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Most Unique AirBnB Stays in the World

Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown logo: MainLogo Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown 7/9/2022 Natalie Vereen-Davis
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You can’t go wrong with a night at the most unique AirBnB stays in the world as an amazing alternative to a hotel!

The extensive listings and ability to meet locals has made this one of my family’s favorite ways to get more out of our trips.

Best of all, the properties typically cost less than a hotel room and most come with kitchens.

This means that you can save money on eating out and you can easily cater to even the pickiest of eaters.

Plus, there’s plenty of room to spread out when you’re traveling with kids, other couples or friends.

It's the fun of travel with the budgeting ability of home.

Not surprisingly, my fellow travel bloggers share my love of amazing travel accommodations, so we’ve put together a list of our tried-and-tested best AirBnBs in the world. Start planning your next getaway!


This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through the following links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Updated 4/2022 | Written 8/2017


Best AirBnBs in Europe

Castle in Galway, Ireland

AirBnB listing for this property

Castle Airbnb in Europe © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Castle Airbnb in Europe

If you've always wanted to stay in a castle, this is your chance!

While we were on our 10 day Ireland road trip, my husband and I decided to stay only in AirBnB and VRBO properties, and I couldn't believe my luck when I found a traditional Irish towerhouse near our Galway stop that was also in our budget. 

The AirBnB property included the top two levels of the castle and roof access: there was a giant fireplace in the bedroom for those chilly nights and space to sleep 4 (which is great for family trips!).

The kitchen and living room area is cozy and includes another fireplace, as well as the coolest in-ground tub I've ever seen. 

Peter, the owner of the castle in Ireland, has painstakingly restored the property by hand, and his passion for the project shows.

He and his wife were welcoming and helpful in guiding us towards local sites we might be interested in.

Thanks to the history and charm of this place, it absolutely deserves a spot on any list of best AirBnBs in the world.

Submitted by: Natalie, Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown


Hillside Location in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Lakefront AirBnB apartment in North Macedonia © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Lakefront AirBnB apartment in North Macedonia

AirBnB listing for this property

As full-time travelers, we rely on AirBnB as our go-to resource for finding short-term apartment rentals around the world – we’ve booked stays in 60+ AirBnB apartments in the last three years.

One of the best AirBnB apartments we have ever stayed in was the Yellow Apartment at Lake Ohrid, Macedonia (a city that, in addition to the stunningly beautiful location, boasts 365 churches…one for each day of the year).

The darling A-frame studio apartment is cozy and simple in design, but what made the apartment spectacular was the hillside perch.

With a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that opened onto a balcony, we had phenomenal sweeping views over the lake and city.

As a bonus: the welcoming hosts treated us like old friends, making our stay even more comfortable.

Submitted by Sarah & Kris, Jetsetting Fools


Stunning Views in Saranda, Albania

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AirBnB listing for this property

This Airbnb has felt like home since the day we first got here. Well, actually, better than home given the amazing views of the Ionian Sea and the Greek Isle of Corfu just across the bay.

Located in the small town of Sarandë, Albania, this Airbnb is one I'd highly recommend.

My husband and I both work remotely and can vouch for the stable internet and reasonably sized kitchen table that we've converted into our workspace.

Although this apartment is on the farthest road parallel to the sea in the town, it's only a quick 15 minutes to dip your toes in the waves.

Keep in mind though that while sitting on a hill does mean incredible views, it also means a steep climb back home after hanging out in the city center.

Submitted by Kat Smith, A Way Abroad


Traditional Irish Cottage in Donegal, Ireland

Traditional Irish cottage AirBnB in Ireland © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Traditional Irish cottage AirBnB in Ireland

AirBnB listing for this property

During our Ireland travels we wanted to experience local life and opted to stay in AirBnB properties rather than hotels.

Our favourite was Keelogs Cottage, a traditional Irish cottage in rural Donegal.

Surrounded by miles and miles of green fields, the views are stunning and the surroundings serene and peaceful.

Our welcome began, as all good Irish welcomes do, with tea, scones and jam and our favourite travel companion, Bonnie, our little dog, loved exploring the gardens and was instantly at home in the cottage.

The pretty as a picture cottage has the bonus of modern facilities but, free from the interruptions of wifi or neighbours, it's a beautiful escape.

We loved our days exploring the incredible Wild Atlantic Way and the neighboring Glenveigh National Park before returning to the peace and quiet of our cosy cottage - the perfect way to experience Irish life.

Which of these unique AirBnB properties would you be interested in booking?

