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The 5 best spots to get a tattoo in Glasgow

A recent uptick in all things hipster has fueled a wider demand for tattoos in Glasgow: here are the top local parlours.
Tattoo parlours
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Niki Boyle |

Did you know that Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of the former British prime minister Winston Churchill, was one of the few women in high society with a tattoo? Her ink of choice was a snake that wrapped around her left wrist. Back in the day, the skin art was a sign of wealth as folks were forced to travel to Asia to get a tattoo.

The culture surrounding inkage eventually shifted its focus to the sport that dominates national attention. A display of devotion for all things football, getting a tattoo in Glasgow used to conjure mental images of shirtless Rangers and Celtic fans with club crests marked on their upper arms and guys standing outside dodgy pubs with "LOVE" and "HATE" crudely self-inked on their knuckles.

With the general current uptick in hipster-ism and the wide breadth of stylish and reputable tattoo parlours opening across the city to exploit the surge in demand, there's never been a better time to get some tribal art, a gnarly skull or a scantily clad femme indelibly (and painfully) scorched into your flesh – an experience that will likely be more bearable if tackled after two (or four) drinks from the best bars in town.

Remember kids: getting inked up might sound like a funner activity than a trip around the city's museums... but a tattoo's not just for Christmas. With that in mind: check out some of our favourite local tattoo parlours, several of which also offer removal and cover-up services.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Glasgow

Where to get a tattoo in Glasgow

Shopping, Tattoos and piercings

Kaya Tattoo Studio

icon-location-pin Partick

Keeping denizens of Partick and beyond inked up for many a year, Kaya is the studio of one of Glasgow’s most respected tattoo artists, Paul Hamilton and his team of dedicated needle handlers. No design is too complicated and the customer service and care is second to none. The staff also run an online store selling tattoo-inspired and related clothes, accessories and gift items.

Shopping, Tattoos and piercings

Forevermore Tattoo Parlour

icon-location-pin City Centre

Its name a helpful reminder that you should really be really, really sure before you go getting your favourite superhero inked on your you-know-what, Forevermore is a custom tattoos and piercings parlour with an Americana feel, opened by David 'El Gordo' Pozo and Simon 'The Pieman' Thursby in 2009 (they also have a shop in London). It’s been been doing a roaring trade ever since, thanks to the fine work of resident and international guest artists who’re available either by appointment or on a walk-up if you’re lucky.

Shopping, Tattoos and piercings

Terry’s Tattoo Studio

icon-location-pin Merchant City

Tattooing the good people of Glasgow since long before it became fashionable, Terry’s was started up by—you guessed it—Terry (Wrigley) in 1965, before passing on to his son Stuart and now Stuart’s daughters Nicola and Natalie. So you can be confident that you’re in good hands, whether you’re getting a house specialty or a custom design of your own choosing. Interesting fact: Terry established the International Tattoo Artist’s Association in the 1970s.

Shopping, Tattoos and piercings

Lucky Cat Tattoo Parlour

icon-location-pin West End

Opened in 2010, Lucky Cat counts at least one celeb among its loyal customers in the form of Biffy Clyro’s taps-aff-tastic frontman Simon Neil who, as a regular of resident self-styled "gentleman tattooist" Kevin Younger for many years, has had a lot of his extensive array of body art done here. Your go-to for cutting edge, contemporary ink, they don’t do any standard designs, just custom stuff bespoke to each individual customer, world famous rock star or not.

Shopping, Tattoos and piercings

Otzi Tattoos

icon-location-pin City Centre

"Good tattoos aren’t cheap, cheap tattoos aren’t good," goes the mantra at Otzi Tattoos, one of the newest quality ink studios in Glasgow, opened 2012. Expect one of their speciality black and grey/colour realism or Japanese tattoos to sting your wallet as much as your skin. But likewise expect to be very satisfied with your experience, from the very cool vintage Victorian-style waiting area to your fine body art design inked by owner Martyn McMahon or one of his similarly skilled staff. If that’s not enough to remind you of the experience, they sell stylish T-shirts too.

Feeling a drink after that act of bravery?

The Flying Duck, Clubs, Restaurants, Cheap, Glasgow
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Bars and pubs

The best pubs in Glasgow

From brilliant old boozers paying accidental homage to yesteryear, to trendy drinking dens with one eye on the craft beer brewing out the back complementing food as good as that at Glasgow's best restaurants, there's certainly a fair bit of variety to Glasgow pubs and bars. 

More to explore