posted: 6/10/2024 | 10th June, 2024

Edinburgh is a historic city full of centuries-old architecture, cozy pubs and world-class whiskey. I’ve been there a bunch and always have a blast. It is one of my favorite places in Europe. I’ve been going since I turned 30 (which was a very, very long time ago).

While Edinburgh is gorgeous, accommodation can be quite expensive. As the second-most visited city in the UK, it can easily break the bank (it adds pints!). One while there a lot Of the hostels that can help keep your costs down, I’ve learned the hard way that not all of them are good.

To help you choose a hostel from all the overwhelming options, here’s my list of the best hostels in Edinburgh!

If you don’t want to read a long list, here are the best in each category:

Best hostel for budget travelers:

Best hostel for solo female travelers:

The best hostel for digital nomads:

Best hostel for party:

Want specifics? Here’s my breakdown of the best hostels in Edinburgh and why I love them:

Price Legend:

  • $ – Under 20 GBP per night
  • $$ – 20-30 GBP per night
  • $$$ – 30 GBP per night

1. Castle Rock

Located near the fort, this hostel is simply gorgeous. And my favorite hostel in town. It’s an old, beautiful house with beautiful wooden interiors, stone staircases and a very historic, royal feel, like you’re staying in an ancestral family mansion. There is a large kitchen, and the common areas have a pool table, TV, newspapers and free Wi-Fi. There’s also a patio for when the weather is nice, as well as a fireplace and movie room when it’s cooler. The staff also organizes events to keep things social. It’s also in a great location (right near the Royal Mile).

While the mattresses aren’t too thick and there are no curtains on the bed, there are plenty of outlets to charge your devices and bedside lockers. It is one of the cheapest hostels in the city and is perfect for budget travelers. Just note that a 10 GBP cash deposit (or ID) is required for your room key.

Castle Rock at a Glance:

  • $
  • Amazing location
  • Large kitchen
  • Lots of common areas make it easy to meet people

Beds from 18 GBP, private rooms from 60 GBP.

Book here!

2. St Christopher’s Edinburgh Old Town

St Christopher’s hostels are a staple around Europe, and this one does not disappoint. The hostel is within walking distance of all major attractions, and is always lively, making it easy to meet people. There’s a great bar on site with cheap happy hour drinks (a big plus in expensive Edinburgh), and the staff also organize regular pub crawls if you want to enjoy the nightlife. They also organize free walking tours, which are a great way to explore on a budget while meeting fellow travelers.

The dorms are airy and bright, and while the mattresses aren’t too thick, the beds have curtains, USB outlets, and small lockers. (Just note that most dorms have three-level bunk beds.) Although there is no guest kitchen, there is a full breakfast each morning for just 5 GBP. While there aren’t a ton of restrooms (so sometimes you have to wait), the location really can’t be beat.

St. Christopher at a Glance:

  • $$
  • Cool bar with cheap happy hour drinks
  • A lively, social environment makes it easy to meet people
  • Free walking tours

Beds from 25 GBP, private rooms from 299 GBP.

Book here!

3. Paragaraj Hostel

This is a small, cozy and quiet hostel that feels like you are staying at a friend’s house. The decor has a very DIY feel, with lots of handmade furniture, bright colors and cool art. Larger dorms have pod-style beds, while smaller dorms have regular bunk beds. There are no curtains on the beds, but there are lockers to protect your belongings, and each bed has its own outlet and reading light. A small breakfast is also available each morning.

What makes this place unique though is that both of its dorms are female only (there are also private rooms, open to all genders). It’s a calm, quiet and clean choice, perfect for travelers who don’t want to party. The staff is also very welcoming and always eager to help you explore the town and beyond. If you want a quiet stay as a solo female traveler, stay here.

Haystack Hostel at a Glance:

  • $$
  • Dorms for women only
  • Calm atmosphere
  • Cozy common room

Beds from 30 GBP, private rooms from 103 GBP.

Book here!

4. Royal Mile Backpackers

This cozy hostel is your classic backpacker joint, with cool common areas, a small library, regular social events (like pub crawls or Scottish dance lessons), and free coffee and tea. There is a tour desk if you want to do a day trip and also a simple breakfast every morning for just 3 GBP. A nice perk that I appreciate is that the place offers free travel adapters during your stay (for someone who has forgotten theirs more than once, I think this is a great idea!).

