First things first, yes, we are advocating that you go shopping at a tattoo shop in Cuba, but not necessarily so you can get fresh ink on your body. La Marca in Old Havana (Habana Vieja), Cuba is more than just a tattoo shop, it’s also an art gallery. Art and creativity are a huge part of what makes Cuba so insanely magical, but tattoo culture and body art are fairly new to a country that is steeped in traditions like cigar rolling and daiquiri drinking. La Marca’s owner, Leo Canosa, opened the shop in January 2015. When it launched just over two years ago, La Marca became the first tattoo shop to open in Cuba’s island nation.
Whether you’re shopping for hip clothes from Clandestina or killer bathing suits from Cris-Cris, Cuba (and Old Havana in particular) is a hot bed for unique designs. La Marca is no exception to the rule. The tattoo salon features a gift shop that hawks limited editions of works by local artisans. You’ll find everything from rad earrings unlike any of the touristy designs you’ll find out in the street stands…
…to funky clothing and fashion. At La Marca you’ll discover one of a kind pieces of artwork and handmade friendship style bracelets. There are chokers with feather details and purses made from reusable materials.
La Marca is a tiny little shop that won’t take you more than a few minutes to explore, but it packs an innovative punch. We wanted to snag a whole handful of their adorable lapel pins.
While there were a ton of adorable accessories in La Marca there was one item that truly took the cake. We adore all of the tattoo inspired magnets La Marca sells. They’re like little tiny colorful stuffed animals that will brighten up any fridge. We’re also willing to bet they hurt a lot less than getting a tattoo. La Marca is a working tattoo studio, so while we opted to bring home a tattoo in magnet form, there’s nothing holding you back from bringing home Cuban artwork on your skin. Whether you’re looking for a neo-traditional design or ink that’s a bit more unique (we’re a big fan of Canosa’s sketch style designs and the fine line work from La Marca tattoo artist David Perez) or just looking for a quirky souvenir, La Marca is fun hybrid gallery/studio to visit during your trip to Cuba. One thing is for certain. La Marca is one of the few shops in Cuba that can leave a mark on you for life.
Calle Obrapia 108C (Located Between Oficios Street and Mercaderes Street)
Old Havana (Habana Vieja), Cuba 10100
Hours: Monday Through Saturday 11:00am to 7:00pm
Phone: +53 78012026