Princes Street Hostel, Edinburgh

City Center
66 Reviews
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Princes Street Hostel Reviews

The worst hell-hole

If there was a way to give 0 stars I would. This was by far the worst place I have ever stayed and I used to sleep in cardboard boxes outside gas stations in my hitchhiking days. I would have preferred to do that if it hadnt been so cold outside. The bed was a sea of springs to roll into. I tried to sleep on the edge of the mattress for awhile but kept rolling back into the middle. The whole place is like walking into a nightmare. The staff at reception unfriendly, and unhelpful. I felt like we were being conned by hobos when we asked if we could see the rooms at check in after the filthy exterior and reception rooms made me fear what we were getting ourselves into. One toilet and shower for 5 dorms!! Rooms are dirty and smell horrible. Its like a very real horror experience you get to pay 40pounds for. I could not get out any sooner and will definitely never ever go back.

Age 32 | Australia


The long term residents made this place a rubbish heap and made me feel unwelcome. Dirty dishes in the dorms and as most of them were doing bar work and sleeping during the entire day, curtains were never opened etc making the rooms very stale and gloomy 24/7. I can handle old dodgy bathrooms, dorms, but no excuse for the filth.


Friendly and good staff for a great service provided!

The welcome is very nice and the rooms are vey clean and original: there is a special and friendly atmosphere in this youth hostel! All the beds are new, clean and pretty comfortable. Very nice and cheap place to stay in Edinburgh! I forgot my laptop there and the team did as much as possible to return it very fast. 2 days later, I had my computer at home! Very very good staff!


I would never stay there again!

It's the worst hostel I've ever stayed. I stayed there 2008. The Rooms are small, the upper bunks didn't have a ladder to go up. It's noisy and quite dirty and really dingy! If you like to meet drunken people in the afternoon then stay here, otherwise look for another hostel! The only good thing about it is the location. It's really just behind the Princes Street, not far from the train-station and all the buses. But don't forget the seventy-five steps up to the hostel and at least ten more to the rooms!


I miss this place!

I spent about a month here from February to March 08 before coming down to London. Ok, so the building is rundown? So what? It had the best atmosphere of anywhere I've stayed. Obviously can't comment on what the short termers were thinking but as a long termer it was a great crowd. The kitchen utensils needed replacing but it was clean. Definitely no frills, cheap and cheerful and I miss it! Probably can't beat the location either, 5 minutes from Waverley Station and this place never actually closes!


Great location but very rundown and dirty

This place could not have had a better location! So close to everything! I would have to say that this place is very rundown though, and for the price you pay for a double room, you could almost have a hotel room. The bed was sagging! Security was a worry as the cleaners would enter the room and leave it unlocked afterward, even if you weren't there! The showers left something to be desired, with only a curtain between my nakedness and other males. Was made to feel a bit like I was trespassing by the long term residents, felt very unwelcome in the common rooms, and in the kitchens. Obviously the residents are all very close, but it feels as though this is more of a lodging house with a backpackers on the side. There was a foozball table advertised, this was nowhere to be found. This place certainly did have character though -- loved all of the art. and I cant say enough about the location. not sure I'd stay there again though as it was pretty dirty!

New Zealand

Princes Street East Backpackers exemplifies the type of backpackers for those who wouldn't dare stay in one due to their of dark halls filled with drug addicts and unsanitary living conditions. Although the addicts aren't seen in the halls, they definitely are a part of designing the artwork on the walls -- weird cartoon characters appear on every wall in the multi-level, dilapidated building.

Having said that, Princes Street Backpackers definitely has an appeal to those who are looking for a cheap night in an out-of-the-ordinary place in a convenient location. But don't be surprised if you can't find it on Princes Street (one of the main roads in Edinburgh filled with upmarket shopping and exclusive hotels). It seems to be in a more appropriate place down a small alleyway between Princes Street and the bus station (one entrance to West Register Street is next to the Burger King on Princes Street). You will need to have some training (and light luggage) before attempting to climb the seventy-five stairs to get to the reception, plus a few more to get to the dorms.

Although it there weren't smokers around when we stayed, we are told that smoking is unfortunately allowed inside the hostel. So if one inconsiderate backpacker decides to light up inside, everyone has to deal with breathing their smoke. Hopefully they'll ban smoking inside, which both nonsmokers and (most) smokers would appreciate.

