19th February 2016

15 of the weirdest, coolest places to stay in Europe

Ahhh the world of sharing-economy rentals, where anything is possible and no dream is too big… Check out these incredible accommodation listings from all over Europe, and start thinking about where you want to lay your head this summer.

A Fairy Tale Cottage in Cornwall

Jack Sparrow House Cornwall

This Cornwall cottage looks like it might well have been designed by someone in Pixar studios. Everything is curved and fluid and about as whimsical as a place can be,  and it looks like the sort of place you’ll have lovely dreams. If the cottage is fairytale the area surrounding it is pure heaven, and from your adorable accommodation you’re treated to some impressive views of this gorgeous little corner of England.  Don’t bother setting an alarm clock; the birds will let you know when morning’s arrived.

A Puglia Trullo

Trullo Puglia

Trulli are traditional Puglian houses, drystone and whitewashed and looking like they might very easily have hobbits living inside them. But they don’t. They have people living inside them, and you can be one of those people for at least a few days, for just over €60 per night. If you’re visiting Puglia, you can’t get more Puglia than this. Stay in a Trullo. Eat olives. Do it properly.

A Bus in Stockholm

Bus Stockholm

An old bus that’s been renovated into a cosy, clean and fun forest accommodation. There are two rooms with space for four to sleep,  a chill our area with sofas made from bus seats – but the best part is on the roof – it’s an open terrace with a grill, plants, a dining area and a sofa. This one is for vegetarians only – or people who are happy to go temporarily veggie for the pleasure of staying here.

A Mongolian Yurt. In Saxony.

Yurt Saxony

Because sometimes, when you simply don’t have time to go all the way to Mongolia, a Mongolian Yurt in Saxony, Germany will do.

A Castle in Siena, for Pete’s Sake…

Tuscany Castle

Ok, full disclosure: it’s a room in a castle. You don’t get the whole castle. But you do get its grounds and its swimming pool, a big beautiful room, and a buffet breakfast every day with loads of fresh and local ricotta and pecorino cheese, cured meats, breads tarts and pastries. It’s gorgeous little spot nestled in the countryside under the Tuscan sun.

A Self-Service pub. In Ireland. Obviously.

Pub Air bnb Tipperary

Have the ultimate lock-in when you stay at Conroy’s Old Bar in Tipperary, Ireland. Before you go sticking your head under the taps on the bar though, remember that this one is BYOB… but what it lacks in booze, it makes up for in pure charm and novelty. And it still has darts and skittles to keep you occupied.

A Geodesic dome in Andalucia

Geodesic Dome Andalucia

This exceptionally cosy little orb of a room in the glorious Andalusian countryside is an amazing choice for people who are on a bit of a budget. It’s also an amazing choice for people who aren’t on a budget, but like the idea of an adventure in a secluded pod surrounded by nature, complete with hammocks and the odd donkey-intruder.

A private Island. Really. In Norway.

Island Norway

This is one for people who want to go truly off the grid for their holidays. You can stay in a little wood cabin on your very own gorgeous little private island – just an hour from Oslo Rygge airport. This isn’t an ‘oil baron’ kinda private Island, by the way – this is back to basics – but the hut is comfortable, the water’s beautiful, and the place comes with a little boat that can get you to the mainland and back when (if) you need it to. Go here for a genuine, proper escape in Norway.

A Houseboat with a difference in Amsterdam

House Boat Amsterdam

Shiver my timbers, this is an awesome rental. It looks almost military from the outside, with a glossy gunmetal grey hull – but step into your self-contained, private access studio and you’ll feel totally at peace in your gorgeous surroundings. You can sit on the deck with a glass of wine at sunset, and even use

A Tower in Hvar Croatia

Tower Hvar Croatia

I wonder if the owners of this rental are constantly having to physically remove people from this rental, because they just straight up refuse to leave it? This building – built in 1761 as a windmill – has two beds, four floors, and even more charm than its pictures can capture. You don’t have to pretend you’re Rapunzel, but it won’t hurt.

A Lighthouse in Pula, Croatia

Lighthouse Pula Croatia

From windmills to lighthouses, Croatia’s Air BnB game is very strong. This gorgeous lighthouse is situation literally a stone’s throw from those deep, cobalt blue waters along Pula’s coast, and its interior is as beautiful as its surroundings. It can accommodate six people too, so it’s really good bang for your buck. Nautical but very, very nice.

Another Tower, but in Umbria

Tower Umbria

This tower has a little bit more of a vintage vibe than the last one, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. This one’s an old renovated stable in Italy’s incredibly beautiful Umbria region, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and just a short distance from Lake Trasimeno. It has a private garden, a swimming pool, and unbelievable views. Also suitable for Rapunzel imitations.

A cube house in Rotterdam

Cube House Rotterdam

This place is so, so cool. The cube houses in Rotterdam (about half an hour from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport) were designed by architect Piet Blom and are built atop a pedestrian bridge in the city. And you can stay in one of them. Come for the quirk, stay for the top floor ‘chill room’ with its 360º views…

A fancy tree house near Paris.

Tree House France

Surround yourself with fields and forest and sleep a little closer to the stars, with a stay in this posh tree house in the grounds of a castle in Vernou la Celle sur Seine. There’s no electricity so prepare for a romantic candlelight stay – and breakfast is delivered each morning in a basket tied to a rope, which you pull up into the tree house to enjoy. Shut up and take my money.

A plane in the Loire.

Plane France

As if spending a few nights in the Loire  wasn’t enough for you, you can do it in a plane. Not one of our new Boeings, unfortunately, but a very awesome plane nonetheless. It has a double bed, a shower, a kitchen and toilet, and a lovely terrace for having breakfast in the sunshine… and there’s space for a child to sleep in the cockpit (bonus parent-points for life).


Dee Murray

Dee Murray

Dee Murray has a very simple travel MO... Go to great places; do awesome stuff; eat delicious food; then come home and write about it all.


  • Alison

    I would like to stay in Girona!

    27th January 2017 at 4:00 pm
  • Suzie Renner

    Very interested

    27th January 2017 at 4:21 pm
  • Erol ılıcalı

    Very good

    27th January 2017 at 5:53 pm
  • Su Winter

    Hi great article! Is there a link for the Castle in Siena? Cheers 🙂

    27th January 2017 at 7:28 pm
  • Stephen Banks

    Thank you for some great Inspirations of places to stay. I am always on the lookout for something different.

    27th January 2017 at 10:51 pm
  • Helena Silva

    Bergamo , Amesterdan, all of them seem very appealing and well presented! Good advertising!

    Love it!

    29th January 2017 at 1:57 pm
  • Shaun

    Thanks. Great info. and food for thought.

    29th January 2017 at 8:57 pm

Leave a Comment