For a lot of guys, getting a tattoo is all about feeling like a badass. And what says “badass” more than a big ol’ lion? Lion tattoos are the perfect way to show off your strength and bravery, and they look pretty cool too.
So if you’re thinking about getting inked up, check out our list of 15+ lion tattoos for men that will have you looking like the king of the jungle.
Keep in mind, though, that if you’re after something super original, it may be hard to do it with a lion tattoo. Many different kinds of lion tattoos are very popular around the world, particularly for men, because of their meaning and cultural significance.
That said, a lion tattoo is beautiful and meaningful, and whether you go with a lion chest tattoo or a lion forearm tattoo, it will draw attention.
In this article, you’ll find the best lion tattoos for men and also ideas specific to tattoo placement, for example, lion neck tattoo ideas.
List of 15 lion tattoo ideas
Popular Lion Tattoo Ideas for Men
Lion Face Tattoo
A lion face tattoo is a great choice for guys who want to show off their strength and character. From subtle lion faces on the arm to big roaring lion heads on the chest – there are plenty of ways to make this classic lion tattoo your own.
It can even be a simple lion tattoo or more detailed, depending on the specific design you go with. Either way, it will represent your inner beast!
Realistic Lion Tattoo
For a more lifelike lion tattoo, opt for a realistic lion tattoo design. This type of lion tattoo is incredibly detailed and vibrant, and it’s perfect for guys who want to show off their strength with a bold tattoo.
Realistic lion tattoos require skill and incredible attention to detail. So make sure to work with a tattoo artist who has done lion tattoos before. Although you can do a realistic lion tattoo in just black ink, for even more flair, go with colors that catch the majestic look of the King of the Jungle.
Lion with Crown Tattoo
For guys who want to feel like royalty, a lion with a crown tattoo is the way to go. This lion tattoo is often combined with other elements, such as birds or flowers, to create an eye-catching design that symbolizes power and authority.
Lions are kings of the jungle, and adding a crown tattoo to the lion face tattoo adds that sense of leadership and royalty. The crown can be very detailed with jewels, especially if you plan on doing this tattoo in color.
It’s a classic one that you cannot go wrong with!
Roaring Lion Tattoo
Show your wild side with a roaring lion tattoo. This lion tattoo often features a lion showing its sharp teeth, symbolizing strength and courage. It’s popular among men who want to show off their bold personalities and their lion-like traits.
A roaring lion tattoo can feature the lion’s mane as well. The more volume it has, the more spectacular it looks.
This is, again, one of the more popular lion tattoos for men, so it’s not original. Nevertheless, the machismo of a roaring lion is undeniable.
Lion and Fire Tattoo
For a unique lion tattoo, consider combining lion elements with fire. Lion tattoos with fire often symbolize passion and ambition, making them perfect for guys who are driven and determined to succeed.
There are different approaches to incorporating fire into a lion tattoo. The most spectacular, perhaps, is the one where the lion’s mane is done as fire. There’s no better design to combine two different and strong attributes like strength and passion in one tattoo than the lion and fire tattoo design.
Winged Lion Tattoo
If you’re looking for something a little more spiritual, a winged lion tattoo is the way to go. This lion tattoo often features wings that represent divine power and strength, making it perfect for guys who want to show off their spirituality.
Like the lion of Judah tattoo has religious meanings, a winged lion tattoo has mythological links. Creatures that look like winged lions are part of ancient mythologies, particularly Egyptian and Persian.
No matter what type of lion tattoo you choose, one thing is for sure – lion tattoos are a great way to show off your strength and courage.
Lion Eyes Tattoo
A lion eyes tattoo is a great way to add some subtle power to your ink. This lion tattoo often features a small part of the lion’s face with its piercing eyes, sending a powerful message of strength and courage.
Unlike, say, a tribal lion tattoo, a lion eyes tattoo captures the eyes of the lion with great detail. A lion’s gaze can impart fear in the prey. So lion’s eyes can represent its fearlessness, how it’s never afraid to fight its enemy or hunt prey, whether day or night.
Blue Lion Tattoo
If you’re looking for something a bit more colorful, try out a blue lion tattoo. This lion tattoo often features bold blues and purples that make it stand out from the crowd. It’s perfect for guys who want to show off their unique style.
