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“Great Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Budget Backpackers

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Budget Backpackers
4.0 of 5 Hostel   |   37 - 39 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JR, Scotland (Old Town)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #49 of 187 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I booked one night at Budget Backpackers in advance because I was moving to Edinburgh to begin graduate school. I found the building easily enough and was welcomed in. I was checked-in by a very friendly gentleman and given my card key and a set of sheets. He even helped me carry my large bag up the first flight of stairs to my room. The staff was very friendly and helpful during my stay and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to stay near the City Center.
Having said that, I will say that when I went to bed, only three of us in the 10-person room were actually in bed. Other people came in and out throughout the night and early morning hours. I was too tired from travelling to really care, but everyone in my room was very respectful.

Room Tip: I stayed in a 10-person room to save on money (14 pounds for the night), but their are bars nearby s...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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518 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

First off, the hostel has such a great location; centrally located in the Cowgate...you can literally see Edinburgh Castle from the front doors. There is a lot of noise that leaks off the street and into the rooms, but that's the trick of having a well-located place in a major city and is no fault of the hostel itself. The staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful and filled with strange personalities. There is a bar locate in the main building that always seems to be bustling with patrons, and a kitchen upstairs that I never visited myself.

I was staying in the 6-bed mixed dorm. The room was quite dirty and dank and smelled like the hundreds of previous travelers who have no doubt stayed in it. There is a shared bathroom at the end of the hall...both the bathroom and room itself were pretty gross. But considering how little I paid, I feel like complaining doesn't seem right.

The hostel itself definitely attracts a young type of "party" person. I myself am in my early twenties, but found the overall vibe exhausting. I had booked a week-long stay here and, honestly, avoided the hostel as long as possible due to the stay-up-all-night-fist-pumping-nature of the other guests. Again, no fault of the hostel itself, just...be forewarned if you're looking for a place to relax and take a load off, you should probably look elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Arrived at this hostel for the Edinburgh fringe with a friend. Staying in a four bed dorm was quite comfortable, we were given clean linen and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Only qualms were that the bathroom was VERY small and the key cards didn't always work properly adding a slight amount of stress especially when getting in late at night. The price, though more expensive than usual was cheap for a hostel during the fringe festival so all in all was quite a good deal!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Ok good points first. So the location is brilliant and the bathrooms are always cleaned regularly. Bad points - we stayed in a mixed dorm of 6 people (supposedly).

When we arrived, four of the beds were occupied. The room was disgusting! There were dirty towels and clothing over the beds that we were supposed to be sleeping on, dirty plates, cups, bottles and clothing everywhere.

We literally had to clear a pathway to get to our beds. The room also smelt disgusting. The other "guests" to the room arrived back in the early hours and we were then greeted to the sound of two of them having sex!

The next day, we found that the people in the room had doubled up. We had at least 9 people sleeping in a 6 bed dorm. We raised this with reception who said they would do a "random room search" but nothing changed. If it wasn't for this, the stay would have been ok. The staff should make a conscious effort to ensure that when new guests arrive, the rooms are clean and do more random room checks to ensure that people aren't doubling up.

Room Tip: If there are only two people or less travelling - don't stay in a dorm with more people. Unless...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BudgetB, General Manager at Budget Backpackers, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Hi Adam and Lauren, Thank you very much for your review. We are looking into why there where additional people in the six bed dorm you booked. We can only assume that the other guests staying in your room have allowed other people in who should not be there. Would you please be kind enough and email us with your booking Id so that we can identify your booked room to enable us to fully investigate. Please accept our apologies for the mess the other guests in the room created prior to your arrival and their obviously unacceptable behaviour and lack of respect for other guests staying in the room, had we known we would have immediately asked them to leave. On a lighter note we are pleased that the other elements of your stay where good. Thank you again for your review as we are always striving to improve our customer experience and all reviews are important to us.
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Dorset
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Stayed with a friend in a four bedroom room next to the guests kitchen on 31st July and 1st August. Noise from outside loud & late - but only to be expected leading up to the Fringe and the location. No problem with noise (ie no noise) from the kitchen though which was good news. My friend and I are both in our early 50s so were a little concerned about being in a youth hostel but, as the Open Mic guy James said, if you're into that lifestyle and happy with the atmosphere it doesn't matter what age you are. I loved it. Obviously, at my age, prefer more privacy. Some toilets/showers were mixed, some weren't. Again, no problem. Food was good. Staff and decor perfect (think students or festival). We stayed there again on our way back - 8th August - and didn't get an ounce of sleep - but I imagine the same could be said for anywhere in Edinburgh during the festival. Also it was hot so we had windows open. Also the prices went up dramatically - as would all the other places. I would definitely recommend this place to any-one who likes student bars etc, but also plenty of opportunities for quite time. The staff wold always go out of their way to help and there was some-one on the desk 24/7. Just be careful with the £1 baggage lockers - it takes a £1 every time you open it.

