10 Places To Get A Tattoo In Asheville

Zen Tattoo

Souvenirs bring the joy of our travels home with us, allowing us to relive the magic memories of our adventures over and over again. But what about a souvenir you'll never lose—a tattoo? 

Tattoo tourism—travel motivated by new ink—isn't an entirely new phenomenon, but it's definitely booming today. "A decade ago, transcontinental tattoo trips were rare, but nowadays, thousands of people make these pilgrimages," the Washington Post reported in 2022.

With our deep roots in artistry and our beautiful surroundings, Asheville has emerged as a hotspot for this trend with more than 15 shops in town, drawing travelers interested in a permanent reminder of their trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Navigating the Asheville Ink Trail

For those embarking on a tattoo journey in Asheville, the city offers a plethora of tattoo studios, each with its own unique style and ambiance. Here are eight recommended tattoo shops to visit:

  1. Zen Ink: One of Asheville's premier tattoo shops, Zen has a full roster of talented artists, ready to take your dreams and make them ink. From North Carolina natives like Payne, who specializes in fine linework techniques, to Shauntell, from the Cherokee reservation of Oklahoma who specializes in watercolor and neo-traditional, Zen has a match for your artistic vision. For out-of-towners, Zen also has its own VRBO properties, perfect for tattoo tourists. 

  2. Thistle & Pearl Tattoo: Just north of downtown lies Thistle and Pearl, a small tattoo shop with big talent. Five artists come together at this cozy and colorful shop to make stunning art for all customers. 

  3. Hot Stuff Tattoo: An iconic shop with a unique group of artists, Hot Stuff Tattoo had to have a home on this list. Artists like Luis Campos, @a_simple_bird, spend years perfecting the art of tattooing, making it the perfect place for folks looking for intricate work. 


    A post shared by Luis Campos (@a_simple_bird)

  4. Empire Tattoo: Operating since the '90s, Empire Tattoo has its home in the heart of downtown Asheville. Empire boasts a team of skilled artists who specialize in various styles. The studio's commitment to quality and professionalism has made it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

  5. Seven Swords Tattoo Company: Folks stopping by Seven Swords for a tattoo walk away with a piece of cherished art. Tattooists like Myke Chambers, who specializes in a fusion of traditional and neo-traditional elements along with vibrant colors, make this shop a must-visit. 

  6. Divination Tattoo: With two locations, one in downtown Asheville and one in West Asheville, Divination Tattoo has a versatile array of artists and experiences. Artists like Katie Leigh wield their talents with precision and vision. 


    A post shared by Stephi Lee (@stephilee)

  7. Red Rabbit Tattoo Co.: Renowned for its skilled and versatile artists, Red Rabbit Tattoo Co. offers a welcoming environment and a commitment to creating tattoos that tell a story. The studio's portfolio showcases a wide range of artistic styles, from classic to avant-garde.

  8. Green House Tattoo & Hair: The cutest little tattoo studio in North Asheville, Green House, is also a barbershop. Get exquisite body here from folks like @alexblackwelltattoo before getting a trim.


    A post shared by Greenhouse (@greenhouseavl)

  9. Victory Blvd Tattoo: Modern and electric, Victory Blvd. Tattoo is the place to be for that eclectic West Asheville feel. The crew at Victory feels like family, and any visitors looking for new ink will enjoy the vibes, along with their piece. The artists offer a mix of American traditional and line work. 

  10. Sacred Lotus Tattoo: A variety of artistry and styles meld together at Sacred Lotus Tattoo where quality and a relaxed atmosphere are the top priorities. Owned by local artist Kimi Leger, Sacred Lotus is home to long-practicing artists like Kitty Love, who has been in the business for 30 years and newcomers like Michelle Durango, who focuses on pop culture and black-and-white styles.

As Asheville continues to draw tattoo enthusiasts from around the world, the inked landscape of the city is sure to evolve, further cementing its reputation as a must-visit destination for those looking to etch their memories into their skin.

Updated December 19, 2023