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Travel Blogs from Edinburgh
1percent stayed here on May 3, 2010 during their trip titled: More than a Stranger.
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How has this hostel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Budget Backpackers Edinburgh
Disclaimer: We stayed in the new part of the hostel - didn't even realise there was an older, crappier building :-(
This place is great. It's well located but a little tricky to find at first. It's beyond colourful, which sets it apart from other more drab places. The rooms have individual lockers in them, which is handy, and the bathrooms (unisex) are clean.
The place is conducive to meeting people - a big shout out to the random posse of Canadian girls, Italian guys and the South African dude who came out with us - mostly due to the huge "chill out" (TV) room which has lots of big lounge chairs and is perfect for pre drinks.
Only problems were that there was one washer / drier only for the entire building (do the math, it doesn't bode well!) and the rules seem a bit much at first (there are too many freaking 'don't do this' signs around the place).
This is a fun, colourful and very safe hostel which is within walking distance of town. We met some great people here and had an awesome time in Edinburgh, so lots of great memories of Budget Backpackers. Give it a go.
Stay in the new building!
We stayed at the hostel for one night on either end of a tour. The first night was great! Stayed in the new building in a quiet quad in the back. Great room, amazing beds, good shared bathrooms with 4 lockable showers. The new building is one of the better hostels I've stayed at. Having 'guaranteed' we would stay in the same building on the way back, we were very disappointed to be put in the old building. They are trying to renovate, but it is nowhere as nice as the new. The duvets are appaullingly dirty - don't use them! We were facing the street, which is VERY noisy with people out celebrating well into the wee hours of the morn. The room was clean, the bathroom was horrible (one between 2 rooms of 4!). It was dirty and tiny. I would advise that if you're booked in the old building, beg and plead for the new - otherwise find some place else! Staff are very friendly though.
Avoid the old building
whatever you do, stay in the new building. It is clean, comfortable and excellent value. If you get posted to the older building across the road, it is a whole differnet experience. I think my mattress was older than me (I'm 32) and when i laid on it, I swear something bit me so I slept on top of the mattress.
Just stick the new building, beg if they say your bed is in the old building.
Good place to stay
This was my first hostel experience and from some reviews, I was apprehensive of this hostel. When arriving, the staff was courteous. My sister and I bugged the staff numerous times about places to see, tours to take, places to eat and they answered every question and didn't seem to mind or act like we were annoying them in anyway with our curiosity. One staff member (All I remember is that he is originally from Canada) recommend a tour and my sister absolutely loved it and wanted to thank him for helping set it up.
The bedrooms were very colorful and welcoming and the comforter that was on the beds was strangely divine. I wanted to steal it because it was so warm and cozy! The only complaint would be that on the floor I stayed on, the first day one of the two showers was out. On the second day, the other shower was out just making it slightly inconvient in going to another area. Oh, and the place is next to bars so during certain hours of the night people leaving the bars and so-forth can be heard. The room was cleaned once during a 3 night stay which was good enough for me since it wasn't even dirty to begin with and it was a private room.
It is in a great location (castle nearby, shops, bars, food) lots of things to do within walking distance and I would stay there again.
Worst hostel i've stayed in
I stayed here over the December holidays, after checking on tripadvisor and doing all my research. I was put into the older building across the street from reception, which I thought would be fine/quieter at first, since it was a lot smaller than the main building. Unfortunately, I was soon proven wrong.
Now, I am not a fussy person in the slightest. I've stayed at dozens of hostels in multiple countries, slept in places with crickets on the bed, even stayed in places without showers or hot water.
But this place was gross. The unfortunate problem isn't the staff or custodians; they are absolutely lovely (especially the custodians!!). The problem is a certain group of "Long term residents" who stay in that older building. They apparently believe that the hostel is intended to be exclusively for their use. They monopolize the common room, kitchen, telephones, and leave the place a disgusting mess when they're done.
If you go between the older and the newer building, you can see the difference. There's a difference between typical messy backpacker mess (a few dirty dishes here and there in the kitchen), and tons of dirty laundry, old food, spilled wine etc, being left in "common" areas (dirty laundry on couches isn't my idea of cute). I won't even get into the numerous times that they came into the building drunk and yelling at the top of their lungs.
