Having recently returned from the beautiful city of Prague after a long weekend of exploring and over-indulging, I’m already itching to explore the next city. City breaks are great, particularly before or after summer when the weather isn’t too warm and the streets aren’t too full. It really gives you a good chance to properly explore a new place and take it all in as though you are a local yourself!
My boyfriend and I have been going on a city break for Valentine’s Day for the last few years and it’s a tradition I don’t plan on ditching anytime soon – just as long as my bank account lets me… We’ve stayed in a combination of hotels and Airbnbs, but trips over the last couple of years have really swung me more toward the Airbnb option for a city break, and our latest trip to Prague completely solidified this for me. I had so many comments and questions about the amazing Airbnb we booked (after lots of Insta Stories spam) and so many of you said that you had never actually tried Airbnb before and had a few questions.
There are so many options with Airbnbs and a whole spectrum of prices and properties – from spare rooms to luxurious penthouses! We always opt for renting a whole property that we have to ourselves, usually an apartment with it being in a city, and so all of my points in this post are in regards to this type of property.
To give you a little perspective on the benefits of Airbnb and the reason why I sometimes opt for one over a hotel or any other form of accommodation, I wanted to offer a few points to help with the Airbnb vs hotel debate! So, what makes staying in an Airbnb so special?
A Home Away From Home
One of the most incredible benefits of booking an Airbnb is that you get to stay in a home away from home. Like, literally, you’re staying in someone else’s home – not always in the sense of staying in the actual home they live in throughout the year, but rather than a house that somebody owns and rents out, but either way, staying in a quality Airbnb offers you the same levels of flexibility, freedom and comfort as your own home does.
From spacious bedrooms, ensuites and living rooms to retreat to after a long day of exploring, an Airbnb can offer you the space you need to fully relax and unwind.
A Real City-Centre Experience
Although many hotels can offer central locations, I really do feel that staying in a city-centre Airbnb gives you the full city experience. Instead of feeling like a tourist, you can experience life living in the city you’ve chosen. It’s a unique opportunity to move to a new city – if only for a few days – and experience life there as somewhat of a resident! And it also means that you have the opportunity to stay in the most remarkable locations. Many city centre properties boast beautiful and traditional architecture that the city is known for, and inside can be the most beautiful interiors that offer such an unforgettable experience.
Experience of (temporarily) Living the High Life
One thing I absolutely love about Airbnb is that you can find some seriously insane finds. I’m talking about the type of interiors you would expect to see in the very home of an interior designer, or in a home magazine, or on Sex and the City. So many Airbnb hosts have decorated their properties to an impeccable standard and it makes your city break even more special! Why not stay in an interior you dream of living in one day?
All of the photos in this post were taken in our fantastic Prague Airbnb, which I would recommend without hesitation!
You might be thinking pfffft, yeah, how expensive are these places, but truth is, you might be pleasantly surprised. There’s an Airbnb for every budget but in my experience, even if you want to stay on the more luxurious end of the spectrum, the options can still beat hotel prices – especially if there’s a group of you that you’re splitting the price between!
It’s such good value for money when paired with the amount of space and privacy available to you. Some cities are more expensive than others, of course, but Prague is certainly fantastic for prices and it’s well worth seeing the Airbnb prices available for your chosen city!
Additionally, having a kitchen can be a great budget-friendly feature as you can choose to order a takeaway or make food for a couple of meals over the weekend to save money, or even choose to have breakfasts in the apartment.
Okay, how uncool and technophobic does mod-cons sound? But another great feature of finding a contemporary Airbnb property is that it is often kitted out with the technology we all love so much. I’m talking wide screen televisions, Netflix, music systems, speakers, wifi (that actually works and you don’t have to sign into everyday, sorry hotel Wi-Fi but you suck) and heating/air-con that you can control yourself. Additionally, most properties have an accessible washer and dryer in case you need to use it during your city break.
Additional Stand-Out Features
The icing on the cake of our beautiful Prague Airbnb stay was the balcony we had leading from one of the bedrooms. It’s pretty rare to get a balcony in a city centre, and even more rare if you were to find an affordable hotel. However, it isn’t uncommon for Airbnbs to offer something like this, some have gardens, jacuzzis and barbecues depending on the type of property you find. I stayed in a London Airbnb a few years ago and it had a beautiful decked garden with an outdoor seating area. Something that just wouldn’t happen with a hotel unless you were spending the big bucks!
The trick with Airbnb is to properly do your research. Read the reviews of each host and their property, and make sure you check the location to find out just how central it really is for your city break. Additionally, make sure you compare prices with hotels and other Airbnb properties to make sure you’re getting a good deal!
If you have any questions about my experiences with Airbnb, please don’t hesitate to ask. Equally, if you’ve visited any fabulous places in the past please do let me know!