Travelling for your Tattoo

Tattooing is about more than the end result.

It's an experience, and working with the right artist is worth the extra effort. 


Whether you're travelling a short distance, or across the world, I hope you find this information helpful. 


I work in Nanaimo and Victoria every month, both on lovely Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. The island is a wonderful place to visit year round; the summers are beautiful with lots of outdoor activities, and the wilters are the mildest winters in Canada. 


Getting to Nanaimo

I am in the process of building my private tattoo studio, and until it's finished, I'll be primarily working at Le Jardin Noir (6439 Portsmouth Rd). 


Nearest airport: YCD (13km from Nanaimo) 


Nanaimo is not a walkable city, and transit is not up to the standards of a large city. I recommend renting a vehicle, or budgeting for cabs. 


There is free parking available at the shop.


If you're coming from Vancouver, you can catch BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay. (1:45 minutes across) or treat yourself to the Harbour Air float plane, which flies downtown Vancouver to downtown Nanaimo in 20 minutes.    


Where to Stay in Nanaimo

Le Jardin Noir is at the North end of town. There are various hotels in the $100-200 range along the highway (not particularly walkable). 


There are many option downtown, which is a 15 minute drive away. 


The Best Western Dorchester has super good seafood and burger restaurants in the lobby. They're also a block from the harbour (where the float plane lands), and Commercial Street which is full of cute shops. 




Best Breakfast:

Check out the Vault for breakfast in a warm and cozy maximalist space, loop back in the evening for cocktails and live music.  


Nanaimo bars:

Check out Bocca Cafe for the locally created treat! 


Can't miss shopping:

Commercial Street and the Old City Quarter are your best choices for cute local shops. You'll also be close to the harbour, where you can take a lovely stroll along the water. 


For dinosaur lovers:

If you have a vehicle, I highly recommend a day trip to Victoria for Dino Lab Inc. (A fossil prep lab that offers tours. You can touch REAL bones and fossils, and they have an amazing gift shop.) The drive is 1:45.  



Getting to Victoria

Tattoo Zoo is at #112-1029 View Street. 

Nearest airport: YYJ (29km from Victoria) 


Downtown Victoria is very walkable. There are lot of parkades where you can leave your car all day for $14-16. My fave is on View Street, 3 block away. 


If you're coming from Vancouver, you can catch BC Ferries from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. (1:35 minutes across) or treat yourself to the Harbour Air float plane, which flies downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria in 35 minutes.    


Where to Stay in Victoria

There are lots of nice hotels to choose from downtown. Budget $160-300 per night. 


If you wanna get fancy, the Fairmont Empress is lovely and right across from the inner harbour.  


If you prefer a budget option, Ocean Island is a rad hostel which includes a free breakfast and dinner, and is only a 10 minute walk away! Dorm style beds are around $40 and private rooms start at $75 per night. 



Best coffee:

Habit Coffee - 808 Yates Street 

(just 2 blocks from the shop!)


For dinosaur lovers:

Dino Lab Inc is a fossil prep lab that offers tours. You can touch REAL bones and fossils, and they have an amazing gift shop. 


Can't miss shopping:

FanTan alley in China Town is a must. Lower Johnson Street has lots of adorable boutiques (Good Vibes Space is full of local artists) and food, and it's right next to Market Square, which is a fave of mine.  


Fisherman's Wharf:

Okay, it's so cute with lil restaurants and houseboats, and you can take a water taxi to get there!  


Frequently Asked Questions


Should I get my tattoo at the beginning or end of my trip? 

That depends on what you're doing. A long drive or flight with a fresh tattoo can be uncomfortable, so sometimes the start of the trip can be nice. However, you can't swim at all for the first 3 weeks, so if your island plans include the beach, swimming, or surfing, it'll need to be at the end.   


Any special aftercare instructions? 

You can find my full aftercare instructions here. Travelling doesn't really change anything. 


How do I book? 

For custom work: here

For pre-drawn flash: here 


I have more questions! 

No worries, email me at 



See you soon!