Culture, Travel & Sport

Inked: Four impressive tattoo studios from emerging Europe

Twelve per cent of all adults in the European Union now have at least one tattoo, with the number estimated to be more than twice as high for people in their 20s and 30s, according to recent data shared by the European Commission.

Growth in the popularity of tattoos in recent years has been particularly strong in Central and Eastern Europe.

In Poland alone, 900,000 tattoos are being inked onto arms, backs, legs, necks and just about every other body part you can think of each year.

In the major cities of Western Europe, even less impressive examples of body art can cost many hundreds of euros, often thousands for larger pieces.

Across emerging Europe meanwhile, tattoos remain notably more affordable without compromising quality or safety.

In fact, there are now countless of tattoo artists working in the region who’s craft is truly deserving of being called art.

Here are just four such tattoo artists and studios from the region.

Nasza Tattoo Shop, Wrocław, Poland

Joanna Świrska’s art stands out with its nature-inspired aesthetics. Her surrealist work finds inspiration in nature, with plants, forest animals and fungi being some of her favourite subjects.

Tattoos by the artist are so desired she has now amassed more than 154,000 followers on Instagram, and 30,200 on the Nasza account.

Świrska employs seven full-time artists and regularly hosts guests. The studio is so popular that bookings need to be made many months in advance.

To expand the successful endeavour, the tattooist has established her own tattoo retreat village, Amanita, located in the picturesque Bóbr Valley Landscape Park in southwestern Poland.

The one-of-a-kind spot aims to foster a “creative space focused, above all, on activities related to tattooing,” while in a “closer to nature and relaxed atmosphere”.

6:19 Tattoo, Kyiv, Ukraine


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Ulyana Nesheva is one of the most internationally recognised Ukrainian tattoo artists thanks to her unique and minimalist style of tattooing.

Nasheva’s personal Instagram account has amassed 122,000 followers in part as a result of her work being featured in several domestic and international publications dedicated to celebrating body art.

Her 6:19 tattoo business has grown to be so successful she now employs six local artists.

Just like its founder, her tattoo parlour has also attracted the attention of publications such as the Ukrainian renditions of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Insider, and the Kyiv Insider.

Interest in 6:19 has been driven not just by the quality of inking that goes on within its walls but also due to its unusually minimalistic interior design, which makes the studio truly stand out, not just in Ukraine but internationally.


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Black House Tattoo Salon, Prague, Czechia

Prague offers a thriving tattoo scene which enjoys considerable popularity amongst locals and visitors alike.

Situated in the heart of the city, the Black House Tattoo salon is one example of the quality and diversity of body art Prague-based-tattooists have to offer.

Traditional Croatian Tattoos

This Zagreb-based online shop caters to those who may not be ready to commit to a permanent tattoo.

Instead, these realistic-looking temporary tattoos are made to last up to seven days and inspired by the style of traditional Croatian tattoos.

Tattoos were particularly widespread amongst Catholic Croatians inhabiting present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period of Ottoman control of the region.

Girls from these communities would be given tattoos with patterns on their arms and legs in order to prevent them forcefully being taken from their homes by Ottoman forces.

Now the practice is being revived by a number of Croatian tattoo artists, as well as the Traditional Croatian Tattoos venture which offers an even more widely accessible method of preserving these culturally significant tattoo patterns.

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