24 Striking Celtic Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
Typically, the word Celtic refers to the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and many other areas. Put simply, these places and cultures are known as Celtic nations or the Celts. Whether you’re of Irish ancestry or merely enjoy the symbolism of Celtic tradition, a Celtic tattoo is a significant and special design option.
But before you go and get your own Celtic tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the best, most detailed, and prettiest Celtic tattoo ideas for 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Blackwork Celtic Valkyrie Tattoo On Man’s Chest
Welcome to another awesome list of tattoos to inspire you in 2023. Our focus for this list is Celtic tattoos and we have some amazing designs to show you! First up we have this Celtic Valkyrie.
When you think of a Valkyrie, you imagine a beautiful woman with wings, sent to guide souls to Valhalla. But that’s not the image you get when looking at this piece and that’s because this is based on a rune, a letter from an ancient alphabet. You can see that the artist first placed it on the client’s side but then went with the chest instead. Great choice!
Lovely Dotwork Celtic Rune Thigh Tattoo
Here we have a lovely Celtic rune tattoo and it seems as though dotwork is a common style used for these kinds of designs. The thick linework is complemented by the gradient of dotwork shading, and I like how the artist left skin open on the knots rather than shading them fully.
Unique Celtic Dotwork Outer Forearm Tattoo
This is a very unique Celtic piece, I’m not entirely sure if there’s meaning behind it, but what I do know is it’s really nicely done. The linework is crispy and solid and the dotwork shading is consistent. Brought together, they create an awesome design that looks good on the client’s outer forearm.
Book of Kells-Inspired Full-Sleeve Celtic Tattoo
How cool is this sleeve? There’s so much going on but the mix of blackwork and dotwork look amazing together. I like the various shapes used to make up each section of the sleeve, especially the circle in the center. It creates a focal point because it stands out against the rest of the shapes. The Book of Kells is an ancient illuminated manuscript written by Scottish or Irish monks around the year 800!
Celtic and Pictish Mother Goddess Tattoo On Woman’s Outer Forearm
What a beautiful tattoo to adorn your body with. The mixture of Celtic and Pictish designs work well together, after all they are clans from the same land. I like the simplicity of this piece, because as simple as it is, there’s great meaning behind it. The placement is gorgeous too, especially how it slightly extends onto the hand. It’s very feminine and suits the shape of the client’s hand perfectly.
Tiny Colorful Celtic Knot Tattoo On the Ankle
Is this not the most precious little Celtic knot tattoo? It’s so intricate for something so small and I think it’s very impressive that the artist managed to get so many colors into such a tiny space. The placement is lovely and not too noticeable if you’re looking to keep your tattoo on the down low.
Interesting Storm Trooper-Inspired Celtic Forearm Tattoo
Star Wars mixed with a Celtic knot? Definitely, something I’ve never seen before, which makes this tattoo both interesting and extremely unique. The dotwork shading is so smooth and consistent but I feel that there are too many open spaces, which makes the tattoo look a bit incomplete.
Nordic, Insular, Pictish, Anglo-Saxon, and Le Téne Inspired Back Tattoo
All I can say is wow! If this isn’t a jaw-dropper piece, then I don’t know what is. The way this tattoo extends all the way up to the neck and head is absolutely amazing, and is very badass if you ask me. There’s a little bit of everything in this back piece, especially since the artist took inspiration from five different Celtic groups.
Masculine Celtic Pauldron Tattoo
Okay, Celtic tattoos don’t particularly look masculine or feminine because most of them are made up of knots and dots. But this one specifically gives off a very masculine vibe because it looks like shoulder armor (pauldron). I like how it frames the shoulder and slightly extends onto the chest. Going over the collarbone must have hurt quite badly, making this tattoo even cooler.
In Progress Full-Sleeve Celtic Gold Toothed God Mask Tattoo
I’ve seen a lot of unique tattoos, but this one is both unusual and absolutely beautiful at the same. It’s quite a busy piece. Your eyes aren’t drawn to one particular area and the lack of shading makes it a bit flat, but because of the style of the tattoo, it doesn’t require much depth. Great placement, I like that it goes onto the client’s hand.
Incredible Norse Jormungandr and Celtic Key Pattern-Inspired Mjolnir Tattoo
Outer forearm tattoos are always a show-stopper because of how visible they are. Something like this would definitely catch someone’s attention because it’s not easy to distinguish what it is. I love the little dotwork details, and how the artist keeps things so perfectly symmetrical. Impressive work!
