Edinburgh is a beautiful city that has plenty of options for budget travelers—except when prices are jacked up during the multi-week Edinburgh Festival each August. Many of the museums are free but other attractions can be pretty expensive. Food and drink can be affordable if you know where to look.
In this Edinburgh price guide, we’ll outline the estimated travel expenses for food, accommodation, attractions, alcohol, and other things to help you budget your trip to Edinburgh.
This Edinburgh Price Guide is part of our City Price Guide Series where we break down the travel costs of Europe’s most popular cities.
Average Daily Cost To Visit Edinburgh
For budget-minded travelers, it costs around £45-£90 per day to visit Edinburgh. These prices are based on what you’ll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler.
If you want to upgrade your accommodations, add another £60-£85 per night depending on your hotel choice. These prices also don’t include things like big nights out at the bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenir/clothing shopping, tours, random purchases, nicer food, etc. Don’t forget to budget extra for those “non-essentials.”
Daily Cost of Budget Travel in Edinburgh: £85 (Approx. $100)
- Attractions: £18 (one paid attraction + any free sights)
- Food: £33
- Breakfast: £5
- Lunch: £8
- Dinner: £16
- Treat (dessert/beer/wine): £4
- Transportation: £1.50
- Accommodation (hostel): £32
Daily Cost of Frugal Travel in Edinburgh: £43 (Approx. $54)
- Attractions: £5 (free walking tour + visit one of the free sights)
- Food: £18
- Breakfast: £0 (free hostel breakfast)
- Lunch: £6 (ethnic street food, takeaway shop fare, or similar)
- Dinner: £9 (make your own meal in the hostel or grab something cheap)
- Beer (pint): £3
- Transportation: £0 (the city is very walkable)
- Accommodation: £20 (cheap hostel bed)
Edinburgh Attraction and Museum Prices
National museums are free, but nearly every other attraction is pricey. Edinburgh is a compact city, so taking a stroll around is a great free activity.
- Edinburgh Castle: £18.50 (+£3.50 for an audioguide)
- National Gallery of Scotland: Free
- Arthur’s Seat: Free
- Royal Yacht Britannia: £18.50
- National Museum of Scotland: Free
- Saint Giles Cathedral: Free (£3 suggested donation) & £2 for a photography permit
- The Scotch Whiskey Experience: £21-£34 (includes one dram of Scotch Malt Whiskey)
- Day trip to Loch Ness: £42-£52
- Walking tours: Free (but you should tip the guides) — £9-£20+ (for paid tours)
- Bike tour: £20-£50
Edinburgh Food Prices
Food in Edinburgh wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t for the British Pound—but you can still eat without spending a ton. Like always, venture to where the locals eat to get the best deal and quality food. Also, you need to try some fine scotch, so set aside a little money for a tasting (a tour will run from £20-£40, depending on how much scotch you want to sample).
Read more of our strategies for Eating and Drinking in Europe on a Budget.
Budget Breakfast Prices in Edinburgh: Free – £10
- Many hostels will offer a free simple breakfast that normally consists of cereal, bread/croissant, and maybe milk, coffee, tea, or juice (some hostels will offer more and some less).
- Filled roll & coffee/tea: £4-£7
- Porridge: £3.50-£6
- Full Scottish breakfast: £8-£16
Budget-Friendly Breakfast Places:
- Singapore Coffee House: This tiny cafe serves up all kinds of tasty breakfast dishes.
- The Haven Cafe: Stop in for a proper traditional Scottish fry-up breakfast.
- Tani Modi: Another breakfast place that offers great value for the money.
- Sicilian Pastry Shop: A wide range of delicious pastries.
Budget Lunch Prices in Edinburgh: £3-£8
- Super budget travelers can make a super cheap lunch of bread, cheese, and fruit from any grocery store for a few euros.
- Sandwich: £5-£9
- Scotch pie/bridie (meat pastry): £3-£7
- Haggis: £5-£9
- Curry: £5-£9
- Cheap takeaway meals (like a kebab with fries): £5-£9
Budget Dinner Prices in Edinburgh: £8-£18
- Fish & chips: £10-£16
- Bangers & mash: £8-£12
- A burger and fries will cost around £6-£9
- You should also be able to find dinner at a restaurant in a less touristy part of town for around £15.
- Many of the options from the Budget Lunch section above also apply to dinner.
Budget-Friendly Lunch and Dinner Places:
- The Piemaker: Traditional savory Scottish pies.
- Tupiniquim Brasil: Edinburgh’s Brazil-in-a-Box serving sweet and savory gluten-free crepes since 2010.
- Tempting Tattie: Filling and tasty baked potatoes.
- Pizzeria 1926: A nice pizza place serving traditional Neapolitan pizza.
- Taste of Italy: Plenty of Italian dishes from pasta to pizza.
- The Pakora Bar: A much-loved Indian joint.
- The City Restaurant: A popular spot for fish & chips.
- The Black Rose: Traditional pub grub.
- The Standing Order: Beer and pub food.
- Snax Cafe: Brunch and all-day breakfast.
Drinks and Alcohol Prices in Edinburgh
- Pint of standard beer: £3.50
- Pint of beer from a grocery store: £1.60
- Bottle of (drinkable) wine from the grocery store: £7.50
- Cup of coffee: £2.50
- Irn Bru (soft drink) from the grocery store: £1
Edinburgh Transportation Prices
Lothian (city) buses are your best bet for getting around Edinburgh if you don’t feel like walking or if you’re staying a bit outside of the city center. They also have a tram line that runs between the city center and the airport. I stayed in the city center so I never used public transportation and you might not either.
- Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams
- Single journey: £1.80
- Day pass: £4.50
- Tram from the airport to the city center: £6.50 (£9 roundtrip)
- Taxi from airport to city: £22-£26
Edinburgh Hostel, Hotel, & Rental Apartment Prices
Accommodation in Edinburgh is fairly affordable by Western Europe standards. Prices shoot up during August because of the Edinburgh festival.
Hostel Prices in Edinburgh: £18-£40/night
You should budget about £28/night per person for a decent hostel—although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend. Remember, these prices are for a bed in a shared dorm room. Expect to pay £75-£100/night for a private room.
Recommended Hostels in Edinburgh [Check out my complete guide to the Best Hostels in Edinburgh]
- Castle Rock Hostel
- Royal Mile Backpackers
- High Street Hostel
- Kick Ass Greyfriars
- Edinburgh Backpackers
We book our hostels through Hostelworld because they have the best selection of hostels.
Budget Hotels Prices in Edinburgh: £85-£150/night
Budget hotels in Edinburgh start around £85-£100/night but you’ll likely have to pay closer to £115-£130/night if you want to be in the center of town.
We suggest checking out Booking.com to see hotel prices for your dates since they’re always changing.
Rental Apartment Prices in Edinburgh: £95-£150+/night
Edinburgh has a decent amount of rental apartments throughout the city. They can be a good option for large groups or travelers who want a little more space (and a kitchen). On the other hand, you may also have to deal with inconvenient check-in processes and things like extra cleaning fees and service charges. For short stays, we prefer hotels/hostels but rental apartments can be a nice option for longer stays. Airbnb is always popular but you can sometimes find cheaper/better options on our list of Airbnb Alternatives.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COST TO VISIT EUROPE
Check out our guide on How Much It Costs To Backpack Europe to learn more about budgeting your entire trip (including many more city price guides).
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