• Smalhans – Oslo

    Waldemar Thranes Gate 10 A
    0171 Oslo, Norway

    +47 22 69 60 00

    Smalhans Website

    Other reviews:

    Prices: $$$-$$$$

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    On our last night in Oslo, we were looking for an out of the way spot that served a norwegian style meal. Smallhans was recommended to us by a person at Ma Poule at the Mathallen.  If you’re looking to be a bit adventurous and want some fantastic Norwegian food Smalhans is your place. Plus, you can avoid the tourists and eat like a local.

    Located outside of the city center near St. Haushagen park, Smalhans is a 20-25 minute walk from Oslo Sentrum (the city center). The restaurant is small and very popular with locals, so reservations are a good idea.

    Atmosphere & Service
    Smalhans has a very cozy atmosphere, with large wooden tables. You sit in fairly close proximity to your neighbors, but not so close that you feel like you live together. If you aren’t seated immediately, there’s a nice bar that spans the front of the restaurant.

    Service here was excellent. Our server was very friendly and offered great recommendations on both food and wine, along with how much food we should order. Food was paired and coursed very well, with just the right amount of time between dishes.

    Food & Drink
    Menus here are only in Norwegian, so unless you’re bringing a local companion, the server will be happy to translate. Billed as a Norwegian tapas style eatery, you can order plates individually, or in a “small set” consisting of 6 plates or a “large set” consisting of 9 plates.

    Our group of 4 ordered two large sets and two small sets served family style. It may have been a bit much, but if you have a healthy appetite after running around Oslo all day, it should be just right. There are also a set of small appetizer items, such as mixed nuts, jalapenos, kimchi and others to get you started while you wait for your meal to begin.  All of the nine courses were great. We started with a spanish meat and cheese plate, chicken pate, along with green salad. From there, we moved onto mussels, whale, potato salad, norwegian beef with parsnips followed by french cheese with fruit compote and a TDF rhubarb crumble.

    They have a variety of Norwegian beers on tap, as well as a good wine list. They have a house label white and red wine which were very good.  Being in Norway, expect to pay around $20 per glass for a lower end wine and about $22 per bottle of beer.  Some local beers may be a bit cheaper.

    Smalhans was priced well, considering that you’re dining in one, if not the most expensive city in Europe. You can expect to pay around $75-$100 per person, without alcohol or wine. You won’t leave hungry, you’ll have great food and be well taken care of.

    If you’re looking to be a bit adventurous and want some fantastic Norwegian food Smalhans is your place. Plus, you can avoid the tourists and eat like a local.

    OSL 059

    OSL 061

    OSL 062

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  • Thon Cecil Hotel – Oslo

    Stortingsgata 8
    0161 Oslo, Norway 
    +47 23 31 48 00

    Hotel Website

    Rate: Starts at $175 USD per night 

    Booked Via: Thon Hotels Website


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    Oslo can be a tough city to find reasonably priced, great accommodation. Would we stay at the Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo again? Probably. Next time though, our pick would probably be the Hotel Saga. While it’s located a few blocks outside of the core downtown area, the hotel looked very nice as we passed by one evening. If money is no object, The Thief would also be worth a try, based upon some of the spectacular reviews.

    Location, location, location.  Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo is the perfect centrally located Oslo hotel. While there are several other Thon hotels in the downtown core (Sentrum) of Oslo , we found the Cecil to be one of the more updated Thon hotels.  The Thon Cecil is located less than a block off of the main square in Oslo. You’re within a block of Parliament, less than five blocks to the National Theatre, Culture Museum, City Hall, waterfront and more.  Public transportation is close by (bus or metro) and most things are an easy walk to almost anywhere.

    Standard rooms at Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo are on the small side, even by European standards. They’re basic, with smaller sized beds, a TV, small desk area and complimentary internet.  Closet space is a at a minimum, but an iron and ironing board are included in the room. Bathrooms are simple, with a single sink, toilet and smallish shower.  All rooms are non-smoking. The most disappointing item was the lack of a safe in the room for valuables.

    Rooms overall were very clean. Ventilation in the rooms isn’t the best. During periods of extremely warm or cool weather, may result in the room being a bit stuffy or cool. Individual control over heat and cold are not possible in the rooms. Rooms facing the interior atrium have limited opening windows. If you want to control the temperature in your room, ask for a room on the street side of the building. The street in front of the hotel has a small amount of traffic, so street noise is reasonable.

    Two elevators handle all of the traffic for the 111 room hotel, which means during busy times, you may wait a bit longer than normal to access your room. If you get a room on the second or third floor, it’s an easy walk up the stairs.

    Facilities & Service:
    Service here is very friendly  and the staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the area. There is a computer and printer available for guest use in the in the lobby, as well as a Nespresso coffee machine.  While the hotel does not have a restaurant, a nice European style breakfast with both hot and cold food is available on the second floor in the hotel atrium each morning. They’ll even pack a take away lunch for you if you ask.

    Pros: Location, location.  Easy access to everything in Oslo Sentrum.  Clean rooms, great staff.

    Cons:  As the seasons change, finding adequate heating or cooling in your room can be a challenge.