Freehand Full-Sleeve Celtic Knots Tattoo
A Celtic full-sleeve tattoo is always a winner in my books. The intricate knots mixed with dotwork shading and a blackout is so attractive. Can you believe this was all free-handed? If you’re unfamiliar with that term, the artist drew all of this on with a marker before tattooing it, rather than using your conventional stencil design that’s printed beforehand.
Feminine Dotwork Celtic Knot Triceps Tattoo
For some reason, this piece just gives off major feminine energy. It might be the wispy lines or the clean dotwork; I’m not sure, but I am sure that I really like this one. The triceps is a great placement choice; the design fits snugly above the elbow and doesn’t wrap or warp so you get a full view of it. Nice work.
Awesome Simple Celtic Hound Tattoo On the Side of the Calf
Aren’t Celtic hounds just the silliest thing you’ve seen? Only joking, I think this tattoo is really cool and done in such an interesting way. The tail of the dog makes up the Celtic knot, a very smart design choice. I like the hints of pepper shading, which adds a little bit of depth to an otherwise simple tattoo.
Celtic Powerline Tattoo On Man’s Leg
A powerline tattoo is a bold statement that symbolizes strength and resilience. Many cultures and tattoo collectors usually place it from just under the lip, extending down the middle onto the chin, but here we have a gorgeous Celtic rendition on the leg. It’s perfectly in the middle and the line is as straight as an arrow. Impressive
Celtic and Pictish-Inspired Half-Sleeve Tattoo
One thing worth the mention is how well the solid black is packed; it’s consistent and without any patchiness. Some of the spirals look like they are slightly blown out, but that could just be a shadow from not being able to get the excess black ink off the skin. Other than that, this sleeve is awesome and complements the original work at the top of the sleeve.
Nordic-Inspired Celtic Dragon Tattoo On the Shin
So, this tattoo is inspired by Norse mythology but incorporates Celtic symbolism. I like this take on a dragon, it almost looks like a family crest, and the way it’s been tattooed looks similar to a stone carving. Nice choice of placement, the shin is a great area for bigger tattoos.
Amazing Celtic Knot Half-Sleeve Leg Tattoo
I feel like this is a start for a half-leg sleeve. I don’t see the artist or the client leaving these Celtic knots as is because there’s not much definition and your eyes kind of get lost among all the lines. This is going to be one amazing tattoo when it’s completed; you can already tell just by how clean the linework is.
Lovely Half-Sleeve Dotwork Celtic Tattoo
There’s something almost tribal about this sleeve, it could be the geometric shapes along with the Celtic knots. Together they make for one incredible half-sleeve. The best part of this piece is how it flows with the shape of the client’s muscles; it almost accentuates them.
Stunning Dotwork Celtic Serpent Forearm Tattoo
At first glance, you can’t tell that this is a serpent but then you look again and notice the shape of the head and the motion of the body and you’re like “ooh, a snake”. I like it when you have to give a tattoo a second glance; it means you get to admire it twice. The dotwork is silky and gives this piece the depth it deserves.
Uniquely Placed Battle Ready Celtic Warrior Dotwork Tattoo
I love the little hints of yellow in the tusks and on the warrior’s arm; it breaks away from the black and gray dotwork shading and draws your eye in immediately. This design is actually adorable in my opinion. It looks like it was taken straight from a folklore storybook.
Unusual Black and Gray Celtic Dragon Tattoo On the Forearm
Look at all those knots! This dragon got himself all tangled up in himself. I’ll admit I haven’t seen a design similar to this before, but I like how unique it is and the fact that the artist uses two different shading techniques, dotwork and whip shading. Love the placement, the forearm is a perfect choice.
Two Celtic Serpents Inspired by the Braganza Brooch and 'Witches Stone' Thigh Tattoo
Thigh tattoos have always felt like a very feminine place to get tattooed, even though it’s not only for the ladies. It’s quite an intimate spot because you only see it when someone wears something short, or by invitation only. I love this design and the little hints of yellow give this tattoo that extra little pop.
We hope you found what you were looking for and had as much fun looking at these tattoos as we had writing about the. Until next time, happy inking!
Gorgeous Blackwork Celtic Cross Arm Tattoo
We’ve reached the end of the list and there’s not a single bad thing I could say about this Celtic cross tattoo. The linework is impeccable, the shading is amazing, and the design itself is perfection. I love that it’s on the arm, great placement choice. It could perhaps have gone slightly further up, but it still looks great where it is.