Amsterdam is the biggest and most beloved city in The Netherlands — home to so much great food, art, and architecture (not to mention the wonderful bookshops). With great art comes great artists, which is why the tattoo artists in Amsterdam are some of the most imaginative and talented in all of Europe.
The Finest Tattoo Artists in Amsterdam
From neo traditional and old school artists to fine line and surrealist work, these are the best tattoo artists in Amsterdam.
Note: You may notice that a solid number of these artists are from Black Rose Tattoo Studio. This is purely because that studio is a cut above the rest, and is home to some of the best tattoo artists in Amsterdam. The pedigree there is ridiculous.
Owner of The 9 Muses, an amazing tattoo shop, Bodine Ester is one of the most electrifying tattoo artists in Amsterdam.
Bodine is an expert at tattooing bleak, eerie, and abstract pieces, as well as twisted takes on pop culture characters and classic tattooing themes. While she mostly tattoos in black and grey, she also handles colour in a very unique way.
She has a true knack for realistic portrait pieces, but her stand-out work is definitely the larger, denser, bolder pieces that lean on horror and surrealism. She often blends inspiration from old school American and Japanese styles of tattooing, but these pieces remain distinctly and recognisably hers.
Not all of her work is dark, however (far from it). Many of her pieces explore softer, cuter themes, but it’s the darker stuff that really boasts her unique eye, hand, and imagination. You don’t come across many tattoo artists with this kind of style. We’re lucky to have Bodine, easily one of the finest tattoo artists in Amsterdam.
Katya Slonenko (Slon Salon)
Owner of the wonderful Slon Salon tattoo shop in Amsterdam, Katya Slonenko is truly a cut above the rest. Slonenko has a style that’s difficult to put into words. Bright and colourful, it pops with vibrant, almost cartoonish joy.
While she excels at pieces depicting cute, cuddly creatures, her stand-out work is that which pays homage to cityscapes, streets, and architecture.
Slonenko has an eye for miniature landscapes: an Amsterdam street, a rural country home, an iconic skyline. These tattoos are like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Katya Slonenko is one of the best tattoo artists in Amsterdam because of the love she pours into art pieces that celebrate the world around us, both natural and man-made.
Holly (Slon Salon)
Also tattooing out of Slon Salon is Holly, another one of the best tattoo artists in Amsterdam. Holly is an artist with a great admiration for colour, pop culture, and all things cute and sweet. Many of her best tattoos are inspired by anime and video games.
If you want to show your love for Studio Ghibli, Pokemon, or Sailor Moon, you’ll be amazed by what Holly will deliver for you. If you simply want a cute tattoo that pops with pastel colours and soft lines — one that shows how much you love cats, flowers, and all things sweet, you need to pay Holly a visit.
Hers are original pieces that pay homage to the brighter side of pop culture and our real world. I can’t get enough of them.
Working out of The 9 Muses (owned by Bodine Ester, above), Heather Cheung is another bold and bright talent amongst tattoo artists in Amsterdam.
Cheung is a master of black and grey tattoos; her art pops with the deepest, darkest blacks and the thickest, boldest lines that really leave an impression. There is an old school vibe to many of Cheung’s tattoos; with designs that harken back to the golden age: daggers, mothers, tarot cards, noh masks, and so much more.
But Cheung is always delivering her art with a very recognisable spin, thanks to her deliberate linework that has a feeling of permanence; it sticks in your mind as much as it does your skin.
Her tattoos toe this wonderful line between intricate detail and bold minimalism that makes them incredibly eye-catching. It’s hard to look away.
What makes Alberto one of the most unique and stand-out tattoo artists in Amsterdam is his dedication to the craft of true old-school tattooing.
His work is traditional, through and through. If you also have a love for the timeless style that originated from the golden age of tattoo art, you need to be tattooed by Alberto. Working with a colour scheme that is almost entirely black, white, and red, Alberto creates some truly original and imaginative pieces.
