43 Unique and Beautiful Turtle Tattoos

Turtles have a quiet charm that is irresistible for many people. If you are one of them, these beautiful turtle tattoos are for you.

Turtles might be one of the oldest creatures on the planet. But the love for them is evergreen.

Because they move slowly, many people think of them as clumsy and cute. Thus, for people that are always on the go, observing a turtle climbing around reminds them to breathe and slow down.

Turtles are also known for their rich symbolism. For example, it’s not uncommon for turtles to live over a hundred years. Therefore, they are often seen as a symbol of good fortune and longevity.

They are also associated with life and a strong will. Female sea turtles swim to the shore to hatch their eggs. And turtle babies must find their way back to the ocean for survival. They are both faced with danger along the way. But they persevere. And that’s why turtles are on each continent except Antarctica.

Why do people get turtle tattoos?

Many people get turtle tattoos because they relate to the meanings. Whether it’s wisdom, protection, or tranquillity, they see part of them in the characteristics of turtles. And turtle tattoos become a statement of identity.

Others are going for the look. There’s a lot to play with on the shape and shell of a turtle in terms of design. And just like other dragon and mermaid tattoos, turtles have a natural movement that makes the ink more lively.

So whether you want to get a turtle tattoo for its meaning or the aesthetics, we got you covered.In this post, you will find a collection of small to big, simple to bold turtle tattoo ideas to inspire your next ink.

Disclaimer: This collection of turtle tattoos is for inspiration only. Please do not copy the artwork. If you love these tattoos, follow artists and show them some support.

Turtle tattoos for men and women

Small turtle tattoos for minimalist

Small tattoos are dainty, elegant, and easy to hide. If you are opting for something low-profile, these small and simple turtle tattoos are for you.

Single-line turtle tattoo

Simple turtle tattoo by @cha.tattoo


There’s nothing more minimal than illustrating the silhouette in a single line. It also requires creativity and precision. This simple turtle tattoo makes a perfect example.

Abstract turtle collarbone tattoo

Abstract turtle collarbone tattoo by @imfine_tat


Unlike the previous one, this collarbone tattoo is made of sketchy lines, enhancing its artistry. And the grey-blue paint on the shell shows the tattooist’s constrain on using color – not too much, but enough to highlight the tattoo.

Minimalist turtle outline tattoo

Minimalist turtle outline tattoo by @thisisjisuink


Another small and minimalistic turtle tattoo. It keeps only the outline without compromising the form. The delicate curves bring movement to the tattoo, making it perfect for someone who values freedom and flexibility.

Black and grey realism turtle tattoo

Black and grey realism turtle tattoo by @_hony_tattoo


Most realism tattoos contain many details and shadows, which don’t always look minimal. But this ankle tattoo shows just the right amount of detail. In addition, because of the placement and size, it is still a great discreet tattoo option.

Small abstract turtle tattoo

Small abstract turtle tattoo by @tattooist_dante


Cute turtle family tattoo

Cute turtle family tattoo by @cowgirlufo


What a cute family tattoo for turtle lovers. Also, if you resonate with the symbolism of turtles, you can adjust the number of turtles to represent your family.

Minimalist turtle tattoo

Minimalist turtle tattoo by @gorae_tattoo


A shamrock, also known as three-leaf clover like the one in this tattoo, is believed to symbolize hope and love. However, sometimes you may also see four-leaf clover. Since it’s a rare type of shamrock, it represents best wishes and good luck.

Small sea turtle tattoo

Small sea turtle tattoo by @tattoo_artist_olive


Because sea turtles live in water, it feels natural to add bubbles as decoration in a tattoo. They also make the tattoo instantly more alive and cute.

Simple small turtle tattoo

Simple small turtle tattoo by @mariash.ink


Detailed blackwork turtle arm tattoo

Detailed blackwork turtle arm tattoo by @louccia


One thing that makes this turtle arm tattoo so unique is the position. It depicts a sea turtle swimming upward, fitting perfectly on the placement. The mosaic patterns on both the skin and the shell are also done to perfection.

Small turtle wrist tattoo

Small turtle wrist tattoo by @relampago.tattoo


Wrist tattoos are not for everyone because of their high visibility. But a turtle tattoo like this one is small enough, even for those who want low-key ink.

Tiny sea turtle shoulder tattoo

Tiny sea turtle shoulder tattoo by @choiyun_tattoo


Tiny green turtle tattoo

Tiny green turtle tattoo by @goldwith.tattoo


Bold and beautiful turtle tattoo ideas

The best tattoos are the ones that represent the wearers. If you resonate with the wisdom and patience of turtles, these bold turtle tattoos will be a proud statement of your personality.

Colorful fantasy turtle tattoo

Colorful fantasy turtle tattoo by @delamartattoo


Most turtles in real life are dark green or grey. It’s less likely to see vibrant colors on them. And because of that, the unconventional choice of colors makes this tattoo stand out.

Black realism sea turtle tattoo

Black realism sea turtle tattoo by @mov.film_.art


The combination of real and unreal always brings the wow factor. In this shoulder tattoo, for example, every detail of the turtle screams realism. But the hoop makes the turtle feel like it’s flowing, which brings drama and fantasy to this blackwork.

Matching heart-shape turtle tattoos

Matching heart-shape turtle tattoos by @urbantattoostudio


Couple tattoos don’t have to be identical or matchy-matchy. For example, the tattooist transforms the silhouette of a turtle into a heart shape. Then, another heart shape is carved out from it to make another tattoo. The creativity keeps the tattoos cohesive, making them a token of unbreakable love.

