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The World’s Best – and Most Extraordinary – City Breaks

Host Writer
Published 17/01/2022 The World’s Best – and Most Extraordinary – City Breaks


We love city breaks!

They're endlessly versatile, packed with places to see and things to do, and much more budget-friendly than holidays to exotic, far-flung destinations.

Better still: when you choose the right city - and you forgo the bland hotel room for something a little more unusual - you won't compromise on ‘wow-factor' uniqueness.  

Here's our rundown of the best city breaks you can take, in the UK and worldwide.

Author: Nina Jervis
Image: Hüettenpalast | Berlin


Hollywood Barges

Hollywood Barges

Get your sea legs ready for a completely unique break away on a themed Hollywood Barge, moored in Albert Dock, Liverpool. Moored in Albert Dock, a stone's throw from the heart of the city, the Hollywood Barges have been individually styled around two themes - The Joker and The Titanic - meaning a stay in one these is completely unlike any other you will have experienced! The Titanic is a…

Boutique Barges

Boutique Barges

Leave your cares far away on dry land in a relaxing and stylish river retreat, perfectly moored in the vibrant heart of Central London. Newsflash: the traditional canal boat holiday just got itself a chic and quirky makeover with Boutique Barges.  Feed the ducks from your window over a freshly prepared breakfast, as you enjoy the naturally scenic views and unwind to the gently…

Lendal Tower

Lendal Tower

Make your visit to historic York even more special with a stay in Lendal Tower - your own 5-star medieval fortification. This riverside tower invites you to step back in time to the 14th century, without leaving modern-day luxuries at the front door. Set beside Lendal Bridge, right on the banks of the River Ouse, Lendal Tower enjoys panoramic views and a fantastic location in…

The Harpy Houseboat

The Harpy Houseboat

Welcome aboard London's oldest houseboat, The Harpy, with unrivalled majestic views of Tower Bridge. For a floating break with a difference; in the heart of London but with a sense of getting away from it all - a stay aboard the amazing four-bedroom Harpy Houseboat.  The Harpy spent much of the last century as 'HMS Harpy'; an Edwardian Customs & Excise pontoon office,…

Langholmen

Langholmen

Stay in blissful captivity, in a former prison set within the heart of scenic Stockholm. Don't worry, you'll be given a key to your cell! Whether you choose a single, double, family or romantic cell (complete with flowers, fruit and wine on arrival), you can expect plenty of charming, clean-lined Scandi style from this renovated and refurbished former prison, set on the island of Langholmen…

Euromast

Euromast

Live the high life with your head in the clouds, in an exclusive suite set within the highest building in the Netherlands. Originally built to host the world's largest flower exhibition, and a proud member of the World Federation of Great Towers (joining the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, no less), Rotterdam's Euromast is the only place to stay if you want to combine sightseeing…

Hüettenpalast

Hüettenpalast

The self-titled Berlin ‘Agency for Everything', where you will experience a friendly welcome and cosy accommodation with a creative twist. Hüettenpalast is not an everyday hotel. But then, by the owners' very admission, who wants another one of those in Berlin, anyway? Brought to life from a former factory in Neukölln, this self-created ‘agency for everything' brings together…

Jumbostay

Jumbostay

Jumbostay is a totally out-of-this-world hostel at Sweden's Stockholm Arlanda Airport, where guests can sleep in an original Boeing 747 and experience a sky-high holiday without ever leaving the ground. Until now, sleeping on an airplane meant thin blankets, cricked necks and a lack of personal space. But all that changes at Jumbostay - undoubtedly one of the world's coolest hostels. With 33…

Brooks Rooftop Rockets

Brooks Rooftop Rockets

Hit the heights of groovy urban glamping in a Brooks Rooftop Rocket - a supercool selection of Airstream-style caravans on the rooftop of a boutique hotel, in the heart of Bristol's old town! Set atop the luxurious Brooks Guesthouse on their own Astroturf lawn, these four Rooftop Rockets give guests the chance to experience a retro caravanning holiday with all the indulgences of a boutique…