While I don’t like that the beds are simple wooden bunks, they do have individual reading lights, outlets, and lockers (but no curtains). The bathroom is a bit cramped, but the showers have good water pressure and everything is kept clean (which is most important). Overall, it’s another cozy and homely place that makes you feel like you’re staying at a friend’s house.

Royal Mile Backpackers at a Glance:

  • $$
  • Complimentary coffee/tea
  • Lots of fun social events
  • Inexpensive daily breakfast

Beds from 24 GBP.

Book here!

5. Kick S Grassmarket

This is a cool, artsy hostel in the heart of the Old Town (it’s just below the fort). It is brightly decorated and feels very welcoming. There are lots of general places to hang out, although I especially like the bar area, as it’s super social and it’s easy to meet people here. There’s also a large kitchen for when the weather’s nice (and Netflix when it’s not) and if you want to cook your own meals.

The standard dorms here are all bright and airy with comfortable mattresses and individual lights, outlets and lockers. Some dorm rooms have en suite bathrooms, and there are also female-only dorms. But the highlight for me is that the “higher” dorms have pod-style beds; They have thick curtains and offer lots of privacy, making it very easy to get a good night’s sleep. Just note that you must be at least 18 years old to stay here.

Kick S Grassmarket at a Glance:

  • $
  • Fun events (pub crawls, quiz nights)
  • Super cozy pod beds
  • Lively bars create an atmosphere for meeting people

Beds from 20 GBP, private rooms from 179 GBP.

Book here!

6. Edinburgh Backpackers

This centrally located hostel is set in a series of historic buildings close to both the Old Town and the train station. It is homely and quiet and has a slightly no-frills look with dated decor and old wooden floors. It’s not a social place, but everything is clean and comfortable and has a very lived-in feel (as opposed to being overly sterile, like many hostels these days). The only downside is that, since the hostel is in a historic building, there is no lift.

The rooms here are a bit simple and small, but the beds are comfortable and have decent pillows. There are no curtains for the beds, but there are lockers for your stuff and the bathroom is always kept clean. There’s a large kitchen and a variety of rooms to choose from, including single private rooms, women-only dorms and cozy penthouse suites. Overall, it’s an affordable and quiet place to stay in a great location.

Edinburgh Backpackers at a Glance:

  • $$
  • Dorms for women only
  • Great location
  • Large kitchen

Beds from 26 GBP, private rooms from 65 GBP.

Book here!

7. Code Pod – Court

This boutique hostel is located in a former courthouse and prison (it’s in Old Town so you can walk everywhere). Some of the old cells have been converted into small private rooms, making for a truly unique stay. There is also an underground bar (with whiskey tasting), which adds to the allure of the place. A delicious breakfast is also offered in the morning, consisting of waffles, pastries and oatmeal.

As for the dorms, the pod beds have really nice mattresses, as well as individual lights, shelves, and outlets so you can charge your gear (they have curtains and earplugs and even eye masks, so you can sleep well). . The hostel also has female-only dorms.

If you want a unique, more upscale hostel, stay here. It’s a really neat place!

Code Pod at a glance:

  • $$$
  • Super comfortable pod beds
  • Cool underground bar
  • Female only dorm

Beds from 43 GBP, private rooms from 140 GBP.

Book here!


With its stunning architecture and amazing history, I never tire of exploring Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city to get lost in, bouncing from pub to pub, cafe to cafe. There’s plenty to see and do (including plenty of spooky ghost tours), and while the weather doesn’t always cooperate, that’s just part of Edinburgh’s charm. As long as you stay in the above hostels, you will have a fun, affordable and nice place to stay.

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Book your trip to Edinburgh: logistical tips and tricks

Book your flight
to use Skyscanner To find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they find websites and airlines worldwide so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book your accommodation
You can also book your hostel Hostelworld Because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. Use if you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel Because they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that provide great service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the things I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel.

Want more information about Edinburgh?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Edinburgh for more planning tips!

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