Due to the incredibly diverse expat community and emerging local artists, Bali has steadily become a fashion and art mecca of this part of the world, tattoos are a prime example.

Bali, with its ethereal landscapes, vibrant culture, and world-renowned surfing spots, has always been a magnet for those seeking an escape from the mundane.

As an expat who’s called this tropical paradise home for several years, one of the unique aspects of Balinese society I’ve become fascinated with is the prevalence of tattoo shops. It’s intriguing to observe how deeply the art of tattooing has woven itself into the vibrant fabric of this island paradise.

The amalgamation of cultural influences, artistic heritage, and a thriving tourism industry has resulted in an environment where tattoo shops in Bali are as ubiquitous as the island’s iconic rice terraces. Here’s why…

Custom Balinese tattoo in a Bali tattoo shop

Cultural Significance

Tattooing is deeply ingrained in the cultural narrative of the Indonesian archipelago. Indigenous tribes like the Dayak in Borneo have a rich history of tattooing that dates back centuries, each intricate design telling a unique story of rites of passage, courage, and spiritual beliefs. While Bali, with its predominant Hindu culture, doesn’t have a native tattooing tradition, it has embraced this art form with the same ardor as it has absorbed other cultural influences.

Couple on motorbike on beach with Tattoos in Bali

Tourism and Tattoos

Bali’s thriving tourism industry plays a pivotal role in the proliferation of tattoo shops. For many tourists, getting a tattoo in Bali has become an integral part of their travel ritual – a permanent souvenir, so to speak, of their life-changing experience. The variety of visitors, from the adventurous backpacker to the luxury resort dweller, has created a demand for a diverse range of tattoo styles, from traditional to contemporary, and everything in between.

The Expat Influence

The expat community has significantly contributed to the boom in Bali’s tattoo scene. With many artists among their ranks, they’ve helped establish Bali as a hub for creative expression, including tattoo art. Tattoo shops owned by expats offer a variety of international styles, from American traditional to Japanese Irezumi, broadening the tattoo landscape on the island.

Bali Tattoo Shops for beach fashion

Quality and Affordability

Tattoo shops in Bali are renowned for their high standards of cleanliness, professional artists, and, importantly, affordability. The cost of getting a tattoo in Bali is often much lower than in Western countries, making it an attractive proposition for both locals and tourists alike. Yet, this affordability does not compromise the quality of work. Bali has become a breeding ground for talented tattoo artists who produce stunning pieces, making the island an exciting destination for tattoo enthusiasts globally.

Spiritual Symbolism

Bali, known as the “Island of the Gods,” is imbued with a profound sense of spirituality. This spiritual underpinning often translates into the tattoos people choose to get here. From the protective Hindu deity Barong to mandala patterns signifying the universe’s interconnectedness, the tattoos often carry deep symbolic meanings. Thus, the act of tattooing in Bali transforms from a mere aesthetic enhancement to a deeply personal, spiritual journey. Many travelers find solace in the island’s spiritual practices, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking in the serene surroundings, which is why so many travelers make Bali their home.

The prevalence of tattoo shops in Bali is a testament to the island’s continuous evolution as a cultural melting pot. The rich tapestry of influences, combined with a thriving tourism industry and the inherent artistic and spiritual nature of the Balinese people, has created the perfect environment for tattoo art to flourish. And for those of us fortunate enough to call Bali home, it’s just another facet of the island’s charm that keeps us endlessly intrigued.

Tattoo artist on a motorcycle in Bali

The Best Bali Tattoo Shops

Indeed, Bali has become a hub for tattoo enthusiasts, and it’s home to several internationally recognized and highly rated tattoo shops. Here are some of the most famous ones:

Gods of Ink Tattoo Studio: Located in the heart of Kuta, Gods of Ink is renowned for its skilled artists who specialize in a variety of styles. They’re also praised for maintaining high hygiene standards, and the studio itself is beautifully designed, providing a comfortable atmosphere for customers.

Two Guns Tattoo: This Australian-owned studio, also located in Bali’s bustling Kuta, is one of the island’s most respected. They’re known for their excellent customer service, highly experienced artists, and adherence to Australian health standards.

Paradise Ink Tattoo Bali: Nestled in the thriving Legian area, Paradise Ink has a team of talented artists who excel in both traditional Indonesian and contemporary Western tattoo styles. They’ve won awards for their work, adding to their well-deserved reputation.

Mason’s Ink: With locations in both Seminyak and Kuta, Mason’s Ink is a favorite among expats, tourists, and locals alike. They’re celebrated for their attention to detail, artistic versatility, and strict hygiene practices.

Luxury Ink Bali Tattoo Studio: Located in Seminyak, Luxury Ink is known for its luxurious, comfortable studio and top-notch artists. They offer a broad range of styles, with each artist having their unique specialty.

Charlie Rose Tattoo: This Canggu-based studio has a strong following due to its experienced, international team of artists. They’re also known for their friendly service and clean, comfortable environment.

Kink Tattoo Bali: Situated in Seminyak, Kink Tattoo is famous for its use of vegan ink and ethical approach to tattooing. The studio is loved for its custom pieces and a wide array of styles, from traditional Balinese to realism.

Bali Tattoo Shops- The Best Studios and Artists | Bali Kit

These are just a few of the many top-rated tattoo studios in Bali. Whether you’re seeking a traditional Indonesian design, a photorealistic portrait, or a bespoke piece of body art, the skilled artists in Bali’s numerous tattoo studios can bring your vision to life.


The Bali Guide