Amsterdam has a lot of good and bad publicity: on the one hand, all the flowers, history, art, and architecture; on the other hand, legal prostitution, legal drugs, alcohol and a lot more. However, everything you do in Amsterdam, including all the bad stuff, is safe.
It is safe to get a tattoo in Amsterdam. All the tattoo shops and tattoo makers have a license and have been checked by the Government. Besides, the EU established legislation and measures to all EU countries including instruments, materials, and measures allowed to be used.
Amsterdam and the whole Netherlands are they are very strict when it comes to laws. The fact that they are permissive and more open-minded than other countries doesn’t make the Netherlands less safe, it makes it more protected and controlled than other countries because everything is made following the rules.
Tattoos in Amsterdam
Each and every single one of the dozens of tattoo stores in the Netherlands has a license to be open. This license is linked to the store and to the tattoo maker, therefore, everything is completely under control.
If you are considering getting a tattoo in Amsterdam and you already know the name of the store, the Government provides a list of all the legal and licensed stores in the whole country. Here the list.
Here there is a list of requirements any tattoo maker has to fulfil according to the Dutch Government:
- License: provided by the Government for both the tattoo maker.
- Gloves: they need to use latex or nitrile gloves
- Instruments: regulated by the EU and the Dutch Government.
- Location: needs to be approved and needs a license.
- Care: all tattoo makes have to instruct the customer before and after the tattoo indicating the possible risks and how to take proper care of the skin afterwards.
- Pigments and Ink: these are regulated by the Dutch Government and only the same pigments that are used for cosmetics are also allowed on tattoos. These have to be must be microbiological-free and chemical-free.
Minimum Age: Tattoo in Amsterdam
By law, all tattoo makes in Amsterdam are required to check their customer’s age. The minimum age to get tattooed is 16 years old and always with the written consent of your parent or legal tutor.
The Netherlands is a flexible country when it comes to allowing people to decide what is right and what it isn’t beside the law: there is a law prohibiting the consumption of drugs but not one that prohibits selling them; drinking in a public space is not legal, yet depending on the space you choose to do it, you are allowed to.
However, when it comes to tattooing in the Netherlands, there is not much flexibility, on the contrary, there is a list of requirements and measures everybody should follow.
- A minor, under 16, always has to provide written consent of a parent or carer. After you turn 16 it is not needed.
- This written permission has to remain with the tattoo maker for at least 10 years since the tattoo has been made for any legal issues.
- You can ask for this permission since you become 12 years old.
- Underaged are not allowed to get their wrists, necks or hands tattooed under no circumstance. However, adults are allowed.
- When you are 16 you can decide for yourself, both for tattoos wherever you want or for piercings.
In the case of minors, making a tattoo a safe decision also implies the legal responsibility of the parents, the tattoo maker and the underage citizen. Therefore, it is very strict as you can see, but a safety measure.
As an adult, you are allowed to get any tattoo anywhere you want, without any real restriction on when and were. This applies to citizens from any country in the world, the same as no matter where you are from if you are under 16 you are not getting a tattoo.
Where to get Tattoos: Neighbourhood
If you are concerned about where to get a tattoo in Amsterdam: DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, the whole city is safe and legal.
In any case, the neighbourhood only depends on the type of tattoo maker who is working there: what is his or her style, what type of tattoo of all the different schools and styles you will be able to find, and not at all on the safety measures.
I have always had many questions about the Red Light District in particular: is it dangerous? can I go alone? is it safe for women?
All the stores are regulated the same way, as well as all the tattoo makers are too. This is the same for hotels, restaurants, bars…
Well, the same answer to these questions also apply to the tattoo stores: YES, the Red Light District is safe and it is not a troublesome neighbourhood, just a controlled area where activities that are normally done undercover are done controlled by the Government and the law.
If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam and you are considering getting a tattoo, it is important to do a lot of research beforehand. Amsterdam is possibly one of the safest and most controlled places to get a tattoo, however, it also depends on who you choose to tattoo yourself.
Prices are standardised, healthy measures are established, laws are implemented, yet this cannot regulate the talent and working ethics of the tattoo maker.
Since there are over 100 stores in the whole province of North Holand and dozens in the city of Amsterdam, choose wisely, safe if it is more expensive and get a tattoo made by one of the best.
I have never gotten a tattoo and it is a very personal choice, of course, but here are some of my friends and some of internet customers’ preferences you will hear the best comments about: