Top 73 Viking Tattoo Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]
Aside from rowing boats and beheading enemies, you might be surprised to know the Vikings lived with quite numerous positive principles.
For instance, Norse mythology believed that rune writing gave a man his power. Bathing and grooming weekly were essential to respecting one’s body. This outlook was far from the norm back in European times of the early middle ages.
For memorials, the dead were sent out to sea with all of their belongings. Not an article of clothing or jewelry was to be missing; even their animals rode along!
They also believed in bravery, though it was considered that only a fallen warrior would reach the Norse afterlife, Valhalla.
Even though the term Vikings meant “a pirate raid” in Old Norse, they still led ships across the sea to trade precious metals for timber. To them, wood was everything. By everything I mean the fabric of the universe that was kept intact by the World Ash, Yggdrasil. You could find light oak and heavy pine mast in throughout the long ships. From the deck and oars to the longbows too. Their arrows were more commonly made of birch.
From AD 800 to 1066 the Germanic Norse seafarers had traveled from Scandinavia all the way to northern and central Europe. During travel they placed their fate in the three Norns, which ruled over the future, present and past. To maintain a good health out on the seas, observance of religion was critical while medicine meant death. In other words, medicine angered the gods like Thor and Loki.
Read on for the top 73 best Viking tattoo ideas and discover brilliant designs for your tattoo artist to help capture the essence of bravery and martial skill.
1. Forearm Viking Style Tattoo
Forearm tattoo inked in the viking genre comes in a wide variety. Whether they are depictions of the Vikings themselves or symbols of these great warrior’s lifestyles and mythology, a forearm tattoo is an ideal location for storytelling.
The forearm is a great place to show off any tattoo, as it is in an easily viewed area. Simultaneously, it is a relatively simple spot to cover up if need be, assuming one is comfortable wearing long sleeves. That being said, not everyone is required to cover their tattoos by their work or other responsibilities, so to them, the forearm might be all the more attractive as a spot to place their next Viking tattoo design.
2. Viking Ships Tattoo
One of the many things Vikings remembered for in our modern times are their means of transportation. Traveling primarily by sea, the Vikings often navigated the fierce waters in their trademark longships .
Needless to say, these ships were a vital part of the Viking life and culture. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see them inked into a Viking tattoo. Such a tattoo might show longship in the middle of a voyage. It could also be shown alongside some other element of Viking life. Longship tattoos are a fitting way to show one’s connection to the Vikings of old.
3. Nordic Tattoo on the Arm
The arm is another great place for a tattoo. This is particularly true of viking tattoos as many of the most common viking -inspired pieces, such as those that incorporate longships and warriors, seem to make a strong appearance on the arm.
This is partially because the bicep-arm area can be a particularly good place for tattoos, especially those symbolizing strength, and masculinity. V iking tattoos certainly do an impressive job of representing strength , whether it be in the form of actual physical power or even bravery. It is not uncommon at all for someone who has very few or only one tattoos to have an arm tattoo. Perhaps this speaks to the effective and desirable nature of this particular placing.
4. Viking Age Tribal Tattoo
One exceedingly interesting type of tattoo is a viking tribal fusion piece. Often including a mix of both styles, one example could be a viking symbol such as a warrior incorporated with various tribal symbols or patterns. These are strong and stand out tattoos for sure. Not all tattoo combinations work well or effectively, but the elements of viking tattoos and tribal tattoos are undoubtedly a good fit.
5. Viking Warrior Tattoos
Tattoos of Viking warriors can be a statement of toughness, bravery and brute strength. They come in many different styles. Some are designed with realism in mind while others might be more animated.
Similarly, a Viking warrior tattoo might be done in black and gray or full color. The point is that these tattoos do not all look the same, but they all contain, or at least visually reference, the same type of essence and toughness of a Viking warrior.
6. Viking Design Back Tattoo
Where one might find some of the greatest Viking tattoos is on the back. Back Viking tattoos can be extreme, immersive and heavily-detailed. They often cover the entire back and can include any combination of a multiple elements of Viking lore and culture. They could depict warriors in battle, visually reenact a scene or reference Norse gods. The number of possibilities and level of depth a back Viking tattoo can go to is impressive to say the least.
7. Sleeve Viking Culture Tattoo
A good way to combine a multitude of different viking symbol elements is to get a sleeve viking tattoo. These sleeves are beyond badass as they can incorporate a whole swath of different viking culture ideas, whether tribal tattoo design, viking ships or other form of Norse tattoo.
Any two sleeve viking tattoos could look quite different from one another as the particular pieces chosen to be put together and make the sleeve are mostly dependent on the wearer’s personal taste and choices. It could also depend somewhat on the style the wearer is looking for, (say, realism) as well as the artist’s own personal style.
8. Calf Viking Tattoos
Another great place to put a viking tattoo is on one’s calf. This is essentially true for the same reasons as many of the aforementioned tattoo placement locations in the sense that there are a variety of choices for what viking symbols could go here and the spot is fairly spacious.
The calf is also a somewhat unique spot as it can be covered easily with pants or shown rather easily with shorts. This of course may depend somewhat on the seasons and climate one lives in as well as their comfort level wearing pants or shorts in that particular climate.
9. Side and Chest Viking Tattoos
Some of the most aesthetically placed tattoos are found on the chest. Similarly, a man’s side is a great spot for a creative tat as well. When it comes to side and chest Viking tattoos this seems especially reasonable.
One can easily picture a Viking warrior tattoo on the chest or a Viking-inspired design on the side and see how fantastic that could look. Viking tattoos look good are many body parts, but something about the chest and side seem to especially stand out as a good, high-quality space in which to fill up with a Viking tattoo.
Viking Tattoo FAQs
What is Viking symbolic tattoo?
Viking and Norse tattoo is a symbolic tattoo culture, with most tattoo design ideas incorporating Nordic tradition, culture and religious beliefs into their design . Traditional Viking tattoo design centered on martial power – the sword, axe, and warhammer -strength or honoring the traditional Gods of Norse Mythology.
A viking tattoo is a great style of body art for those of the Scandinavian Isles – or even Brits and other Europeans – claim ing ancestry to the Norse.
What are the most popular Viking tattoo styles?
With a focus on tradition, martial prowess, and the Norse Gods there are a range of awesome tattoo designs you can apply to your body art apart from viking warrior symbols . These include :
- The Valknut
- Rune and Wyrd lettering
- Viking Longship
- Norse God Designs
- The Helm of Awe (Viking Compass tattoo)
A Valknut tattoo is three interconnected triangles, whose name was coined by the Old Norse word valr , meaning ‘slain warriors’, and knut , meaning ‘knot’. It is assumed the Valknut is associated with death and the afterlife.
A Viking rune tattoo today refers to the Norse tradition of symbols that many believe held magical powers, which is corroborated by archaeological and anecdotal evidence.
Viking Longships navigated the fierce waters. When they rolled up on your shoreline with a crew of bloodthirsty warriors, you knew you were in for a bad time.
A Norse God or mythology makes for great tattoo design. Odin and his raven flock, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, Loki the trickster, beautiful Freya or the host of Valkyrie set to help a viking warrior to Valhalla. They’re rich characters filled with the attributes of the best and worst of humanity.
Yggdrasil is an immense mythical tree that plays a central role in Norse cosmology, where it connects the Nine Worlds. It is similar in symbolic meaning to the tree of life, or the world tree.
A Helm of Awe tattoo, known also as Aegishjalmur or Viking Compass, is an ancient Norse symbol granting spiritual protection and power.
Did you enjoy Viking tattoo idea and designs. Are you looking for more inspiration? Click on the links below for more awesome galleries featuring Norse paganism ink in a range of styles, or look at our list of the 50+ best tattoo ideas .
- Top 57 Odin Tattoo Designs
- Top 57 Odin’s Ravens Tattoo Ideas
- Top 50 Yggdrasil Tattoo Designs
- Ragnar Lothbrok Tattoos