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Hand with gloves inking arm skin

12 Best Tattoo Artists & Shops in Sydney

The streets of Sydney are filled with the best tattoo artists, which makes choosing a tattoo studio just as important as nailing the design. The art of tattooing transcends age, cultural and gender gaps – according to the latest numbers, almost 19% of all Australians sport ink of some kind. It is fastidious, unforgiving, and painfully permanent (if you needed reminding) so investing time researching who and where you want to get inked will be well worth your time.

Best Tattoo Artists & Shops in Sydney

Whiel you could try all the dozens of licensed tattoo parlours in Sydney, you could read this list and let us point you in the direction of some of Sydney’s best parlours, staffed by the best tattoo artists in the business. When it comes to getting a tattoo Sydney has got you covered. Whether you’re after traditional Japanese designs, some funky dotwork or a black-and-grey portrait that would rival any painting, we’ll show you the best tattoo Sydney has to offer. Here are the best tattoo artists in Sydney.

Tattoo Rosies street view
Tattoo Rosies | Image: Supplied

1. Tattoo Rosies

  • Address: 246 Riley St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
  • Hours: Tues-Sat: 11am-6pm
  • Phone: +61 92110066

When it comes to traditional tattoos in Sydney, no one does it better than the good folks over at Tattoo Rosies. The Surry Hills institution is home to some of the best artists in the game, dishing out tough stickers across three levels. The shop is one of the busiest in Sydney, so while the artists do take walk-ins, it’s always recommended that you make a booking, particularly if you are after specific artists. Out picks of the bunch have to Emily Jane, Alexis Hepburn and the legendary Ben Hastings.

Horse art tattoo on a man's back
Pharaoh Horses tattoo completed by Thanks Tattoo artist Gummy Johnson | Image: Instagram

2. Thanks Tattoo

  • Address: Basement/80 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
  • Hours: Tues: 11am-7pm, Wed: 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 11am-7pm
  • Phone: (02) 9360 0401

Located just on Darlinghurst’s vibrant Oxford Street, Thanks Tattoo is a true artist’s den. Sitting below street level, the Sydney tattoo shop is home to a wide array of fantastic local artists and guests, the majority of which focus on American traditional design. Resident artist Gummy Johnson is revered for black and white trad-pieces, with common motifs like the Pahorah Horses often featuring predominatly. If you’re looking for something bold and heavy-lined, Thanks Tattoo has you covered.

hunter fox street view
Hunter & Fox | Image: Hunter & Fox

3. Hunter & Fox

  • Address: 422 Botany Rd, Beaconsfield, Sydney NSW 2015
  • Phone: +61 2 9341 2527
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm

An affinity for traditional styles, bold colours and old-school charm, have earned the crew at Hunter & Fox a dedicated following of ink-enthusiasts. If you’ve got the urge but still unsure of a design, lean on the inspiration provided by the extensive artwork on the wall and the decades of cumulative experience of the resident tattoo artists to help you settle on a piece that’s perfect for you. Walk-ins are encouraged, and there’s on-site laser removal if you need to make some room for your next tattoo.

the darling parlour interior
The Darling Parlour | Image: The Darling Parlour

4. The Darling Parlour

  • Address: 4/13 Beattie Street, Balmain, Sydney NSW 2041
  • Phone: +61 2 9555 6316
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

One of Sydney’s most aesthetically pleasing tattoo studios, The Darling Parlour is split over two levels, flooded with natural light and stacked with artwork and artefacts to inspire your next design. A top-notch team of resident artists, as well as a revolving roster of visiting international talent, excel in most styles of tattooing including traditional Americana, fine line, dotwork and Oriental. Neighbours Fade Laser are also on site offering industry-leading tattoo removal for those who’ve had a change of heart.

tiger tattoo on a woman's back
Authentink | Image: Authentink

5. Authentink

  • Address: Suite 306 4-14 Buckingham St Surry Hills, Sydney NSW 2010
  • Phone: +61 2 8399 1973
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-7pm

This Surry Hills tattoo studio is the culmination of 25 years of world travel and dedication on the part of founder and Japanese Irezumi master Kian “Horisumi” Forreal. The folks at Authentink are undeniably masters of traditionalist Japanese style tattoo, but they are far from one trick ponies. Their diverse and accomplished line-up of resident and guest artists can create nearly any style of authentic tattooing from black and grey realism to dotwork and geometric, neo-traditional and ethnographic tattoos. The walls are bright and filled with art to inspire your next piece.

tiger tattoo on a man's back
Little Tokyo | Image: Little Tokyo

6. Little Tokyo

  • Address: Suite 505, 342 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW 2010
  • Phone: +61 2 8068 4912
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-7pm

This hidden tattoo parlour overlooking Central Station is a veritable treasure trove of art, memorabilia and tattoo relics from the world over jammed into shelves and corners throughout the bright and eclectic studio. As the name suggests, this Sydney tattoo studio has an affinity for Japanese-style tattooing, yet they boast a talented staff capable of handling all tattoo styles. An appointment is your best bet at this temple of art, but with up to 5 artists working simultaneously Little Tokyo does its best to accommodate walk-ins if you just can’t wait to get inked.

Lighthouse Tattoo interior
Lighthouse Tattoo | Image: Lighthouse Tattoo

7. Lighthouse Tattoo

  • Address: 1 Pemberton Street, Botany, Sydney NSW 2019
  • Phone: +61 2 9316 4565
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm

Twelve artists, each a master of their chosen specialty of tattoo style, make up the team of Lighthouse Tattoo in Botany in South-Eastern Sydney. This tattoo artists sticks almost exclusively to custom pieces, taking your ideas and lining you up with the most suitable tattoo artist to transform that idea into a permanent piece of art. Whether it’s traditional Japanese, realistic portraiture, illustrative, traditional or script the folks at Lighthouse Tattoo will have you walking out with a piece that’s distinctive and unique.

Stone Heart interior
Stone Heart | Image: Stefan

8. Stone Heart

  • Address: 1/77 William St Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW, 2010
  • Phone: +61 2 8095 0100
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-7pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 2pm-7pm

With five resident tattoo artists, as well as a rotating roster of international guest talent, Darlinghurst tattoo studio Stone Heart cover any style of tattoo you desire, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth. Just down the road from Town Hall, these guys are strictly committed to going above and beyond when it comes to your tattoo experience. They walk you through everything from initial design consultations right through to aftercare, all while adhering to strict hygiene and stellar customer service standards.

Tora Sumi neon shop sign
Tora Sumi | Image: Tora Sumi

9. Tora Sumi

  • Address: 381 Darling Street, Balmain, Sydney NSW 2041
  • Phone: +61 2 9818 5045
  • Hours: Mon 10am-5pm, Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm

Light, bright and sharp, Tora Sumi is a contemporary tattoo space with a carefully appointed layout that would rival any art gallery. A dozen of Sydney’s top tattoo artists are on hand to discuss your next design, whether it’s something unique & customised you’ve been dreaming up for months, or a spur of the moment piece you can’t live without. Smaller tattoos are done in the main room, while larger pieces (or ink that requires a little more privacy) go down in the private VIP room.

elephant art tattoo on a woman's back
Kaleidoscope | Image: Kaleidoscope

10. Kaleidoscope

  • Address: 255 Bondi Rd, Bondi, Sydney NSW 2026
  • Phone: +61 2 9365 0167
  • Hours: Sun-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm

Some seriously talented artists grace the chairs at Bondi Beach’s Kaleidoscope. Whether it’s a member of their impressive, award-winning team of resident artists or an iconic and accomplished international artist filling a guest spot, these guys have you covered for any kind of tattoo or piercing you can dream up. Each of their tattoo artists boasts no less than 10 years’ experience under their belt, adhere to stringent hygiene standards, and are dedicated to providing a friendly, respectful and relaxed experience for everyone who walks through their door.

Tattoo of a woman's face inside a bear's mouth on a man's back
Monarch Tattoo | Image: Monarch Tattoo

11. Monarch Tattoo

  • Address: 207 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000
  • Phone: +61 2 9279 0085
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

With one studio in Liverpool and another smack-bang in the middle of the city, Monarch Tattoo (formerly Royal Tattoo) offer tattooing services as well as laser removal and supplies. Monarch houses a laid-back, professional vibe and their artists ink some of the most compelling and technically complex black and grey realism tattoos in Sydney. If you’ve ever been interested in this style, born out of Californian prisons and mastered in high-end tattoo parlours around the world, it’s well worth paying these guys a visit.

Bondi Ink street view
Bondi Ink | Image: Bondi Ink

12. Bondi Ink

  • Address: 2/72-76 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, Sydney NSW 2026
  • Phone: +61 2 9365 5101
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-8pm

What list of the best tattoo shops in Sydney would be complete without Bondi Ink? It’s not just the hit reality TV show that makes Bondi Ink one of Sydney’s most sought-after studios, the crew behind the iconic shop are some of the best tattoo artists in the business. Be sure to book a consultation well in advance – the demand to get inked here, as you can imagine, is high.

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Sydney Tattoo Artists FAQ

How much does a tattoo cost in Sydney?

The price of a tattoo can range wildly depending on factors like size, colour, style, location, and details. Expect to spend anywhere from $125 to $1500 or more plus tip.

Who is the best tattoo artist in all of Australia?

Some of the best tattoo artists in Australia are as follows: Joe Metrix and Beau Parkman of Victims of Ink, Kian Forreal of Authentink, Nat G. of Good Luck Tattoo, and pretty much anyone who works at Dynamic Tattoo in Melbourne.

How much do you tip on a $1000 tattoo?

The general rule of thumb is that you tip 20% on your tattoo, regardless of size and cost. Hence, you should tip at least $200 on a $1000 tattoo.