Scandinavia is not cheap and Norway is no exception. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced hotel in central Oslo, try the First Hotel Millennium at Tollbugata 25. With a one-night stay on our way to Tromso, we found the three-star hotel comfortable and convenient. And all rooms are non-smoking, which is always on my personal wish list.
Location, Location, Location
Since we arrived at night, we didn’t realize the proximity to everything until the next morning! The hotel is midway between Oslo S and Aker Brygge, minutes from Karl Johans gate and Stortinget. In December and early January, the city’s quaint Christmas market, Jul i Vinterland, is easily accessible, as is Oslo Cathedral and the spectacular Oslo City Hall.
Get those kronor and credit cards ready! The main shopping area is conveniently located about 650 feet away, and there’s so much to buy. Clothing, souvenirs, glassware or lively little trolls.
Rooms feature Scandinavian comforters to keep you cozy.
Comfortable Rooms, Scandinavian Style
Sleep in style! Our twin-bedded room, about 195-square-feet, had two adjacent single beds with Scandinavian-style bed linens. White, down duvets were folded in half on the bed, keeping us toasty warm on a cold winter night. Striped pillows provided a splash of color against the dark wood headboards.
On the adjacent wall was a desk table and leather desk chair. A flat-screen television over the bed wasn’t used during on our brief stay, and the leather chair became home to one of our suitcases since space was not adequate for two suitcases. Bedside tables had a small drawer, but nowhere to put clothes. Our suggestion: add a small dresser since hanging space is so limited.
Unlike so many budget hotels, the First Hotel Millennium Oslo offered more than just a shower. Our room was equipped with a bathtub, great for soaking after hours of walking in the winter cold.
Don’t worry about racking up high bills for Internet usage. WiFi is free, and it was fast and reliable during our stay.
The lobby offers seating areas and tables for informal meetings.
Hold the Light, Please
When you think of Scandinavia in the winter, you think of the long hours of darkness, right? Au contraire! Can you say excess light? Our street-side room was located directly below the strongest street lamp I’ve ever seen. Our one complaint was that the streetlight was so bright that even a tiny crack in the curtains brought in so much light that we thought it was the permanent twilight of July rather than the Polar darkness of winter. Great for safety when walking outside at night, but no so good for sleeping.
Noise was also a factor. Being the holiday season, there was a considerable amount of noise emanating from the street below as loud partygoers returned to their homes or hotels in the wee hours.
There is a nice selection of teas, which you can prepare in your individual teapot.
Breakfast is good for the budget
Norway is expensive and meals can put a big dent in your budget. Luckily, the First Hotel Millennium offers a nice buffet breakfast. Start your day with a good selection of Scandinavian meats and cheeses like Gulost, Emmentaler, brie and bleu cheese. Or try the fried eggs, roasted potatoes, liver pate, and a delectable selection of fresh breads and pastries. In addition to a coffee machine with a variety of choices, there is a good selection of teas and individual teapots so you can brew your cup of tea to your liking.
Deborah Bernstein began her career as a journalist in upstate New York. She worked in the travel industry for more than two decades, representing airlines, international destinations and hotel companies. A former managing editor for Hotline and Hyatt’s Regency Magazine, her stories and photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. Deborah, who has lived in London and New York, has traveled to more than 45 countries and the list keeps growing. She now calls Belgium home.