Edinburgh is a truly beautiful city perfect for travellers that seek entertainment, history and seriously awesome Edinburgh hostels.
In this edition, we will introduce you to rooms with a castle view and the best party hostel in Edinburgh.
There are friendly staff and cosy rooms that will leave you wanting to stay forever!
This guide is perfect for YOU, when …
- tired of bad and crappy hostels
- want to avoid the “young party kids”
- happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
We condensed it all to the 3 coolest hostels in Edinburgh.
We’ve included tons of useful information to make your planning easier, such as:
- Basic Introduction
- 3 best hostels in Edinburgh
- Fun Party hostels in Edinburgh
- best hostels for solo-travellers in Edinburgh
- Cheap hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland
- 7 Budget Travel Tips for the city
- Map with all hostels + sights
- Flights to Edinburgh
One of our 3 handpicked budget places to stay in Edinburgh also happens to be a 5 Star Hostel! We also cover cheap hostels in Edinburgh.
Quick Introduction to Edinburgh Hostels
Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as 16€ up to 28€ per night.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost at the place you are planning to book.
Getting to Edinburgh city center from the airport: The airport is very well connected with Edinburgh city center. The journey time to city centre is approximately 30 minutes by train, by tram or by bus (in light traffic). You will find bus service service into the city centre 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hostel Location and City Center: The city is relatively small. That includes the Old Town and the castle. All accommodations listed are hostels located near Edinburgh Waverley Station. It will take you maximum 20 min to walk.
No real need to worry about the location too much (unlike Paris or London).
Edinburgh Tourism Tax: Luckily for you there is currently no tourist tax in this city. However, there has been talk lately of creating a £1-2 per night tax in the future, so double check beforehand.
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- How to book hostels (+ websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
3 Best Hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland
Come on then, let’s have a gander and find out what all the hype is about.
The 3 best hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland are…
- CODE Hostel (perfect for couples, solo travellers and digital nomads)
- Castle Rock Hostel (top choice for backpackers)
- The Baxter Hostel (number one for female solo travellers)
- Best Hostel in Edinburgh for Solo-Travellers: CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT
- Best Hostel in Edinburgh for Female Solo-Travellers: CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT and High Street Hostel
- Best Party Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland: Kick Ass Hostels
- Top Edinburgh Hostels with Private Rooms: CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT
- Best Hostel in Edinburgh for Digital Nomads: CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT
- Best Hostel in Edinburgh with Apartments: CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT
- Best Cheap Hostel in Edinburgh: jump to our section cheap hostels in Edinburgh
This should really cover your burning question on where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget.
1. CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT (high tech modern design)
Is this the absolute coolest hostel in Edinburgh? We certainly think so!
CoDE Pod Hostels – THE LoFT is a modern design hostel in the New Town of Edinburgh. It is modern in the sense of design and technology as well.
A fresh young design hostel meets tech-nerds, creating a geeky 5 Star Hostel in Scotland’s capital!
There are no bunk beds at CODE Hostel but fancy, modern pods which give you the privacy you’ve been hoping for in your search for a cool hostel.
Each pod has its own socket-outlet and lighting, so you can simply close your curtains and switch off.
Great design, comfy and filled with the basic facilities every traveller wants!
The room types include:
- Female-Only dorm
- Mixed 4-bed dorm
- CODE penthouse (best apartment near Princess street!)
- Family room
As for security?
The entire place works on a code system so there are no worries about losing that darn key. Safe lodging without key hassles is just the perfect combo, don’t you think?
Those that have already stayed here rave about the staff – they’re simply amazing!
Please note: this hostel does not accept stag or hen parties.
The kitchen and communal area are strategically laid out for maximum comfort. Relax or mingle with new people here – the choice is yours!
No need to get up early and search for food; CODE Hostel offers a free healthy breakfast each morning. It’s also really delicious. All the more reason to
“wake up and be awesome!”
Events are aplenty here and it’s possible to enjoy themed nights, whiskey tasting and much more.
To top it off, if you stay here you’ll be in a fabulous location. It is nearby Princes Street, where the main rail and bus stations are located.
So if you are looking for hostels in Edinburgh city centre, you just found your best best. Again, the city is relatively small anyways. You can easily walk to all major sights.
The bus and train are a few minutes walk, and the main sights are all close-by.
Eager for more? Have a read of our full review of CODE Hostel here.
CODE Hostel is the best hostel in Edinburgh for:
- Solo travellers
- Digital Nomads
2. Castle Rock Hostel (unique building, central location)
Fancy sleeping next door to Edinburgh castle?!
Yep, it’s actually possible at Castle Rock Hostel.
The palatial building is a wonderful blend of bubbly character, grandeur and backpacker vibes.
It was built back in 1846 so it’s no wonder the place is packed full of awesome detail and character. Some say it’s like staying at a museum (the fun kind)!