Room Tip: No lifts, lots of stairs - a killer when you're suffering from frozen shoulder.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Stayed at BB as part of a large group performing at the Fringe festival. The staff on reception were always friendly and helpful, more often than not striking up some conversation whenever you walk past.

I stayed in a room that slept 10 people - it was quite spacious and the beds were not the best but exactly what you'd expect from a hostel. There was a ladies bathroom on my floor with two showers and two toilets; I never had to queue to use the facilities, and they had been cleaned to a good standard.

A few of the people I stayed in the room with felt that it was noisy and the windows did not do much to prevent the noise. However, this hostel is in the centre of everything - a fantastic location - so noise has to be expected. Personally I did not feel this was a problem and slept well for the 6 nights I was there.

The kitchen is clean and well - equipped, perfect if you are looking to save a few pennies and not eat out all the time. There is a small tesco only about ten minutes away from the hostel. I never had to wait to use any of the cooking facilities and there was always space in the fridge and freezer.

The bar downstairs is often lively - not surprising as the drinks and food are cheap. There was a free pub crawl every night I was there, and though I did not go on one, they seemed popular and the staff leading them were always friendly and seemed like they wanted everyone to get involved.

The only down side (and it's very minor) is that the food, though good quality and cheap, was often unpredictable. For breakfast on the first morning my friend ordered some yogurt and museli and a coffee, which all came out at a decent size. The following morning, she ordered the same thing, and everything seemed to have halved in size, including the mug in which the coffee was served in, and she was charged the same price. As i say, this is only a minor thing, but perhaps something the hostel could improve on.

All in all my stay was very enjoyable. This hostel does what it says on the tin, plus a bit extra, which is great as it really is a cheap place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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York, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This review is based on a twin room booking, I don't have any experience of the dorms here but I'd imagine they are great!

I booked Budget Backpackers fairly late on after deciding to head up to the Fringe to catch shows with a friend. Although the prices were elevated, they were still very competitive.

On arrival, the check in process was incredibly smooth, and we were in our room within no time. The girl on reception jokingly referred to the twin bed rooms as the 'honeymoon suites', and although there were no rose petals on the bed, there was a large bag of milkybar buttons, and complimentary towels, so a nice surprise to start our stay.

The beds were very comfy, and the bedding was already on, another bonus. We found ourselves in a room that overlooked Cowgate. For those in the know, this is right in the heart of the old town and adjacent to various pubs and bars. As this was Festival time, there was a lot of noise right the way through until 6am, but there are shutters on the windows which do help block out a large amount of this noise. I'd imagine throughout the rest of the year, you'd have no problem with late night revellers.

As in most hostels, the showers and toilets are shared. In BB, there is an option to use male/female only facilities or make use of unisex ones. All showers and toilets we used were very clean and pleasant.

Make sure you take advantage of the free walking tour and great value food available in the cafe downstairs. There were also various drinking activities in the evening, but we were always out watching shows.

Overall we had a fab stay. I recommend Budget Backpackers to anyone who wants great value accommodation and a chance to meet fabulous people from all around the world. This place has character and a soul you don't find in most hotels.

Room Tip: Spend the extra and opt for a twin room if you can.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Budget Backpackers

Address: 37 - 39 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JR, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Cowgate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 187 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Budget Backpackers 4*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With over 250 beds, and located in the heart of beautiful Old Town, Budget Backpackers is one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh! All of the amenities you need including free linen, free hot showers, a self catering kitchen, and a bar/cafe! Budget Backpackers is one of the best located hostels in the city, being only a 10 minute walk from Waverly Train Station, a 2 minute walk from the Royal Mile, and the breathtaking Edinburgh Castle practically on our doorstep! There is also always something happening within the hostel, with weekly Wii and Pool Competitions, Quiz and Movie Nights, Free Walking Tours 11am daily Monday to Saturday, Whether you want to see the sights, make friends, party it up, or just relax, Budget Backpackers has everything you need to make your stay in Edinburgh memorable! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Budget Backpackers Hotel Edinburgh
Budget Backpackers Edinburgh, Scotland

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