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Get tatted in Barcelona


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This is a Student Travel Writer 2018 competition entry

Barcelona is well-known for its multicultural scene, where open-mindedness and laid-backness are everything the inner city is made of.

Where freedom of expression and liberalism go, art follows, and in this specific case I mean art under the form of tattooing. Statistics show that one every three people in Barca has a tat of some sort. In fact, the Ciudad Condal is an international hub for artists from all over the world and has become the tattooing capital of Europe for this exact reason: all the most talented people trek overseas to tattoo amongst the flowers and colours of the city and the great architecture of Gaudi.

In fact, the tattoo scene in Barcelona is thriving and boasts a reputation matching that of the most trendsetting cities, like NYC. The reason might be deep-rooted within the love for art being genuinely innate in the city walls, as well as the fact that the more famous tattoo artists come to Barcelona, more people will want a tattoo, and demand will rise in a positive cycle.

In fact, tattoo related travel and tourism is common in the Spanish city and it is thought to have brought cultural and financial value. Most of the artists and the clientele are from outside of the country rather than being originally from Spain.

I visited Addicted Tattoo where my friend got tatted by an Italian, Rosario, for example. This multicultural mix-match isn’t uncommon.

One of the local tattoo industry’s most prominent figures, Mik Garreta, spoke to Barcelona Metropolitan regarding this phenomenon and said: “The effect that tattoo tourism has had on the industry and its acceptance in Barcelona is huge. Now that more tattoo enthusiasts are travelling here to get work done, local people understand tattoos as part of the city’s culture, whether they want them to be or not. They’ve come to accept them as a normal part of everyday life.”

This also relates to the fact that almost worldwide tattoos have gone from being designated to low-lives and criminals to being requested by everyday-people from all sorts of backgrounds.

Barcelona is indeed very pleased with its progress and success in the tattoo world, so much so that it has been organising an international tattoo expo since 1996. The quality of the artists at the tattoo expo is exquisite, combined with the entertainment of music, dance, fashion and, of course, workshops and live tattoo demonstrations.

Unfortunately, the 2016 edition has come and gone but we’re ready and buzzed for the 2017 round!

Go get tatted in Barcelona!

In order to provide no entrant with an unfair advantage, Student Travel Writer 2018 competition entries are edited for grammar only - stylistic choices and headlines are solely the work of the writer in question and not of The National Student's editorial staff. 

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