Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital and a well-known tourist destination in the region. It also has a fascinating Old Town and an impressive castle that serves as the main landmark of the city. The city also has a lively nightlife scene that attracts young travelers and backpackers. The city is filled with impressive restaurants, exciting shopping, and excellent music venues. It also hosts a wide range of fun festivals whole year-round.
What Are The Best Hostels in Edinburgh?
1. Royal Mile Backpackers
Royal Mile Backpackers is a quaint and friendly hostel situated right in the city center. It has a fun and welcoming environment, especially for solo travelers, and makes it easy to make new friends. Also, there is a common area where guests can relax after a busy day exploring the town. There’s also a functional shared kitchen available to guests. It has most of the standard amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, laundry service, and security lockers. The staff can also help you organize tours in and around the city and Scotland.
But it is not a party hostel, and you should be able to get a good night’s sleep, but they do encourage guests to socialize with each other. The hostel organizes regular events, such as a free pub crawl every Thursday night. It a mellow setting, but still social enough that a solo traveler won’t have any trouble making a few friends.
Eight and ten-bed dorms are available. You’ll find both co-ed and female-only rooms as well.
Pros: Convenient location, great amenities, and social atmosphere
2. Light House Hostel
The Light House Hostel is an excellent option for solo and group travelers in Edinburgh. The hostel is housed in a Georgian townhouse that creates a beautiful and striking atmosphere. It has a similar feeling to staying with family, and you’ll instantly be right at home during your stay here. The hostel offers a lot of hospitality and a great environment where you can socialize with other guests.
It’s located about a fifteen-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. It’s also in the artistic center of the city center and is near the theaters, a concert hall, and a lot of restaurants and cafes. Almost anything you’d need is very accessible.
Light House Hostel offers quiet surroundings, and you’re sure to have a good night’s sleep. It is the place to stay if you want both comfort and pleasant environment. There’s also a common area where guests can enjoy chilling out on a large sofa, watching movies, or swapping travel stories with other guests. There’s also a shared kitchen available, and they regularly host BBQ cookouts in the garden. Other amenities include free breakfast, Wi-Fi access, and storage lockers.
Price: $12.61 to $32.22
Pros: Great for all types of travelers, very social atmosphere, and complete amenities
3. Argyle Backpackers
Argyle Backpackers Hostel is a good option for almost all kinds of travelers to the city. The hostel is very charming and is located conveniently about a ten or fifteen-minute walk away from Edinburgh Castle. It’s also close to the Royal Mile and Scotland’s National Museum. If you’re visiting the city for a festival, it’s just two minutes away from Meadows Park, which is the central festival area in the city.
The hostel has a wide range of amenities available such as free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and two shared kitchens that you can use. There’s also a beautiful garden area where you can have BBQ nights.
The hostel has large rooms with modern decor and lets in a lot of natural light. Also, both private rooms and dorms are available, and private rooms include singles, twins, doubles, and triples. Dorms also range in size from four-bed to six-bed dorms, and you can choose between co-ed and female-only rooms.
Price: $18.13 to $29.83
Pros: Convenient location, great amenities, and lots of room options
4. St Christopher’s Edinburgh
St Christopher’s Edinburgh is part of a hostel chain with branches spread around Europe. This hostel is another popular choice for solo and independent travelers to Edinburgh. It’s also located conveniently near the Waverley Train Station and is a fun and affordable
Also, the hostel has an on-site restaurant that serves good food. Guests can also receive a 25% discount on all dishes. Other amenities available for guests include free breakfast, Wi-Fi access, and laundry facilities. The staff is travelers themselves, so they can answer any travel-related questions that you might have. If you’re visiting the city to party, then you’ll appreciate the on-site hostel bar, Belushi’s. There’s also a separate entertainment area where you can enjoy live music, watch sporting events, and have affordable drinks. If you just want to chill out in the hostel, there are a lot of common areas, such as a lounge and television room.
Price: $13.31 to $15.27
Pros: Great location, good on-site restaurant and bar, and lots of activities
What Should I Look For in a Youth Hostel in Edinburgh?
When looking for hostels, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. These are:
- Location – Your hostel’s location isn’t crucial. With only about 500,000 residents, Edinburgh is relatively small and compact. It’s a joy to walk, and even if the weather is poor (like a 95% chance in the UK), the bus system is excellent and can quickly get you from point A to point B.
- Price – By international standards, Edinburgh is very pricey, but by UK standards, it’s a bit easier to pinch a penny. The cost of travel puts Edinburgh at $71 a day, but that can be cut down by monitoring your alcohol consumption and looking for a hostel that has some free…
- Amenities – You should find hostels that offer free breakfast. Sure, the price for it might be added to the cost of the hostel, but only ever so slightly. In an expensive destination like Scotland, the couple extra bucks for a free hostel breakfast will add up, especially when a proper Scottish brekkie runs a good £7.
