FAQs, Frequently Asked Questions - Cowgate Tourist Hostel Edinburgh

General Questions

A hostel offers low priced accommodation that provides a bed, pillow, blanket, and bathing facilities, usually in dormitory style. Most hostels require that you have your own sheets and towels. If you do not bring your own, it may be possible for you to rent those items from the hostel. But at our hostels all bed sheets are provided.
Student groups, families, couples, independent travellers, college students, senior’s citizens, etc. may stay at hostels. Most hostels require that guests be at least 18 years old or they must be accompanied by a parent/guardian/chaperone.
Mainly `backpackers´ who’re travelling by rail or bus. Older travellers, School Groups, University Groups, Business and Social use also.
We accept all ages at the hostel but any child under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult over 18 and in a dorm for private use.
There are a number of different sized dorm rooms to choose from, these range from private 2 beds to 8 bed dorms. You can also book a room for your private use – so if you were a group of 5 then you could ask for a 6 bed dorm for your private use.
All our dorms are mixed sex but if you request to be allocated into an all-female dorm this sometimes can be arranged.

About the Hostel

Our address is: Cowgate Tourist Hostel, 94–116, Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JN
During office hours please call the head office on +44 (0) 808 168 9610, and if not available call the hostel reception on +44 (0) 131 226 5716.
We are located at: 94-116 Cowgate Edinburgh, EH1 1JN, Scotland
Our telephone number is: +44 (0) 808 168 9610 (head office) and +44 (0) 131 226 5716 (hostel reception).
Our Email address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Edinburgh has two train stations Haymarket and Waverley. The main station is Waverley which is located in the city centre, sandwiched between the New and Old towns. Visitors arriving to Edinburgh for the first time often make the mistake of getting off at Haymarket, the smaller station in the West end. There is about a mile’s distance between the two stations.
You are most likely to be travelling on First Scotrail trains if you are just travelling within Scotland, especially if you are travelling from the more rural destinations in the Scottish Highlands.
Edinburgh’s bus station is located on Elder Street where the buses enter, with pedestrian access at Elder Street and St Andrew Square. For journeys crossing the border to England the main coach operator is National Express, who run services to many parts of the country including London, Birmingham, Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle as well as many more cities.
If you are just travelling within Scotland the best option is Scottish Citylink.
Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh airport is 20 minutes by car from the city centre. There is a bus service (twice hourly to Waverley bridge), and taxis (average fare price is £14.).
You may find it easier/cheaper to get a flight to Glasgow on the West Coast and then travel by train or bus to Edinburgh. It takes a little over an hour to drive between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Yes we have many bookings at the Cowgate for both Stag and Hen parties as we can offer whole apartments for their sole use. We are the only hostel in Edinburgh that can provide this service.
The Cowgate Tourist Hostel has a 3-Day cancellation policy. Failure to cancel within this time will result in a cancellation charge equal to the first night of your stay, unless otherwise stated.

You may cancel your booking up to 72 hours before arrival - DOES NOT APPLY TO GROUPS -. Please do so directly with the reception office. If you wish to cancel by email then please do so at least 7 days prior to your arrival.

Group Bookings Please note: If you are cancelling or changing a booking this MUST be done 28 days prior to arrival. Full payment of your booking must also be made 28 days before your arrival date.

Deposits are never refunded.

In the event of a no-show without cancellation, we have the right to charge your credit card for the first night's stay where you have booked accommodation with us or for the full price of the tour or other non-accommodation travel service in accordance with your booking conditions.
ISIC Student, Youth, or Teacher Identity Card If you are a full-time student or teacher, or if you are under 26, there are many discounts and special arrangements available to you at home and when you travel. Recognized in over 100 countries, an international identity card can prove you belong to one of these special groups anywhere you go. VIP Backpackers Card VIP gives you hundreds of locations worldwide with discount accommodation to match. Backpackers can choose from more than 1,000 independently operated backpacker resorts in 43 countries including over 135 in Australia, 90 in New Zealand, 65 in Southern Africa and over 500 in the UK and Europe.

Arrive, Check-in and Check-out

We do not have any parking in the hostel itself but there are a large number of available pay and display close by. These will be pointed out to you by our staff when you arrive.
Check-in time is between 14:00 and 23:00.
Check-out time is between 08:00 and 10:00.
Reception closes at 23:00
There is an on call number on the window of reception for guests who arrive out of hours.
Yes we have an area for left luggage in reception.
Yes, valid identification is a requirement on check in. We accept a Passport, Photo ID and / or Driver’s License. Management may request additional information as required from guests.
We accept cash and credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) and debit card. When making a reservation a 20% Deposit is taken at the time of booking to guarantee the reservation. There is a Credit/Debit Card Surcharge of £1.00 per transaction. Deposits are never refunded.
Check out is at 10:00hrs although if you wish a later time then this may be arranged with reception staff.
Yes, there is a £20 room key deposit. This is refunded when you check out and return your key.
Yes, there is a Credit/Debit Card Surcharge of £1.00 per transaction.
No, deposits are never refunded.


At present we do not have any security lockers but this will change by the end of 2016 when all rooms will have security lockers for all guests.
We have no lockers at the moment but this will be completed by the end of 2016 and all rooms will be equipped with lockers. Our staff can lock away any personal items if asked by the guests.
Yes we provide towels for a £1.00 hire charge.
Yes, the guests of the Cowgate Tourist Hostel can use one of our internet access located in reception, otherwise the can enjoy Wi-Fi throughout the rest of the Hostel for free.
Wi-Fi in Cowgate Tourist Hostel is free of charge to all our guests.
All the guests staying at the Cowgate Tourist Hostel can get a 10% discount at the Slangevar! Bar-Bistro located in the Hostel courtyard.

We can supply a continental style breakfast at request of guest for an added charge. But you also have the use of the fully equipped kitchen in each apartment.
Furthermore we have a Breakfast and Lunch bag service .

We have a new coffee machine, with a large variety of bean to cup drinks from cappuccino to latte and so on.

We have a revolving food display fridge where it's possible to buy sandwiches, paninis, salad bowls, sushi etc.
All our apartments have a fully equipped self-catering kitchen for your use during your stay.
The water from Kitchen tap is drinkable and bottled water is also available from our Vending Machines.
There are no on-site laundry facilities but we do offer a Next Day Laundry Service – if the guest brings their laundry to reception then this will be laundered and returned the following day for £7.00.
Yes, we offer Breakfast and Lunch bags for an extra charge, ideal for groups Schools etc. Just ask to reception at your arrive.
Yes you will have a good secure night’s sleep in the Cowgate Tourist Hostel

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