Submitted by: Elaine and David, The Whole World is a Playground


Apartment in Galatas, Crete

beautiful sunset overlooking Galatas, Crete and ocean © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown beautiful sunset overlooking Galatas, Crete and ocean

AirBnB listing for this property

This Airbnb is what travelers dream of when booking a remote work getaway.

Waking up to the sound and smell of the Mediterranean, this small studio apartment on the coast of Galatas, Crete is a perfect beachy escape. 

The view is a dream, the balcony is a delight, but what takes the cake is the walk to the grocery store on white-sand beaches alongside crystal clear blue waters.

Even in December, I walked to the store with my shoes in hand and ankles in the water.

Locals swam every day, despite the winter temperatures (and so did I on warmer days, though it was crisp).

The area is quiet, vibrant and easily enjoyed. 

In recent memory, I can’t recall an Airbnb that’s made me feel more creative and relaxed.

I would go back for another month without a second thought, and probably will sometime next year. 

Submitted by Kayla, Writing From Nowhere


Apartment near the Duomo, Florence, Italy  

Best Airbnb in Florence, Italy © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Best Airbnb in Florence, Italy

As I was researching my first trip to Florence, Italy several years ago, one thing kept popping up again and again - the beautiful architecture of the Duomo, the most iconic image of the city.

I dreamed of enjoying a glass of wine from some terrace overlooking it, closing my doors at night and waking up to it in the morning, not to mention photographing it all lit up at night.

But reality set in when I priced hotels that fit my dream.

But then I searched on Airbnb, and found the House of Love, one block from the Duomo! Now, it’s not like it sounds, though I guarantee you will fall in love.

This 5-story walk-up with no lift has a comfy Queen bedroom and bath on the 4th floor, and spacious living area with a well-stocked kitchen on the 5th.

But it’s the outdoor terrace and this view that make it totally worth the climb!

Submitted by Lori, Travlinmad


Houseboat in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam houseboat AirBnB © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Amsterdam houseboat AirBnB

Similar AirBnB listing

Amsterdam is known for its many canals that wind through the city and many residents live in houseboats that line the canals.

Staying in an Amsterdam houseboat is a truly unique way to experience the city.

These houseboats range from floating apartments with all modern conveniences to converted barge boats where you definitely feel like you are staying on a boat.

It was amazing to wake up each morning and have coffee while watching boats go by your window and the action on the canal.

In fact, I could have spent days relaxing and enjoying the canal, but there was a city waiting to be explored too.

There are lots of houseboats to choose from and we rented ours through Homeaway.

Submitted by Dawn, 5 Lost Together


Shepherd's Hut, Rowardennan, Scotland

Unique AirBnB Stays in the World Scotland Shepherd's Hut © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Unique AirBnB Stays in the World Scotland Shepherd's Hut

Similar AirBnB listing for this property

Of all the Airbnbs I've stayed at, the "shepherd's hut" has to be the most memorable.

The hut is located in Rowardennan in Scotland, on the famous West Highland Way, which is a 100-mile walk that takes you alongside the banks of Loch Lomond and into The Highlands.

The hut is quirky, certainly more so than most Airbnbs that I've stayed at, but what made it so memorable was the comforts that came with it: board games, books, and slippers.

In the morning, there was a breakfast hamper with a freshly-made porridge and warm bread rolls - just what you needed to set you up for a day of walking in Scotland.

Now that I'm based in Lisbon, I've been writing about some of the most interesting Airbnbs in Portugal.

There are some interesting ones, but none that have the same place in my heart as the shepherd's hut.

Submitted by James, Portugalist

Best AirBnBs in the US and North America

Carriage House in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah GA AirBnB © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Savannah GA AirBnB

AirBnB listing for this property

If you're looking for a tranquil retreat to hammer out that first novel or spend time with your dearly beloved, this carriage house in the Victorian district of Savannah, GA, is the perfect place for you.

Shrouded in oak trees and just a short walk from downtown (or even shorter bike ride, courtesy of bikes included in your reservation), it's the perfect urban hideaway for those seeking peace and quiet without sacrificing the amenities and charm of the famed Southern city.

We spent our honeymoon here, alternating between gorging ourselves on Leopold's Ice Cream and napping like cats, basking in the warmth of the rental's floor-to-ceiling windows.

The owner, Richard, was outgoing and attentive without being overwhelming, and we even enjoyed dinner with him and a friend on our last night in the city.

We don't know when we'll be back to Savannah, but we do know we'll be returning here.

