When you think of Scotland you probably think of castles, sheep, kilts and golf but venture a little further and you’ll find white sand beaches, stargazing vantage points, waterfalls and a thriving independent music and arts scene. Hostels are by far the most affordable way to explore the hidden side of this incredible country. Here is our guide to the best hostels across the country.
Castle Rock Hostel
Castle Rock Hostel is centrally directly beside Edinburgh Castle. It’s the perfect place to experience the medieval feel of the Royal Mile or head to Grassmarket to check out the historic marketplace and event space. The rooms and lounges (yes, more than one) have quiet and social spaces so you can feel right at home.
Pollock Halls – Edinburgh First
Pollock Halls is walking distance from Edinburgh Old Town and right next to Holyrood Park, so it’s great for those who want to experience Edinburgh’s historical side and then go for a nature stroll. It has modern decor, a full English breakfast included in the price, and a bar too!
Royal Mile Backpackers
Directly ON the Royal Mile, Royal Mile Backpackers is in an ideal location to explore Edinburgh. Its receptionists are happy to give you advice to make the most of your stay in Scotland, and will even book you a tour of the Highlands! You’ll truly feel comfortable in the homey lounge area and probably make some new friends too.
High Street Hostel
High Street Hostel is in a 470-year-old building, right inside Edinburgh Old Town. With history like that all around you, you’re bound to come across something out of the ordinary. It has a uniquely decorated lounge space and refurbished rooms with all the fixings – free wifi, personal power points and bed lights!
Kick Ass Hostels
Opened in 2014, Kick Ass Hostel is a luxury hostel right in the city centre. It has modern facilities that are equipped to suit all your needs – beds with private chargers, lights and storage, a cafe, bar, and even a chill out room for when you just need to kick back and relax.
Euro Hostel Glasgow
Euro Hostel is out to give you the best Scottish experience it can at a substantially lower price. It’s located in central Glasgow and is the perfect hub to explore the city.
Black Isle Hostel
Black Isle Hostel is in central Inverness, which makes it great for transport links and walking around the city streets. You’ll have the choice of modern shared or private rooms and if that isn’t enough, the Black Isle Bar and Rooms is only a 2 minute walk away, so you can grab some craft beer after a day of exploring.
Inverness Student Hostel
Five minutes from the city centre and a mere 10 minute walk to the train and bus station, Inverness Student Hostel is the perfect place to kick up your feet and take a load off during your Scottish adventure. The staff are happy to give you advice on where to go (maybe even let you in on some local secrets).
Inverness Youth Hostel
A short walk from the city centre, Inverness Youth Hostel is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking to experience the cinemas, live music, pubs, and galleries in Inverness. Inverness Castle is also within walking distance and will give you a taste of some authentic Scottish history. Once you’ve finished adventuring for the day, the hostel is located in a quiet neighbourhood so it’s super easy to chill out.
This quaint Victorian house has private and shared rooms and is located right in front of Inverness Castle.
Isle of Skye
Glenbrittle Youth Hostel
Glenbrittle Youth Hostel is a great place to relax and enjoy Skye’s rugged scenery. The magical Fairy Pools are nearby, the beach is just over a mile away, and there are also hikes for all abilities and weather conditions right at your doorstep. You’ll also be a short drive from Talisker Distillery, Dunvegan Caste, Glendale Toy Museum, and Colbost Croft Museum.
The force is strong with this hostel. The clever play on words alone makes staying at the Skyewalker Hostel a must for any Star Wars fans. If you’re not so in to Star Wars, the unspoiled natural surroundings will definitely draw you in anyway. It offers private rooms, dorm rooms, and ‘Skyewalker Jedi Huts’ (They’re much nicer than Yoda’s hut on Dagobah!).
Glen Nevis Youth Hostel
Recently redeveloped into an open plan environment with modern facilities and private and dorm options, Glen Nevis Youth Hostel is a great place to socialise and explore the Lochaber Area. The hostel is built at the foot of Ben Nevis, the trail head almost starts at the front door. You’re sure to meet some interesting people too because Glen Nevis Youth Hostel has been accommodating outdoorsy individuals, families, and groups since 1933 – the word is out!
Fort William Backpackers
Fort William Backpackers has a fun, friendly, relaxing atmosphere. It’s located in a quaint Victorian building, with an elegant lounge and real open fireplace! You’ll also have the best view in town. No matter what adventure brings you to Fort William, Fort William Backpackers will be a cosy place to call home for the duration of your stay.
