Many travelers who come to Oslo to experience its superb art scene, flourishing cafe culture, and rich history find the city (and all of Norway) astonishingly expensive. A stay at one of these six value hotels can help with the sting of Oslo’s costs.
Connected to the city's main train station, this hotel is a marvelous juxtaposition of styles: The building is from 1854, and the stylish boutique hotel (opened in spring 2012) combines funky motifs, tech-savviness, and preserved original details. Guests can check in on computers in the lobby, use their smartphones as a room key, and store their luggage in a personal lockbox. There's an Italian restaurant on-site, and the hotel's adjacency to the train station is super-convenient for traveling within Oslo and outward. Still, it's relatively far from most of the city's sights, and there aren't many features besides the restaurant and a small fitness center (no bar, spa, or meeting space).
From booking to payment to check-in/check-out, it's self-service all the way at the budget Citybox Oslo, with kiosks handling the functions usually assumed by a front desk (a call button will summon a live human being to step in to help, if needed). Located within a five-minute walk of the train station, this boutique-style property is fun and hip with cool art, lights, and furniture and a clientele ranging from budget-conscious travelers in suits to backpackers. The 216 air-conditioned rooms are sleek but utilitarian -- with work desks, chairs, reading lights, beds with pillow-top mattresses, pegs to hang clothes, and free Wi-Fi. Lounges have lots of mod seating and two flat-screen TVs, and there's a small kitchen area off the lobby with a full-size refrigerator, microwave, and vending machines for snacks and drinks. The DIY concept keeps room rates low, but note that there are no in-room TVs, safes, hairdryers, mini-fridges, or coffee/tea.
Connected to Oslo Central Station and the Byporten shopping mall, the mid-range Scandic Byporten is tough to beat in terms of location and convenience. The hotel includes business and fitness areas and a stylish lobby bar, but no on-site dining, although light fare is available at the bar and a free breakfast is served next door at the Egon Restaurant. The 239 hip rooms have a fun design and free Wi-Fi; some have bunk beds and sea views.
This 118-room hotel was originally designed as an apartment building, which helps explain its lack of on-site features. But few amenities is common in Oslo, and the hotel's location on a quaint street, a short walk to the eye-catching Oslo Opera House, Oslo Central Station, and the waterfront (Oslofjord) makes it a convenient home base. Many rooms have separate living rooms, some have kitchenettes, and all come with free Wi-Fi and a delicious free breakfast. Long-term rentals can be arranged. Coffee, tea, and newspapers are available all day in the lobby.
To keep its prices low, the centrally located Comfort Hotel Xpress Youngstorget has done away with what it calls "fuss" -- meaning there's no restaurant, room service, minibars, daily housekeeping (unless requested for an extra fee), or breakfast (though the snack shop has to-go options). But the 172 air-conditioned rooms don't skimp on the tech, which includes HD-TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a modern 24-hour gym, a computer corner, large communal spaces, a 24-hour snack shop, pinball machines and foosball tables, a rooftop terrace, and laundry.