Amsterdam The Crane by YAYS

Amsterdam The Crane by YAYS

Experience a taste of the high life in an iconic, refurbished crane offering luxurious living, an outstanding location and unbeatable views across Amsterdam East, North and the IJ-River. Amsterdam The Crane by YAYS can be found on KNSM Island in the eastern point of this most famous Dutch city - a district still undiscovered by most tourists, but a newly emerging creative hub in high demand…

NOTEL

NOTEL

A seriously Instagram-worthy airstream ‘trailer park', quirkily nestled on a rooftop car park in the buzzing heart of Melbourne. Seriously stylish and utterly unique, NOTEL, as the name suggests, is not a hotel and is unlike any other stay you've ever experienced before! Six vintage 1970s Airstreams have been transformed into urban designer suites (five standard, one with…

Urgell Apartment

Urgell Apartment

An architect-designed, cutting-edge penthouse overlooking the heart of Barcelona's thriving Sant Antoni district. If you've travelled to Barcelona, yet you've never visited Sant Antoni, then let us tell you right now: you're missing a trick.   The lively yet laid-back district is fast earning a reputation as a seriously hip hangout due to its buzzing market, bodegas on every corner,…

Crane Hotel Faralda

Crane Hotel Faralda

View the beauty of Amsterdam from a unique position - a stylish and award-winning hotel at the top of a former crane! Crane Hotel Faralda is probably the most spectacularly original hotel you'll ever stay in, so if you're looking for an inspiring break that will have everybody talking for a long time to come...you've just found it!   Set in a former harbour crane painstakingly…

Laurel Canyon Box House

Laurel Canyon Box House

A unique, glass-constructed architectural marvel, set high above the Los Angeles hills for stunning natural views. If Laurel Canyon Box House looks familiar, it could be that you've seen it somewhere before. The last house to be snapped by the famed American architectural photographer Julius Shulman, a print of this incredible six-person home has been exhibited worldwide, and has featured in…

Grand Daddy Airstream Trailer Park

Grand Daddy Airstream Trailer Park

Seven gleaming, individually-styled airstreams secluded at the top of Cape Town's iconic city centre hotel. Originally built in 1874, Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel is a much-loved, iconic heritage building in the heart of Cape Town's thriving Long Street. The proud home of South Africa's one-and-only rooftop Airstream trailer park, if you're looking for a unique holiday experience that…

ZERO Box Lodge

ZERO Box Lodge

Experience Porto from a unique, groundbreaking concept and design-led lodge that thinks outside the box...while you sleep cosily inside it! Trust us...you won't have stayed anywhere like ZERO Box Lodge before. A perfect base for exploring the thriving coastal city of Porto, the hotel is a shrine to Portuguese art and culture, with bedrooms that are simple, windowless, industrial-style…

Towed Town Camping

Towed Town Camping

A fun and quirky indoor campsite with stylish vintage caravans, set in the heart of Bristol's thriving creative hub. Uniquely located in a renovated warehouse just a stone's throw from Bristol's buzzing centre, Towed Town Camping is the ideal setting for a city break with an imaginative twist. You'll find the ‘campsite' itself close to the banks of the River Avon, part of the city's famed…

Culture Campsite

Culture Campsite

An ingenious collection of upcycled, ‘tiny house'-style sleeping pods, on a creative campsite in the heart of Rotterdam. Fresh, innovative and sustainable, Rotterdam's Culture Campsite is strewn with creative architectural delights - in the form of a range of completely unique sleeping pods. Each pod is a characterful creation from a different designer, artist or architect, all using upcycled…

Gerda of Glasgow

Gerda of Glasgow

Stay on a beautiful Dutch barge, furnished with home comforts and moored on a quiet hilltop close to buzzing Glasgow city centre.Moored just 15 minutes from Glasgow airport, and within walking distance of the culture-steeped city centre, Gerda of Glasgow is perfect for those who enjoy the buzz of city life...but still want somewhere calm to retreat to at the end of an exhausting day!Friendly…

