Staying at a hotel in Oslo certainly isn’t cheap, so if you want to keep costs down you might want to crash at a hostel instead.
The hostelling scene in Oslo isn’t as developed as in Stockholm or Copenhagen, but there are still some good options that are clean, comfortable and – most importantly – friendly enough on the wallet for budget travellers to enjoy.
Whether you want to party until the small hours or just have somewhere peaceful to rest your head, you’ll not be left wanting in Oslo. Here are five of the best hostels the city has to offer.
Saga Poshtel Oslo
A modern, stylish lobby welcomes you at Saga Poshtel Oslo Central, a relatively new addition that promises a ‘posh, upscale’ hostel experience – hence the unusual name.
Saga Poshtel offers rooms and dorms with 2–12 beds, some with their own bathrooms and others with shared facilities. Bedding and towels are included in the price, as is wifi. You’ll also get breakfast in the morning.
The whole place is bright and welcoming. Large windows allow natural light into the lobby lounge where couches (with minimal Scandinavian styling, of course) offer a great place to sit back and plan your day in the city.
The downstairs area features a large seating and dining area, as well as a tastefully decorated TV lounge with a huge screen and plenty of couches and chairs. When we visited, though, the whole common area was a bit empty, despite the hostel being fully booked.
Saga is located in the Kvadraturen, a grid of streets dating from the 17th century right behind Akershus Fortress and within easy walking distance of the train station. It’s also handy for ferries to and from Denmark, so if you’re coming by boat then staying at Saga is a good choice. From here it’s also just a short walk to Karl Johan street and downtown, and is fairly close to both the Opera House and Aker Brygge as well.
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Centrally located and easy to reach by public transport, Anker Hostel is one of the most popular hostels in the city. Beds in an eight-bed dorm are around 260 NOK for a night, while small groups can get private rooms with four beds for around 1,200 NOK.
All rooms include a small kitchenette of some kind, and kitchen utensils can be borrowed from reception (with a deposit). Unlike the other hostels on this list, Anker Hostel doesn’t include breakfast. That said,if you want to stay close by you can pay a little extra to eat brekky at the adjoining hotel. Bedding and towels are also not included, but are available to rent for 80 NOK a night. Laundry facilities are also available for around 60 NOK.
This is one of the city’s most vibrant hostels – it’s constantly bustling with young travellers coming, going, or just hanging out. Beer is served in the lounge by lobby, making this common area a lot livelier than those at other hostels. The lighting is a little dim, though, and the low ceiling and crowded spaces can sometimes make the place feel a bit cramped.
Anker Hostel’s central location is a plus and a minus. The hostel is just a two-minute walk from Grünerløkka and a five-minute walk from the central train station (or a four-minute tram ride), so if you’re coming by rail it’s easily the most accessible choice. This place is also close to several good bars and located right by the Aker River, which has excellent walking trails both upstream and down.
The downside, however, is that this part of town can get a little seedy at night and the nearby police stations will have you hearing sirens at all hours. During the day, however, the area is absolutely fine, full of people, and a perfect central location for exploring the city.
Oslo Hostel Haraldsheim
Just outside the city centre, this lovely hostel is perfect for families. It’s on the crest of a hill in a quiet residential area, and is right on the edge of a huge park with a frisbee golf course and plenty of room for kids (and big kids) to run about and play.
A spacious outdoor eating area, along with a ping-pong table and an oversized chess board, greet you on your arrival, and the staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating. A bed in a dorm here goes for around 300 NOK a night, including towels and sheets.
Haraldsheim has a huge kitchen with refrigerators where you can store and prepare your own food. Like most hostels on this list, breakfast is included in the price. There’s plenty of parking and the rooms are spacious, though the shared bathrooms are a tad run down. The upstairs common area is well-lit, comfy, and offers good views out across the city and the Oslofjord.
The hostel is a bit isolated if you don’t have a car, but there’s a tram stop around five minutes’ walk away down calm residential streets. From there it’s a 12-minute ride downtown. There are no major attractions nearby, though, so this isn’t the best location if you plan to do lots of sightseeing in central Oslo. But if you’re driving into the city, or travelling with kids, we reckon Haraldsheim is an excellent and affordable choice.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN OSLOMORE TOURS
Cochs Pensjonat is housed in an apartment building from the 1800s. Parts of this place have been maintained well and retain an elegant charm, while other parts look a little drab. The TV lounge seems to have been done up to resemble a doctor’s waiting room, but it does have decent selection of reading material, a large screen TV, and a couple couches to relax on.
One of this guesthouse’s best features is its location – you can’t get more central than this. It’s just behind the Royal Palace, right across the street from the Literature House, and at the beginning of Bogstadveien, the busiest shopping street in Oslo. The entire city really is right outside your front door, offering oodles of free things to do. The nearby tram stops ensure you can reach anywhere else in town quickly and easily.
Cochs Pensjonat is more of a guesthouse than a hostel, but it’s still cheaper than most hotels in the city. A budget room with four beds costs around 1180 NOK a night, which is comparable to some of the other hostels mentioned here. Premium twin rooms can run up to around 880 NOK, offering private bathrooms and flat-screen TVs.
Some rooms come with a small kitchenette, so if you want to keep your dining costs to a minimum then be sure to ask for one of those at reception.
Oslo Vandrerhjem Rønningen
Part of the Hostelling International network, Oslo Vandrerhjem Rønningen is a seasonal hostel open every summer from May to August.
It’s located on the campus of Rønningen Folk High School, and the hostel’s rooms are the school’s dorm rooms which are rented out to travellers when students head home for the summer. Though it’s on an academic campus, the hostel still offers excellent facilities including a breakfast bar, seating areas, two pool tables, and a large common area.
The rooms are modern and clean, if a little spartan. Single rooms are available, including options with private bathrooms and others that share toilets and showers down the hallway. Some rooms are located on upstairs, while others are in an annex just a short walk away.
Be warned, though: this is the most isolated of all the hostels on this list. The only bus in the area comes just twice an hour, and it’s a 15-minute walk to the nearest tram station, then a 30 minute ride from there into downtown, so this might not be the best choice if you’re keen to see the central tourist sights.
Rønningen’s location is perfect, however, if your interests lie more in the great outdoors. Situated near Oslo’s urban growth boundary, Rønningen is right on the doorstep of Nordmarka, the vast, unspoiled wilderness north of Oslo. From the hostel you can easily walk or catch a bus up into the woods, and from there enjoy a scenic stroll, a long day hike to a rocky summit, or even a multi-day backpacking adventures deep in the rolling, rugged hills.
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