Are you looking for the best hostels in Edinburgh? While there are many to pick from not all Edinburgh hostels are created equal.
Each year Scotland is getting more and more popular among travelers and its capital, Edinburgh, is definitely one of the reasons. As such prices for tourists are rising steadily. Thankfully a budget traveler can stay in one of the best hostels in Edinburgh.
Cobbled streets looking like they came straight out of a fantasy novel are waiting to be explored and tell the tale of old Scotland. Yes, history is still very much alive in this hilly and enchanting city.
Learn about the West End’s turbulent days with a free audio tour. Roam around medieval Old Town Edinburgh or explore the architectural wonderland of Georgian New Town. You can even try one of the mountain biking trails if your budget allows. If that’s not your thing and you just want to chill then head to the Elephant House, a name very well known to every J.K. Rowling fan – this is where she wrote Harry Potter.
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What Makes the Best Hostels in Edinburgh the Best?
Despite all its charm and the very well deserved attention it’s getting, Edinburgh can still be visited on a budget. Though there are plenty hotels and guest houses to chose from, if you are traveling on a shoestring budget or you are a solo traveler, your best accommodation option is definitely in one of many Edinburgh hostels. Luckily, there are quite a few to choose from and some of them are absolutely amazing!
However, every traveler is different and therefore, even when it comes to hostels, we all have our own desires and expectations. We have put together this list to help you chose the hostel that is best for you.
This list is based on what we personally expect out of a great hostel in Edinburgh. Clean rooms, comfortable dorm beds with power outlets, secure luggage storage, friendly atmosphere that encourages interaction (but doesn’t force it), and a communal kitchen are all super important aspects in our eyes, and we prioritize them when suggesting a place to stay. All of these are factors when it comes to making our selections of the best hostels in Edinburgh.
Happy travels and have fun in Edinburgh!
Best Hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Hostels – Castle Rock Hostel
- Address: 15 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh
- Independent Reviews: HostelWorld
Located just under the Edinburgh castle, the palatial Castle Rock hostel offers some amazing views and a very special historical vibe! This museum-like hostel is in a building dating back to 1846 so it brims with art, character, and antiquity. There is even a fireplace to keep you warm during the cold nights, making this one of the coziest Edinburgh hostels.
Though the popular Royal Mile and Grass Market are literally a one minute walk away, the hostel is on a quiet street so you definitely get the best of the both worlds. Helpful staff will be happy to tell you about the do’s and don’ts in Edinburgh, and the hostel’s free tours of the city and pub crawls are also quite popular.
This Edinburgh hostel offers private rooms and dorms from 8 to 12 people and you’ll be happy to learn they are all clean, comfy and decorated with a theme and hilarious names. How’d you like to stay in a Jesus bed in the Virgin room?
Just like the rooms, the hostel is quite spacious, so you will always be able to choose between some privacy or interaction with other travelers. You can share your travel stories over a meal in the communal kitchen, in one of the lounges, or out on the patio during the warmer days. Travelers can help themselves to free tea and coffee in the lounges.
All the beds are provided with free lockers and should you check in early, there is a luggage storage free of charge. Guests have the option of a tiny breakfast for £1.50 only and the laundry service for £4.00. Wifi is available in the Internet lounge.
If you don’t mind bigger hostels and you are looking for a good value for money, the Castel Rock hostel is definitely one of the best hostels in Edinburgh!
Best Hostels in Edinburgh – Belford Hostel
- Address: 6/8 Douglas Gardens, Edinburgh
- Independent Reviews: HostelWorld
If you are looking for a unique place to stay from among the many Edinburgh hostels rest assured that Belford Hostel is the place for you. Once a church, now a hostel with cheerful and welcoming staff, it offers private rooms and dormitories for up to 10 people. Dorms are located in the central church hall which means you will fall asleep and wake up to the view of beautifully stained glass.
Another thing that makes Belford Hostel one of the best hostels in Edinburgh is the great location. Staying in West End, you will be close to the popular sights Dean Village and Water of Leith.
If you are looking to meet fellow travelers, you can spend some time in a private residents bar or even utilize the outdoor BBQ.
All beds are clean, comfy and have a double plug for your computer and phone so you can enjoy the free WiFi as much as you like. There are also free lockers during your stay and on the day of your departure, you can store your luggage (also for free) while you do that last bit of sightseeing.
The only drawback of this amazing Edinburgh hostel is that during busy times (August / Rugby / Bank Holiday Weekends / Easter /Hogmanay) they will charge your card within 24 hours of your booking and refunds are not possible. So make sure you’ve got your dates right!
If you are looking for a cosy place with a special vibe, the Belford Hostel might be one of the best hostels for you in Edinburgh.
Best Hostels in Edinburgh – Kick Ass Hostels
- Address: 2 West Port, Grassmarket, Edinburgh
- Independent Reviews: HostelWorld
This award winning Edinburgh hostel is located in a very center of the city, which is pretty great in and of itself. However, if you all fancy and you are into the concept of a “luxury hostel”, you should definitely take Kick Ass Hostel into consideration when choosing from all the Edinburgh hostels out there.
