As the biggest city in the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is a major hub for travelers experiencing the beauty of Scottish high country.
For centuries, Inverness has served as the cultural and administrative center of the Highlands.
Modern-day Inverness is loaded with epic sights including a 19th Cathedral and a Red Sandstone Castle.
Like most parts of the UK, traveling in urban Scotland can be more expensive than us budget backpackers would like. Discovering cheap and comfortable accommodation isn’t always super easy whilst getting to know the country.
That is exactly why I wrote this guide to the best hostels in Inverness, Scotland!
With the help of this guide, finding the right hostel for yourself is simple and easy.
I break down the best places for backpackers to stay in Inverness by category so that you can find the perfect fit for yourself and your own travel style.
Whether you are looking to meet other travelers, score a private room in Inverness, or just looking for the best cheap hostel in town, this accommodation guide has got you covered.
Let’s dive right in and take a look…
Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Inverness
- Overall Best Hostel in Inverness – Inverness Student Hostel
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Inverness – Black Isle Hostel
- Best Cheap Hostel in Inverness – City Hostel
- Best Hostel with a Private Room in Inverness – Bazpackers Hostel
The 10 Best Hostels in Inverness
Although not a big city, Inverness is still the cultural capital of the Scottish highlands. When you’re choosing where to stay in Inverness, it’s good to give some thought to the neighbourhood and area of the city you’ll be based in.
After all, there’s no sense taking a hostel in the outer suburbs away from all the action… unless you like that sorta thing.
Overall Best Hostel in Inverness – Inverness Student Hostel
- Free Tea & Coffee (& Cocoa)
- Linen Included
- Common Room
Just a few miles away from Loch Ness means all you cryptozoologists and backpackers will be loving the location of this Inverness backpackers hostel. There’s also a beautiful riverside area and a bus/train station nearby, too.
The staff are lovely and friendly and helpful, which is always a plus – and let’s not forget about the free tea, coffee and cocoa that’s available to all guests. The showers aren’t exactly the most immaculate, however, the price and other amenities of this chill place mean it takes our spot as the overall best hostel in Inverness.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Inverness – Black Isle Hostel
- No Curfew
- Key Card Access
- Self Catering Facilities
Located above a bar – which is always a good place to socialise – this new hostel is our top pick for the best hostel for solo travellers in Inverness. The bar serves craft beer specifically, so if that’s not going to attract the backpackers in Scotland, we don’t know what will!
We hope so, anyway. Other than that, the central location of this place means not having to walk too far into town, or to find a bus stop or anything like that, and walking around on your own with a huge backpack is never fun, right? And cause it’s new it’s all pretty clean and modern, too. Solid option.
Best Cheap Hostel in Inverness #1 – City Hostel
- Common Room
- Self Catering Facilities
- Free Tea & Coffee
City Hostel – which has a pretty good location in the city centre if you didn’t guess by the very unimaginative name of this top hostel in Inverness – is set in a pretty, old building, so there’s a nice bit of aesthetic heritage here. But don’t expect to be wowed by some of the basic nature of the modern furnishings here. However, it IS clean, if a little on the small side.
It can also be a bit noisy, but for the price – and for the fact that it’s located right in the middle of town, you can overlook that, right? A bunch of restaurants and drinky places just on the doorstep, too. Inverness Castle is also in view!
Best Cheap Hostel in Inverness #2 – Struy Guest House
- Bicycle Hire
- No Curfew
- Free City Maps
The funniest thing about this Inverness backpackers hostel is that the cheapest private room option is actually a caravan in the garden – with shared toilet facilities (i.e. they’re in the house). We decided to share that because a) it’s funny and b) it’s a disclaimer, in case you were expecting, you know, a room!
So other than that the dorms at this small hostel are very cheap, but the location isn’t all that – it’s a little bit far from the town itself. That said, this means it’s quiet and chill. Plus it’s super clean and the owners/staff are really nice and we like both these things.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Inverness – Bazpackers Hostel
- Outdoor Terrace
- Common Area
- Historic Building
The interesting thing about Bazpackers is that this hostel is located in the smallest hostel building in Inverness. Whether or not that’s a good claim to fame, we’re not sure, but the building also happens to be a converted house from 1826. It shows too! Between the old fire hearth and exposed interior, Bazpackers carries all the charm of many of Scotland’s coolest backpacker hostels.
Also, the private rooms are dope! We’re gonna go ahead and say it’s the best hostel with a private room in Inverness because the privates here, although cosy (i.e. small), are very bed-and-breakfast-like, which means comfy and cute (in a kitsch sorta way).
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
More Top Hostels in Inverness
So that’s the best of the best, but how ’bout the rest! The rest are also pretty damn nice too… they’re just not the best. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.
The YHA Accommodation in Inverness – Inverness Youth Hostel
- Self Catering Facilities
- 24-Hour Security
- Common Room
A very large hostel with a very good industrial/catering kitchen, but because of the spacious nature of this Inverness backpackers hostel, it’s kinda hard to make friends. Everyone’s just too far away from each other! Other than that, it’s a short walk from this youth hostel to the city centre and the top things to do in Inverness, plus there’s a giant Tesco (big old supermarket if you don’t know about it) and a few pubs nearby.
The staff here are very lovely and friendly, which always helps add to the positive atmosphere of a hostel. Security is so good the alarm goes off if you mess around with door handles for too long, so get the peeps working here to teach you the secret!
Best Cheap Rooms in Inverness – Inverness Budget Rooms 1
You get a room, you get a bed, and that’s about all you get. Actually, that’s a lie… you also get a kitchen! (And a teeny, tiny, not-fit-for-a-Scottish-winter radiator).