Submitted by Josh, Cartography and Cloture


Posh House in Los Angeles, California

modern house with pool AirBnB in Los Angeles © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown modern house with pool AirBnB in Los Angeles

AirBnB listing for this property

Want a swanky getaway in LA that makes you feel like you can afford to lounge around and do nothing all day? This Airbnb will fix you right up. 

With a cool mix of luxe nature and modern glam, you can’t help but feel like a pampered celebrity in this Hollywood Hills sanctuary filmed on hit TV show, The Bachelor.

Treat your stay like a spa retreat and take a dip in the heated pool or, drink in the view from the hilltop hammock.

Hidden doors, secret pathways and a spiral staircase give this house just the right amount of mystery while the open layout leading you to the backyard wonderland leaves you with all the right boho feels of Coachella complete with a long wooden table, basket woven light fixtures and even a water fountain Buddha statue.

The eclectic paintings, zen art installations and earthy tones mingle with clean, fresh spaces further add to the home’s charming element.

Case in point. It’s exactly the type of house you’d expect to find in the posh, fire burnt hills of Hollywood with a little something extra.

Submitted by Geeves, Real Girl Review


La Loma de las Guacamayas, Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico

lush backyard with a lake and trees © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown lush backyard with a lake and trees

Airbnb listing for this property

This is without a doubt the most special AirBnB I've ever stayed at.

It's a private room in the house of a wonderful couple.

They have an enormous garden, complete with a tennis court and a mini lake home to turtles and a baby crocodile.

From the terrace, you can see a stunning range of wildlife, including scarlet macaws (hence the house's name), hummingbirds, butterflies, agoutis, and howler monkeys which are slightly terrifying when they wake you up at 6am!

It honestly feels like you're staying in your own private nature reserve.

At night, the garden twinkles with the lights of thousands of fireflies. It's so magical.

Your hosts José Rodolfo and Edali are incredibly kind and hospitable.

You get the sense that they really enjoy having guests to stay, and take pride in sharing their wonderful house and garden with you. José Rodolfo is also a tennis coach, so challenge him to a game if you dare!

The location is perfect too, roughly half way between the town of Palenque and the (incredible) Palenque archaeological ruins. I loved this place so much and I'm sure you will too!

Submitted by Alex, Just Go Exploring


Upcycled VW Beetle in Terlingua, Texas

funky yellow VW Beetle converted into a small sleeping space © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown funky yellow VW Beetle converted into a small sleeping space

AirBnB listing for this property

In the remote desert of West Texas, the quirky town of Terlingua sits right outside of Big Bend National Park.

Several unique glamping accommodations have popped up in recent years, but Tin Valley Retro Rentals is my favorite and where visitors will feel most at home.

Tin Valley Retro Rentals has several accommodation types, but I opted to sleep inside the Spinning Cuddle Bug.

The cuddle bug is a retro Volkswagen beetle that has been transformed into an above-ground tent. Inside the car was surprisingly cozy, with a thick mattress pad and even an outlet to charge your devices.

Your campsite around the bug has a picnic table, fire ring and is only a short walk from an outdoor shower and sink. T

he property is also home to a friendly donkey and a variety of other animals.

Located less than an hour from Big Bend, sleeping here is sure to provide a memorable and authentic experience.

Submitted by Lydia, Lost with Lydia


Star Wars House near Legoland, Florida

star wars themed airbnb in florida © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown star wars themed airbnb in florida

AirBnB listing for this property

Are you looking for a unique AirBnb for your Florida vacation?

Then, you’ll need to check out Gary's World, located an hour outside Orlando.

Gary has several themed spaces which he rents out in his mansion.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you need to add a stay in Gary's Star Wars suite to your bucket list. It can comfortably fit a family of five with 2 adults and up to 3 children.

While it has one bedroom, the apartment is spacious, with AT-AT bunk beds in the living room as well as an additional full size bed.

The entire suite is filled with Star Wars memorabilia, movie posters, and LED lighting.

The kitchen has a fiber optic mural which lights up at night. There are even Star Wars salt and pepper shakers!

The living room has reclining sofas, each facing a large screen TV, for your Star Wars viewing pleasure.

As if that weren't enough, there is an indoor balcony with a pool table overlooking the inside of Gary's mansion, where you will be treated to a light show each evening.

If you ask him, Gary will even give you a tour of his home which includes a movie theater, horror theater, and museum.

Located near several lakes, you can venture off the property to go jet skiing, kayaking, and to try the local seafood. Legoland is also only about 15 minutes away.

