You'd be hard-pressed to sit on a Sydney beach and not see some fresh ink swinging about. And with the latest reports highlighting that 1 in 5 Australians now sport a tattoo, Sydney has fast-become a thriving hub of incredible tattoo artists — which makes choosing your tattoo studio to get inked, just as essential as nailing your design.
Because when it comes to getting inked, Sydney has got you covered, in spades. Whether you're after a custom piece, unique dotwork or a funky portrait, we're here to point you in the direction of some of Sydney's best tattoo parlours — ensuring your permanent work of skin art is in the safest and most skilled of hands.
In no particular order, here's our pick of the bunch; with 7 of the best tattoo studios in Sydney to get your first (or next) ink masterpiece.
The dedicated inkslingers at Authentink are bonafide masters of classic Japanese tattoo styles – but they are far from one-trick ponies. This bustling Surry Hills tattoo studio is built on the culmination of some 25 years of tattoo mastery, on the part of founder and Japanese Irezumi master Kian “Horisumi” Forreal.
With a diverse and accomplished line-up of resident and guest artists, Authentink is sure to render any style of inspiring tattoo to your total satisfaction.
2. Lighthouse Tattoo
Botany plays home to Sydney's summit for custom tattoo pieces, Lighthouse Tattoo. With 12 seasoned tattoo artists, each a master of their chosen specialty craft – Lighthouse take your wildest one-of-a-kind ideas and places you with their most suitable expert to bring them to life. Because no matter what kind of distinctive technique or custom style you want to get your tattoo in — they do it all, from traditional Japanese, realistic portraiture, to scripts and illustrative.
3. Bondi Ink
It'd be tough to compile a list of the best tattoo shops in Sydney without paying homage to the reality show, Bondi Ink. As one of the city's most sought-after tattoo parlours, the team behind the hit Netflix show are the cream of the local tattoo crop. Versatile designers, laid back vibes — all with the world-class backdrop of Bondi Beach. So what’s not to love?
As you can imagine, demand is high. So if you're looking to inked here, be sure to book in your consult well in advance to avoid disappointment.
4. Stone Heart
With six resident tattoo artists, plus a rotating roster of exciting guest talent, renowned Darlinghurst tattoo studio Stone Heart will satisfy any style of tattoo you desire — whether it's your first or ninety-ninth.
The Stone Heart team strictly commit to going above and beyond when it comes to your ultimate tattoo experience. From walking you through initial design consultations, right through to aftercare — they dish out top-notch customer service at every stage of your tattoo journey.
5. The Darling Parlour
This family-run studio in the scenic suburb of Balmain, The Darling Parlour, pumps out incredible old-school tattoos in classic American style. A superb, spacious studio split over two levels — streaming with natural light and hand-painted signs, it's undoubtedly one of Sydney's most aesthetically pleasing tattoo parlours. Why not get inked in style, right?
On the other end of the spectrum, they also serve up top-quality onsite laser tattoo removal. Though we doubt you'll be resorting to that with these guys at the helm — boasting fresh designs, friendly vibes and exceptional tattooing skills.
Bondi Beach's Kaleidoscope plays home to some seriously talented tattoo artists. So relax and settle into the chair of these ink masters, as each of the tattoo pros boasts no less than 10 years of experience — having you completely covered for any tattoo style or piercing you can dream up.
With a friendly, dedicated vibe and always adhering to the most stringent hygiene standards — Kaleidoscope has mastered the client experience for absolutely everyone who walks through the door.
7. Hunter & Fox
You’ve got the tattoo urge, but still unsure of a design? Step into and Hunter & Fox and lean on the inspirational artwork on the walls. With an attraction toward traditional styles, bold colours and old-school charm, the notable Hunter & Fox crew have earned a devout following of Sydney ink-enthusiasts.
With decades of collective experience, they house six resident artists, whose specialties range from neo-traditional, black and grey, through to fine line and colourful — and will no doubt help you settle on a piece that’s just perfect for you.
No matter which Sydney studio takes your pick, we've no doubt that there's a studio with the skills to accommodate your dream tattoo.
Be sure to do some research. Scope out the landscape. Get some inspiration. And best of all — get inked. Good luck friends!