If you love travel as much as we do, this guide will be a godsend! We go over some of the best tattoo artists and tattoo studios to check out in this list of the Top 10 Cities to Get Tattooed In. These hubs of creativity are blowing our minds with their innovation and diversity. We know that researching new artists while on the go can be difficult...but from London to Seoul, we share with you our favorite stops to make it a bit easier. Hopefully this quick trip around the globe will inspire you as much as it did us!
#1: London, UK
As our London Spotlight said it best, London is a “center for historical architecture, literary geniuses, gastronomic festivities, and some of our favorite soccer players, London is one of the greatest cities to live in and visit.” We hope you’ll enjoy your time here in more ways than one, but if that London fog gets you down, we have some advice. Escape the rain and hop into one of these awesome tattoo studios to get an everlasting reminder of your London trip!
London tattoo studios are globally known for their artistry and devotion to the craft. Here gritty street style meets ancient art history for aesthetics that are both powerful and inspiring. Some of our Tattoodo Ambassadors call this town home including Jondix of Seven Doors, and Claudia de Sabe of Red Point. One of our founders, Ami James, also owns a shop here, Love Hate Social Club, that Steve H Morante, owner of Fudoshin in London, frequently guest spots at. Their works on skin have captured the hearts of collectors around the world.
There are so many different styles and techniques that this city hosts. London is also home to Servadio, well-known for his dark art illustrative tattoos and his performance based noise project Body of Reverbs. Dan Moreno and Warriorism, also at Red Point, create tattoos that are truly beautiful embodiments of the Traditional and Japanese style. Hermione Finch is another tattooist in London who mainly does illustrative blackwork in a clean bold fashion. But, if you’re looking for Watercolor tattoos, definitely check out Wayne Galbraith.
#2: New York
As they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere...The tattoo artists here are beating the pavement and breaking boundaries in this awesome port city that was a pioneer in Western tattoo culture. Sky scrapers, incredible nightlife, world renowned museums, and foodie heaven galore, New York is one of the best cities on the globe...the place to find anything and everything you’ve ever wanted. Make sure to check out the Metropolitan Museum, Domino Park, and the Bronx Zoo for some seriously fun treats...even walking around neighborhoods like Dumbo, Greenpoint, WIlliamsburg or the Lower East Side can uncover special and sweet spots!
NYC is home to famed tattoo studios Kings Avenue, Five Points and Grit N Glory...and if you’re only here for a week, we advise going to these shops post haste to get a permanent reminder of the wild trip this will be. No matter which artist you manage to land an appoint with, you'll be well taken care of.
There are so many incredibly talented tattoo artists here that it’s hard to choose a few...there are certainly tons of studios to fit every need out there whether Japanese like David Sena of SenaSpace, creative old school like Lara Scotton of Daredevil, fine line illustrative by Brian Steffey, sacred geometric by Guy Waisman, and the bright bold pieces of Henbo Henning. Here you’ll find the work ethic, diversity, and mastery of the tattoo craft that you’d expect from New York!
#3: Paris, France
City of romance, sparkling lights, and champagne, Paris is certainly on many a bucket list. Known for famed artists, museums, and sidewalk cafes, the tattoo artists in this particular city enjoy a heritage of art movements that continue to influence and inspire many even beyond the reaches of Paris. Here you can visit Rodin’s sculptures, marvel at Delacroix’s paintings, and enjoy Monet’s Garden in Giverny. You can also be sure to find many tattooists who create fine art that you’ll be happy to play host to.
Home to the infamous Tin Tin Tatouages, which has been up and running since 1999, be sure to visit Laurent Z during his October guest spot if you’re in the mood for sacred geometry or ornamental illustrative stylings. At Mystery Tattoo Club you can find Japanese pieces by Easy Sacha or perfect linework by Gary Burns. Pierroked is world famous for his mind blowing lettering, as is Mikael De Poissy who does a unique stained glass effect. Mistermonster does mainly dark art, Sandra Massa brings together many different tribal decorative influences for a worldly aesthetic, Mike End produces brutal blackwork reminiscent of esoteric etchings, and Eva Edelstein does beautiful delicate blooms for her collectors.
We’re sure that you’ll have plenty to do while in Paris, but we think if you don’t take an afternoon off from sipping champagne and museum tours to get a fine art piece of your own, you’re definitely missing out!
#4: Tokyo, Japan
Technology booms here in Tokyo, as does fashion, modern art, and cat cafes. And although tattooing continues to be illegal for tattoo artists working without a medical license, don’t let that disway you. There are plenty of tattoo studios here that are keeping this important cultural art form alive. Japanese tattooing is one of the most important and iconic styles, so it totally makes sense to make a trip here if you’re interested in this particular aesthetic. This is where the magic started, and where it will continue for welcome generations to come.