Some very important points about Castle Rock:
- Strictly 18+ only
- No hen or stag parties
- 7-night maximum stay
This stuff may be a little dry, but it’s important. And by no means does it make the hostel boring!
Actually, you’re about to be blown away by how cool Castle Rock Hostel really is…
- There’s a 24-hour reception
- The FREE walking tour picks up here
- Find art EVERYWHERE
- Posh lounge w/ fireplace + piano
- Linen included
- WiFi throughout the huge building
Forget moody Scottish weather and head out to the patio area. Surely you packed the sun in your backpack, right?
We think you’ll love the spacious, sunny rooms that come with modern, simplistic design.
This is a great choice if you love attending events. There’s usually pub crawls, pool competitions and ceilidhs being organised here.
The Posh Lounge is a perfect place for digital nomads with a deadline. Or grab yourself a novel from the book exchange and settle down with a cup of tea.
Love music? Chill out in the groove lounge where you’ll find comfy sofas and instruments for all.
And finally… cook up a storm in the fully equipped kitchen and enjoy a £1.50 continental breakfast. Phew!
Although this hostel is on a quiet street, the nightlife is literally around the corner. Where was the castle again? Oh yeah, just look out your window and you’ll see!
Castle Rock Hostel is the top hostel in Edinburgh for:
- Social butterflies
3. The Baxter Hostel (custom built + quirky)
The Baxter Hostel, with its tartan wallpaper, ancient oak floors and traditional Georgian panelling is the perfect place to stay if you wish to dive into the Scottish spirit.
This custom built hostel wants you to laugh loudly, sleep deeply and quickly fall in love with Edinburgh.
That might be easier than you think! The Baxter is the new kid in town, a luxury boutique hostel. There is not a lot of boutique hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland So consider this one a big score.
The dorm rooms range from 4-12 beds and it’s possible to choose a mixed or single-sex room. There is no private rooms at The Bexter Hostel.
Read: Why Female Dorms? 7 Pros and 3 Cons
Whatever your choice, you’ll have a locker, free WiFi and a ready-made bed. Wahoo!
The staff come from all corners of Europe and speak many languages. The certainly love Edinburgh so be sure to quiz them on their knowledge,
- The hostel is staffed 24/7
- Free scrambled eggs w/ breakfast
- Access rooms with a keycard
Want to hear something super cool? The Baxter Hostel has its very own app!
Written by the staff, it includes original itineraries and brilliant places to eat and drink. Not only that, but it has a very handy offline map of the city. This is super useful to have!
Baxter is a mere 5 min walk from the train station. Its central location means all of the main sights are close-by.
The Baxter Hostel is the best hostel in Edinburgh for:
- Female solo-travellers
What about the Best Party Hostel in Edinburgh?
Looking for a good time with new found friends? You’re in for a treat!
The motto at Kick Ass Hostels is ‘LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL’, and they certainly support this.
The facilities are modern with an added privacy element thanks to the sleeping pods. A cosy, quiet place to retreat at the end of the night.
This hostel is very near Princess Street and the Edinburgh Castle. The Waverley station is 1km away from it, so a 10-15 minutes walk.
There’s a Kick Ass bar and cafe on-site – find
- meals under a fiver,
- daily bar events
- beer pints for just £2 and
Pretty cool: stay at one Kick Ass Hostel and get free access to all the facilities at the other one, just minutes away!
Best Hostel in Edinburgh for Solo Travellers?
Hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland are the first choice for solo travellers as they make socialising easy and fun.
As previously mentioned, we think the 5 Star Hostel, CODE Hostel, is a great solo traveller choice.
For the female solo travellers out there, let us introduce to another great option, the High Street Hostel.
There are female dorms ranging between 4 and 10-beds – how sociable are you feeling?
The lounge area has a pool table, games and plenty of space for mingling. As for the location, High Street is one of the many hostels in Edinburgh old town.
Good to know: Almost all properties you can stay in are hostels near Edinburgh waverley station. This is the main train station.
Discounts are offered to guests for the surrounding restaurants, pubs and local entertainment. Yippee!
Cheap Hostels in Edinburgh
Of course, there are always cheap hostels in Edinburgh and really anywhere. However, and please stay with us here: We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel in Edinburgh.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen. Although, keep in mind a bad location far away from the city center costs you more in transport.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Edinburgh.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of accommodations in Edinburgh
- Order the listing by price
Remember to read the reviews carefully.
You should keep a close eye on the “extreme” comments, meaning the best and worst reviews. These usually give you a pretty good insight what is awesome and what’s d’oh!
See here how to book hostels the smart way.
7 Tips for exploring Edinburgh on a budget
We know, we know, you are worried about your expenses as Edinburgh is not precisely the cheapest destination in Europe.