Chase The Wild Goose Hostel
Chase The Wild Goose Hostel is situated perfectly for any kind of activity you’re after. Everything from mountain adventures to ‘Hogwarts Express’ rides are available in this area; travellers are often engaged in mountain biking, water sports, or on the slopes depending on the season. Once everyone has finished up their activities for the day, you can look forward to hanging out in the homey hostel and sharing your stories with some interesting people!
Aberdeen Youth Hostel
Newly renovated and within walking distance of the city centre, Aberdeen Youth Hostel is a great, affordable place to settle in while exploring Aberdeen’s historical streets and striking architecture. From Aberdeen Youth Hostel, you’ll have access to many different cafes, restaurants, pubs, and night scenes; as well as informative museums and stunning cathedrals. You’ll also be able to escape the city on a boat tour to watch dolphins that skirt the edges of Aberdeen’s busy harbour.
Oban Youth Hostel
Oban Youth Hostel is comprised of two buildings, an original Victorian villa and a modern lodge, which are both affordable options to experience Oban’s many attractions. Within just a short walk, you’ll be in the centre of Oban choosing from delicious pubs and restaurants, and exploring the Oban Distillery and McCaig’s Tower. If you’re after more history, St Columba’s Cathedral and the Oban War and Peace Museum are also easily accessible.
Corran House is beautifully located with a seafront view, only minutes away from the centre of Oban. The Victorian building is clean, spacious, and quiet; perfect for listening to the sounds of the sea at night. You must check out the Scottish pub in the same building and, weather permitting, enjoy a pint and some food on the patio beer garden.
Quirky and colourful, Oban Backpackers is a fun place to stay whether you’re just passing through Oban or hanging around for a bit to check out historic Argyll. It is only a 10 minute walk from the bus, train, and ferry terminals; Oban Backpackers is in a great location for a day of exploring. It’s also located quite close to the centre of Oban and the small port, which can make for a nice day of watching fishing boats, sea birds, and yachts come and go while enjoying some fish & chips.
Callander Hostel is in the town of Callander, about a thirty minute drive northwest of Stirling. It’s also about an hour from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, making it an ideal place to get out of the city and into nature. You’ll be surrounded by the beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a unique hosteling experience in this little oasis. When you’re not enjoying the landscaped gardens and barbecue facilities that Callander Hostel offers; you’ll likely be relaxing in the bistro, sipping coffee in the shadow of Ben Ledi.
Stirling Youth Hostel
Stirling Youth Hostel is centrally located in Stirling and walking distance from the train station. It is only a few minutes from the historic Stirling Castle and breathtaking views of the surrounding area; and just uphill from the various shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and nightlife. Stirling Youth Hostel offers private and shared rooms, all with en-suites. From the hostel, the Wallace Monument and Bannockburn Visitor Centre are easily accessible to help you make the most of your journey.
Willy Wallace Hostel
Willy Wallace Hostel has an excellent location in the centre of Stirling, only two minutes way from the train station. You’ll have easy access to the beautiful historic streets of Stirling, and the help of friendly staff to send you in the right direction. The ornate Victorian building offers private and dorm style rooms so you can have as much privacy as you want!
Great Glen Hostel
Great Glen Hostel is nestled in between mountains and lochs; twenty miles away from Fort William and ten miles from Loch Ness, it is a comfortable place to stay while exploring the Highlands. Urquhart and Eilean Donan castles are easy day trips, and outdoor enthusiasts have a plethora of excursion options including hikes and the mountain gondola at Aonach Mor. The hostel staff are also happy to help you book activities like white water rafting, canyoning, quad biking, abseiling, and more!
Loch Ness Backpackers
The Loch Ness Backpackers farm house dates back to the 18th century and has since been modernised to give its guests the best experience possible. Just twenty minutes outside of Inverness; you are well connected to the city, but still surrounded by spectacular scenery. The owners and their team are completely dedicated to making your stay as enjoyable as possible, and will offer you free coffee or tea and a cosy spot by a wood burning stove when you’re back from your adventures.
Dundee Backpackers Hostel
Dundee Backpackers Hostel is located in the centre of Dundee on the high street. It is the perfect place to explore Dundee’s historic buildings, some areas date back to c. 1560! There are plenty of shops and restaurants to experience while you’re in Dundee too; so chill out, enjoy the sights, and leave your worries behind as you wander the streets. Oh, and why not plan your trip around a visit to the V&A Museum opening in September?
Ready to go? We have more Scotland inspiration to help you plan the perfect trip including secret things you never knew you could do in Scotland, the ultimate backpacking guide and your perfect itinerary planner.