You're booked! Amazing Airbnb stays in Europe
Your flight to Europe is booked.
Now it’s time to scour the web for a place to stay.
Rather than face a hotel bill that looks more like Greece’s national debt, more and more travelers are booking rooms on global rental site Airbnb. The site lists hundreds of thousands of accommodation options in 32,000 cities across 192 countries.
Offering visitors the chance to live like a local, Airbnb lists places that are at least as good as even the best boutique hotels, many in fascinating areas few tourists visit.
From Berlin crash pads to stunning Spanish villas, these are some of Europe’s hottest Airbnb stays.
Ostuni, Italy: Trullo 'aromatic green'
This is no faceless, modern Italian apartment block. The stunning “trullo,” a cone-shaped house using construction methods that date back more than 1,000 years, is a gem in southern Italy.
White sandy beaches are a short drive away and there are architectural wonders in nearby Ostuni City.
Sun worshippers love the southern-facing courtyard, while the eye-catching, natural design elements help keep the house cool.
From US$130 per night, sleeps five; www.airbnb.com/rooms/53243
Brussels: 'Amazing design' house
Fancy stopping at a minimalist boutique hotel, but can’t face the wallet-destroying rates? Look no further.
This Brussels design house is a steal at US$80 a night -- it’s crammed with the kind of angular furniture and clean lines most of us see only in ads for designer furniture.
The dining room’s open staircase and spotless kitchen with sparkling work surfaces are particularly impressive..
From US$80 per night, sleeps four; www.airbnb.com/rooms/71175
Styra, Greece: Aegean Island villa
Greece might be making all the wrong economic headlines, but when it comes to holiday homes, it’s way out front.
This vast villa has five bedrooms and five bathrooms. There’s a Bond villain-esque pool carved into the rocks, steam room and sauna and a woodwork workshop where all the furniture is handcrafted.
It even comes with staff who will pick you up from Athens Airport, cook for you and even do the grocery shopping.
From US$669 per night, sleeps 16 or more; www.airbnb.com/rooms/84236
Seville, Spain: 'Courtyard stay'
This smart courtyard area is as cheap as a plate of tapas (well, almost) and is slap-bang in the middle of this beautiful city.
The living room might look a touch bijou, but there’s a hammock for lolling in once you’ve exhausted the cultural and culinary attractions nearby.
From US$39 per night, sleeps three; www.airbnb.com/rooms/120619
Berlin: Kreuzberg loft
Hipster cred should be secure before booking this loft in Berlin’s achingly cool Kreuzberg district.
Staying in this single-room apartment in a creaking old factory in the east of the city, you’ll need all your studied cool, from the right specs to the tightest jeans imaginable to ensure you fit right in.
The raw look and feel are pure Berlin, with whitewashed walls and even a swing hanging from the ceiling.
Ideal for keeping the party going after hitting the area’s excellent bars and clubs.
From US$173 per night, sleeps two; www.airbnb.com/rooms/620078
London: Oxford Street luxury apartment
Hectic Oxford Street might not be the most obvious place to look for a quiet, luxurious crash pad in London. But this smart apartment with Egyptian cotton sheets and top-end amenities is that.
It sits just off the main drag, on the site of the old ITV television studios and near amazing, old-school English pubs (The Champion on Wells Street is a top pick) and well within walking distance of Regent’s Park, Covent Garden and London’s busy shopping streets.
From US$430 per night, sleeps six; www.airbnb.com/rooms/197066
Barcelona: Art loft
If you want to indulge Woody Allen-esque fantasies about Barcelona (minus the struggles of a three-way relationship involving Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz), this is your spot.
The massive central living room, open-plan kitchen with abstract art and five double bedrooms make it great for groups plotting a weekend of debauchery on the streets and clubs of Spain's greatest city.
From US$161 per night, sleeps 18; www.airbnb.com/rooms/484643
Rome: Piazza Navona apartment
After a day dodging scooters and weeping tears of boredom in the queue for the Sistine Chapel, this simple, yet stylish bolt-hole in central Rome is the only place you’ll want to be.
The owner clearly loves white -- everything from the walls to the sofas to the chair covers is brilliantly bright.
The building dates from the 16th century, but if you want more history, the Vatican is just a short walk away.
There are plenty of restaurants on the street directly outside, so it's an easy place to take a break from the culture touring and spend a day just hanging out.
From US$348 per night, sleeps 10; www.airbnb.com/rooms/422599
Paris: 'Eiffel Tower views'
Just five minutes' walk from the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, this apartment has most everything you could want in a Paris holiday.
The 1930s building still has its original fittings. High ceilings and narrow windows make your average Paris hotel look tawdry by comparison.
This is the smart way to book a vacation.
From US$468 per night, sleeps 12; www.airbnb.com/rooms/562783
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