THEKRANE

THEKRANE

Scandi Noir in its most unique and luxurious form - a private, soul-enriching Danish retreat set in a former coal crane.   An immersive and multi-sensory experience that's quite unlike any other, THEKRANE is a former 1940s coal crane, now transformed into a luxury hotel suite for two people looking to get away from it all in design-led Danish style. Your stay also comes complete with…

The Liverpool Boat

The Liverpool Boat

A cool and contemporary nautical retreat that's dog-friendly, permanently moored in the heart of Liverpool's vibrantly historic city centre.Newly constructed in 2019, The Liverpool Boat is the ideal way for family of four or couples to experience all the delights of the city to their fullest, before retreating to a tranquil floating haven. Sleeping up to four guests (one well-behaved dog is…

LV14 SULA Lightship

LV14 SULA Lightship

Enjoy a unique and scenic adult-only stay aboard a historic British Lightship, beautifully restored and enchantingly moored in the Gloucester Docks. LV14 SULA is a charmingly characterful vessel, with a wealth of fascinating tales to tell and a very unique USP - she is the only Lightship in the UK on which you can stay aboard!Described by the BBC as a "local celebrity of the Gloucester Docks",…

Deep Lock Tiny House

Deep Lock Tiny House

A cheerful, architect-designed studio-bolthole that's peacefully located by the canal, yet just five minutes' walk from Bath's historic city centre.Bursting with colour and light, the architect-designed Deep Lock Tiny House is perfect for those who want to explore the beauty of Bath...safe in the knowledge that they'll have a tranquil hideaway to return to when they're done!Positioned by the…

Wonderland House

Wonderland House

A movie-themed, award-winning vintage haven by Brighton seafront, complete with teacup chairs and whimsical décor for a large group break that inspires the playful children in you! With every room so magically infused with storybook enchantment, you could well spend your entire time at Wonderland House wandering around in open-mouthed awe! A grand Regency house that's perfectly positioned by…

The Four Sisters Boatel

The Four Sisters Boatel

A luxurious, pet-friendly houseboat, permanently moored just ten minutes' walk from Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile. Permanently moored at Lochrin Basin, a mere ten-minute walk from the bustling city of Edinburgh, The Four Sisters Boatel cuts quite a dash. Unique to Edinburgh, and awarded four stars by the Scottish Tourist Board, the beautiful houseboat is painted in calming green on the…

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery by the Castle

A spellbinding retreat that boasts fine Scottish dining, and baroque, individually styled suites that look out over Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile.Described by The Times as "a pure, unmitigated pleasure palace", The Witchery by the Castle is one of Edinburgh's best-loved retreats.Owned by James Thomson OBE - Scotland's premier restauranteur and hotelier, no less! - the atmosphere is one of ultimate…

LoftCube

LoftCube

Stay inside a sci-fi-style designer glass cube with luxury interiors and panoramic views of Graz, from the top of a quirky hotel that's close to the city centre.The highest room at The Daniel, a quirky hotel in the southern Austrian city of Graz, LoftCube is an Instagrammer's dream!Positioned on the hotel's roof, you'll feel as though you're sleeping amongst the stars in your gorgeous glass cube,…

Bangkok Tree House

Bangkok Tree House

A selection of three-storey fairytale retreats, with free ice-cream and a mouth-watering on-site restaurant, minutes away from Bang Namphueng Floating Market. Modern yet enduringly traditional, Bangkok Tree House is a treetop hotel comprising luxurious three-storey retreats, each with a dreamy rooftop terrace that's ideal for admiring lush green views.Stylishly furnished, each self-contained…

Book and Bed Tokyo

Book and Bed Tokyo

A self-proclaimed ‘accommodation bookshop' with over 1,700 books to browse through, and simple ‘secret' rooms hidden behind the bookshelves.If you love a good bedtime story, you'll find your heaven at Book and Bed Tokyo!  A vast library-cum-hostel, there's a rich, diverse array of 1,700 fiction and non-fiction books to browse, in both English and Japanese... with single rooms for 30…

Company Info

A hand-picked directory featuring the most unusual and exciting holiday accommodation in the UK and worldwide.

Host Unusual Limited
Registered office:
Space 282
282 Leigh Road
Leigh-on-Sea
Essex
SS9 1BW

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