Just like the other cities in this top 10 list, Tokyo has something for everyone. If you’re looking for real deal Irezumi, look no further than Ichi Hatano of Ichi Tattoo, Bunshin Horitoshi, or Koji Ichimaru. These artists travel often, so always make sure to get in contact before booking your trip! If you’re looking for something anime inspired, super awesome Otaku fans should hit up Aki of Diablo Art in Yokohama, or if you’re willing to make a trip to Osaka, check out Hori Benny’s studio! Make sure to check out Ken Riku of iPo Tattoo as well. He’s known for putting an illustrative spin on traditional Japanese tattoos. We also really love Three Tides tattoo...it’s possibly the most beloved Tokyo studio in the industry and is home to absolutely amazing tattoo artists like Bang Ganji, Mutsuo, Azusa, and Ichibay.
#5: Los Angeles, California
Land of palm trees, sandy beaches, and totally tanned babes. Los Angeles is a sunny destination for many due to its laid back, but lavish, atmosphere. People come here hoping to spot some Hollywood faces, and to soak up the rays of the golden sun. If you come here and are looking to soak up some culture as well, make sure to check out the Getty Museum which has a gorgeous view of the city below, as well as LACMA, which is right in the middle of many happy distractions. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, head over to the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple. Although it is mainly a place of tranquil worship for many, it’s also a beautiful place to visit if you need to escape the crowded beaches.
Just as there are a bounty of things to do and places to be, there are just as many people to see...and we hope one of these tattoo artists may be it! Los Angeles is also known to be the epicenter of Chicano style. There are many tattooists here, like Freddy Negrete and Chuco Moreno, who are considered pioneers and fathers of this revered cultural art form. Tim Hendricks and Javier DeLuna at Classic Fullerton both do gorgeous renditions of that style as well as Traditional. If you’re looking for sacred geometry make sure to visit Scott Campbell whose tattoos are so incredibly clean you’d think they were made by machine! Soto Gang is also really well known for her fun and clever portraits of badass anime-inspired babes.
This is another Top 10 city to get tattooed in that really blows our mind with the amount of diversity within the artistry of tattooing arts. Shain Allen does wonderfully colorful pieces that astound with their graceful lines and lush details. Dave Barton is known for heavy dark art, while Coryn Higgins does fascinating realism and pop culture icons. Jeffrey Lutz, who also spends time in Berlin, often merges realism and surrealism for fascinating pieces. We’re sure no matter who on this list you pick for your next tattoo, you won’t be disappointed.
#6: San Francisco, California
Haight-Ashbury still bustles, the trollies continue to traverse the hill lined landscape, Silicon Valley is blowing minds while the tech workforce continues to expand, and beat poet Zen Buddhists maintain their meditation in one of the oldest port cities in America. San Francisco has a romantic history, and one that bustles with the drama and elation of many past generations. Like New York, it's fine art intellectual scene still progresses while ChinaTown creates edible goodness that foodies adore. Full of vast different type of entertainment and enjoyment for all, San Francisco is a hard place to beat, especially when it comes to artistic talent.
Tattoodo Ambassador Miss Juliet calls San Fran home at Seventh Son, along with the deeply talented tattoo artists Zac Scheinbaum. Known for sacred geometry, famed tattooist Dillon Forte opened his shop Sri Yantra in Oakland to the happiness of many. Austin Maples, a genius at Traditional tattoos, is resident at Idle Hand, but make sure to stop by Spider Murphy as well, which Paul Dobleman tattooed at until recently. Since then he’s been working on guest spots, and a private studio. David Evans of Ocean Avenue is another Americana extraordinaire.
#7: Austin, Texas
Austin is weird, and everyone who lives there likes it that way. Not just the home of Southern food goodies like BBQ’ed brisket, Austin is also known for the many music fests that take place here including South by Southwest. The official motto of Austin is “Live Music Capital of the World”, and it certainly lives up to that! If it’s not too hot out, this spot is also good for some serious nature digs. Zilker Metropolitan Park, Lady Bird Lake, and Barton Springs (a 3 acre swimming pool) are all welcome for laid back family fun. Plus, looking for a great tattoo couldn’t be easier. It’s so easy to fly your freak flag with a perfectly chosen piece!
Tina Poe, owner of Moon Tattoo Studio does tons of illustrative tattoos that are absolutely magical. If you’re looking for someone who believes that tattooing is not just about the finished work of art, but also about the experience, you’ll love her and her work. Josh Snyder of Iron Right does sick Traditional tattoos with a twist; tons of bold and bright colors. Mike Flores does incredibly realism...he’s the person to go to if you want to recreate a family photo for sure. Justin Leifeste also does beautiful realism. Josh, Mike, and Justin are all based in Killeen, Texas. It’s about an hour and a half from Austin, but well worth the trip. If you’re looking for creepy dark art, however, look no further than Austin-based Autopsy Tattoo where tattoo artists Toxyc churns out doomed evil creatures from the depths of the dark. Yorick, a French tattoo artist, also does dark art, but with a more illustrative approach.
#8: Portland, Oregon
Known for its natural vibe, Portland is laid back and progressive, a perfect place to unwind and get in touch with your inner peace. Portland is actually another city that likes to keep it weird, much like Austin, and if you’re looking for something to do, maybe hit up a strip club? Oddly enough, this city has the highest per capita of them over anywhere else in the US. But if that’s not your thing, we understand. This city is also a great spot to go shopping for vintage clothing and vinyl, as well as a perfect place to see a rock show, or go hiking. If you’re looking for even more refined activities, Portland is also a spot to visit some wineries! But we’re hoping that your list of things to do include this top 10 city to get tattooed in since...the tattoo artists here will certainly blow your mind.
