Getting tattooed is a big commitment. It costs hundreds of dollars to get a high-quality tattoo and it’s one thing you really don’t want to skimp on. And while following the work of specific artists is a great way to know what you love and find someone you want to get tattooed by, sometimes you just want a good tattoo, no matter who does it. If that happens, you can simply go to an area that is known for good tattoos, walk into a shop and ask to see a portfolio to find a style you like. So, what are the best places to get tattooed?
One of the countries where the tattoo industry is still very taboo, and yet, where some of the most beautiful tattoos come from, is Japan. The Japanese style is very recognizable: specific drawings, saturated colors and motifs that stem from Japanese culture. They are usually very large and made to cover whole limbs, connected by a unified pattern in the background. You can find plenty of traditional Japanese tattoo artists around the country, but make sure to cover your tattoos when in public because they aren’t exactly well received.
The UK has a very rich history of tattooing, and ranks among the highest countries in the percentage of population that has tattoos. London hosts one of the biggest tattoo conventions in the world every year and many artists open shops in London’s busiest streets. There’s not one “UK tattoo style”, but rather a variety of styles designed by very talented artists who have mastered a specific style or developed their own. Your best chance of getting a tattoo is walking into a well-rated shop and looking over the artists’ portfolios to find the one that you really like. If you live nearby, you might be able to snag a tattoo from a foreign artist when they come over for a convention, so keep your eyes open.
Australia, and predominantly Sydney, has very high standards for almost everything, including tattoos. While there aren’t as many tattooed people in Australia as there are in the UK, the tattoo culture has strong roots in Polynesian tattooing. If you do some research and walk into a shop that puts out some of the best tattoos in Sydney, you will surely walk out with a worthy tattoo. There are a lot of things to get inspired by, and very often that is the rich wildlife of Australia.
The Bay Area is definitely popping in the tattoo industry as it has a tattoo parlor on every corner. There’s a long tradition of tattooing in bay areas – just think of all the sailors – so this shop density isn’t all that surprising. And while it used to be centered around American traditional tattoos, now you can find virtually any style. So if you’re feeling like getting some new ink, just take a stroll through the Bay Area and you will certainly find something that is worth taking a closer look at.
On the shores of Copenhagen, the Nyhavn area stands proud with its oldest existing tattoo parlor in the world. If you’re thinking of getting a unique, custom made design, you’re in the wrong place; but if you want to point at a flash at the wall and walk out with a good tattoo then you’re in the right place. It has the same sailor-rich history like England, but it has kept the flash sheet culture alive and in the forefront.
Whether you’re traveling across the world to get a new tattoo, or whether you just feel like you need a permanent reminder of this trip, these are the places where you have the best chances of landing a solid piece of art. Just make sure you think twice about each tattoo and check the tipping policies before you go in!