TLDR? If you want to get some new ink while in Medellín, there are some great tattoo studios to check out!
The streets of Medellin are flooded with art, with some of the most eye-catching pieces being body art. Tattoos have become so popular, in fact, that the city even hosts an annual Tattoo Expo called Expotatuaje Medellín.
Below is a round-up of the best tattoo studios in Medellin for ink enthusiasts visiting or living in the city. No matter what style you’re looking for, most of these shops will have an artist that specializes in that technique.
Hybrido Tattoo Shop
Situated above a bustling street in Poblado is Hybrido Tattoo Shop. The cozy studio is lined with vintage decor and has an assortment of oriental tattoo designs along the walls.
Not new to the neighborhood, Hybrido is most known for its traditional, oriental, and blackwork designs. The owner has strong principles about personalized tattoos and said he will never copy the work of another artist.
So, if you’re looking to get an exact replica of a piece you found on Pinterest, you might want to go elsewhere. However, if you want a unique tattoo that nobody else has, then this is your shop.
If you’re in town visiting or want a smaller-sized tattoo, Hybrido does accept walk-ins, however for bigger pieces, you will want to make an appointment through WhatsApp.
A deposit is required to make an appointment, which is also the minimum cost for a tattoo. The shop gets a 50/50 mix of foreigners and locals so almost all of their tattooers can speak some English.
One of the household names in the community, Opio Studio Tattoo has been in the tattoo business since 1998. They have created a brand around the grunge vibe, decorating their stores with their neon purple ‘Opio’ signs.
This is another versatile studio and they offer everything from tribal to realism to color. I recommend scrolling through their Instagram to see the wide variety of techniques they offer.
Like the other studios that have been around for a while, they have grown to more than one location.
Choose from their Envigado, Poblado or Laureles location depending on which one is more convenient for you. Appointments should be made through WhatsApp.
Perla Negra or ‘Black Perl’ is truly a hidden gem. Set in the heart of Laureles, this hipster shop began from humble beginnings. Owner Jonathan Henao has been tattooing for ten years and started his business in a tiny room at a mall.
He has since grown his brand into a thriving two-story studio. A modern studio with lots of windows and beautiful art, Perla Negra is a calming place to get a tattoo or to wait for someone else to get a tattoo.
Although their main customer base is locals, they are foreigner-friendly and have three artists that speak English. The studio has seven artists that specialize in different styles, but their most popular tattoo techniques are blackwork and black and gray realism.
If you want to get a tattoo here they recommend making an appointment, but they do accept walk-ins. Thursday is their busiest day, however, so if you are looking to get a spontaneous tattoo you might want to pick another time.
Studio 13 is one of a few tattoo studios in the city that has grown into a franchise. The popular brand has three locations and employs several talented artists, some of whom have participated in the Medellin Tattoo Expo.
If you’re looking for a studio that offers a wide range of techniques, Studio 13 should be on your list of shops to explore. They have artists specializing in shadows, realism, shadows, color, color realism, oriental, traditional, neo-traditional, freehand, blackwork, black and gray, and cover-ups.
In addition to their wide selection of technique offerings, they prioritize the process of personalizing and developing distinct designs that fit their customer.
Scheduling at Studio 13 can be done through their easy-to-use website, social media or WhatsApp.
No Medellin tattoo studio list is complete without Sailors and Mermaids. Established in 2008, creator Felix Barrientos has made his shop a household name in the city. The Medellin native has been in the tattooing game for 22 years, and has worked to change the stereotypes about tattoo parlors.
Forget everything you have ever pictured about a tattoo studio. Sailors and Mermaid’s newest location is a bright, spacious studio with large windows and glass doors.
Thoughtfully designed by industrial architects, Barrientos explained he wanted his shops to feel inviting. Hung on the walls is mostly eastern art, one of the studio’s many specialties.
If you choose to get inked up here make sure you come in with an open mind. Barrientos said they are not shy about saying no to an idea if they feel the concept won’t work as a tattoo. In the case of Sailors and Mermaids, your best bet is to trust the experts.
Due to their popularity, there is more than one Sailors and Mermaids location—one in Poblado and one in Manila. Both shops accept walk-in appointments as long as the design is simple enough to be drawn up in 30 minutes and if there is an expert available.
They’re used to receiving customers from all over the world and have several artists that speak English.
La Luna Studio is an up-and-coming studio in the Laureles neighborhood. Owned by Chilean artist Josefina Hartard, this dreamy little shop offers tattooing, piercing, and merchandise.
La Luna is unique because it is not only a tattoo studio but sells products from Hartard’s very own clothing brand. Created in 2008, Lagrimal, is the creative vision of the tattoo artist and visual designer Titi Agudelo.
While the shop offers various techniques from different artists, Hartard is known for her signature style of color tattoos. Her delicate designs resemble paintings without any dark outlines. In addition to color, blackwork and dotwork are the most popular styles at La Luna.
If you want to make an appointment it is best to do so in advance through WhatsApp or Instagram, however, walk-ins are accepted if there is an artist free.
If you don’t have an appointment, I don’t advise going on Saturday, as it is their busiest day of the week. Almost all of the artists at the shop can speak a little English, so even if you aren’t fluent in Spanish they can make your vision come to life.
Their clothing graphics incorporate symbolism and are done in the style of traditional tattoos. Whether you are getting inked-up or waiting on someone, I recommend browsing this shop’s cool collection.