I imagine that the experience is different in the other building. If you are going to stay at this hostel, CONFIRM that you will not be staying in the building with these "residents." Unless you are keen on redefining your concept of what sanitary conditions mean. I tried to complain to the staff about them, but they basically shrugged and said that there was nothing they could do since they are frequent guests. Save yourself the trouble and don't stay in that building.
This hostel has a lot of potential. They have great amenities (reasonably priced laundry and internet on site), the location is fantastic (go to The Last Drop Pub across the grassmarket for some great cheap grub)...but their rude, thoughtless, and tacky "residents" just ruined the entire experience for me.
Beware the Long-Term Tenants
Ok, here are "pros": good central location to the old town area, nice kitchens & showers in the newer bldg., helpful cleaning crew.
Here are the "cons":
We were booked here for 5 nights & found ourselves in the older bldg, across the road from the check in. Our room was on the 2nd floor adjacent to the common room. In either building, smoking is allowed in the common room - the "chill out" room I think they call it. If you are a nonsmoker you will not be able to enjoy the telly or games or whatever in the common room. You can find some freedom from fumes in the newer building where there is a t.v. in the kitchen upstairs.
Although all the rooms on our floor have their own adjacent kitchen & bath (much like an apartment/suite) our bath was used by all & the former kitchen is now the laundry for the entire floor. Make sure you do not get this room.
But what turned out to be a bigger problem were the long term tenants. There are a bunch of Aussie tenants who, according to some staff, have been here for months & are notorious for their behavior. What I experienced is a general lack of respect for others in their noise level late at night, leaving trash, cigarette butts, dirty dishes, etc. throughout the common areas, laundry, & even the halls. I'm not that fussy a person & am used to hostels of all types. But these folks took their bad behavior to new levels of funk. Until they go on to new digs, I'm not going back. Oh & asking for help from staff did no good, because most of them are friends with the noisy, yucky tenants. The staff did nothing to quiet them, get them to clean up, etc. despite several requests.
Cheap & cheerful
If you're looking for a cheap, clean and cheerful hostel, this is the one. Stayed here twice and would recommend it to anyone.
A decent place to stay
First of all I've to say that I stayed in much nicer hostel, but most of them have been outside the big cities and were small, familiar hostels. Anyway, as these are not easy to find (if at all) I have to say that the Budget Backpacker is a decent place and I would probably stay there again on my next trip to Edinburgh.
The location is pretty good especially when staying only for a couple of days as most of the sights are in walking distance.
I stayed in a 4 bed female only dorm which was clean and a reasonable size. The lounge was pretty comfy and big, the kitchens were o.k. as were the bathrooms. They could have been cleaned more often though.
Laid-Back and Cheap - Perfect For Students!
The hostel isn't 5-star, but it's great for students on a budget. The staff were friendly and hip and had lots of help with tourist information. The rooms were comfortable, if a bit cramped for 6 people, and the bright colors made it feel more hang-out, and less institution-ish. Within walking distance of the Edinburgh Castle and other attractions. The bathrooms were corridor and unisex but forgiveable; the communal kitchens, its best feature, are best for long-term occupants. The only downside was when they conveniently "misplaced" our room key and tried to charge us for another.
Safe and friendly and...funny!
I stayed with a friend at the Budget Backpackers Hostel in summer 2003 for three nights.
The staff was really friendly and helpful.
They answered all our questions whether it was about the hotel or Edinburgh in general.
We got three keys, one for the entrance so that we could go in and out as long as we wanted to, one for the floor our room was located at and one of the room itself.
Funnily, those keys had names, written on paper and attached to the keys woith see through duct tape.
The first one was called "Laboratory", the second one was for "Prince William's Chastity Belt" and the third one for our room was the one to the "Torture Chamber".
We have not had any demipension but for buying food we have not had to walk too far and the kitchen was in good condition.
The kitchen bath were in the middle of the floor, on the left side there was my friend's and my room, on the right side a few other people had their room.
We shared the kitchen and bath room which was no problem.
The only not so good points are that someone made a mistake in the construction when installing it. You could lock it by pulling a bolt into an alcove in the door frame. Problem: it would only work if the door opened to the other side than it actually did. The lock was useless.
The shower's curtain was rather useless, too, being not well installed and long enough.
All in all:
Clean and pretty rooms, clean kitchen and good bath, friendly and trustworthy staff, and located central but at no too loud main street.
Easily to find because of it's BRIGHT green entrance.