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“A good, cheap well-positioned place for a couple of night's stay. Not bad at all....”

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Cowgate Tourist Hostel
Ranked #143 of 218 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Reviewed October 1, 2013

I was so worried about staying at Cowgate after reading the other reviews, however, I have to say that it really is not that bad at all. It's in a great location. My room was clean and comfortable. I liked the big sofa in the kitchen and the bathroom was clean. The girl on reception was lovely (if somewhat frazzled!) and gave me great advice on what to do with a free day.
The bad points were that it was noisy at night (take ear plugs), the fridge was a bit smelly and the stairs up to the flat were slippy (my friend fell down them).

Room Tip: I'd say go for the back of the hostel for a quieter stay.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Beth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 - 157 of 347 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2013

I always appreciate feedback from people on places to stay and I have to say that although this hostel is very basic it was perfect for a weekend away with friends. The staff were very friendly and willing to help with any questions or directions we needed. We went on the pub crawl which is run by the hostel and met some lovely poeple along the way. Overall a very positive experience.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank EmmaPLyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I stayed here on 2 separate nights a week apart between a tour that I did. It was clean and had good wifi. The bathroom facilities were good, except there was no place to put your clothes when you were showering. The staff were friendly and helpful. Try and get a room that does not face the 3 sisters if you want a decent nights sleep. I am a heavy sleeper and they were playing awesome music anyway, so it didn't bother me, but a lot of people were complaining about this. For a hostel I thought this place was good. You get what you pay for after all!

Room Tip: Don't get a room facing across the street if you are not a heavy sleeper! The bar is quite loud...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Rockygirl_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

This is the first review that i have ever written, that is how bad it was. I should start by saying that I am no stranger to hostels, having travelled the world and stayed in some great ones.
We ended up here as a result of a mix up during the booking process and were sorry that we did! Before we paid, we asked to see the room and were told that this wouldn't be possible which raised alarm bells. We had a private double room with a shared bathroom. On first impressions, the room was dirty, the decor dated with dirty marks all over the walls and dust on the floor. It felt like we were staying in someone's grotty student bedroom.The bed hadn't even been pushed back against the wall. The first thing we did was ask for a clean towel as the one we had been given was stained. Then we noticed the footprint on our sheet. Nice. I wish I had never seen the duvet sticking out of the end of the cover, because it was repulsive! We got a whole set of 'clean' sheets and doubled up on everything. The mattress itself must have been found by a skip, it was thin with every spring sticking out and the bed creaked every time you moved.
The bathroom window had a broken pane and the noise could be heard until the early hours. We tried to get a glass of water from the kitchen, only to discover there were no glasses. Excellent.
Overall, it felt like a place that was all about the maximum profit and nothing to do with the customer. Don't get me wrong, the location is amazing and the girl behind the desk in the morning seemed nice, but they need to spend some money on making it habitable for guests. At over £80 a night, I for one expect better. My advice? Go elsewhere!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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3  Thank Lovestotravel1235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

We went to Edinburgh in late July 2013 and were planning to stay at Cowgate Tourist Hostel for two nights. When we got there the staff told us the card reader was not working and that we would have to pay cash. We went to withdraw some cash and when we came back to the hostel the card reader was magically working again for another couple who insisted on paying with a card. We paid with our cash and were given the keys to our room and were told where it was.

When we got in to the corridor in which our room was located, there was an overwhelming stench of mold. Our room similarly smelled of mold combined with some sort of cleaning agent, bleach or paint. The room was also very, very damp. Entering the bathrooms and showers explained the stench of mold. The walls and the roof were completely covered in black mold, exposure to which can be very toxic to humans.

The horrors did not end with the mold, dampness and smell of chemicals. While we were sleeping, some random person entered our room, which was a private twin bedroom. The room was locked, and he actually had a key to open the door. After this incident we could not feel comfortable or safe sleeping in the room, or leaving it with our belongings in it.

It all ended with us leaving Cowgate Tourist Hostel the next morning, after one night instead of two, yet paying for both nights. They refused to give us any form of receipt when we asked for one. We do not recommend anyone to stay at this hostel under any circumstances.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tapirus_indicus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This is a self-catering student hostel and one makes one's own bed and hires towels. It was pretty grotty and we wouldn't stay again. However, it is in a good location and it is cheap for Edinburgh, tho not for UK as whole. There is no wifi but there is a good wired internet connection.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank dyscolus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Cannot comment on the state of the hostel as we didnt even get that far. However, after reading reviews that many people werent getting the rooms they had paid for I decided to email the hostel directly to confirm that we would indeed get the private room we paid for as we were travelling with a young child. 6 emails and 6 calls later I had no response so decided to cancel the booking altogether, again after 4 emails asking for confrimation that the booking was indeed cancelled with no response, I email hostel bookers customer service who also emailed them asking for confrimation of cancellation...again no response. Just recieved my bank statement and have been charged by the hostel for the room that we cancelled, £57.60!! Would seriously advise people to avoid this place at all costs, their complete lack of communication before we even got there should really tell you all what type of place it is and the people it is run by!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nicola_stephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cowgate Tourist Hostel

Address: 96-112 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Cowgate
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #143 of 218 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Price Range: $19 - $82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Cowgate Tourist Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A hostel with a difference! Our 168 bed hostel contains 12 individually lockable apartments all fully fitted with their own toilet, shower rooms and kitchen/lounge including an oven, microwave, fridge freezer, toaster, plates, dishes, cutlery and cooking pots. An apartment sleeps between 8 and 22 people in a combination of 4 and 6 bed dorms and twin or double rooms. That's 12 fully fitted kitchens and 17 shower rooms with toilets plus 12 separate private toilets! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cowgate Tourist Hotel Edinburgh
Cowgate Tourist Hostel Edinburgh, Scotland

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