The bathrooms leave something to be desired in cleanliness and privacy, with shower curtains that barely cover the mixed-sex shower cubicles which can be an issue if you're modest about that sort of thing. The kitchen area is, however, well equipped with signs posted to encourage guests to clean up after themselves. Adjacent to the kitchen is the common area, which consists of tables and chairs and a few games. The reception has a little shop with snacks, drinks, and breakfast items so you don't need to make the climb for such necessities. Pamphlets, maps, and other information are also available. It has the potential to be a crazy, fun place when there's a few people around and if you are open-minded.

April Lawrence

Possibly one of the best hostels ever, with a very homely atmosphere and a fantastic crowd.

Mo Trawally

More reviews...

Princes Street Hostel Reviews from the Web


1. Fantastic location right off Princes St.

2. Yann & Salisha [sp?] were amazing hosts

3. facilities are immaculate and good sized.

4. Free, safe luggage storage

5. Staffed Front Desk

6. Quiet, private, safe


A. Community fridges a great amenity but need better patrolling for old items.

B STAIRS GALORE! On 5th level of back-alley, repurposed warehouse, accessed by a very steep, narrow spiral staircaseok for backpacks, but a misery for wheeled or handheld bags.


Princes Street Hostel is so convenient in location. Everything from transportation, sightseeing, restaurants, and shopping are in close proximity. The facilities are quite nice as well with a spacious kitchen and lounge area. The only con would be the 4 flights of stairs you need to climb to reach the hostel. I wouldn't recommend this hostel if you have a lot of luggage.


Excellent place to stay

Will definitely come back again.


Unbeatable location and spotlessly clean hostel. This hostel is an excellent example of how you dont need lots of fancy interior designing, you just need a simple, clean and functional space! The only lost marks were on atmosphere, as this is a very quiet hostel without much social scene. However, that mightve just been when I stayed there, and also that might be exactly what some people are looking for. Overall I loved this hostel and would definitely be back!


It was ok.


Incredibly nice staff and amazing location! Super cute cafe right next door perfect for breakfast or lunch and very slide to train station


Amazing good!


The location of the hostel is central & close to buses and the train which was very convenient. Everything is kept very clean - the showers were large & always clean, as were the toilets. I didn't use the kitchen facilities or common room but they also looked spacious & clean. There weren't many staff around - I had trouble finding someone a couple of times but when I did they were nice & hospitable. The hostel is at the top of many flights of stairs & didn't appear to have a lift.


Nice hostel walking distance to Old Town and Princess Street Gardens. Very easy to get to from Edinburgh Waverly Station. Only minor complain is that it does stay very noisy from the street behind late into the night and also early in the morning on trash days. Overall would recommend!


Great place to stay for cheap while being in the heart of the city. Only stayed for one night in a 10-person room but it was clean, quiet (lucky I got some very respectful people in my dorm, but that seems to be the norm honestly), and the staff was so friendly and helpful. Would definitely stay here again on quick notice.


short walk from either bus or train station, convenient walk to Royal Mile, Holyrood Park


Everything was clean, but it didnt feel like there were quite enough bathrooms. It felt a bit pricey for the value. Great atmosphere! Overall a good place to stay!


Had a beautiful view from my top bunk in a mixed 6 bed, where I met some really lovely people. Showers were spacious and had plenty of hot water. Place was clean. Saw an employee cleaning on a Sunday. Bring your own towel and lock. Location is central, easy to walk anywhere.


The staff was absolutely lovely and the hostel has a great kitchen area. Bathrooms were clean and showers were nice. The hostel is located on the top floor with no lift so beware of bringing large luggage.


Perfect location, very friendly staff, very clean and updated showers, large kitchen and nice common space. Be ready to climb stairs, the hostel is located on the 4th floor, no elevator.


I showed up early and no one heard the bell, but someone staying at the hostel let me in. I dropped my bag for a few hours. There was an issue with my card for online payment, but they checked me in and I was able to pay with another card after I was settled. Staff were friendly, kitchen was a good size and kept clean, rooms and bathrooms were clean, but I found a wad of someone else's hair in my blankets, so that put me off a little. Big showers, big lockers, top floor = workout!


