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(Some Of) Pittsburgh’s Best Tattoo and Piercing Locations!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

For many students, college is the first time they can express themselves without being held back by the expectations of their family or hometown peers. For some, that expression involves tattoos and/or piercings! Luckily, Pittsburgh is not lacking in fantastic tattoo and piercing locations. Below is just the beginning of what the city has to offer! 

Pittsburgh Piercing and Tattoo Company

Location: Downtown – 103 Smithfield Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA

Instagram: @pittsburghtattoocompany

This is actually the first tattoo/piercing shop I went to in Pittsburgh. There are several tattoo artists with a number of different styles, so you’ll probably find something you like! There is also a piercer who offers a two-for-one piercing deal every single Tuesday! They also have a number of flash tattoo events throughout the year (they had a Taylor Swift one not too long ago), so follow their Instagram to stay updated! 

Black Horizon Tattoo

Locations: Downtown – 140 6th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222

South Side – 1801 Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Instagram: @blackhorizontattoo

I’ve only been to the Downtown location, but both are excellent! I’ve gotten all of my piercings since coming to Pittsburgh from Liss, and she’s amazing! The two cartilage and rook piercings she did healed fantastically, and her DMs are always open for questions! Downtown has both tattoos and piercings, but the South Side location only offers tattoos. There are several artists with amazing styles at both locations! Kaitlyn (our business manager) and I went to the South Side location for a Friday the 13th special, and although we waited quite awhile, it was definitely worth it! 

PMA Tattoo

Location: Mckees Rocks – 637 Broadway Avenue Mckees Rocks, PA 15136

Instagram: @pmatattoopgh

I love, love this location! I went for the first time last December with Lauren (HC Pitt’s president) to sit with her when she got her second tattoo. Sara Eve, Lauren’s tattoo artist, was amazing! She was welcoming, comforting, and super easy to talk to! I just recently went back and Sara did my first tattoo! Although technically just outside of Pittsburgh, the distance is worth the experience. This location does not offer piercings, but there are two artists in addition to Sara who do some fantastic work! 

Empire Tattoo

Location: South Oakland – 230 Meyran Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Instagram: @empiretattoopittsburgh

This location is right on campus! Although I haven’t been to this location myself, Grace, one of our editors, and Emma, one of our writers, have had good experiences. Emma says: “It’s in South O, like a ten-minute walk from Towers. My friends and I have only gotten piercings from there, but both our cartilage and lobe piercings had no issues whatsoever, it was so great! There’s also student pricing so it’s pretty cheap. My lobes were $50 in total.” If you’re looking for a location that’s fairly priced and close to campus, this is it!

South Side Tattoo

Location: South Side – 2208 E Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Instagram: @southsidetattoo

There are several tattoo and piercing places in South Side, but this one has raving reviews! This location offers both piercings and tattoos and has several artists with varying styles. They opened their doors in 1997, making them one of the oldest tattoo shops in South Side, and one of the first to be female-owned. Online reviews assert that they are friendly, social, clean, and caring!


Location: Lawrenceville – 3533 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Instagram: @sanctuary.pgh

Sanctuary is unique in that it’s not only a tattoo shop, but also a vintage store! This location only offers tattoos, but there are two wonderful artists to choose from! Sanctuary is also unique in that it’s LGBTQIA+ and female-owned. According to their website, their mission is to provide a safe place for those who may have been marginalized by the traditionally male-dominated tattoo industry. If you’re a bit nervous about the environment in which you are getting tattooed, this may be the place for you!

Sinners & Saints 

Location: Shadyside – 252 S Highland Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Instagram: @sinnersandsaintstattoopgh

This shop offers both piercings and tattoos and is located just outside of campus in Shadyside! They offer a number of different tattoo styles, and offer both custom and flash tattooing! I haven’t been to this location yet, but considering it’s so close to my apartment (and open seven days a week), I’m sure I’ll stop in soon!

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tattoo and piercing places in Pittsburgh, so let this be a guide (or a checklist, if you’re feeling wild!)

Alison is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, and she is currently serving as an editor and writer. Her favorite things to write about are video game/pop culture commentary, music recommendations, and mental health advice. Alison is majoring in Communication Science and Disorders, minoring in English Literature, and working towards a certificate in American Sign Language. In addition to Her Campus, she is a member of the Honors College and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter at Pitt. She is also a research assistant at the Brain Systems for Language Lab at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for either Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology. In her free time, Alison loves to read, play video games, listen to music, and hang out with her cat, Peanut Butter.