Nevertheless, there are some trick to explore Edinburgh for the budget backpackers:
1. Free Things to do in Edinburgh
Edinburgh has plenty to offer in terms of free attractions; take advantage of them. A few popular free things to do in Edinburgh are:
- National Museum of Scotland
- Writers’ Museum
- Royal Botanic Garden
- Scottish National Gallery
- St. Giles Cathedral
- Arthur0s Seat
- Scottish Parliament
Make sure you also check with your hostel. Many places offer free walking tours, oub crawls (for an additional fee) etc.
2. Avoid visiting Edinburgh on August
During the month of August, one of the largest arts festival in the world – The Fringe Festival – takes place in the city.
This festival lasts three weeks every year in August.
Unless, you are planning to visit the Festival (which is amazing), avoid this month for visiting Edinburgh.
The accommodation prices skyrocket as the city receives massive amount of visitors.
And of course: If you plan to visit The Fringe Festival, then book as early as you can. The good accommodations are sold out quickly, and you may end up in not that pleasant hostels.
3. Walk to explore the city
Edinburgh is an incredibly compact and walk-able city. Take advantage of that and explore it by foot ( it is always the cheapest way to get around).
Most attractions are located within Old Town and New Town.
Even Arthur’s seat (which offers a nice panoramic view over Edinburgh) is on a walk-able distance.
4. Public transport hack
If you want to save energy and use public transportation, bear in mind the day tickets.
A single ticket costs around £1.50, while a day ticket (which includes unlimited rides on buses and tram) is £4.00.
Make sure you calculate the rides you want to use to buy the best option.
5. Cheap food in Edinburgh
A lunch in a restaurant in Edinburgh cost at least at least £12-15. Prices for dinner are even higher, expect £15-30. So well, food prices in Edinburgh can be considered quite high.
How can you eat cheaply in Edinburgh?
5.1 Head to the Edinburgh University zone
There you can find a burger for £4-5.
5.2 Grab a go-style meal
During the day, grab and go-style meal. There are several options in the Old town for less than £ 5.
A place in Old town with budget options is The Baked Potato Shop.
5.3 Consider eating at pubs!
Yes, pubs have cheaper meals cause they expect to make money on extra drinks. If you do not order any drink, you will just take advantage of cheaper meals.
Head to the Weatherspoon pubs. There you can get ou can get a cheap and cheerful meal plus a beer for less than £7.
5.4 Cook your meals
We say it many times, the best tip to save money while traveling around Europe on a budget is cooking yourself. That is why hostels are a great idea.
Make sure you book a place with a full-equipped kitchen.
All the hostels mentioned on this article offers a kitchen for the guests.
6. Join a free walking tour
Sandeman’s Free Walking Tour covers Edinburgh’s main sights in Old Town, and delves into the city’s fascinating history.
Plenty of interesting tales, legends, and ghost stories are explained during the walking tour.
Make sure you join them!
Note: It is a tip-based tour, so it’s not really free, but still a great value.
7. Cheap(er) Drinks
Edinburgh is known also for its historic pubs and visiting them is a must do when visiting the city.
Nevertheless, pints and cocktails can add a considerable sum to your trip travel costs.
Plan well your visit to the pubs and go when they offer live music events.
Some places where you can sample slightly cheaper pints with live music are:
- Sandy Bell’s: music sessions every night of the week
- The Black Cat: live music every Monday and Wednesday
Any Discounts for hostels in Edinburgh?
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Edinburgh. We know, it’s a pity.
You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.
We also do have a 35€ discount for Airbnb here.
Map of Edinburgh: hostel locations + TOP sights
Now it’s time to pinpoint your chosen hostel on our handy map.
Not only that, but you’ll see all of the top sights Edinburgh has to offer including:
- Edinburgh Castle
- Edinburgh Old Town
- Princes Street
- Palace of Holyrood
- Calton Hill
- St Giles’ Cathedral
- National Museum of Scotland
- Scott Monument
- Princes Street Gardens
What about things to do? Well we doubt you’ll get bored here…
- Take a tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands
- Check out the Ghostly Underground Vaults
- Join a Harry Potter Walking Tour
Why not make life easier and pre-book your Airport City Bus Transfer.
The most important thing: Do what you love and have fun!
(scroll the map for details, open here in new tab. You can also open the sidebar to activate and deactivate pins)
Flights to Edinburgh?
We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over Europe including Edinburgh, London, Malta, Barcelona…
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Europe and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
More guides for Scotland, UK and Europe
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Edinburgh in style and on a budget.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations:
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
So here you go, we just showed you where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget and in style.
Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Edinburgh hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question(s) will help me to understand what I have missed to mention. You will have your questions answered and help with the overall feel of this article.
Therefore, do not be shy, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget! Hostelgeeks ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. As walways, we only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries