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A Backpacker’s Guide To The Best Hostels in Edinburgh | Our Favorite Edinburgh Hostels

Our picks for the best hostels in Edinburgh, Scotland. The ultimate list of the best places to stay when traveling on a budget.


Edinburgh is a fun and vibrant city that doesn’t get enough love but it’s certainly worth a visit. Like much of the UK, Edinburgh can be a bit expensive. However, there are actually a handful of affordable, well-rated hostels throughout this fun city. All-in-all, Edinburgh has about 45 hostels but we’ve narrowed it down to bring your The Savvy Backpacker’s guide to the best hostels in Edinburgh.

Average Edinburgh Hostel Prices

A bed in a highly-rated hotel will cost anywhere from about £20-£35/night with an average of around £25/night.

The cheapest hostel you’ll find will cost around £15/night but the quality most likely won’t be great. 

NOTE: These are “high-season” prices — off-season prices will be around 20% cheaper. Check Hostelworld to get exact prices for your dates.

Quick Edinburgh Hostel Facts

  • Cheap Beds & Good Hostels Go Early: Hostel prices are fairly standardized (there are a few outliers) but the quality does vary quite a bit. The best options do get booked up quickly — especially in the summer.
  • Check Location: Most hostels in Edinburgh are centrally located (the city is very compact) but there are a few located outside the city.
  • Hostel Vibe: Each hostel has its own personality — i.e. there are party hostels, quiet hostels, family-friendly hostels, etc. I recommend reading the reviews at Hostelworld to get a better idea of the hostel’s vibe.
  • Weekend Rates: Expect to pay an extra on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Festival Rates: Edinburgh hosts the multi-week Fringe festival every August and hostel prices shoot up. Expect to pay £35-£65+/night for a hostel bed. Additionally, there are a few other festivals and big events which will also result in elevated prices.
  • Check-In Times and Cleaning Times: Many hostels have late check-in times (around 2 pm-4 pm) but nearly all will let you store your bags if you arrive before check-in.
  • New To Hostels? Check out our Hostels 101 Guide to learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect hostel.

Our Picks For The Best Hostels in Edinburgh


  • Overall Quality: We take a holistic look at the hostel to see the positives and negatives. Our goal is to find amazing hostels that are still affordable.
  • Location: Most hostels we list will be centrally located.
  • Price: We try to filter out the super-expensive hostels to help find the best price-to-quality ratio.
  • Vibe/Atmosphere: Every hostel has a personality. Some are party hostels and some are quiet. We try to note the atmosphere so you can find a place to stay that matches your travel style.
  • Past Guest Reviews: Every guest has a different experience so we look at the good and the bad. We suggest you take a few minutes to read prior reviews.

We encourage you to check out Hostelworld to do a bit of searching for yourself.

NOTE: All prices listed below are the cheapest option available during the busy (i.e. expensive) season. Prices will often be 20%+ cheaper during the slower seasons.

Castle Rock Hostel Edinburgh

Best Hostels Edinburgh - Castle Rock

Castle Rock Hostel does everything right so it’s not only the best hostel in Scotland, it’s one of the best hostels in Europe. We’re talking amazing location in the center of town, friendly staff, plenty of lounge space, funky decorations, comfortable beds, a large kitchen, pub crawls, the overall vibe is friendly… and it’s all located in a cool building built in the mid-1800s. Furthermore, it’s competitively priced so yeah… gotta love Castle Rock Hostel.

Royal Mile Backpackers Hostel

Best Hostel Edinburgh - Royal Mile Backpackers

Royal Mile Backpackers Hostel is yet another excellent hostel in Edinburgh. It’s a cozy/small hostel but you feel like you’re family thanks to the friendly staff and warm atmosphere. There isn’t a lot of common space so it’s not the most “lively” hostel but it’s homey.

The location is great if you want to be in the heart of everything because the hostel is on the Royal Mile (Edinburgh’s most famous street). That said, you might experience some street noise from the bars and general foot traffic. There is a small kitchen and you’re allowed to visit their bigger sister hostel across the street if you want a more proper kitchen or hang out in their common rooms.

High Street Edinburgh Hostel

Best Hostels Edinburgh - High Street Hostel

High Street Hostel is a lively hostel that gets great reviews for its great location, friendly staff, comfy beds, and cleanliness. There is a large kitchen and plenty of common space (including a pool table) so it’s a good place to meet fellow travelers. The hostel is located inside a nearly 500-year-old building so that’s pretty cool.

We also like how they don’t allow big groups, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or people under 18. They’ll also do your laundry for £4 — which is a nice bonus.

Kick Ass Edinburgh Hostel

Best Edinburgh Hostel - Kick Ass Hostel

The aptly named Kick Ass Hostel gets tons of praise for its kick-ass-ness — specifically its super comfy beds, central location, brand new ‘pod’ bunk beds, fun staff, and cleanliness. It’s also a social hostel thanks to its cheap and lively bar, common area (complete with an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle), large kitchen, free daily walking tour, and free bar events. 

I also like how they don’t allow big groups, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or people under 18.

Kick Ass Greyfriars Edinburgh Hostel

Best Hostels Edinburgh - Budget Backpackers

Kick Ass Greyfriars is another hostel in the Kick-Ass Hostels family so they offer a lot of the same great amenities. It’s located in the center of the city so all the bars and nightlife are just down the street.

It’s a lively hostel thanks to its bar, free city tour, free daily bar events, large self-catering kitchen, and plenty of chill-out space. They also partner up with Kiss Ass Hostel to offer social events.

Honorable Mentions Hostel Options

Best hostel in Edinburgh - Cheap stay

Both Edinburgh Backpackers and St Christopher’s Edinburgh received good, but not great, reviews. That said, they both start around £15/night so they’re not a bad choice if you’re on a budget and the other hostels on this list aren’t available.

Photo credits: Castle Rock Hostel, Royal Mile Backpackers Hostel, High Street Hostel, Kick Ass Hostel, St. Christopher’s

Hostel Packing Advice

Staying in hostels poses a few unique packing challenges so I’m here to help by recommending a few of my must-have items. Check out my Hostel Packing List for the full list but below are the absolute necessities:

More Helpful Budget Travel Advice From The Savvy Backpacker

Here are some helpful links to articles that we think you’ll find interesting if you’re staying in hostels and traveling around Europe on a budget.

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