Paprika powder, a bottle of pálinka and maybe even a shirt from the famous Hard Rock Café – these are the typical souvenirs the average tourists take home with them. Why not buck the trend and get something that is more offbeat, more personal, and more permanent? You might have already figured it out, we’re talking about tattoos. As Budapest is characterised by a flourishing tattoo scene, there are countless tattoo parlours all over town, whose artists are eager for getting their artworks under your skin. To make sure the majestic turul bird you want to be placed on your thigh won’t end up looking like a plucked chicken, we created a list of the most reputable parlours in Budapest.
Established in 2008 by the experienced tattooist Gyula Szilvasi, Invictus has become such a popular tattoo company that another studio was opened five years later in Berlin, Germany. Always focussed on enhancing the reputation of Hungarian tattoo art, only extremely skilled artists get the chance to work at Invictus, which is also why many of them are graphic designers as well. A customised tattoo tailored to the client’s wishes is a matter of course! Nevertheless, picking a predesigned motive is another option, especially when you’re short of time and want to get inked in a walk-in session. Other services Invictus offers are piercings, permanent make-up, and tattoo removals.
Specialties: Since there are currently 12 different tattoo artists working at Invictus, you can go for many different styles. No matter if you’re into realistic, old school, new school or geometric tats, there’s always someone whose style matches your preferences!
Dark Art Tattoo
If you want to decorate your body with tattoos in an authentically Hungarian style, Dark Art Tattoo is your place to go to, as its founder Zsolt Sárközi is said to have invented it together with his skilled team during the 90s, thus having laid the foundation for Hungarian tattoo art in general. At Dark Art, tattoos are conceived as the most ancient form of expressing one’s individuality, thus the team of nine talented artists always gives its best when it comes to designing a motive and tattooing it onto a client’s body. Their concept proved so successful that Dark Art Tattoo was able to go international in 2015 and enrich Germany’s tattoo scene with a premise in Düsseldorf.
Specialties: Although you can also get colourful traditionals or artsy water-colour experiments, Dark Art is especially famous for their hyper-realistic tattoos. If you feel like honouring your beloved pet, actor, relative or even significant other with an ink portrait on your body, you know where to make an appointment!
Feel like spicing up your shopping tour at Westend shopping mall with a tattoo? Good thing they got Westend Tattoo! At this parlour, you can get inked or pierced or even both! Naturally, you can present your own ideas as foundation of your future tattoo, but if it doesn’t necessarily have to be a unique motive, you can also pick one from their gallery.
Specialities: All three Westend tattoo artists are particularly skilled when it comes to realistic tats, be it in black and white or colourful. Adam Balogh, for example, has been working at Westend for more than 10 years, thus being familiar with almost every tattoo style, so although realistic tats are his favourites, you could still ask for cartoon, Polynesian-style or dotwork artworks.
Named after its founder, István Alattyáni aka Tyutyu, Tyutyu Tattoo can pride itself on a competent team consisting of both renowned tattoo veterans and emerging artists. Your motive of choice can either be a wanna-do previously designed by one of the tattooists or else a custom design tat. Whatever you decide for, be aware that you might have to wait a couple of weeks until you can finally get inked – there are usually many clients on the waiting list!
Specialties: As some tattooists at Tyutyu are highly influenced by the contemporary Budapest art scene, lovers of comparatively new tattoo trends such as minimalistic linework and geometric motives will get their money worth. Nonetheless, their realistic tattoos are also definitely worth showing off with!
Represented with two premises is Renegade Tattoo, one of the most frequented tattoo parlours in Budapest. Customers are drawn in not only because of the studio’s design in the style of 50s Americana and its welcoming atmosphere, but also because of the extremely skilled artists working there. Currently, Renegade employs six tattoo talents specialising in different stylistic fields, hence being able to cater the needs of every target group.
Specialties: As already mentioned above, the Renegade team consists of six tattooists, some of them being gifted allrounders, others true experts of a specific style. Traditional old-school artworks, realistic tats, dotworks, minimalistic or geometric motives – it’s all possible here.
Queen of Hearts Tattoo
Who run the world? Girls! Our final pick is Queen of Hearts, a tattoo parlour with an all-female tattooist squad, all of them being highly talented and having their own particular style. Before actually getting inked, each customer will be advised properly by the chosen artist with regard to the size, design and placement of the tattoo to guarantee outstanding results. If you want to get your first tattoo, check them out and make an appointment – you’ll be amazed by their gentleness during the process as well as by the artwork itself!
Specialities: Each of the tattooists has her very own style, so their skills basically cover every existing direction. If you want a colourful traditional, check out Florina, if you like delicate linework, Mimi should be your choice. Kata is an amazing allrounder, just like Eszter, Barbi’s tats are simplistic and artsy at the same time, and animal motives are the specialty of Alexandra.