The hostel is designed to provide you with equal amounts of comfort and fun – beds have private lockers, private night lights, USB charging points and power outlets. Tourx of the city and daily events/entertainment at the bar are included in the price of the stay. Is there a better way to make friends than having a drink with a view of the famous Edinburgh Castle?
The Kick Ass bar offers breakfasts under £5.00 and during the day you can enjoy the pint of a beer under £2.00. If you wish to cook your own meals you can do so in the self-catering kitchen which is guaranteed to be clean as all the facilities are constantly monitored for cleanliness.
On top of that, the Kick Ass hostel has a café that’s very popular among other travelers who stop for a drink or coffee, so you are guaranteed to meet like minded people. And if you decide to go partying, worry not, because there is no curfew.
If you are traveling with a family or a group, note that the Kick Ass hostel doesn’t offer private rooms, and that minimum age for every guest is 18.
To sum it all up, travelers who don’t mind paying a few extra pounds to be comfy and to have a great location, would definitely agree that Kick Ass is one of the best hostels in Edinburgh!
Best Hostels in Edinburgh – High Street Hostel
Among Edinburgh hostels the High Street Hostel best supports our previous statement that the history is very much alive in this city. You see, the hostel operates inside a historical 470 year old building, also known as Morton House. The resident, Earl of Morton, was beheaded in 1581. The reason? He was accused to be involved in one of the most mysterious and unsolved conspiracies ever – murder of Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Henry Lord Darnley. But as the hostel claims, these days they operate with less beheadings and more beddings…
Do not be misled by the building’s age! It was recently refurbished so the free WiFi works throughout this historic Edinburgh hostel and every bed comes with USB and power points. If you don’t have your own device, you can rent a tablet or use the PC in the receptionist area. We are sure you won’t be spending much time online anyway, because the High Street Hostel is located in the very heart of Edinburgh.
If you are budgeting, and do not wish to eat outside, the hostel offers fully equipped kitchen and/or a £1.90 buffet styled breakfast. To help you save even more money, the hostel has deals with many entertainment venues and restaurants so you can get all kinds of discounts while enjoying everything Edinburgh has to offer.
To encourage socializing, this great Edinburgh hostel has an extremely friendly staff, big comfy common room, a pool table and even a piano!
Travelers looking for a cosy hostel with a friendly backpacker atmosphere will definitely consider the Highs Street Hostel one of the best hostels in Edinburgh!
Best Hostels in Edinburgh – Haystack Hostel
Located between Old Town and New Town, Haystack Hostel is a perfect base if you want to explore as much of Edinburgh as you can. It is only a two minute walk from the bus and train stations.
This cosy, small Edinburgh hostel was recently refurbished and as a result each bed comes with a privacy curtain, locker, reading light, plug, and USB socket. The kitchen is new, fully equipped with everything you need and is spacious enough for socializing over a meal. However, don’t worry about the first meal of the day because breakfast is free! Also, free WiFi is available to all the guests.
Haystack has in total 36 beds and is one of the few in Edinburgh that offers female only dorms making it perfect for female solo travelers. The hostel also has small three bed mixed dorms that are perfect for a small group of friends traveling together.
Although Haystack Hostel might not be the best option for budget travelers looking for a cheap Edinburgh hostel, those who are in search of a quiet hostel but still want a good location, will agree that this is one of the best hostels to stay in Edinburgh!
Best Hostels in Edinburgh – Cowgate Hostel
If you are on a tight budget but still want to be close to all the main sights, Cowgate Hostel might be the Edinburgh hostel for you. Staying on the Cowgate Street, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Edinburgh’s nightlife but also just walking distance from the castle.
Cowgate Hostel offers basic twin and double bed private rooms and mixed dorms with four or six beds. Actually, with its 170 beds it is one of the rare hostels in Edinburgh that hosts groups. However, if you are traveling in a pack, make sure to phone them in advance to let them you’ll be sharing the dorm with your friends. Just keep in mind that all cancellations must be made 72 hrs prior, otherwise you will be charged the first night’s stay.
Quite uniquely, if you are staying in Edinburgh for a while you have the option of long-term rates and even staying in one of the 12 apartments they provide. If you decide to stay even longer, and make Edinburgh your home, the staff can help you with finding a job. Talk about solidarity!
Travelers can enjoy free coffee and tea while socializing in the lounge. The outside social area is brand new and can host 180 people.
If you are looking for a great party hostel in Edinburgh, but also want to do some sightseeing, definitely take Cowgate Hostel into consideration! Doubly so if you are in need of an Edinburgh hostel that hosts large groups of travelers!
So there you have it folks, that’s our guide to the best hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland. We hope we’ve given you some helpful advice and inspiration for visiting this wonderful city. As always happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!
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