Where can I get a tattoo in London?
The options are truly endless in a city crawling with upcoming artists and new hot-spot studios opening up weekly. So we’ve rounded up the best tattoo shops to visit in 2023 so you can get your booking in early.
1. Want to check out a female-owned tattoo shop in London? Try Velvet Underground
Visit for: the contemporary tattoos done by an awesome all-female team
Velvet Underground has a pretty big claim to fame in London: it’s run by an all-female team of tattoo artists specialising in bespoke contemporary tattoos. Tucked away in East London, the vibe of the space is contemporary and welcoming to all clients. The team offers a collaborative approach to bring your wildest designs to life. Seriously, no design seems too otherworldly or complex for this team—check out their colourful slithery mythical serpent and My Little Pony Pokemon mashup.
Located at 103 Whitecross St, EC1Y 8JD. Nearest station is Barbican or Old Street.
2. The best fine line tattoos? Visit Urban Retreat
Visit for: a minimalist design done in vegan inks
We’re big fans of Terrie Karam leading tattoo artist at the relaxing Urban Retreat studio in SW1. She specialises in fine-line drawings like recreating a quote in a loved one’s handwriting, animal portraits or ornate flowers. Her knack for capturing detail on such a small-scale makes her a go-to artist of many celebrities. Not only that, Terrie uses vegan tattoo ink made from vegetables that’s much better for the body’s bloodstream to process.
Located at 2 Hans Crescent, SW1X 0LH. Nearest station is Knightsbridge.
3. Looking for a walk-in tattoo shop? Try out Jolie Rouge London
Visit for: the unusual illustrations and easy walk-ins
If you’re a more spur-of-the-moment tattoo enthusiast, it’s worth knowing what the best walk-in tattoo shop in London is that doesn’t require a pre-booking to get in the chair. Jolie Rouge is just that, located on Caledonian Road and boasting a street-style take on tattoos paired with a gothic interior. Inspired by graffiti and the new school art movement, they rarely turn down any ideas and often can bring to life what other studios might pass up. The best part? They usually take walk-ins.
Located at 364 Caledonian Road, N1 1DU. Nearest station is Caledonian Road.
4. Thinking about a color tattoo? Check out Red Point Tattoo
Visit for: the rad guest artists and a team with over 50 years of collective experience
Red Point Tattoo came together when three of London’s most accomplished tattoo artists—Teide, Claudia De Sabe and Yutaro—decided to open a tattoo shop in 2018. They’ve got strong tattooing chops, especially when it comes to creating colorful and eye-catching designs, and they often host other artists from around the world. Definitely worth checking out if you have a bright coloured piece in mind or want to have an international artist tattoo you without needing to hop on a flight.
Located at Penton Street, N1 9PT. Nearest station is Angel.
5. On a budget? Try South City Market
Visit for: the multilingual staff and affordable designs that don’t skimp on quality
Located in South East London is South City Market, a no-fuss tattoo shop that offers a paired-back experience focused solely on the craft. Don’t be fooled, paired back doesn’t mean it’s any less luxury. Rather that the space is minimalist and futuristic with high-quality touches designed to provide an air of calm. They exclusively tattoo in black and white or grayscale—perfect for minimalist, geometric, intricate, Japanese or realism illustrations. Another benefit? The staff are multilingual and can speak in English, Arabic, Greek, Russian and Japanese.
Located at the rear of 89 New Cross Road, SE14 6LA. Nearest station is New Cross.
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6. Try Inkwa for their expertise on tattooing for all skin tones
Visit for: the family-run atmosphere and variety of styles
Tamar and Rob Lawrence created the name Inkwa from combining the Akan word for life “nkwa” with the Zulu stabbing spear “Iklwa” and the team prides themselves on fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. There’s 4 resident artists to choose from, each with their own unique style ranging from Shigeru Miyamoto Japanese art to hyper-realism and large-scale colourful illustrations. They have years of experience tattooing all ink colours across all skin tones, so you know you’ll be in good hands no matter what your design vision is.
Located at 254 Kirkdale, Sydenham, SE26 4NL. Nearest station is Sydenham.
Image credit: Inkwa
7. Looking for an inclusive LGBTQ+ tattoo studio? Stop by Briar Rose Tattoo
Visit for: one-of-a-kind watercolour tattoos and the talented female team of artists
Briar Rose Tattoo is another studio boasting an all-female team of top tier artists building an inclusive space for everyone to come get their ink. They do many exquisite watercolour tattoos that are so intricate and detailed that they look like a real painting. How beautiful is that?
Located at 172 Manor Lane, SE12 8LP. Nearest station is Hither Green.
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8. Keen for a tribal tattoo? Get on the waitlist for Good Times Tattoo
Visit for: the killer tribal tattoos and a zen studio vibe
Located in Hackney Central, Good Times Tattoo is one of the go-to places to get a tribal tattoo in London. A spot on the waitlist is highly coveted amongst tattoo lovers. Owned by Nikole Lowe, the space combines a relaxing atmosphere, tons of windows and an eclectic feel. They also offer a few spa amenities like cryotherapy. Tattoo and chill? Yes please.
Located at 8 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, E5 0PD. Nearest station is Hackney Central.
Image credit: Good Times Tattoo
9. Looking for a stick-and-poke tattoo in London? Try Femme Fatale
Visit for: intricate stick-and-poke designs done to the highest quality
Grace Neutral of Femme Fataleis a name that is often floated around the London tattoo scene for her ability to create tiny, beautiful and intricate designs all done without using an electric tattoo gun. Instead Grace favours the stick-and-poke technique, using a tattoo-grade needle to manually apply the ink into the skin. Her designs are intimate, detailed and dainty—perfect for a barely there placement or across a bigger space like a full sleeve.
Located at 4 Broadway Market Mews, E8 4TS. Nearest station is London Fields.
Ready to make a booking? Here’s a few things to consider before your first appointment
How much will a tattoo cost?
The price of the tattoo will really come down to a few things:
- How big is your tattoo?
Size will play a huge factor in price. Expect to pay a minimum of around £50 for a small tattoo, £100 to £150 for a tattoo the size of a credit card and anywhere from £300 to £700+ for larger designs like a full sleeve. Some places also charge by the hour, depending on the artist’s skill and years of experience.
- Do you want a coloured tattoo? Coloured designs tend to be more expensive than black and white ink, simply because the ink is more expensive to purchase. It also takes the artist more time to change and mix inks to achieve specific shades.
- How experienced is your tattoo artist?
The more experienced they are, the more costly their hourly rate can be. Most places tend to share their artist’s hourly costs upfront so you know what price point you’ll be looking at ahead of time.
Should I shave before a tattoo appointment?
Most tattoo shops will ask you to shave before your tattoo appointment because the hairs can get in the way of the tattoo needle and ink. Your artist might ask you to shave the area so they can have a clear canvas to work on with added precision.
Do I need to tip my tattoo artist?
Leaving a tip is really up to you. Ask yourself, how your experience was and what do you feel comfortable with? Tipping is not a requirement, but it does put something a little something extra in your artist’s pocket if you had a good session. If you do choose to tip, give what you feel comfortable with knowing that 10-25% tends to be the standard.
Now you’re all set to get your ink. Which studio will you check out?
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