Anker Hostel is the cheapest hostel in town for solo travellers. Not to be confused with Anker Apartments, Anker Hostel is in a good location sandwiched between Grünerløkka and the city centre. It's a large, basic hostel, with around 250 beds and even more in the summer. There are 4 and 8-bed dorms available, with prices in the 280-320 NOK/night range. It's a cheap choice if you're on your own, but it can be hard to meet people and it's just not that nice. For better value for money, check out Airbnb or even a budget hotel.
All of the rooms are ensuite with a toilet and shower, so keep that in mind when picking how many people you'll be sharing with. Expect the entire bathroom to get wet when you shower. There is no large shared kitchen as most rooms have a kitchenette, which is kind of weird but handy to keep costs down. Cleanliness is borderline and everything feels a little run-down. A friend stayed at Anker once and there were pomegranate seeds on the floor for five straight days. The staff are fine, but aren't super engaged or trying to drag you out for a drink. The hostel's location is probably its biggest selling point, being walking distance from many of Oslo's attractions. There are also bus and tram stops across the street. If you’re a drinker, there are some great bars close by as well as some cheap (by Oslo standards) places to grab some good food. One word of warning: you might come across the odd junkie in the area but stay out of their way and you’ll be fine.
For some reason, Anker Hostel still thinks it’s OK to make you pay for bed linen (50 NOK) and a towel (20 NOK) and insists that you make your own bed. I guess it helps keep the overall costs down, but haven’t we come far enough that we can just include this stuff now? If you want to cook, maybe choose something with a neutral smell so you don’t stick up the room and make yourself incredibly unpopular. You’ll need to borrow cooking equipment from reception - after paying a deposit of course.
Other facilities include self-service laundry (60 NOK), small lockers in the common area (there are none in the rooms), luggage storage, and a snack bar. Breakfast is not available. Wi-Fi is free, but not always the best and really only available in the common area. The common area is fine to sit for a little while but not very cosy. I lived around the corner from this place for a few years and whenever I walked past it always looked pretty lifeless. It's always possible to meet people if that's your aim, but the hostel doesn't really do anything to stimulate that atmosphere.
Anker Hostel is an OK place to stay if you are after a cheap dorm bed in a central location. Especially if you plan on being out all day (or night) and just using it as a place to crash. But please, watch this old-yet-still-amazing video to get a feel for yourself.
Still keen to stay at Anker Hostel? Here are the details:
Price: From 230 NOK/night (8 bed dorm) and 270 NOK/night (4 bed dorm).
Bed linen (50 NOK) and towel (20 NOK) are extra.
Check both Hostelworld and Booking.com as prices can differ.
Address: Storgata 55. 10 minute walk from the central train station.
Book: Hostelworld, Booking.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 22 99 72 00