the Eye and the Imagination

Dublin is such a dramatic, creative city. Old world architecture mixes with the modern world to create a vibe that is a compelling mix of old and new. And everywhere you look, you find incredible street art. Dublin street art captures both the eye and the imagination with bright, bold colors and a kinetic energy that makes the animals, literary figures, and political messages seem like they could pop off of the buildings and stone fences at any moment. The street art there is exceptional and substantial. While graffiti is a piece of that, there are many huge dramatic portraits, and abstracts as well.


Of course Ireland has its share of museums and castles and statues too. These are compelling, often historical and traditional. But tradition alone can be stale and grey if a city rests only on that as a tourism draw. Here in Dublin colour breathes life into buildings, streets and entire neighbourhoods.


Many people know that Guinness has had a huge hand in Dublin’s development, history and economy too. But in some ways they are also responsible for injecting colour into the city. No surprise that Irish people love to celebrate and enjoy a pint in the local pub. In the past, many Guinness worker’s homes looked identical and that meant confusion when coming home after a night celebrating at the pub.


Historically this is also why they ended up painting their doorways bright colours. So, even when drunk, people could find their own house. Colour had a pragmatic application in those days.

While Dublin has always been a creative city, as evidenced by it’s many giants of literature and theatre, public art was more an undercurrent of graffiti until the last few years. Ireland’s creative mandate is strong right now and it holds a vision for the future of the country.  The Dublin City Culture and Creativity Plan 2017 is a smart vision for the next five years that paves the way for more creative expression in all areas of the arts.


One of the most impressive pieces of Dublin street art that you’ll ever see is Ulysses. It is the largest single street art design that I have ever seen in person. Taking up two sides of the Bloom Hotel, this incredible work of art by James Earley is full of color and movement. It draws you in with its bright blues, pinks, purples, and yellows. I had to pull myself away to keep going with the photo walk we were on one day. Ulysses towers over the city symbolically. Truly impressive, creative and thoughtful.

Ulysses of course.

So many things impressed me about Dublin. The food was exceptional and dramatic and service and people were witty and theatrical at times. Everywhere we went in Ireland the setting was otherworldly really. Dublin street art is playful and sometimes ironic and edgy too. For more about the Drama of Dublin you can read this guide or check out my Video – A First Timer’s Guide to Dublin on the topic.


From Killarney to Dingle and the Ring Of Kerry back to Dublin, it’s easy to see why Dublin and Ireland have topped many lists of must see destinations this year.

Dublin street art is creative, political, colourful and personal. It is part of what makes the city so attractive for tourists and residents alike.

Dublin Street Art is Symbolic and Intentional

We’ve all seen street art in our travels. Sometimes graffiti is random and haphazard. Brightly coloured tags. Other times the public art is dramatic and larger than life artwork. There are memorable pieces in most cities around the world now and public art has truly come into its own. If you find yourself in Dublin take a day to explore on foot and revel in Dublin street art.

I was a guest of Failte Ireland while visiting Dublin this Fall. My accommodations, food, transportation and activities were complimentary. My opinion is all my own and my stories are truthful. 

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Liz

    These all look awesome. I’m so jealous you got to travel to Dublin … it’s been on my list for forever! (and Ireland in general, too)
    I applied to and was accepted for my college’s study abroad program in Ireland but it was about $13,000 (no scholarships available since it was their summer program) so I turned it down. That was about 10 years old and I still regret it.

    • Paula

      OH that is heartbreaking. It is so beautiful and there’s so much to see and do. Plus the food. WOW the food knocked my socks off.

  • Tomi C

    By foot is hands down my favorite way to explore places I visit. Dublin is on my travel bucket list and I’ve had several family and friends who have visited and enjoyed their stay. Those pieces are full of symbolism and that’s what I love about art. Art allows persons to communicate what is difficult to put into words and a person’s interpretation is truly their own.

  • Joely Smith

    Woah that is SO COOL!!! I had no idea there was SO MUCH awesome street art in Dublin! I would love to see it all in person and what great photo opps!

  • Penny

    These are an exceptional collections of images. In my idea of Dublin I would never had inserted so much color.

    I do like the bit about bright doors are easier for the inebriated to find, too funny!

    I wonder if many of us who have not traveled somewhere have that same lens of history and stereotypes which we apply to a locale before someone else points out to us all the other facets.

  • Leah

    This is so cool!!! I have never seen anything like it before! I would love to see this in person one day. The art is just stunning.

  • Censie Sawyer

    So cool! Ilove all of the street art that is popping up all over the world now. We have a few areas in Denver that have some amazing murals. People love taking pictures of them. Thanks for sharing these.

  • Melissa Dixon

    Wow that is a great place to visit! It looks there is a lot to see and do while visiting. I know a lot of people who want to go there for a trip and a few who have and loved it. That may be part of the reason I know so many that still want to go!

  • lisalisa

    This is awesome! We have a street like that here in MI where the entire street displays artwork all over. I have to say, Dublin has some very impressive artwork. This would be a great place to visit with the family, I bet they get a lot of tourist!

  • Monica Y

    I love it. We are considering a trip here next year and would love to see this. I love that street art is becoming something more cities are accepting. For sure something to add to our travel list. Your pictures are amazing too. Great job

  • Katherine

    I loved the street art in Dublin when I went but that was about 10yrs ago and I’m sure its evolved since then. Fabulous photos, you’ve really captured the vibe in Dublin, which really is unlike anywhere else. I think I might have to book us a trip soon as our Irish friend visited us last year so it’s time to return the gesture… any excuse, lol!

  • Marie Gizelle

    Wow! So colorful! My daughter went there for her English week but she barely took photos, I thought it was just gray. 😀 Haha, thanks for making me see otherwise, I would certainly be happy snapping there too!

    • Paula

      HA!! That sounds like a kid alright! It is quite colourful and GREEN so very green everywhere else in Ireland. Dublin has the beautiful art and food and stunning bridges too.