tattoo shops globally

Jade Dierckx

Let’s Get Inked! Must-Visit Tattoo Shops Around the World

Many view the tattoo world as a hardcore, punk rock environment with standard-looking parlors and tatted-up artists. But tattooing over the years has changed. With many people owning body artwork, the need for an experience is growing. That’s why we created a list to highlight cool, crazy, and hidden tattoo experiences. It’s easy to find the best tattoo artist in a certain area online, but try googling the coolest parlor. Yeah, that’s a lot harder. So we got you covered. Bar? Church? Container box? We found them all. In this three-part series, we will take you to Europe, the USA, and then the rest of the world.

Razzouk Tattoo (Jerusalem — Israel)

In the heart of the Christian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, Razzouk tattoo is the oldest tattoo shop in the world. The Razzouk family has been tattooing for over 700 years, and current owner Wassim Razzouk represents the 27th generation within the family business.

Being in Jerusalem, their main focus is religious tattoos. Not only pilgrims, but people from all over the world travel to this little shop to get a ‘stamp’ tattoo. These wooden block stamps are the old version of what we now know as stencils. The Razzouk stamps are older than the USA, says Wassim, and still being used on customers today. Ever since the summer of 2020, the Razzouk family also offers a guesthouse The Old City Experience that you can rent out to explore the old city from within.

Razzouk Tattoo
Shvil Saint George 31, Jerusalem

Dakota Lee (Johannesburg — South Africa)

In Kramersville, Johannesburg, Dakota Lee represents a bar/tattoo parlor/local shop. Even if you’re not there for a tattoo, you can definitely soak up some of the atmosphere. The whole shop gives tattoo parlor a new meaning. It invites people to look at it as ancient art. Walls are not covered in framed tattoos, but in still growing chalkboard drawings.

The interior is warm, with wooden details and even old barber chairs. Lee’s slogan Different Together covers the whole floor making everyone feel welcome. Dakota Lee is not only a place for tattoo artists, but also for local music artists. During the evening the bar welcomes local bands to fill up space as they close up their tattoo daytime job. Tattoo by day, vivid bar by night.

Dakota Lee
Design On Appel, Shop 7, 14 Appel Rd, Kramerville, Johannesburg, 2615

Wat Bang Phra (Bangkok — Thailand)

In the town of Nakhon Pathom, not far from Bangkok, you can get tattoos from real monks. On the temple grounds of the Wat Bang Phra Temple, Sak Yant tattoos (sacred tattoos of Thailand) are being placed. Angelina Jolie, for example, has a sacred tattoo on her back.

There is no fee to be paid for this tattoo. The only thing you have to do is make a donation to the temple, however small or big you like. To reach the temple you can use public transport. Know that travel agencies are billing up to 100 dollars a person for this unique experience. You can perfectly do this on your own.

Wat Bang Phra Temple
หมู่ 3 นฐ.4014 Bang Phra, Nakhon Chai Si District, Nakhon Pathom 73120, Thailand

Matchbox Tattoo (Toronto — Canada)

Getting a tattoo in a container on the street? You can do it in Downtown Toronto! This small tattoo parlor is located in the market 707 area, accompanied by other small container businesses. The idea for this container parlor came about because the owner wanted to be tattooing in another neighborhood.

Tattoo parlors are often located in a particular part of town and not on the corner of an open-air market with coffees and vegan lunch bars. The container follows the same logic as the rest of the market; it’s a walk-in place. Reservations can be made but it is not a must.

Matchbox Tattoo 
707 Dundas St West Unit 5 Toronto, Ontario M5T 2W6

Tattoaria House (São Paulo — Brazil)

This old warehouse is completely revitalized as a multi-purpose parlor. In the front of the house, you have a pool table with a bar and a barber, in the middle section you have the tattoo area, and in the back the kitchen and workspaces.

The tattoo area is very open and can be totally repurposed for other events that they regularly throw. Tattoaria doesn’t have a lot of artists under their name, but they constantly host temporary artists from all over the world.
In a nutshell: this place will be different every time you visit it.

Tattoaria House
R. Eng. Mesquita Sampaio, 26 – Chácara Santo Antônio.

Naughty or Nice Tattoo Studio (Bangalore — India)

This tattoo shop is one on the move! It’s the first track tattoo caravan in India and, as far as we know, the first one we have ever seen. Founder Sumanth quit his job in telecom to pursue his dream of traveling the world and being a tattoo artist.

He created this mobile tattoo caravan, fully equipped, to be able to travel to conventions or famous places. His dream is to one day make it to London for the international tattoo convention. Due to the pandemic, the truck is now located in Banglore, India, close to home for Sumanth. But we already can’t wait to see where he drives next!

Inkwagon from Naughty or Nice Tattoo Studio 
currently parked at 67-90, 80 Feet Rd, Jaladarsini Layout, Mathikere, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560094

Whole Glory (Globally)

The Whole Glory is an art installation by tattoo artist Scott Campbell. You might have already seen it on YouTube because this concept is actually pretty crazy. Campbell tattoos people for free once they stick their arm through the hole. The catch? There is no communication, and you won’t know what kind of tattoo is going on your body until Scott is done.

This installation has popped up in various locations, but details are always kept hush-hush. The best you can do is follow Scott on all his platforms and wait for more info. In our minds, this is the best covid-safe tattoo parlor in the world, right?

Scott Campbell Studio

Photo credits: Mark Levitin, Matchbox Tattoo, Allessandro Guimaraes, Meghana Sastra, Alex Aviles, Amy Combard, Viva Sarah Press, Djampa, George Duffield, and Rob Wilkes

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