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Cool Hostels in Edinburgh

Experiencing hostel life is a rite of passage on your travels. The new pals, the pub crawls, and that person you’d love to beat up with your pillow when they snoring reaches an insane volume.

If you’ve been backpacking around the world, you’ll know that hostel accommodation can vary wildly, from the good and the bad, to the downright ugly.

The hostel you choose can totally shape your memories of a particular destination, so this isn’t a decision you should take lightly.

If you’re visiting Edinburgh or coming on tour with us, you’ll be pleased to know that the standard of hostels leans more towards to the awesome end of the scale.

We’ve rounded up a list of our favourite hostels, who have earned their ‘cool’ status through their unique design, thoughtful features and awesome guest experience.

Why stay in a hostel in Edinburgh?

1) Hostels are ideal for meeting people. Whether you’re travelling solo, or just want to talk to someone other than your travel buddy, the common areas are where it’s at. Some hostels even organise events to speed up the bonding shenanigans.

2) Your budget will thank you for it. Accommodation in Edinburgh can be a drain on your travel fund, but there are savings to be had in you choose a hostel; from comfortable and quirky to affordable luxury. Just think of all the beer and Irn Bru you can buy with the money you’ve saved!

3) It’s like a home from home. Need to do your washing, chill with a cup of tea, or cook a wee homemade meal? Hostels are relaxed and homely – plus some of them even have the added convenience of an on-site bar.

Our Pick of Cool Hostels in Edinburgh

CoDE Pod Hostels - The CoURT

It’s not often you get to spend the night in an old jailhouse/court on the Royal Mile! The oldest part of the building dates back to 1693, and the whole hostel is themed to reflect its history. The private rooms are in old jail cells, and there’s a 24-bed dorm in the old courtroom.

The pods are designed for your comfort and privacy, and are more spacious than you would think. There’s free luggage storage, and Reception is open 24/7. Oh, and did we mention the Innis & Gunn beer tap in Reception?

Breakfast can be pre-booked or purchased on the day, and includes fresh waffles, toasties, cereals, fruit, porridge, juice, tea, and filtered coffee.

There’s an event space in the underground vaults called The Lost Close, which plays host to beer tastings, whisky and even magic shows! SOLD.

The Baxter Hostel

Say hello to Edinburgh’s first boutique hostel. This place is chic! The common area is like sitting in a friend’s super-stylish open plan kitchen/living area, and the free tea and coffee is always a nice touch. If you need anything else, Reception is open 24/7.

Dorm sizes range from a 4-bed with a private bathroom to 12-bed. There are also female only dorms. Continental breakfast is included in the price, and the hosts prepare scrambled egg on toast for every guest. Awesome.

Location-wise, the hostel sits on the fringe of the Old Town, less than 15-minutes’ walk from our tour departure point, and only 0.5 mile from Edinburgh Castle.

St Christopher's Inn

These vibrant neighbouring hostels underwent a major refurb and expansion in 2019, and they’re looking awesome! In the new Old Town there are cosy pods, themed dorm rooms, and you can even sleep in the old safe in the Vault Room from 1890.

If you book direct you get free breakfast, and hostel guests receive 25% off food and drink in Belushi’s Bar in the Original Hostel across the street which hosts live DJs, parties, and live sports. The hostel team also organise daily events for guests to socialise.

Kickass - Grassmarket

This quirky hostel has a contemporary design with distinct personality. They’re eco-friendly, environmentally conscious, and they introduced vegan food on their menu, after listening to their guests and staff. They also offer Japanese style pods, as well as large dorms, a female only dorm, and a quad dorm for friends.

The hostel is run by travellers for travellers, and the team organise a number of events including pub crawls, movie night, pub quiz, pool competitions, karaoke and free walking tours. It’s right in the buzzing Grassmarket area too with awesome views of Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Bucket-list for you and your hostel buddies

  • Try a portion of our national dish at the Haggis Box followed by a deep fried mars bar from The Clamshell Chippy
  • Take selfies on the Royal Mile wearing ‘See you Jimmy’ hats
  • Watch live music until the wee hours at Whistle Binkies
  • Go to Stockbridge Market on a Sunday and walk along the Water of Leith to Dean Village