>> Read more about this Star Wars AirBnB in Florida. <<

Submitted by Donna, Explore the World with Donna Marie


Open Concept Jungle House in Punta Uva, Costa Rica

AirBnB listing for this property

AirBnB in Costa Rica © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown AirBnB in Costa Rica

Imagine a house where only the bedrooms have walls, but the rest of it is out there, in a huge open space.

Now imagine 2 bedrooms on the first floor and 2 others on the top. The open areas have hammocks, day beds, tables, lamps, sink.

It's real, it's in Punta Uva, and it just might be the best AirBnB in Costa Rica.

I was often working from the day bed. One day, I heard a noise coming from next to my face. When I looked, there was the biggest humming bird I've ever seen, nearly kissing me!

The toilet is a bit separated, and the walls aren't up to the ceiling, so you can take a shower watching the toucans fly by.

There are also 3 types of monkeys, toucans, many frogs, beautiful spiders, iguanas, and even sloths around.

It is, after all, the middle of the forest!

But what’s the the best part?

It’s a five minute walk to the beach!

What a dream!

Submitted by: Thais Saito, World Trip Diaries


Backyard Bungalow in Austin, Texas

AirBnB listing for this property

Funky AirBnB in Austin Texas © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Funky AirBnB in Austin Texas

The city of Austin is entirely weird, and where you sleep should be no exception.

Just a mile from Zilker Park is an eclectic house owned and decorated by one of Austin's quirkiest artists.

You'll make your way into her backyard, passing mermaid murals and upcycled wind chimes along the way.

The rental itself is a 300 square foot space with high ceilings and a loft.

The walls are decorated with a unique assortment of framed paintings, but the real draw is the teal walls, shiny shag carpets, and rainbow futon covers lifted straight from a Lisa Frank dream.

Submitted by Taylor, Travel Outlandish


Best AirBnB Locations in South America


Eco-friendly Home in Punta Del Diablo, Uraguay

AirBnB listing for this property

Best Airbnb in uruguay © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Best Airbnb in uruguay

Via Verde is a lovely eco-house located in a nature preserve in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay.

This modern wooden house is completely powered by solar energy and also collects rainwater in a tank.

The owners, Martin and Rosi (and little Telmo), are great hosts and really make you feel at home.

They are friendly and easygoing; their philosophy is to enjoy peace in full connection with nature.

That makes sense when you see the surrounding forest, the beach just a few meters away, and the starry sky.

Via Verde serves a delicious breakfast that you can enjoy while watching the sea from the terrace.

The place isn’t very big, so they rent only a few rooms. If you have the chance, book one on the second floor for unforgettable views.

Submitted by: Miguel, Travelsauro


Massive Apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Most Unique AirBnB Stays in the World Argentina © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Most Unique AirBnB Stays in the World Argentina

similar AirBnB listing to this property

This was by far the best Airbnb we've stayed in during our travels and certainly the most unique.

It's owned by an artist who is passionate about cinema and antique technology.

The space is absolutely huge with a large kitchen, perfect for those like us who love cooking.

It has two double bedrooms so can fit 2 couples sharing.

The bonus is its location, right in the heart of San Telmo, which for us is the best part of the city - close to some of the best milongas (tango dance halls) and, of course, the famous market every Sunday.

Submitted by Stefan and Sebastien, Nomadic Boys


Discover what to do in Buenos Aires:


A-Frame in Contenda, Brazil

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AirBnB listing for this property

This lovely tiny house is located in Contenda, a small town located 40 minutes away from Curitiba in Brazil.

It is only 36 square feet and was built in an A-Frame format from scratch by the couple that owns it. Inside, you’ll find a big retractable bed, a table, a stove, and big beautiful windows. The house also has a deck perfect for stargazing and even a hot tub!

The best thing about staying here is how peaceful and connected to nature this place is. We could hear the birds singing in the morning while having breakfast on the deck, and at night, everything was completely silent except for the sounds of the forest.

Staying here was such a special experience.

Submitted by Camila Neves, Travel Cami


Best AirBnBs in Asia

A Private Island: Greenvalley Island, Philippines

similar AirBnB listing for this property

We rented an island in the middle of a lake in the Philippines.

Greenvalley Island is one of two islands for rent in Lumot Lake in the province of Laguna.

The place is very serene and quiet, most of the times you can hear only the wind blowing.

There are animals in the island (horse, dogs and turkeys) that further gives that out-of-the-city vibes; the lake is perfect for swimming and a color of deep green ("lumot" translates to moss).

Greenvalley Island has a simple cottage with a double-decked bed for accommodation, as well as outdoor camping tents in case of large parties.

