Whether you live in the UK and you’re spending a staycation weekend break in London, or you’re visiting London from abroad, you’ll want to know the best places to stay in London.
But why stay in the normal hotels when you can make your trip more memorable with some unique stays in London and some of the best Airbnbs in London.
I’ve put together this list of the ultimate unusual places to stay in London - prepare to be blown away by these incredible locations tucked away in the UK’s capital.
If you’re planning your London trip, check out this 4 day London itinerary.
Check out this post for more unique stays all over the UK.
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Quirky places to stay in London
In a hurry? I’ve put all my favourite unique places to stay in London on one Airbnb list so you can see them all and book direct!
Luxury Penthouse Apartment
Ever wanted to stay in a penthouse apartment? Now is your chance with this epic apartment - definitely a cool place to stay.
The floor to ceiling windows give you stunning views across the London skyline where you can spot iconic city landmarks, while the large wraparound wooden terrace means you can sit outside with a drink and soak in the view as the sun sets over the city.
This apartment screams luxury with the bespoke features, open plan living, minimalist bathroom and beautiful grand piano.
Located south of the river by Oval, this location is perfect to reach so many famous sightseeing spots so it’s perfect as a treat if you’ve been to London many times before or if you’re new to the city and wondering where to stay in London for tourists if you want somewhere a bit different.
Spacious Shoreditch Loft
Everyone knows Shoreditch is one of the coolest areas of London, so if you’re planning to base yourself in this area, this is one of the cool places to stay in London that you can’t miss!
With vaulted ceilings, open plan living, a highly sought after terrace deck and some funky features like the exposed brick and wrought iron spiral staircase, this London holiday rental is definitely cool.
Located in a quiet cobble courtyard, it’s perfect to feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of the city after a long day exploring.
The Hux boutique hotel
Looking for funky places to stay in London but prefer to stick to hotels? This one is for you.
One of the most vibrant boutique hotels in London, The Hux is ideally located in Kensington and has just 24 rooms, with 4 different room types.
The hotel is family run and prides itself on remembering those little details most larger hotels or chains forget, so you’re in great hands if you pick The Hux.
The hotel has a lounge and in-house cocktail bar so you can enjoy luxury in your room and in the lounge with the stunning jewel colours and luxurious furniture and finishings throughout the property.
Notting Hill Loft
Notting Hill is one of the most famous areas of London and if you’re looking for unusual places to stay overnight in London in a great location, then check out this loft.
Located in one of those stunning Georgian row houses you often see in London, this compact space doesn’t feel small with towering ceilings, perfect for the loft space which is the bedroom.
There’s a fully equipped bathroom with power shower, kitchenette and living space with TV and wifi. The loft also boasts a gorgeous balcony terrace.
This London loft is the ideal if you’re looking for unique places to stay in London which are functional and perfect for a London weekend getaway.
Huge Houseboat with a view of Tower Bridge
If you’re looking for unique places to stay in London, it doesn’t get more unique than this incredible houseboat, on the Thames, with a view of Tower Bridge.
This funky London accommodation has been featured in mainstream media such as the Telegraph Magazine, has had numerous VIP guests and has featured in movies and even Legoland sets! It boasts 1800 sq ft of internal space and 2500 sq ft of external decking. All cabins are above water and the spectacular views can be enjoyed out of every window and terrace.
Staying on the houseboat you have all the features of staying on land as it’s connected to mains water, gas and electric supply, with TV, wifi, a full kitchen, laundry room and open plan living with the kitchen and dining area.
This is an epic London weekend break for groups, with four cabins, the houseboat can sleep 10 guests, with 2.5 bathrooms.
Antique furniture and stunning artwork sit alongside the Sonos system, Sky Q and stunning private decks to give you a luxurious and one of the most unique London stays.
This is the ultimate experience if you’re looking for unusual places to stay near London. Located in Greater London on the border with Essex, this stunning red brick Victorian Tower is an epic, luxurious place to stay.
Just a 30 minute train ride from central London, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city in this soaring tower, decorated in an opulant Gothic, moderns style.
The kitchen living area on the top floor is its crowning jewel, with huge circular windows, spectacular views, vaulted ceilings and modern finishes.
The tower can sleep up to 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and enough spaces for 6 cars. There’s also a pool, gym and spa in the converted buildings below.
Private Yacht at Tower Bridge
For the ultimate alternative accommodation London has to offer, why not take to the water in a private yacht! This stunning heated yacht is moored at the marina right by Tower Bridge, where the Queen often moors her Gloriana boat.
The boat can sleep 4, with two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen facilities on board.
The lounge and outdoor space are the obvious gem of this stay, where you can soak up the luxury of staying onboard a private yacht in the heart of London. Being heated also means the yacht is great for stays in summer and winter.
The amazing location and affordable nightly cost also makes this an ideal place to stay if you’re visiting London on a budget because so much is within walking distance.
Note you can not move the yacht, it must stay docked!
Funky Shoreditch Loft
This Shoreditch Loft definitely wins the prize for funky places to stay in London. Just two minutes from Old Street station and with the rare bonus of a huge outdoor terrace, this loft is an absolute treat is a great location.
With exposed brick throughout, vaulted wood ceilings, reclaimed wood furniture, wooden floors, tons of light from the Victorian sash windows and plenty of plants, this takes industrial rustic chic to the next level and gives you all the Shoreditch vibes.
The open plan living and dining area is great for entertaining, with a modern kitchen, Sonos system, a hammock in the living area and of course the amazing deck!
The loft accommodates 7 guests with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms up a gorgeous spiral staircase.
This property is my favourite and if you’re looking for cool places to stay in London you and your friends, this is it!
Little Venice Narrowboat
Another great example of the diverse unique stays London has to offer. This quaint narrowboat is located in the picturesque Little Venice area, know for the photogenic canals and colourful canal boats.
This 57 ft narrowboat can sleep up to four but is perfect for a cosy romantic weekend in London for two. It’s fully equipped with kitchen, bathroom, electricity, water and wifi.
There’s a cute little deck area to enjoy a wine or a beer on the canal in the sunshine and you’re just a short walk from Paddington Station if you want to explore.
I hope you’ve got some inspiration for unique London stays and Airbnbs, there are so many out there to choose from. But if you do book one of these unusual places to stay in London, I hope you enjoy!
You might also be interested in these unique Essex stays.
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Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: For all my longer trips and for the entire year I’ve spent in Australia, my partner and I have always used World Nomads. They cover everything I need and I can buy coverage for a year at a time, they also allow you to purchase cover when you’re already outside your home country. Plus my camera gear and equipment is covered and they also have special cover for when I’m scuba diving too.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.