If you’ve been following our Europe city guides, you’ll know that we’re big fans of AirBnB. An apartment is undoubtedly the best way to feel like a local, especially in a European city like Paris or Barcelona.
The first time we went to Paris we stayed in this beautiful 3 bedroom apartment near Port Royal. It was 2 blocks away from the Metro, had a beautiful balcony, was well heated, belonged to artists (so it had some amazing art and books to browse) and it had a great view of the beautiful dome of Val de Grace as well.
The second time we went to Paris, it was an impromptu trip and a surprise from Charles for my birthday. We ended up staying in a very cosy studio apartment opposite L’Institut du Monde Arabe, where I enjoyed having my very own green door just like the locals.
In Barcelona, we got really lucky with the location. El Born is definitely the neighbourhood to be for young travellers, and our apartment overlooked the stunning Santa Maria del Mar church, we could see the bells going off every now and then, take a really close peek at the stained glass windows, and observe a very Quasimodo type creature who sat on the church steps every night.
And every single time, we’ve booked with AirBnB, because they really do make it so straightforward and easy.
Here’s what we do:
1. Trawl through the listings and create a wishlist in order of preference.
2. Send out a request, chronologically, until you find an owner with whom the dates work out.
3. Pay up and get your agreement/ contract printed out and ready to go.
4. We’ve usually gotten some interesting instructions on how to access the property/ find the keys, and it’s all part of the exciting concept of living like locals.
While most of our choices so far have been dictated by budget/ location and then possibly aesthetics, as we travel more frequently and get more informed, we’ve created an AirBnB Wishlist of the top 5 places that we think are interesting and hope to stay at someday! There’s naturally a couple of apartments in Paris, one, because it’s oh so gorgeous, and the other because, I mean who wouldn’t want to spend the night on a Barge on the Seine right opposite the Louvre? There’s a luxurious space in Rome (which is pretty high on our destination list), a beautiful all white villa in Greece (where we’re planning on going sometime in 2015) and a very classy houseboat in Amsterdam, because we’ll definitely get there someday!
Check out our AirBnB Wishlist here: Top 5 Interesting Places on AirBnB
Have you ever stayed in an apartment or booked with AirBnB before? What’s that? You haven’t? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up using this invite now! It gets you a free $25 credit and there’s a little something in it for us too!