Viking tattoos are based on the artwork and symbolism of the ancient Norse warriors. These warriors originated in Scandinavia and spent most of the time exploring, and plundering, wide areas of Europe from the early ninth to the late eleventh century. These warriors often traveled in huge long ships that were very fast and allowed them to cover large areas of the ocean very efficiently.
Though these Norsemen left few written records, it is lucky for lovers of Viking tattoos that they left a rich body of symbols and artwork.
This artwork and symbolism is the basis for modern Viking tattoos and they often make for a very bold and impressive design.
While not all of their symbols are suitable for Viking tattoos (such as the swastika, which was adapted by the Nazi’s to suit their own purposes), there are still a large number of symbols to choose from. Viking tattoos often contain three armed swirl designs such as the triskeles and many of them have Celtic crosses. The most popular Viking tattoos however, almost always contain a representation of their famed long ships. Of course, you can always mix and match these elements to suit your personal style of body art.