As opposed to black ink or the typical colors of a lion, like golden or brown, this tattoo draws the lion in a completely different shade, like blue. And this blue lion has brown eyes that stand out.
This is a relatively less common lion tattoo style, as most commonly, lion tattoos are done in black or realistic colors of the animal.
Chinese Lion Tattoo
For a lion with an Asian twist, try out a Chinese lion design. This lion tattoo often features intricate details that make it stand out from the crowd. It’s perfect for guys who want to show off their appreciation for culture and art.
Chinese lion tattoos capture the architectural details of Chinese guard lions. You’ve probably seen these lions in parades. They are somewhat similar to the Japanese lions.
Such tattoos are typically colorful, as those varying hues help define the features. However, you can use fewer colors or simply stick with black ink.
Traditional Lion Tattoo
For a lion tattoo with some classic vibes, try out a traditional lion design. This lion tattoo often features bold black outlines and heavy shading that gives it an old-school look. It’s perfect for guys who want to add some vintage flair to their ink.
Lion has cultural significance in many cultures, particularly Asian cultures. However, the common traits of lions, even in these cultures, are strength and courage. So even if you’re going with traditional lion tattoos, they will represent a similar meaning and signify the qualities that make lions stand out in the animal kingdom.
Small Lion Tattoo
For a lion tattoo that’s subtle yet powerful, try out a small lion design. This lion tattoo often features a lion face or head that can be placed almost anywhere on the body. Even though it’s small, it can recreate the classical details of the King of the Jungle.
A small lion tattoo is ideal for those who want to show off their strength without going too big. Lion tattoos are commonly big and more pronounced. So if you’re not keen on large tattoos, a smaller design is perfect.
A lion finger tattoo is also a small tattoo, but they are not the best because they fade very easily. And you want your tattoo to be long-lasting!
Geometric Lion Tattoo
For a lion tattoo with modern elements, try out a geometric lion tattoo design. This lion tattoo often features bold lines and shapes that come together to create an eye-catching lion design. Whether you opt for a lion face or the full body, this type of tattoo is sure to make a statement.
A geometric lion tattoo retains the symbology of the lion but also adds some design depth. It can also incorporate the meaning of shapes. Do your research on what a particular shape represents before you take your idea to a tattoo artist.
Lion Statue Tattoo
If you’ve been to Florence, Italy, you’ve probably seen the famous statues of Medici lions. If you’ve been to London and visited Trafalgar square, you’ve probably seen the giant statues on Nelson’s columns. Lions have been sculptured throughout history.
If you’re looking for a unique lion tattoo, try out a lion statue design. This lion tattoo often features an intricate lion statue that can be placed almost anywhere on the body.
Such tattoos have a slightly different aesthetic than realistic lion tattoos, as they have bold lines and darker shades to mimic statues made of stone or metal.
Lion Sleeve Tattoo for Men
For a lion tattoo that’s striking and detailed, try out a lion sleeve tattoo. This lion tattoo often features a full lion body or just a lion head with other tattoos. You can get the lion tattooed on the upper arm or go with a lion forearm tattoo and work your way up.
Tribal lion tattoos are very popular for a full lion sleeve tattoo, as they can be paired with other tribal tattoos for men.
If you plan on getting sleeve tattoos, a ferocious lion can be a great addition. However, if the lion tattoo is the first one on the arm, make sure to tell your tattoo artist that you plan to expand it, so they can advise on the design and keep it easily expandable.
Lion Chest Tattoo for Men
For a lion tattoo that’s bold and striking, try out a lion chest tattoo. Lion chest tattoos are very popular with men.
This placement often features a full lion body with intricate details that make it stand out from the crowd. For a lion chest tattoo, you can practically use any design, including but not limited to a roaring lion, tribal lion, geometric lion, lion with a crown, or even a female lion tattoo.
A large design can cover the entire chest. Alternatively, you can get it on one side.
Lion Shoulder Tattoo for Men
If you’ve worked hard in the gym to get a nice, round shoulder (what bodybuilders call a 3D shoulder), you can consider getting a lion tattoo on your shoulder. This lion tattoo often features a lion face or head that can be placed around the delts.
