The Best Hostels In Edinburgh For Travelling Canadians

Edinburgh, Scotland’s ancient capital, is one of Europe’s greatest and most historic cities, and is necessary for any Canadian on a European tour. It is not the cheapest of places to visit, and one of the ways to keep costs down is to find accommodation in a hostel.

Finding a Hostel in Edinburgh

There is a wide choice, so if you are planning a visit, you need to know how to find the best hostels in Edinburgh:

Old and New

More than most places, Edinburgh succeeds in blending the very old and very new, and the hostels reflect this mix. They range from centuries old, to those built a few years ago, and everything in between. The age of the hostel might determine the atmosphere, but not necessarily the level of comfort.


Central Location

Edinburgh city centre is quite compact, and most of the attractions are within easy walking distance of each other. If you want to be really close to the attractions, choose a hostel close to the Royal Mile or the New Town. However, the bus service is very good, if you prefer a more peaceful location further out.

The Ancient

There are some hostels that are ideal for Canadians who want to soak themselves in real history.

  • One of the most popular hostels, and the most recommended for travelers, is the Castle Rock Hostel, with a fabulous location right under the Castle itself. The hostel was built in 1846 and made into a backpackers’ hostel in 1997, but has kept its 19th century charm, with rooms filled with antiquities and artwork. The cheapest rooms, sleeping 10+, are £11 per night, with WiFi included.
  • Canadians looking for real history will love the High Street Hostel, dating from 1564. It was the home of the 4th Earl of Morton, beheaded in 1581 for his involvement in the murder of the husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Despite its antiquity, it has modern facilities, including a spacious common room and fully equipped kitchen. A bed in a large dorm costs £12 a night, including free coffee, tea, and WiFi.

The Modern

If you prefer something closer to the comforts of home, there are plenty of hostels to suit you.

  • The Edinburgh Central Hostel was converted in 2006 by the Scottish Youth Hostels Association, from an office building to one of the city’s most state-of-the-art hostels. It was considered radical for being the first to offer hotel comfort for hostel prices. However, its location at the top of Leith Walk means it is 10 minutes from the train and bus station. At £17 per night for dorm beds, it is one of the most expensive, but all rooms are en-suite.
  • The Smart City Hostel is closer to the city centre and offers en-suite accommodation, at £10 per night for a dorm bed. It has reduced its frills to keep costs down, but still describes itself as 5-star.


The best hostels in Edinburgh for Canadians are really those that provide a combination of comfort with easy access to the city’s history and culture. Remember that although most have a minimum age of 18, there is no upper age limit. So you don’t have to be a youngster — whatever age you are, you can enjoy a great stay with good value accommodation.