There's a floating cottage where you can just chill or eat your meals. There's also a dedicated area for lighting bonfires at night. It's truly a unique staycation, especially for those looking for relaxation.

Submitted by Katherine and Hali, Tara Lets Anywhere


The Fin Inn, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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AirBnB listing for this property

A welcome message by Fin before the night of my arrival was a sign enough that my stay at The Fin Inn is going to be amazing.

Fin arranged a tuk-tuk at 5 am to pick me up from Siem Reap Bus Station.

I was really looking forward to my session of photography at Angkor Wat Temples but I really needed a power nap and I couldn't wait to reach the boutique homestay to check if it was as good as it looked in the photographs.

An alluring swimming pool at the entrance overlooking an open bar was the first thing I saw and I promised myself to spend the evening here.

The greens in the property were so soothing and there was a peaceful vibe around.

5 clean and spacious bedrooms and attached bathrooms welcomed us and we were spoilt for choice as to which one to choose to sleep in.

The bathrooms were aromatic with diffusers and there was fully stocked toiletry. I was blown away by the attention to detail for everything there was in the villa.  

Over the next 2 days, we had a lovely time in Fin’s luxurious villa who ensured we were comfortable - especially with our vegetarian breakfast request.

He arranged a tuk-tuk ride for our visit to Angkor Wat and bus pick-up and drop. 

Submitted by Ketki Gadre, Explore with Ecokats


A Home in a Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, Palestine

Airbnb in Palestine living room © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Airbnb in Palestine living room

AirBnB listing for this property

What if I tell you that, in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, one of the most visited cities in the Middle East, there is a Palestinian refugee camp called Dheisheh, where you can do an Airbnb stay with a lovely family of refugees?

Does it sound scary to you? It shouldn’t.

Palestinian refugee camps have been going for over 60 years.

Today, they have become mere lively suburbs, with the only difference that streets are nameless, there are pro-Palestinian paintings everywhere and foreigners are more than welcome.

If you want to know more about how the life in a refugee camp is and learn about the history of the conflict and people in the camp, staying with Aya and Ibraheem, a family famous for their hospitality, will definitely be one of your best travel experiences.

Submitted by Joan, Against the Compass


Explore nearby:


Apartment with a View in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Airbnb with pool Kuala Lumpur Malaysia © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Airbnb with pool Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

similar AirBnB listing for this property

We are big fans of unique AirBnB listings, and we have used them a number of times in Asia, particularly Kuala Lumpur.

The last one was brand new and we were the first to stay in the apartment.

It’s located on top of the Face Platinum Suites Hotel and this enables you to use the hotel facilities.

The hotel has an infinity pool located on the 51st floor looking straight out to the Petronas Towers and KL Tower.

I’ve stayed in a few hotels in Kuala Lumpur and this pool by far has the best view I’ve seen. I particular like the view at night time.

There are a number of AirBNB apartments in the complex and its in a very handy location, only a 4 min walk to the monorail which will get you anywhere you want to go.

It also has a supermarket 3 mins walk from the hotel where you can stock up for your stay.

Submitted by Sally, Our3KidsvstheWorld


Best AirBnBs in Africa


Traditional Moroccan Riad, Marrakech, Morocco

© Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown

AirBnB listing for this property

One of the quintessential experiences on a Morocco holiday is to stay in a Marrakech riad.

These charming guest houses are hidden all across the medina (old town), and behind the unassuming doors and red clay walls, you’ll discover an opulent world that wouldn’t be out of place in 1001 Nights.

We particularly loved Dar Mouassine, an 18th-century renovated home that has retained its character and charm yet offers all the modern comforts you need.

Unusually for a riad, the bedrooms are enormous, which is what sets this guest house apart from many of its neighbours.

The décor is lavish yet welcoming, with tranquil patios, sun-drenched terraces, and a dipping pool with plenty of privacy for cooling down on those hot afternoons.

Stay in a traditional riad for a superb location just a few minutes’ walk from Djemaa el Fna (the main square) yet feels far from the bustle and noise, which is just what you want for a quiet night’s sleep.

There’s air conditioning here too, which is much needed during the still nights, especially for those who are not yet used to the climate.

Meals can be ordered if you don’t fancy going out for dinner, and you can enjoy sumptuous breakfasts up on the roof terrace to set you up for a day’s sightseeing.

Submitted by Heather Cole, Conversant Traveller


What is the most unique AirBnB you’ve experienced?



(photo contributed by Travelinmad) © Provided by Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown (photo contributed by Travelinmad)

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