You can do just about anything in Croatia’s sprawling capital city. From touring the Gothic architecture to enjoying local delicacies in one of the many outdoor cafes. Ink lovers will be happy to hear that there are also plenty of places to get a new tattoo. Zagreb is a creative and modern city, so what better way to commemorate your holiday than with some new ink?
Zagreb is the largest city in Croatia, designed for strolling through its red-roofed and cobblestone streets, punctuated with church spires and art deco buildings. Among its population of 800,000, are some of the country’s best tattoo artists, each with their own style and repertoire. From photo-realism to neo-traditional flash art and Japanese illustration, there’s an artist for every taste.
Tattoos are a huge commitment, and doing your research is just as crucial as picking your design. We’ve selected our top pick of the seven best tattoo shops in Zagreb so you can find your perfect fit. Let’s get into it.
With over 20 years in the business, Gandalf Tattoo is one of the longest-standing studios in Zagreb, specializing in old-school tattoos and photo-realism. Gandalf is run by husband and wife, and resident artists, Marin Urbanc and Stela Ubranc, who founded the studio in 1998.
Their primary field of work has been influenced by JRR Tolkien’s literature, science-fiction, fantasy, and Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Norse mythology. Gandalf is the perfect studio for sci-fi fans who are after a unique custom design and your imagination can run wild as you create a personalized piece with the help of Marin or Stela.
Gandalf Tattoo adheres to the highest hygiene standards, with hospital sterilization and tattooing equipment approved by the Croatian Institute for Public Health. The studio is located in the center of Zagreb, nestled in between the Botanical Gardens of the Faculty of Science and the Stone Gate of Zagreb.
Price range: $-$$
Address: Gundulićeva ul. 37, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Contact: +385 1 4854 466
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 12 pm to 8 pm
Octopus Piercing and Tattoo
Located in downtown Zagreb, Octopus Piercing and Tattoo studio is right in the middle of the action. This female-owned studio is easy to find, nestled in the hub of known bars, restaurants, and neighboring tattoo competitors. Still, with the studio’s light, modern and cool décor, you’ll soon realize it’s a cut above the rest.
Octopus is run by a team of friendly artists and piercers, praised for their professionalism and easy-going attitude in online reviews. Resident tattooist, Darko, originally from Slavonski Brod, has traveled to Italy, France, Germany, and South Africa, perfecting his art. Darko is the man to go to for photo-realism and illustration. Working alongside him is Zagreb-born Stipe Stajduhar, who specializes in neo-traditional designs and shading work.
Price range: $$
Address: Prilaz Gjure Deželića 23, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Contact: +385 1 4854 420
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 12 pm – 8 pm
ZELE Tattoo Studio
Zele Tattoo Studio is situated just minutes from Zagreb’s acclaimed botanical gardens, the perfect setting for finding inspiration among the flowers before your next ink. Owner, resident artist, and studio namesake, Zele, has been in the business since 1993, and his experience speaks for itself. Specializing in fine line and realism, you’re sure to leave with a personalized tattoo that you love.
Zele has earned numerous awards in tattooing and his work has been recognized in published catalogs and interviews in foreign tattoo magazines. Whether you’re getting pierced or inked, you’ll be in safe hands. Zele started his tattoo career in the Croatian Army during the Croatian War of Independence and went on to train in the protection from blood-transmitted diseases and sterilization. You can rest assured that military levels of sanitation are adhered to at this studio.
Price range: $$-$$$
Address: Savska Cesta 10, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Contact: +385 1 7701 666
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 12 pm – 8 pm
Roby’s Tattoo Shop
In 1991, Roby’s Tattoo Shop became Croatia’s first legal studio. Since then, thousands of satisfied customers have passed through its doors, eager to get inked with a serving of heritage. Aside from the vast gallery of flash art and illustrations for customers to choose from, the artists here also specialize in custom designs in a variety of styles.
Roby’s has been awarded the highest hygiene rating from the Croatian National Institute for Public Health and Sanitary Inspection. On the world market for tattooing equipment, they only use top quality, reliable, and carefully selected equipment, tools, and colors.
The small team of resident artists here specializes in photo-realism, tribal sleeves, ancient mythological illustration, and portraiture. Find them round the corner from Zele Tattoo, in Zagreb’s vibrant Lower Town. Otherwise known as Donji Grad, the neighborhood is located in the city center and is a hub for business and shopping. Museums and green spaces punctuate the winding passageways. Roby’s is located just two minutes from the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum.