This place falls somewhere between an Inverness budget hostel and hotel. It has one goal in mind: provide a place to sleep at a low price. They’re not dorms but private budget rooms – 1, 2, and 3 sleepers – which is perfect for travelling pairs or groups trying to save a bit of cash.
It’s still super basic anyway you look at it, but the kitchen is a definite bonus for saving a bit more cash. Ultimate, this is a good place in Inverness to stay for the travellers that don’t care for the hostel life but still prefer saving dollars over having creature comforts.
Don’t fancy a backpackers hostel this time around? We know what it’s like. Everyone needs a hotel stay sometimes, right? So we’ve had a look through the hotels on offer in Inverness and come up with a few choices for ya…
Best Budget Hotel in Inverness – Woodgrove City Rooms
- Towels Included
- Mountain View (Some Rooms)
- Self Catering Facilities
Sort of just a step above a youth hostel in Inverness, we have Woodgrove City Rooms – it’s got private rooms, a shared bathroom and a shared kitchen. It’s basically a bed-and-breakfast, except without the breakfast.
It’s cute (maybe in that it’s cosy) and the rooms are fairly spacious, bright and well decorated – simply without being too fussy. Just what you’d expect of the best budget hotel in Inverness. There’s even a kettle and some free tea and coffee (it IS instant, however) in each room. It’s somewhat out of the centre of Inverness, but for the V acceptable price that’s ok.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Inverness – The Kings Highway Wetherspoon
- Parking Available
- Location Tho
- Bar & Restaurant
Yep, staying at this branch of Wetherspoon (a chain of pubs/hotels throughout the UK) is one of the most affordable options RIGHT in the town centre, which is why it’s our best mid-range hotel in Inverness. Yes, it’s not the cheapest, but that’s why it’s mid-range. The rooms here are clean, cosy and contemporary – plus just downstairs there’s a pretty big bar and restaurant space for all your eating and drinking needs.
Also, let’s just say they do a HAGGIS PIZZA here and leave it at that. It’s also very near the train/bus station and Inverness castle is but a 5 min stroll away.
Best Splurge Hotel in Inverness – Bunchrew House
- Historic Building
- Firth View
It’s not exactly central but, pfft, who CARES when you’re staying in a literal country manor in a stunning slice of countryside just outside of Inverness! Really!
Needless to say, it’s very, VERY lovely here – it has a very, VERY expensive price tag to match, however. There are 20 acres of landscaped garden to meander around here and the manor itself overlooks the V beautiful Beauly Firth. Parts of this hotel date back to 1505; that’s OLD man!
Huge fireplaces, wood panelling, an incredible free breakfast, Tesla (and non-Tesla) charging points… it’s just a dreamy place to stay in Scotland in a beautiful countryside area. As you can tell: our best splurge hotel in Inverness.
What to Pack for your Inverness Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear… Here are some other items you might not have thought to pack.
1. Active Roots Toiletry Bag: The Active Roots Toiletry bag keeps all of your bathroom essential items organized instead of flowing around your backpack. Having everything handy and accessible in one water-resistant bag is a bathroom lifesaver. This toiletry bag also helps from being that embarrassed person walking back to the dorm room, in a towel, to grab forgotten shampoo.
2. Active Roots Water Bottle: Hostels are increasingly meeting backpackers’ demands for potable (drinkable) water. Now is better than ever to start traveling with a reusable water bottle! Aside from cutting down single-use plastic, The Active Roots stainless steel water bottle will also keep your favorite beverage hot or cold all day long and it’s sized perfectly to fit an entire bottle of wine. ‘Nuff said.
3. Universal Travel Adapter: Not every country has the same electrical plug style, so carry along a universal travel adapter. You’ll want one that covers varying voltage levels, has protection from power surges, a fried laptop is not fun, and enough ports so you don’t have to spend all day individually charging your devices.
4. TRTL Travel Pillow: Long flights and bus rides are quite uncomfortable (most obvious statement of the day). Most travel pillows… Well, you know how they are. TRTL travel pillow is different. I mean, look at it! It’ll cuddle you to sleep every ride and it does a pretty damn good job of supporting your neck so you don’t get that stiffness or legendary popping when you stir.
5. Padlock: Keep your stuff safe, guys. Unfortunately not all dorm lockers share the same security standard. You’ll want a lightweight lock that can fit all the various dorm lockers you’ll clip it to. Having a padlock that is flexible and can fit a variety of locker styles is the best way to make sure none of your belongings wander away while you are out.
6. Power Bank: Showing up to a new city, after a 14-hour bus ride, with a dead phone and no directions to your hostel is a half-awake, messy nightmare. Putting a good power bank in your pack is the best and easiest way to keep your important electronics charged up for those long travel and sightseeing days.
If you’re still unsure of what to bring, then browse our checklist for hostel packing and decide on your essentials!
Why you should travel to Inverness
Well guys, that’s all I got. We have reached the final chapter of my best hostels in Inverness list.
Traveling in Scottish cities isn’t always the cheapest endeavor. Finding budget accommodation can sometimes be a real challenge.
Now that you have journeyed through my best hostels in Inverness travel guide, you are now in full possession of all of the best budget options in town.
The goal in writing this guide was to shine light on the best backpacker accommodation in Inverness so that picking the right place to stay is as easy as enjoying the Scottish highlands themselves.
All of the coolest hostels in Inverness are now in your pocket. The choice of where to book is up to you…
Still feeling uncertain of where to book? Choosing the best hostel doesn’t have to be like eating Haggis. When in doubt, I recommend that you go with my top overall pick for best hostel in Inverness: Inverness Student Hostel. Happy travels!
Travel Safety Tips for Inverness
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
More Epic Hostels in Scotland
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Inverness.
Planning an epic trip all across Scotland?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around Europe, check out:
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Inverness has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
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