The Youth Hostels in Edinburgh
1. Castle Rock Hostel
Price: $12.74 to $83.66
Pros: Great location, comfy and clean rooms, very social common areas, and chill vibe
Cons: The showers can get little dirty, attic rooms have tilted ceilings which makes it very hard to stand, and no lift
2. Belford Hostel
Price: $13 to $58.5
Pros: Friendly staff, great architecture and interior design, clean rooms and bathrooms, great amenities, and convenient location
Cons: The bedsheets can come with stains sometimes, and the rooms can get stuffy
3. Kick Ass Greyfriars
Price: $12.32 to $140.23
Pros: Great location, very social atmosphere, friendly staff, clean and comfy rooms, and great amenities
Cons: Rooms can sometimes be noisy and cramped shared bathrooms and showers
4. The Baxter
Price: $22.58 to $120.63
Pros: Convenient location, free breakfast, social atmosphere, friendly staff, lots of activities, shared kitchen, and great amenities
Cons: Some floors have broken showers, and some rooms have bedbugs
Price: $71.49 to $136.49
Pros: Clean and comfortable rooms, helpful staff, great location, and good value for money
6. Haystack Hostel
Price: $14.26 to $19.11
Pros: Spotless rooms and bathrooms, friendly staff, great atmosphere, complete amenities, convenient location, and free towels and lockers
Cons: Small rooms and common areas and the showers can have a few problems sometimes
7. Cowgate Tourist Hostel
Price: $14.16 to $77.21
Pros: Convenient location, quiet rooms, decent amenities, accommodating staff, social atmosphere, and low prices
Cons: No Wi-Fi, issues with the heating, and no plugs on each bed
8. Edinburgh Backpackers
Price: $14.30 to $77.99
Pros: Great location, fully equipped shared kitchen, clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staff, great common rooms, and great amenities
Cons: No elevators, rooms can be cramped, and the rooms can be a bit noisy
9. High Street Hostel
Price: $65.80 to $73.11
Pros: Good value for money, perfect location, very social atmosphere, great security, very accommodating staff, and clean and comfortable rooms
Cons: Some facilities need a bit of improvement
10. SafeStay Edinburgh
Price: $16.3 to $109.96
Pros: Great location, social atmosphere, good value for money, secure lockers, very lively on-site bar, and helpful staff
Cons: Rooms can be noisy, the bathrooms are sometimes dirty, rooms lack power outlets, and the showers have a damp smell
11. Princes Street Backpacker East
Price: $14.23 to $43.99
Pros: Clean and tidy rooms, helpful staff, modern amenities, good value for money, great location, and social atmosphere
Cons: The beds are very thin, spotty Wi-Fi connection, and no elevators
12. The Hostel
Price: $11.39 to $90.56
Pros: Great location, helpful staff, and quiet rooms
Cons: The atmosphere is not as great as other hostels, the facilities (especially the showers) need to be fixed, rooms and bathrooms can be dirty, and security needs improvement
13. The Westend Hostel
Price: $12.42 to $18.11
Pros: Great value for money, convenient location, very secure, helpful staff, and clean rooms and bathrooms
Cons: The facilities need a bit of improvement, and the overall atmosphere is lacking compared to others
14. Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel
Price: $29.76 to $77.62
Pros: Good value for money, convenient location, complete amenities, very secure, helpful staff, and clean rooms and bathrooms
Cons: The atmosphere is not very social
15. Park View House Hotel
Price: $51.35 to $148.81
Pros: Great location, social atmosphere, friendly staff, clean and comfortable rooms, and good security
Cons: Not a good value for money and the facilities need to be improved
16. Kick Ass Grassmarket
Price: $13.62 to $177.12
Pros: Great value for money, social vibe, very clean and comfortable rooms, great amenities, lots of activities, friendly staff, and great location
Cons: The showers have no thermostat
Edinburgh (Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital of Scotland situated in the Central Belt region of the country. With a population of around 450,000 (1 million in the metro area), Edinburgh fizzes with a cosmopolitan yet uniquely Scottish atmosphere. Old volcanoes ensure a dramatic natural setting, with the imposing castle atop one. Beneath its guard, the city combines medieval relics, Georgian grandeur, and a powerful layer of modern life with contemporary avant-garde. Medieval palaces, Gothic churches, and fascinating historical buildings rub shoulders with the best of modern architecture, such as the Houses of Scottish Parliament and the refurbished National Museum of Scotland. Variously dubbed “Auld Reekie” or “Athens of the North,” but usually just plain “Emmbruh,” it hosts great restaurants, shops, pubs, wild and mild clubs, and a unique program of city festivals for the whole year. Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year, is the start of all the festivities; August sees the Tattoo, the International Festival and the Festival Fringe – the world’s largest arts festival.
Why Should I Visit Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a city that wants you to explore it, filled with quirky, inviting nooks that tempt you to wander just that a bit further.
Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most charming cities, draped across a series of rocky hills that overlooks the sea. It’s a city that’s intimately weaved around its landscape, with buildings and monuments located atop crags and veiled by cliffs. From the Old Town’s picturesque mix of medieval tenements piled high along the Royal Mile, towering skyline set between the Castle Rock and the russet palisade of Salisbury Crags, and New Town’s neat grid of neoclassical architecture; the city offers a continually changing perspective.
Athens of the North
Also called the “Athens of the North,” an 18th-century moniker made by the great thinkers during the Scottish Enlightenment, Edinburgh is a city of high culture and lofty ideals, literature and art, science, and philosophy. It is here that every summer, the world’s largest arts festival rises, much like a phoenix, from the ashes of last year’s highly-praised reviews and recording-breaking box-office hauls to produce another string of superlatives. Also, beneath the Greek temples of Calton Hill – Edinburgh’s acropolis – that the Scottish Parliament sits again after a 300-year absence.
Edinburgh was once known as Auld Reekie, a down-to-earth place that waves a shameless finger at the assertions of the literati. Auld Reekie is a city of loud, jam-packed pubs and indulgent restaurants, late-night drinking and parties till dawn, drunken poets, and foul-mouthed comedians. It’s the city that enticed Robert Louis Stevenson to leave his law lectures and explore the drinking dens and brilliant street life of the 19th-century Old Town. Also, it is where Beltane is celebrated, the resurrected pagan May Day festival, where half-naked partygoers dance in the glimmering firelight of bonfires under the stony gaze of Calton Hill’s pillared monuments.
Like your favorite book, Edinburgh is a city you’ll want to dip into again, and having a different experience – the castle set against a blue spring sky with a yellow haze of daffodils misting the slopes below the esplanade. Stumbling out of a late-night club into summer dawn, with only the yawp of seagulls to break the unexpected silence. Heading for a cafe on a chill December morning with the fog snagging the spires of the Old Town, and festival fireworks crackling in the night sky as you stand, transfixed, amid the crowds in Princes Street Gardens.
What Should I Pack For My Trip To Edinburgh?
You shouldn’t leave without these essentials.
- Noise-canceling Earbuds: You’ll have some pretty loud roommates – it happens from time to time. So, noise-canceling earbuds help lessen the nuisance. The ergonomic and comfortable design won’t hurt your ears while trying to get some sleep, no matter how long you wear them. Increase the quality of your sleep by tuning in to some relaxing music at night or just enjoy the silence.
- Microfiber Towel: Having your towel on your travels is a game-changer. A microfiber towel is perfect for travelers who are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying, and incredibly soft option. The antibacterial material is very water-absorbent and won’t have odor buildup because of its antimicrobial material. Ain’t technology cool?
- Headphone Splitter: Being stuck on a plane or bus with only one device that has your playlist or shows downloaded can be a bit annoying if your travel buddy wants to share the experience. With a headphone splitter, you won’t have to share headphones anymore. Your friend can plug in their headphones, so both of you are entertained (without the germs and earwax).
- Toiletry Bag: Keep your bath-and-beauty essentials organized and in the right place with a water-resistant bag. With ample storage spaces, mesh, and enclosed clear parts, you can fit everything you might need in the bag. Hang it up or let it stand – this bag is a must-have for backpackers.
- Travel Pillow: Nothing is worse than a grumpy, sleep-deprived backpacker. Do yourself a favor and get some decent rest by packing a travel pillow. The ergonomic design makes it possible to sleep while sitting down, which can be a real struggle with standard neck pillows. This cool pillow makes multi-hour long bus rides or flights way better – and who knows, maybe you’ll even enjoy your next flight or bus ride next time.
- Playing Cards: These waterproof cards are essential for every backpacker. Play by the beach, pool, or at your hostel room after a long day with travel companions, without your cards, breaking or getting wet.
Where Can I Party on a Tuesday in Edinburgh?
The best clubs in Edinburgh are open even on weekdays. So, head to these clubs if you want to head out:
- The Auld Hoose
- The Jazz Bar
- The Stand Comedy Club
- Stramash Live Music Bar
- The Banshee Labyrinth
- Jolly Judge
- Abode Bar
- The Street
Where Should I Go Next After Visiting Edinburgh?
The best destinations that you can reach within a day trip are:
- The Kelpies
- The East Lothian beaches
- Loch Ness
- North Berwick
- The Pentlands
If you want to explore further, you can also extend your getaway and visit Glasgow and Zurich.
Is Edinburgh Safe?
Edinburgh is a very safe city. It’s mostly safe to walk around at night, but you need to make sure that you know where you’re going. Parts of the city, like the Old Town, are full of winding alleys, closes, and winds, making it very easy to get lost at night.
Is Edinburgh Expensive?
Edinburgh is quite a pricey city to live in by UK standards but not as much compared to London. Compared to other major cities worldwide, it is quite a reasonably priced city.