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10 charming houseboats for an alternative summer stay

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Want to go on holiday this summer but fancy something other than your classic apartment or hotel? No need to trawl Airbnb looking for a unique stay, we've done the hard work for you.

London, UK

This recently refurbished Dutch barge is the perfect spot for anyone wanting a unique getaway.

Situated at a mere 11 minutes away from Heathrow Airport and with tube links into central London, this accommodation provides peace and quiet while still offering access to the UK’s bustling capital city. The quality of this listing is confirmed by its status as an ‘Airbnb Plus’ property, which means it has been verified in-person. Put simply; an ideal stay is guaranteed.

Sardinia, Italy

Step aboard this yacht for a decadent stay on one of Italy’s most popular islands.

This boat has a cute, nautical interior that includes two bedrooms, a living room and kitchen therefore is the ideal choice for a family or group of friends. The boat even boasts an outdoor sunbathing area that is fitted with cushioned decking specifically to allow visitors to soak up some Italian sunshine. With summer temperatures in Sardinia reaching over 25 degrees, and the price per night of this lovely little yacht starting at £26 per person, what’s not to love?

Paris, France 

Can you imagine anything more romantic than staying on a barge overlooking the Eiffel Tower? Neither can we.

That’s why this fully equipped Parisian studio barge should be on anyone’s holiday bucket list. The terrace allows you to savour views that reviews claim are ‘even better in person’ and truly make the most of visiting the French capital.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

With over 2000 houseboats in Amsterdam, it can be difficult to determine which one to choose. At just £68 a night, this little studio may be the solution. This bright, clean ‘apartment’ contains all the amenities found in a usual holiday rental yet is located along one of the city’s northern canals. What’s more, the host Ton has received glowing reviews – an added bonus when booking through Airbnb.

York, UK

Not all holidays have to be abroad to be enjoyable, and this boat is here to prove it.

This luxury boat provides a unique way to visit the historic city of York and its beautiful surrounding countryside. The boat has three large double bedrooms, which can be rented individually or as a whole if travelling as a larger party. The host offers free parking, bikes and canoes to ensure every guest has an easy and enjoyable experience.

Copenhagen, Denmark 

This modern and stylish houseboat can host up to six people in its large spacious rooms. If it wasn’t for the open deck terrace with views over Danish harbour, it would be difficult to know this listing was a boat. The sophisticated décor and huge rooms would make up a delightful place to stay even without the added quirk of being on the water!

Dusseldorf, Germany

Whether travelling to Dusseldorf in winter or summer, this state-of-the-art houseboat is the perfect place to stay all year round. This boat boasts two outdoor terraces to make the most of any sun rays during warmer weather, and also has underfloor heating and a fireplace to create a warm cosy ambience during the colder months.

Belgrade, Serbia

Is there any more relaxing way of spending a holiday than in your private hot tub overlooking a river? The reviews for this listing seem to think not… This property bathes in natural light and offers not only a hot tub but a large terrace on which to enjoy your time here. 

Prague, Czech Republic

If you’re looking for a way to explore Prague differently to the masses of visitors the Czech capital receives a year, this houseboat may just be for you. The boat is only a 15 minute drive from Prague’s city centre, but its hosts also include free rental of a small electric boat for visitors to discover Prague by river.

Barcelona, Spain

Certainly not everyone can say they’ve stayed in Barcelona on a boat. This classic boat has a traditional nautical interior but that’s not to say it doesn’t stand out from the rest. With a lovely terrace and at a mere £40 per night, it’s a listing not to miss!

All image credit: Airbnb.co.uk

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