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Feel at home away from home

Why renting a holiday apartment is the perfect way to stay

By Ahmed Ahmed

Traditionally, hotels and hostels were the two main options for holidaymakers looking for a place to stay. But do you really want to spend your hard-earned money on room-service and fresh towels, or save money by doing without luxury and sharing a shower?

Thankfully, there is a third way. Many people making trips abroad now take advantage of the number of short-stay apartments available for rent. Couples, families and groups can arrange to stay in the neighbourhood of their choice, often near the main sights, enjoying the convenience of having their own place and the novelty of feeling almost like a local.

Open House Group manages short-stay holiday apartments across ten of Europe's major cities, including Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and Rome. And since 2011, the company has offered accommodation in London, Prague, Dublin, Vienna, Florence and Venice as well. Here's a quick look at what it could be like to take a break in four of their popular European destinations.


Barcelona is many things at once. Located on the Spain's Mediterranean coast, it is a sun-worshipper's paradise, while its wealth of innovative buildings and galleries make it perfect for art-lovers. Fancy a bit of shopping? Take your pick from elegant designer-wear in Gràcia, or bohemian boutiques in Born and Barri Gòtic. You can choose from a great selection of apartments in practically any one of the city's distinctive neighbourhoods at


The reason they call Rome the Eternal City is because once you've visited, you'll remember it forever. The city is littered with famous sights, including the impressive Colosseum, the ancient Pantheon, the attractive Spanish Steps and the romantic Trevi Fountain. At Oh-Rome, you can search for an apartment within easy distance of any one of these monuments, and enjoy coming back to your own living room after a hard day's sightseeing.


The capital of Austria is famous for three things: music, coffee and the magnificent Habsburg palace. But its parks are also beautiful. And its cathedral, the Stephansdom, is spectacular. And you shouldn't forget to visit the Donauinsel either, the city's party island. In fact, Vienna is famous for many, many things. Whether you have two weeks or only a long weekend, this impressive city is the perfect place to enjoy a holiday combining culture and relaxation. Find an apartment at


Known as the 'Stag Party Capital' of Europe, the Czech Republic's first city has much to offer besides great beer at very reasonable prices. Prague Castle is actually the largest castle in the world, and fully deserves an afternoon devoted to exploring its fairytale structures and medieval stone walls. Visit the Josefov (Jewish Quarter) for a picturesque piece of history, then seek out the famous Dancing Building for a taste of contemporary Czech design. Finally, reward yourself with a hearty Slavic meal before spending the evening exploring the city's nightlife. And with your own Oh-Prague apartment from, you can come home whenever you please.