Published November 18, 2016
Reykjavík is a relatively small city, but even so, sometimes you need a bit of local advice to find what you’re looking for, whether it’s a good people-watching spot, somewhere to see some contemporary art, or the best place to catch an Icelandic movie. Don’t worry, friends—we’ve got you covered via our Best of Reykjavík 2016 series. Here are some of our favourite spots in Reykjavík, for all kinds of super-fun days and nights out. Enjoy! And if you try our list, you can let us know what you thought of the selections via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grapevine’s “Best Of” Tattooing
Thinking of getting a tattoo? Then you better also get used to answering the same questions over and over again. “Yes, it hurts. Yes, it does last forever. No, it doesn’t mean anything. Yes, it will be there when I’m 70.” Trust us, it’ll be never-ending. But whether you’re ready for some dandelions-turning-into-birds on your wrist or a full-color portrait of Páll Óskar on your back, we at Grapevine have some advice for you. Get creative, for one. And have fun. And go to one of these places…
Your “Remember Reykjavík” Tourist Tattoo: Reykjavík Ink
In Reykjavík for your buddy’s bachelor party, and want to get some ink to commemorate it? Reykjavík Ink is a solid bet. It has good artists, a good location, and can do most any style you want.
Black And Grey Realism: Sindri @ Íslenzka Húðflúrstofan
Black and grey realism is one of the trickiest styles, but Sindri’s work is remarkable. This is a guy who knows shading—you definitely won’t end up on “Tattoo Nightmares” if you get a piece from him.
Japanese style: Svanur @ Tattoo & Skart
Svanur’s been tattooing for ages, and it shows—he’s a master of large Japanese pieces. If you’re looking to get that koi half sleeve or dragon back piece, he’s your guy.
Traditional: Dagur @ Bleksmiðjan Húðflúr
Dagur’s traditional work is spot on. Go to him for ships, sparrows, and all your other old-school imagery.
Icelandic-Style: Jason @ Reykjavík Ink
Jason has mastered the “Icelandic” tattoo—I’m talking about vegvísirs (that compass thing), runes, mjölnirs (Thor’s hammer) and other Viking tropes. While those tattoos often feel a bit tired, Jason’s work makes them feel fresh—and if someone can do that with something ten centuries old, they are definitely impressive.
Colour Realism: Sindri @ Íslenzka Húðflúrstofan
Wait didn’t he just win black and grey? Yeah, but this guy is seriously a master of realism. It’ll look like you printed out a picture and taped it to your arm—it might be a little bit more painful than that though.
New School/Illustrative: Marlena @ Sweet Hell & Sigrún @ Bleksmiðjan Húðflúr
Here’s a tie: both Marlena and Sigrún are new-school queens. With bright hues and crazy drawings, they know how to ink a statement piece. If you’re looking for big colour, go here.
Neo-Traditional: Búri @ Íslenzka Húðflúrstofan
Búri is a great all-around tattooer (check out his black and grey and watercolour work as well), but neo-traditional is where he shines the brightest.
Geometric/Dotwork: Wojciech @ Sweet Hell
Dotwork is an art in itself and Wojciech clearly knows what he’s doing. His work is just so incredibly detailed that one must assume the man has some amazing eyesight (and motor skills).
Watercolour: Marlena @ Sweet Hell
Marlena not only knows colour, but she’s also a painter, so her watercolour works look natural and flowing. Light and beautiful, she has a real eye for this trendy style.
Walk-ins: Irezumi Ink
Irezumi Ink takes walk-ins any day of the week so if you’re dying to get that script on your arm right now, it’s the place to go.
Piercings: Tattoo & Skart
Tattoo & Skart has a crazy amount of body jewellery—everything from Christmas-themed navel rings to plugs in any size that you could want. Sesse the piercer is also super nice and will make you feel comfortable (even if she’s about to put a needle through your tongue)!
Dermals: Bleksmiðjan Húðflúr
Dermals, otherwise known as surface piercings, are notoriously tricky, so you want a piercer that knows what they are doing. You don’t want to get nasty scars from those hip piercings, right?
Read more of our Best of 2016 lists here.