Price range: $$-$$$
Address: Tratinska 52, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Contact: +385 1 3820 434
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm
Brutal ink became the first Croatian chain of tattoo parlors in 2015, and with its quality, artists, welcoming atmosphere, and first-rate tattoos. Brutal Ink now owns salons in Split, Sinj, Rijeka, Zagreb, Vodice, and Hvar, and a Bjelovar Studio is soon to be opened.
The parlor is nestled close to the river in Zagreb’s city center, surrounded by trendy bars and shops. Wander into the studio after a day of sightseeing – Brutal Ink welcomes walk-ins, but you might need an appointment in the high season. The studio also takes appointments for piercings too, depending on the schedules of guest piercers.
All of the artists are highly trained and experienced in their trade, some with international recognition. Keep your eyes peeled on their Instagram for tattoo news and guest artist updates.
Price range: $-$$
Address: Savska Cesta 150, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Contact: +385 95 818 1818
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 11 am to 6 pm. Open Saturdays for appointment only.
Founded in 2016, Hardline Tattoo can be found a little further uptown than the rest of the studios mentioned. In the older, more rustic core of Zagreb, this studio boasts a traditional feel with a gothic interior. Still, don’t let the name fool you. The artists can do far more than hardlines.
Resident tattooists, Hrvoje Kovačić and Damir Popovićm have been tattooing since 2002. What started as a hobby has become a critically-acclaimed trade. The now-business partners specialize in full-color realism and B&G – a style that consists of black ink watered down to create softer shades – but they can cater to all styles.
The studio is traditional and edgy, with black and white tiled floors, red walls, and animal skulls as wall hangings among the gallery of tattoo illustrations. There are catalogs of designs waiting to inspire you or you can work with either artist to create your ideal custom piece.
Price range: $-$$
Address: Nedjeljom i praznicima odmorko i roštilj Ul. Dragutina Domjanića 12 10000, Zagreb
Contact: +385 1 466 8804
Opening times: Monday to Friday, from 12 to 6 pm
If you love small intricate tattoos, Tattoo Rroom is the studio to go to. Run by a husband and wife team, Ivan and Matea, the artists here specialize in fine lines, delicate designs, and unique flash art. The studio has a cozy bohemian vibe and industrial decor. The smell of incense burning in the air is sure to banish any pre-ink worries.
With rave reviews on their website and a large social media following, the demand for appointments at the Tattoo Rroom is high. If you’re planning a new ink for your upcoming trip, be sure to pre-book with either Ivan or Matea as early as you secure your flights. They also do piercings on request at the studio. Find them on the edge of the Lower Town among the trendy eateries and jazz bars of central Zagreb.
Price range: $$$
Address: Ul. Franje Petračića 15, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Opening times: Appointment only
How much is a tattoo in Zagreb?
The cost of a tattoo in Zagreb depends on where you go, the placement of your design, and the expertise of your artist. More detailed pieces will always cost more, while you could get a small tattoo for a starting price of around 400 kunas (54 USD). Most artists charge by the hour after stating their base minimum. The average price for a tattoo per hour in Zagreb is around 500 kunas (68 USD). The studio can give you an exact price for your tattoo when you provide more information about your design.
How old do you have to be to get a tattoo in Croatia?
Tattoos laws vary across Europe, but like many surrounding Balkan nations, you can get a tattoo as young as 16 in Croatia, but parents must be present to give consent. A reliable tattoo artist won’t tattoo anyone under the age of 18, even with written consent, unless a guardian is there. Some tattooists won’t tattoo anyone under 18 even if there’s a parent present and the decision is ultimately up to the artist.
What do tattoos represent in Croatia?
Tattoos have been a tradition in Croatia for thousands of years. They might have been considered taboo in other civilizations, but tattoos have had tribal, spiritual, patriotic, and even healing meanings in Croatian culture. The tattooing of the hands has been a tradition among Balkan Catholic women since Ottoman rule. When Bosnia and Herzegovina were occupied by the Turks, hand tattoos were meant to prevent Catholic women from being kidnapped and converted to Islam.
Should you tip tattoo artists in Croatia?
Tipping is the norm in Croatia, and just like you round up your restaurant bill by 10 to 20 percent, you should do the same when it comes to getting a tattoo. Tipping is not a prerequisite, but if you’re happy with your service, 15 to 20 percent is an adequate tip for your tattoo artist, especially if your piece has taken multiple hours or sessions to complete.