For many travelers craving an experience more authentic than the standard hotel room, Airbnb rentals provide a peek into the daily life of a new place even during a short stay. Whether it’s a house, a tiny loft, a walk-up apartment or a spacious studio, a stay in these lodgings lets you check out the neighborhood pub, the corner bakery and the community café. Most rentals also come with the added perks of homey amenities and the local knowledge of the hosts.
Over the last year, Paste Travel and our deep-digging columnist Erica Jackson Curran has covered the best Airbnb rentals in cities from Tokyo to Montreal. Here are the best of the best—houses, apartments and lofts that let you stay in comfort and style while you explore a new city like a local, all without breaking the bank.
1. Montreal flat; 2. Tokyo apartment; 3. Buenos Aires loft; 4. Playa del Carmen apartment; 5. Paris apartment; 6. Porto apartment; 7. Brussels apartment; 8. Asheville studio; 9. Brussels apartment; 10. Montreal loft; 11. Porto apartment; 12. D.C. walk-up; 13. Paris studio; 14. Tokyo house; 15. Paris apartment; 16. Asheville camper; 17. Buenos Aires studio; 18. Porto apartment; 19. Playa del Carmen house; 20. Buenos Aires apartment; 21. D.C. apartment; 22. Brussels apartment.
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Montreal: Spread out over two floors, this flat in Mile End ("the Brooklyn of Montreal") has a living room, kitchenette, and dining room on the first floor, with a bedroom, bathroom and study space upstairs. Toiletries are provided along with food and drinks, including coffee, juice, milk, local beer and even fresh croissants, if you're lucky.
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Tokyo: While past guests praise the stylish furnishings and ultra-modern amenities at this Shibuya apartment, owner Masa plays a starring role in most reviews. From picking up guests at the station and recommending the best ramen to thoughtfully stocking the space with guidebooks, drinks, and even toothbrushes, this is a Superhost who's worked hard to earn his title.
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Buenos Aires: Guests have access to a small rooftop pool and sauna, personal taxi driver, and luggage room at this loft in the traditional but trendy Cañitas neighborhood in Palermo. Owned by an Argentine artist who offers tours at local museums, the apartment is airy and bright, and past guests praise the lively yet safe surrounding area.
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Playa del Carmen: Antique furniture and colorful Mexican tile give this one-bedroom apartment ton of character, and with nightly rates starting at $49, it's one of the best values on our list. There's a cute little kitchen and dining area, a breezy terrace, and a sunny bedroom, and guests can use the complex's pool.
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Paris: Though a bit off the beaten path in La Butte aux Cailles, this one-bedroom apartment is close to everything you need for an authentic Parisian experience: family-run bistros, parks, an open-air market and a Velib bike-rental station just outside the door. Host Isabelle has won past guests over by stocking the kitchen with coffee, jam, and good French butter.
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Porto: Stay in a building that was nominated for the ArchDaily Building of the Year in 2015. The Cristal Apartment is a fifth-floor duplex just a few minutes from Porto's Cristal Palace and the Soares do Reis National Museum. Every square inch of space is put to good use, with a cozy loft upstairs, a modern and efficient kitchen, a little dining nook, and a siting area with a fold-out couch. The balcony looks out over the city and the Cristal Palace gardens. Guests praise the accommodating host, who has plenty of suggestions for things to do nearby.
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Brussels: Just upstairs from a funky art gallery, this vintage-style space is close to the city's central square, the grand Grote Markt. Up the street, the vintage and antiques quartier is convenient for a bit of afternoon shopping, and Central Station is two minutes away, if you decide to take a day trip to Antwerp, Bruges or Ghent.
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Asheville: Within walking distance of downtown Asheville, this modern studio is in the quiet Montford neighborhood. It has a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and a large walk-in shower, plus a few necessities like coffee and tea. Past guests praise the host's savvy suggestions for things to do in Asheville.
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Brussels: Get a bird's eye view of the city in this Ixelles apartment, located in a residential neighborhood a quick subway, bus, or bike ride from the center of town. There's a little balcony where you can watch the sunset and soak in the view. Guests recommend Sounds Jazz Club across the street.
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Montreal: A skylight floods this Old Montreal loft with sunlight. The apartment sleeps four, with a queen-size bed and a comfortable pull-out couch. Guests praise hosts Marie and Pat for being helpful and responsive, while the apartment's location is ideal, close to cafes, restaurants and museums.