Hearts, skulls, roses, geisha, snakes, masks, moths, and more classic designs beside. But Alberto twists them all just a little, making them his own.
There’s a subtle surrealism to his work, as he takes liberties with his designs to make them look like nothing else out there. Alberto is a tattoo artist that shows how you can pay respects to the legacy of tattooing while also being wholly and refreshingly original. It’s amazing work.
Read More: The Best Tattoo Artists in Berlin
Pemy (Salon Serpent)
You can search and search but you’ll never find a tattoo artist quite like Pemy, who works out of Salon Serpent in Amsterdam. Pemy stands far out from the busy crowd with a very recognisable style that is all her own.
What makes Pemy one of the most unique tattoo artists in Amsterdam — perhaps the most unique, honestly — is her talent for designing anthropomorphic animals, especially cats.
Most of Pemy’s tattoos depict cute and colourful creatures in human dress, doing human things (mostly, as I said, cats).
There’s a wonderful celebration of the surreal and the cartoonish in Pemy’s work. It’s illuminating, cheeky, sweet, and worthy of basking in. Anthropomorphic animals are not all she does, though; she also does wonders with surreal portraits of people and critters.
It’s the sheer imagination on display here that really makes you step back and say wow. Pemy has an eye like no other and it makes her work incredibly addictive.
Marcel (Black Rose Tattoo)
Marcel tattoos out of Black Rose Tattoo, a shop of such a high calibre that it might well be the best tattoo shop in Amsterdam. Marcel happens to be one of the best (if not the very best) neo-traditional tattoo artists working anywhere right now.
His work is dark and bold, with minimalist use of colour but copious amounts of texture that breathes and has an almost three-dimensional quality to it. This is the kind of art that reaches out to you and has you gasping at the sheer luxury of it all.
Marcel excels at producing black and grey pieces, each with one bold colour attached: a blood red or ice blue that almost melts your mind as you drink it all in.
His finest designs are those that depict the faces and heads of people, blended with natural imagery: animals, flowers, leaves, suns, and moons. These are gorgeous neo-traditional tattoos, and Marcel is easily one of the very best tattoo artists in Amsterdam.
Gabriel Garz (Black Rose Tattoo)
Gabriel Garz is another one of the true stand-out tattoo artists in Amsterdam. His black and grey fine-line and delicate style is unmatched. Garz is another artist that leans on darkness and horror-tinged art, yielding wonderfully imaginative results.
Spider, snakes, and skulls are some of the recurring images you’ll find in Garz’s work, and it’s all so textured and addictive.
But if horror isn’t your thing, Garz also delivers some amazing old-school inspired work with flowers and birds; nothing beats the darker stuff, though. Then there are Garz’s faces! The realistic approach doesn’t work for all artists but Garz makes it look effortless. What a talent.
Sven Anholt (Black Rose Tattoo)
Sven Anholt is another truly unique tattoo artist who has made a name for himself by tattooing in an old-school traditional, and sometimes Japanese, style. However, there is a recurring theme to his work: demons.
In this wonderful interview with Tattoodo, Anholt talks about refining this “devil or Krampus-like figure” that he has become known for.
Anholt discusses in the interview all the folk and historical inspirations behind his demons, as well as the places he has visited that helped give birth to this unique design.
Anholt is now known for tattooing these demons in a traditional style, but he also often explores other dark and gloomy themes, all in an old-school style. There are no other tattoo artists in Amsterdam quite like Sven Anholt.
Diego Garrafa (Black Rose Tattoo)
Diego Garrafa has turned himself into a legend in the tattooing scene with his exclusive work on lettering. This isn’t just any lettering, however. This is the sickest, boldest, most punk lettering you’ve ever seen.
Larger-than-life pieces, all in the thickest, inkiest, darkest blacks. Tattoos that live a life of their own and cover almost too much skin. There’s nothing like it!
Garrafa tattoos everything from bellies and shoulders to fingers and toes, and even faces. Gnarly, bold letters that stand out like you wouldn’t believe. He and his art are laws unto themselves.