Tattoos aren’t just full sleeves, bold lines and sailor designs anymore. Melbourne is home to some of the best artists in the world, from the traditional gunslingers to the stick-and-poke cult icons. With a tattoo studio on almost every corner of Melbourne, it can be extremely difficult to decide where to get your next one.
Tick getting a tattoo off your bucket list, regardless of whether you’re thinking of immortalising an inside joke, paying your respects to mum or just some good ol’ Western traditional flash.
Here are 12 of the best tattoo studios in Melbourne:
Fine Line Tattoos
Since their arrival, the crew at Fine Line has completely disrupted the tattoo game here in Melbourne. The clean lines and the high quality of the elegant tattoos they produce are unmatched, creating an almost-cult like following. In a beautiful interior space, Cholo and his crew will ensure you feel right at home during your sessions.
This weekend Fine Line Tattoos is hosting one of their bi-annual 'Flash' events. Taking place across both Saturday and Sunday from 9am the mass inking activation will feature a series of pre-set designs with options from $150 to $250 a pop. It's a cash-only affair and served on a first-come basis, so get in early as the line typically rounds the block before the shop has even opened. Find out more over here.
Hawthorn tattoo local Alchemy is known for its massive artist lineup, all with their own individual styles and tattooing techniques. They specialise in creating a custom tattoo design based on your ideas and leveraging the artist’s talent. No matter what you’re looking for, Alchemy will be able to link you up with their best artist for the job.
Blue Lady Tattoo
Think of the stereotypical, grungy tattoo parlour set in a dark basement somewhere creepy.
The complete opposite of the stereotypical dingy tattoo studio, Blue Lady Tattoo is a spacious converted loft-warehouse with sun beaming through the full-length windows. Typically on the best tattoo in Melbourne list for a reason, the walls and cabinets are adorned with tattoo flash designs and random trinkets, and thanks to a previous tenant, there's even a Jacuzzi in the bathroom. Along with the incredible set-up, the amazing artists here prefer traditional and blackwork pieces, but are happy to create custom pieces as well.
Hamsa Tattoo Melbourne
Recently opening its doors with an extremely successful flash tattoo day, Hamsa Tattoo has become known as an inclusive studio that welcomes anyone into the minimalistic space. With a line-up of artists personally invited by owner Bobbie Dazzler, this is the place to get your next anime-inspired, delicate floral or clever animal design.
A true tattoo institution, open since 1991, the renowned team at Dynamic Tattoo have seen it all. The resident artists here mostly specialise in old-school Japanese style tattoos; with classic Western, bold geometric and dotwork designs available here too. Over the years, the art from the team has even been exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria, so you’re sure to be in some extremely capable hands.
Melbourne Tattoo Company
Set up in one of Melbourne’s historic buildings a stone’s throw from Captains Of Industry, this studio is now home to Melbourne Tattoo Co., one of the most reputable tattoo parlours you’ll find around. With over 25 years of tattoo experience combined with some of the best Melbourne tattoo artists, Western and neo-traditional flash designs are readily available here.
Good Luck Tattoo
A classic shop front with tattoo flash designs lining the walls inside, the artists of Good Luck’s place emphasis on Western traditional and modern designs. With their varying styles, these guys constantly produce some absolutely amazing pieces for Melbourne’s tattooing community. They’ve remained as one of the best tattoo studios in Melbourne for the past seven years and will last well into the future.
Hidden Moon Tattoo
You’ll find some of the most unique tattoo styles in Melbourne at Hidden Moon—think realistic dotwork, vintage, and black and grey surrealism. With the artists here producing designs that are highly popular in Melbourne’s contemporary tattoo scene; it’s no surprise that getting an appointment here is highly coveted.
Victims of Ink
Despite the slightly intimidating name, Victims of Ink has created the ultimate relaxed vibe for new and returning clients. Here you’ll find a range of talented artists having fun with creative pop culture designs, another specialising in South Korean fine line and RGB designs, along with an artist combining Asian and Western trad designs to form his distinctive style. A big contender for some of the best tattoos in Melbourne as there’s truly a style and design for everyone here.
Crucible Tattoo Co.
Another extremely inclusive space, Crucible is one of the studios redefining the intimidating nature of getting a tattoo. The range of contemporary styles here vary from colourful surrealism to traditional, but the diverse artists there would be more than happy to accommodate any crazy tattoo ideas you have.
Devils Ink Tattoo
Devils Ink is a flash and custom design studio established in 2002 and has since become a staple in the Melbourne tattoo scene. Specialising in traditional and street-style tattoos, look no further for your next American traditional-inspired sleeve or custom tattoo; especially when you’ve got four reputable, award-winning artists ready to help you out.
The Scarlet Temple
Known for their highly distinctive and detailed blackwork designs, the crew at The Scarlet Temple isn’t afraid to get creative. Gigantic witchcraft-inspired pieces, along with fable and nightmare-sh designs are found here courtesy of Baba Vešterka, one of the resident artists. Hit this tattoo parlour up for a unique piece you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Want more artsy things to do in Melbourne? Check out all the best exhibitions to check out this month.
Image Credit: Eldad Carin