Edinburgh has numerous places to stay - but if you're on a budget, check out these two new hostels, which offer clean, contemporary accommodation in great locations at affordable prices. Bargain!
Edinburgh has long been one of the most popular European destinations for students, stag and hen parties, festival-goers and older, more well-travelled tourists. It's renowned all over the world for its vast scope of historic and cultural interests, not to mention the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe and one of the world's biggest Hogmanay celebrations. Dubbed a ‘big village’ by its residents, Edinburgh has everything you would expect from a big city, with the added options of quiet and scenic hills, beaches, parks and gardens, all within easy commuting distance.
The good news for anyone who wants to enjoy all of this without spending all their money on somewhere to stay is that the city now has some new, modern accommodation at very affordable prices. If the thought of staying in a hostel conjures up visions of dingy, noisy dormitories, think again: here are two of the city's best new hostels, both of which you could easily mistake for hotels.
Edinburgh Central Hostel
Situated 10 minutes' walk from the east end of Princes Street, Edinburgh Central is aptly named. It is only a few minutes' walk from Edinburgh Bus Station and Waverly Train Station. It is also an ideal location for theatre-lovers, as The Playhouse sits proudly at the end of the street. The famous Princes Street, George Street and Rose Street are just minutes away, should you wish to indulge in some shopping and enjoy a relaxing time in the countless bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can saunter up Leith Walk to the east of the hostel to visit The Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith and take in the stunning views of the Firth of Forth from the terrace at Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre.
Various sizes of rooms are available, from a private twin from £30.50 per person to eight-bed dormitory rooms at £19.50 per person. The hostel will accommodate stag and hen parties. All rooms are en suite, with additional toilet and shower facilities on each floor.
A fully equipped kitchen and dining area is available for those who wish to cater for themselves. Alternatively, a buffet breakfast is available, with prices ranging from £3.50 for continental to £7.95 for a full Scottish breakfast. A bistro and restaurant serve affordable meals all day. In addition, there is a café-bar available for wine and drinks, hot beverages and snacks. The bar also boasts plasma screens and internet and wi-fi access.
This recently-built hostel has been rated 5* by Visit Scotland and has wheelchair access.
Smart City Hostel Edinburgh
This five-star hostel is situated just off Nicholson Street, close to all the attractions of the Royal Mile – bars and restaurants, St Giles Cathedral, ghost tours, shops, Holyrood Palace and the castle.
All rooms are en suite and range from private rooms for two people (priced at £39.95) to 10- and 12-bed dorms at £9 per person. There are over 620 beds in this hostel, which boasts of having the most comfortable beds in Edinburgh. Family rooms are also available and stag and hen parties are welcome.
This hostel has a modern, well-equipped guest kitchen, but there's also a bar and restaurant and an outside BBQ area. The restaurant is open for breakfast from 8am and is available all day for lunch and bar snacks at very affordable prices.
Need to know
Edinburgh is a great place to visit in July and August during the Festival. However, should you choose to travel during this time, availability will be limited and prices will increase - it's highly recommended that you book well in advance to be sure of accommodation. Other major events like the Six Nations Rugby, Christmas and Hogmanay also see accommodation booking up quickly.