Great place. But a cautionary note to seniors. Im 80, and climbing 77 stairs

tested my strength and endurance more than once daily. A good way to evaluate

ones cardiovascular standing.


I cannot speak highly enough of this place. Staff was so friendly and everything was clean. Would love to stay here again. Not really a party kind of place if thats what you are looking for though


Very good hostel, the room for 4 was large, the beds were comfortable, the staff very kind (we were able to leave our bags at the reception all day, even after checking out). Only small problem, there was only one bathroom/toilet on our floor, so there was a huge queue to go to the toilet or take a shower. But except that, it was a great stay !


A great hostel in the perfect location. The staff were all very nice. Easily overlook the climb to the top. You won't regret this hostel experience. The place is kept very clean. Love the use of the kitchen. Numerous electrical outlets available in the sitting area., when you don't have that available you'll know the difference.



Princes Street East caters mainly for independent, international backpackers between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Bear in mind, however, that this is only the core group; any traveller (over 18) with a valid international passport and a desire to have a good time is welcome here!

When we say independent, we mean it! You'll find NO lockouts or silly curfew rules here! The staff are always doing their best to provide our guests with a friendly, easy-going and creative atmosphere. And you'll often find one or more of our residents jamming away on their guitar in the Cave, or collecting others to join them in a night out on the town!

Our comfortable dormitories hold between four and twelve persons. We also have four double rooms, ideal for couples or persons who desire a little more privacy and two triple/quad rooms for small groups. You'll find ample toilets and showers (no shortage of hot water here) conveniently located on every floor. And during your stay, why not take in one of over 400 movies available to you in our T.V. & Video lounge?

You'll find most of the snack goods you'll want for the film, as well as any toiletries you may need during your stay, in our resident shop. We also have a self-catering kitchen, refrigerators for residents' use, a large dining area, laundry facilities, a payphone, fast cheap Internet access, a jukebox, a foozball table, and lots of pretty pictures on the walls. All our residents enjoy a free dinner each Sunday night, and if you stay 6 nights, you get the 7th free.

All the staff (and the Manager) are backpackers themselves and living in the hostel with you, so you can be sure that we will look after your needs.

24 Hour Everything
No Curfews or Lockouts
7th Night Free
Long Term Rates
3 Common Rooms (24 Hours)
Foozball Table (24 Hours)
Jukebox (24 Hours)
Fun staff - all backpackers themselves
On Site Shop (24 Hours)
Fast cheap Internet access (24 Hours)
Video Room (over 200 videos) (24 Hours)
Valuables Storage
Lots of Fun!!!

Please Note: We do not accept groups, or anyone under 18!

Location and Contact


• -From Edinburgh International Airport:
• Take the #100 Airport Express bus (£3.30 one way, £5 return) to Waverly Bridge in the city centre. Turn right getting off the bus and walk north to Princes St. Cross the street and turn right on Princes and walk to the Burger King opposite the Balmoral Hotel (a local landmark with a large clock tower). Turn left on West Register Street, and you will find us directly behind the Burger King.
• -From Edinburgh Waverly Train Station:
• Follow the station signs to the Princes St. Exit. When you reach street level at the top of the stairs, you will be beside the Balmoral Hotel and see a Burger King restaurant across the street. We are directly behind that restaurant on West Register Street.
• -From Edinburgh St. Andrew Square Bus Station:
• Folloe the station signs to the St. Andrew Square entrance, 1 level above the bus bays. Turn left when you get outside and walk down to West Rgister Street, the first street left. Turn right when you reach the Cafe Royal Oyster Bar on the corner, and left again after the Penny Black Pub.
• IF YOU GET LOST: Just ask a local to point you towards The Penny Black, The Cafe Royal, or The Guildford Arms. These three pubs form the lower floors of our building and every good Scot knows how to get to the pub.



Address: 5 West Register Street, City Center, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland

Princes Street Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Princes Street Hostel Edinburgh
Phone Number: +44 1318 56894
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Digital Nomads

Solo Traveller


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage


24 Hour Security

Board Games

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Meeting/Banquet facilities

Movie Library/Rental

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All year (closed for 2 hours at Hogmanay so that all the staff can see in the New Year with their friends)

Reception Hours: 24 Hours

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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