Turtle and crown tattoo

Turtle and crown tattoo by @siia.ink


From first sight, the crown may capture all your attention. But look closer, and you will spot the glamorous mosaic patterns on the shell, making the tattoo look royal.

Axis and turtle arm tattoo

Axis and turtle arm tattoo by @dawidroszak_tattoo


Simple colored sea turtle tattoo

Simple colored sea turtle tattoo by @eunyutattoo


Floral turtle back tattoo

Floral turtle back tattoo by @violaine_tattoo


Back tattoos are versatile. They can be small or as big as this one. Plus, The back is a large enough placement for you to be creative. By adding flowers and a half circle, the tattooist reveals the feminine side of the wearer.

Bubbles and turtles

Bubbles and turtles by @shadetattoogallery


If you want a color tattoo but want to keep the main motifs simple, this tattoo offers a solution. The blue bubbles in the background are eye-catching because of the high saturation. However, the turtles in the foreground remain clean and simple, creating visual contrast.

Super cute turtle thigh tattoo

Super cute turtle thigh tattoo by @sisi.lovelove


This thigh tattoo has a lot to love. The beret, the paintbrush, and the shell that looks like a color palette all create a painter turtle image. This artistic tattoo would belong to someone with a girly point of view in art.

Fantasy turtle arm tattoo

Fantasy turtle arm tattoo by @schwarzekatze.taetowierkunst


Sea turtle quote tattoo

Sea turtle quote tattoo by @yoy__tattoo


Turtles are a symbol of longevity and life. And it makes sense to pair a turtle tattoo with a sentence that reflects your attitude and beliefs. And this quote tattoo is a good example.

Watercolor turtle ankle tattoo

Watercolor turtle ankle tattoo by @non_lee_ink


Adding watercolor in the background is a great way to make a tattoo more vibrant and interesting. Without clear borders between colors, watercolor tattoos have a fluidity that makes them both whimsical and natural.

Girly flowers and turtle tattoo

Girly flowers and turtle tattoo by @studiobysol


Ink wash painting turtle tattoo

Ink wash painting turtle tattoo by @tattooist_jaymee


Mountains, turtles, trees, and the sun, this ink has all the elements in oriental tattoos. And the solid black brushstrokes make it feel like a painting rather than a tattoo.

Turtle symbol tattoo

Turtle symbol tattoo by @fedornozdrin


If you want to express multiple ideas in one tattoo, symbolic tattoos are for you. By lining up a series of meaningful symbols, you create a unique tattoo that reflects your perspectives.

Moon and turtle thigh tattoo

Moon and turtle thigh tattoo by @13ink.tattoo.studio


Sea turtle seascape tattoo

Sea turtle seascape tattoo by @eunyutattoo


Most seascape or landscape tattoos are horizontal. However, this one from tattooist Eunyu crops out a stripe of a sea. She also adds a turtle swimming out of the frame. And this creative highlight not only creates a 3D effect but also makes it more lively and less rigid.

Intricate floral forearm tattoo

Intricate turtle forearm tattoo by @sebastian_tattoo


Simple realism turtle tattoo

Simple realism turtle tattoo by @tattooist_dh


Simple turtles on the arm

Simple turtles on the arm by @tattooist__lala


Symbolic turtle spine tattoo

Symbolic turtle spine tattoo by @katiechapmantattoos


Spine tattoos are often a combination of small symbols that align in a straight line. The turtle in this tattoo, however, is significantly bigger than other symbols, no doubt the center of attention.

Creative turtle tattoos

So far, we’ve covered some of the best turtle tattoos. But some tattoo artists think outside the box and inject their creativity into the tattoos. So if you are looking for something different, don’t miss out on these creative turtle tattoos.

Stunning turtle tattoo

Stunning turtle tattoo by @non_lee_ink


Tattooist Non-Lee has a portfolio of gorgeous realism fantasy tattoos. This one is no exception. The flowers and mushrooms on the shell have a wide range of colors. The way they bloom on the shell makes this turtle look like a creature from a Studio Ghibli movie.

Yin-yang turtle tattoo

Yin yang turtle tattoo by @lobeliabarker


Cute rabbit and turtle tattoo

Cute rabbit and turtle tattoo by @dan_tattooer


This tattoo for sure melts hearts. Both the rabbit and the sea turtle are portrayed perfectly. But the highlight is the scuba mask. It makes everything so reasonable, but at the same time, adds fun to the tattoo.

Colorful turtle tattoo

Colorful turtle tattoo by @tattooist_fluffy


Lotus and turtle tattoo

Lotus and turtle tattoo by @eontattoo


In Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower represents calmness and peace of mind. On the other hand, turtle tattoos are seen as a symbol of life and longevity. Together, this tattoo shows that the wearer prioritizes her inner peace over materials in life.

Geometric turtle arm tattoo

Geometric turtle arm tattoo by @johny_bozoki


Stunning blue turtle tattoo

Stunning blue turtle tattoo by @pokhy_tattoo


Flowers and sea turtle arm tattoo

Flowers and sea turtle arm tattoo by @songe.tatto


Turtle mandala tattoo on the thigh

Turtle mandala tattoo on the thigh by @lelionnoirtattoo


Which of these turtle tattoos is your favorite?

Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts!

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