Getting your first tattoo can be an exhilarating yet terrifying experience. As the tattoo machine inches closer to your skin, a million questions can race through your mind, like, “How much will this hurt?” and “Am I going to hate my tat when I’m 85 years old?” But trust us when we say it’ll be one of the best commitments you’ll ever make. So if you’ve got the design picked and all that’s left is to decide where to get it done, here are the best tattoo parlours in Calgary. Then click here to get some cross-Canada inspo for your next tat.
Find it: 2555 32 St. NE, #323, humankanvas.com
The rundown: With three locations across Alberta and a roster of 20 accomplished local artists, this parlour is all about treating the human body as a blank canvas (hence the creative name). As it says on the shop’s website, “Don’t get a tattoo—collect a piece of art.”
Cost: From $120 to $150 per hour
Walk-ins: Yes, every Saturday and Sunday
Gypsy Rose Tattoo & Piercing
Find it: 3132 26 St. NE, #102, gypsyrosetattoo.com
The rundown: This super friendly tattoo and piercing parlour offers a chic backdrop for your next ink sesh. From the patterned wallpaper to the hot pink accent wall to the sleek leather seating, it will make you feel right at home. After all, if getting a tattoo can be a fun and chic experience, all the better, amiright?
Cost: $100 minimum; $120 to $175 per hour
Find it: 218 17 Ave. SE, bushidotattoo.com
The rundown: Shop owner and tattoo artist Douglas Fink is famous in the city for his traditional Japanese designs. The studio space is almost as colourful as the tattoos themselves, with its yellow and red statement walls, and Asian-inspired lanterns, and the skull mural outside, which will totally brighten up your Insta feed.
Cost: $170 to $190 per hour
Eternal Image Tattoo
Find it: 1209 10 Ave. SE, eternalimage.ca
The rundown: Tattoo artists Scott Veldhoen and Dylan Birkholm make up Eternal Image Tattoo, and both specialize in custom eye-popping designs, as well as intricate black and grey pieces. The shop itself gives us maj old-school vibes, with its black-and-white-tiled floor, black leather seats and tattoo-inspired artwork lining the walls.
Cost: $100 minimum; $160 per hour