Oslo: Anker Hostel
Address: Storgata 55, 0182 Oslo, Norway
Given that you practically need to be a hustler just to afford a burger in Oslo, you will be forgiven for being lured by the “cheap” beds on offer at Anker Hostel – from just 230NOK ($43AUD) a night for a bunk in an eight-bed dorm. But don’t be fooled: the price of the bed is just the beginning of the ludicrous costs they slap you with from the moment you walk in the door. Unless you feel like sleeping on foam, bed linen will set you back another 50NOK ($10), and if you are caught using your own sleeping bag instead, you will be fined a couple of hundred dollars. If you happen to be staying the night on a weekend or a holiday, there will be a surcharge; you have to pay a deposit to hire saucepans, which you lose if you use them for more than a few hours; and should you make the mistake of driving to the hostel, parking is another 230NOK a day. To be fair, the location is great (though the street itself is a bit dodgy), and the rooms and in-room bathrooms and kitchens are clean, but the atmosphere is sterile and miserable – probably because everyone is so depressed about having had to pay for their sheets. I had the pleasure of sharing my room with a permanent hostel resident who bore a striking resemblance to Peter Griffin, the only difference being that she was female. She was dressed in a Christmas jumper, not be ironic but because she thought it was cute. It was November. Not only did she snore like a locomotive, but she had the audacity to threaten to dob me in for using my own towel instead paying for one downstairs. As a result of this bad experience, my opinion of Anker Hostel could be slightly biased, but really – the only positives about this tightass venue are the free wifi in the lobby and the fact that check out is at 11am.
If you’re looking for cheap accommodation in Oslo, my advice is to put your suitcase in a locker at the station, go out and try and find someone to go home with someone instead – Norwegians do have the highest rate of one-night stands in the world after all, and they also all happen to be ridiculously hot. Win win.