Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and an incredible place to visit on your backpacking journey, especially during the summer. However, knowing your accommodation options beforehand is essential when planning this type of trip. In this article, we have selected our top six favorite hostels for backpackers in Edinburgh.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh?

Budget Backpackers

HostelWorld (*8.7) Booking.com (*8.2) Map Starts at (11€) for 30 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

One of the most affordable central locations in the city, Budget Backpackers has recently rebranded and is now known as Kickass Hostel Cowgate. Nevertheless, the location has maintained all its wonderful facilities and amazing staff members which earned it a fabulous 8.7/10 rating on Hostelworld.

So, what’s so great about Budget Backpackers? Well, as the name implies, it is a fantastic accommodation for backpackers that are seeking cost-effectiveness that does not sacrifice quality. It also has its own bar and hosts events, which means that solo travelers also have the unique opportunity of socializing with fellow tourists, as well as locals.

In addition to this, Kickass Hostel Cowgate is just 500 meters away from the city center, situated in the heart of Edinburgh famous Grassmarket region. This means that it is also next door to the Edinburgh Castle, which makes it a great option for “bikepackers” looking to rest and recharge their batteries after a wonderful cycling tour of Scotland’s capital city and all its main attractions.

Safestay Edinburgh

HostelWorld (*8.3) Booking.com (*8.1) Map Starts at (19€) for 12 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

Safestay Edinburgh is part of a European network of hostels under the same franchise, with sister locations in cities such as London, Lisbon, Prague, Barcelona, and Madrid. It holds a five-star rating, as well as 8.3/10 on Hostelword. It is classified as a luxury hostel, much like the ones in the Kickass family mentioned above. And just like those, Safestay rises up to its reputation. It is an incredibly clean lodging spot located in the Old Town, near Edinburgh Backpackers and Saint Cristopher’s Inn. The location also has its own bar and restaurant, called Bar 50. There, you can enjoy a diverse and delicious breakfast menu, as well as all-day dishes and beverages.

Moreover, Mondays are open mic nights, and there is a weekly pub quiz as well. Thus, you can participate in the fun, or you can lay back and relax for the evening and plan your next stop on the backpacking route. This secure hostel is a great value for money, as described by its previous clientele, which is why you should consider it during your trip.

Saint Christopher’s Inn

HostelWorld (*8.2) Booking.com (*7.8) Map Starts at (19€) for 18 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

With a rating of 8.3/10 on Hostelworld, Saint Christopher’s Inn in Edinburgh is part of a European network of sister locations under the same franchise that devote their time to providing backpackers with the best possible accommodation. Of course, the Scotland branch is no different, being highly appreciated by many categories of travelers.

Because it is situated near Waverly Train Station, it is especially appealing for tourists who come in by train from London or other cities in the region. In addition to this, it is also in the center of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s famous and picturesque Old Town. It also benefits from the services of a pub situated just underneath, so you will have access to affordable food and drinks.

On top of this, there is also a wide array of bars and pubs in the vicinity of Saint Christopher’s Inn. Thus, if you want to eat well and drink alongside born and bred Scotsmen and women, this is your chance. After all, visiting Edinburgh wouldn’t be complete without diving into the city’s exquisitely vibrant nightlife.

Edinburgh Backpackers

HostelWorld (*8.7) Map Starts at (13€) for 14 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

For the true hostel experience, try Edinburgh Backpackers. The complex consists of four separate buildings with both private rooms and 5 to 14-bed dormitories. Needless to say, the cleanliness standards on the premise are high. What is more, the reception is open 24 hours a day, and lockers are available in every room for increased safety.

The main building has a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare your meals every day, and you also have access to complimentary tea or coffee if you want a hot beverage. Due to its incredibly central location, excellent service, and 8.6/10 rating on Hostelworld, Edinburgh Backpackers hostel is generally fully booked for months in advance.

Therefore, if you want to start planning your backpacking trip to Scotland and decide to stay here, we recommend putting your name down for a bed or a room as soon as possible. Once you manage to secure a reservation with the hostel, you won’t regret it. It is one of the best places in the country where adventurous travelers like you can have a good time.

Royal Mile Backpackers

HostelWorld (*9.1) Booking.com (*8.7) Map Starts at (13€) for 10 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

As mentioned above, nothing quite beats the medieval charm of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s Old Town. And as the name suggests, Royal Mile Backpackers hostel is a wonderful accommodation dedicated to adventurous travelers located in the very heart of Scotland’s history. Here, exuberance and tradition coexist harmoniously, offering an unforgettable experience.

Royal Mile Backpackers has earned its ‘Superb’ grade and 9.1/10 rating on Hostelword for a good reason. Not only does the accommodation offer some of the best housing conditions on the market for this type of establishment, it is also a welcoming place staffed with friendly and helpful employees that are always ready to recommend you an exciting new thing to try.

If you want some insider knowledge about Scotland’s gorgeous, yet enigmatic capital city, this is the right place. The receptionists at the hostel front office will always let you know what the best places to visit in the neighborhood are, as well as suggestions on where to eat and drink heartily without having to break the bank.

Belford Hostel

HostelWorld (*8.1) Map Starts at (12€) for 10 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in MID-season (Sept.)

Last, but certainly not least, Belford Hostel stands out from the crowd as a prime destination for backpacking travelers due to its unique positioning. It is located in Edinburgh’s West End area, near Dean Village, a scenic neighborhood that isn’t overcrowded with tourists. This will allow you to experience the unseen side of Scotland’s capital and live like a local.

It has a round 8.0/10 rating on Hostelworld, and this score is earned rightfully. The accommodation has been built inside the old hall of a church, which means that the rooms are especially idyllic and come with the original stained glass windows. This will surely provide you with an experience you won’t be able to forget soon.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to affordable and backpacker-friendly hostels, Edinburgh has a wide and varied offer for its tourists. If you are looking for central housing near the castle and all the other important attractions, Budget Backpackers is the way to go. It is also the suitable choice for bikepackers, as it is the perfect place to call it a night after your cycling tour of the city.

For the authentic hostel experience, try Edinburgh Backpackers. The complex has four buildings with spacious dormitories, as well as private rooms, and a shared kitchen where you can prepare delicious meals. Nevertheless, if you want options, the Royal Mile is the area to head on towards. Saint Cristopher’s Inn, Safestay, and Royal Mile Backpackers are all situated there.

Finally, for novelty enthusiasts and backpackers looking for a unique way to spend their time in Edinburgh, you simply must check into the Belford Hostel. Situated in the West End, it is located inside an old repurposed church. If that’s not an inimitable lodging experience, we don’t know what is!

Author Bio:  Amanda Wilks is a writer, contributing author at mountainbikereviewed.com, veteran MTB rider and outdoor enthusiast. Even though she enjoys discovering the world by bike, she is also an experienced hiker, always looking for new and exciting destinations. Check Amanda’s Twitter to learn more about her and her passions.