It’s perfect for guys who want to show off their strength and emphasize the roundness of the shoulder.
For a lion shoulder tattoo, a lion face or head is the ideal design. However, the shoulder is also a great placement for tribal or geometric lion tattoos.
Lion Thigh Tattoo for Men
A lion tattoo on the thigh is very popular among guys. That’s mainly because thighs provide a larger area to work, so you can get a bigger tattoo. It’s perfect for guys who want to show off their bold personalities in an unexpected way.
From just the lion head tattoo to a full mountain lion tattoo, there are plenty of design choices when it comes to getting it inked on the thighs. The Chinese lion or any other traditional lion tattoo will look great on the legs.
Lion Back Tattoo for Men
A lion back tattoo can be large and incredibly detailed. Back is the perfect placement for a lion family tattoo featuring a male and a female lion tattoo and even a cub tattoo.
This lion tattoo often features a full lion body with intricate details that make it stand out from the crowd. It’s perfect for guys who want to show off their strength in an impressive way.
If you want something a little unconventional for your lion back tattoo, go with a lion skull tattoo or a Leo lion tattoo.
Get Your Lion On!
Lion tattoos for men range from the basic male lion to the more majestic lion with wings. If you’re looking for a masculine tattoo, this is a perfect choice.
However, lion tattoos have been done in almost every art style, so finding something unique is difficult. Still, no matter what style you get, it lives up to its meaning, as a lion tattoo symbolizes strength, fearlessness, and royalty!
The best part is that you can place lion tattoos almost anywhere, and they’ll look great. But some placements are better suited for a specific style. For instance, lion head tattoos can make great lion neck tattoos.
Hope you found enough inspiration to bring out your inner ‘badass’ lion through a beautiful tattoo!
Tribal Lion Tattoo
A lion tattoo with tribal designs is a great way to express your unique style. These lion tattoos often feature bold lines and shapes that come together to create an intricate lion design. Whether it’s a lion face or the full body, this type of lion tattoo is sure to make a statement.
It typically takes inspiration from African tribal art, using traditional tribal patterns to create a lion’s face or silhouette. A tribal lion tattoo is typically done in black ink, but some designs can also incorporate color. Just don’t use white ink, as it easily fades.
Lion and Cub Tattoo
A lion and cub tattoo is a great choice for guys who are looking to show off their softer side. This lion tattoo often features a lion and its cub, symbolizing the strong bond between father and son. It’s a beautiful way to honor your family or your children.
One variation of this design is Lion King, the popular Disney movie we’ve all seen in our childhood. A cartoonish cub tattoo featuring Simba with his dad Mufasa can be a great way to honor the movie and represent its ideals of parenthood and leadership.
Plus, it will look striking and would make a great icebreaker!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can get a lion tattoo almost anywhere on the body, depending on size. However, the chest is an ideal placement for lion tattoos because it’s a large body part and provides great orientation. Similarly, the shoulder and thigh can also be great for tattoos featuring a male or female.
If you want to show off body art, lion forearm tattoos or lion neck tattoos are the best. They should be visible even when you’re wearing a t-shirt.
If you’ve decided to get a lion hand tattoo, you can get it on either hand. The placement is a personal preference. However, if you want to elevate the look of your tattoo with jewelry like a bracelet or ring, it’s best to get it on the hand that you usually wear jewelry on.
Keep in mind that much like a lion finger tattoo, a lion hand tattoo can also fade over time. That’s mainly because you’re constantly washing your hands. It doesn’t mean they’ll fade quickly, but compared to a tattoo on your chest or leg, a tattoo on your hand will lose color faster.
Whether you can cover up a lion tattoo depends on the size and design of the tattoo. As for removal, you can get your tattoo removed through laser. However, laser tattoo removal is generally expensive.
Given the intricate details that go into tattooing a lion, it may be hard to cover up. You can speak to different tattoo artists and see if you can find something better to cover up the tattoo.
A Japanese lion tattoo has similar meanings to other lion tattoos. It symbolizes strength, courage, and protection. Also, in Japanese tradition, the lion signifies heroic ambitions such as the power to protect.
These intricate lions are also referred to as guardian lions and also symbolize prosperity. So getting a Japanese lion tattoo can combine multiple meanings in a single artwork.