There are so many tattoo artists out there devoted to their craft, including tattoo studio owners Meg Adamson, Alice Kendall, and Winston the Whale. Meg’s tattoos are perfect recreations of precious stones and beautiful beetles. Alice’s pieces are also nature inspired...flowers, sweet animals, and illustrative Neo Traditional stylings. Winston the Whale is famed for his vivid colors and psychedelic designs that pop...his studio Good Stuff is certainly a happy place.
Kyle Stacher, also known as Thiefhands, is another artist who loves to depict nature dripping organically around the body. Mark Tierny does nature, but usually in a watercolor style. Alexus Oropeza does camping scenes, tarot symbols, and other magical divinities. D’Lacie Jeanne is one more tattoo artist who proves that Portland is all about nature...her lush flowers are sure to inspire!
#9: Berlin, Germany
Berlin is an absolute hub of radical creativity and community connection within Europe. Definitely an epicentre of European history, there are plenty of important historical landmarks to visit if you like. Make sure to check out the East Side Gallery if you’re into art meets history! It’s a section of the Berlin Wall that plays host to some seriously sick graffiti. The city is also known for the nightlife...there are clubs open at all times, so you can hop around until you drop at 5am, take a nap, and then go out again! What are vacations for anyway? If you’re looking for fine art musings, make a trip to Boros Collection. You have to make an appointment ahead of time for this bomb shelter bunker made world-renowned art gallery, but the wait is well worth it.
Berlin is also home to two of our favorite ladies! Tattoodo Ambassador’s Guen Douglas and Wendy Pham work out of Taiko Gallery. They each have a style so unique! Neo Japanese and Neo Traditional merge in this sweet spot. Adam Vu Noir of StrangeLove, Jen Tonic, Bjorn Liebner and Leonardo Branco are some other tattooists that you can’t afford to miss! Jen Tonic does bursts of beautiful flowers and ornamental designs. Adam Vu does surreal warped portraits and the famed “threesomes” game; the perfect way to take iconic imagery and make it new. Bjorn and Leonardo are both masters of Art Nouveau infused tattoos that you’ll immediately be fascinated with.
Sticks and Stones, home to Leo Branco and Jen Tonic, is actually one of our favorite studios. Renan Batista, Paix Le Tattooer, Brian Povak, and Lemonsmiff also call this place home so this is one serious powerhouse of talent. Another awesome tattoo studio full of creatives is Berlin Ink Tattooing...Maya, Nikko, Camilo, and Andrew all have varying styles that will definitely feed your soul in some kinda way. Pechschwarz Tattoo is absolutely the same: full of dedication and devotion to this incredible art form. Jakub Settgast, in particular, does illustrative tattoos that are simply fascinating. LVDK is also known for their illustrative work influenced heavily by wood engravings, etchings, and Old Masters. And although Okan Akgol also does sketchy styles, his bold blackwork definitely breaks the mold. But if you’re looking for more traditional tattoos, check out Kevin Herrmann. If you’re hoping to leave Berlin with a present for yourself, we hope you get a tattoo! The talent is hard to beat.
#10: Seoul, South Korea
Whether a tourist, or a resident, we hope that when you’re in Seoul, you spend your days eating marvelous food, checking out totally cool entertainment, and singing your heart out at karaoke clubs across the city. Bright lights, fun stores, exciting products, awe inspiring contemporary art and architecture...the list goes on. Wander through the maze like streets to find hidden gems, and to meet new friends! Drinking is actually legal on the street too, so what’s better than the cold night air, and a fresh brew during a meander through this magical town? That’s an easy question: go get a tattoo! The tattoo art form here is exploding with creative talent that is totally mind blowing.
Sion is perhaps our favorite...she’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and such an incredible tattooer. Since tattooing is also illegal in this city, she’s hoping that by merging folk art with her modern art technique will help show people that tattooing is a positive way to express yourself. Her images of Norigae, traditional Korean knots, are coveted across the globe. ColdGray is another tattoo artist who has a beautiful style that is immediately recognizable. His soft hyperrealism in black and grey is stunning. But, if you’re looking for something more colorful, look no further than Zzizzi. His hand poke tattoos are done in neon tones! Pitta of Robinegg Studio also loves vivid hues, and is another tattooist who blends Korean folk arts with tattooing. Patterns, pop culture, and anime icons are just some of the designs Pitta likes to do. Zihwa’s pieces are so special too...her flowers remind us of The Secret Garden.
If you’re still looking for more check out Blackfeel, another realism artist who loves nature and famous portraits, as well as A.re whose minimal fine line is a wonderful niche trend we adore. Illson does illustrative and minimal while Silo does pieces bursting with color and life. Hanu has perfected the art of brushstroke tattoos with a special painterly aesthetic and Key Tattoos does portraits like nobody's business. Wherever you end up going, and whoever you see, we hope that they're the best that can be!