A few weeks ago, I was an Air Bnb virgin. I had heard a lot about it and a lot of friends always said how great it was, so when hotels in Rome were looking very pricy, I decided to try out Air Bnb for the first time. Here is my experience:
Booking on the Website
The website is very easy to use and shows a map and list of each accomodation. I picked out a flat that was set in the middle of Rome for 270€ for four nights. Signing up to Air Bnb was so quick, and I like that when you book you can cancel the flat up to 7 days before check in and get a full refund! This means I could book the flat first and sort out flights afterwards.
Tip: If you want to register yourself on Air Bnb, click here to get 34€ off of your first stay!
The Hosts and Check In
A few days before we were to arrive in Rome, I got an Email asking what time we would be arriving and with reccomendations on how to get from the airport to the hotel. An Uber would have cost us about 60 – 70€, a train costs about 30 – 40€ (in total for two people) but would have taken an hour, and our Air Bnb offered us a private transfer for 42€.
We took the private transfer and it was the quickest transfer I have ever experienced. No waiting around at the airport and our driver got us to our flat in half an hour, where our host Barbara was waiting.
Because Air Bnb hosts also use Whatsapp, it means communication is super easy and I sent Barbara a message when we were on the way there, so as soon as we arrived she was already waiting by the door.
Check in was fast and our host showed us everything that we needed. It was very straightforward and there was also a map of Rome left for us on the table and some useful tips for our stay.
The thing what I love about Air Bnb is, is that when you have your own flat you can just imagine yourself actually living in that country. Our flat was very cute and had literally everything you would need (cooking utensils, oil, salt, pepper, tea, coffee, towels, hairdryer, umbrellas, books etc).
It had an open plan kitchen and living area, and upstairs was the bedroom and bathroom. The only thing that might be missing if you go in summer, is a balcony or terrace. As we went in February, we didn’t mind not having a balcony (although the weather was great too and we could have sat outside), but in summer maybe a balcony to drink wine on in the evening is better.
One thing to note is that there are a lot of seagulls in Rome and we had a lot close to our flat (our flat was right at the top, so maybe they have a nest on the roof). You heard a lot of noisy seagulls at night, which personally didn’t bother me, but if noises bother you then take some earplugs with you!
The flat doesn’t have a TV, which I found great! I don’t like the thought of sitting inside on holiday watching TV, and if we did want to watch something, we brought our iPad with us and could watch Netflix on that. The flat had a lot of books and even a couple of games to play to keep you entertained, and I also found it nice to not have a TV so I could just talk with my partner.
The location of the flat was perfect. It was set in the cutest, typical Italian alleyway with an amazing coffee shop just around the corner (the street for the coffee shop is Via dei Banchi Nuovi, it is so small it isn’t on google maps but if you find it, a cappucino costs 1.10€!). The flat sits between the Vatican and the Colleseum, meaning you can walk everywhere. For the five days we were there we didn’t take public transport at all. We walked everywhere as everything is only a 10 – 20 minute walk.
If you want to have a look at the flat, you will find it here.
Air Bnb Tours
Another nice touch from Air Bnb is when you book a flat you will also get emails about what to do and see in the location you are going to. I found it really helpful and ended up booking an Air Bnb Walking Tour.
It was only 5€ per person and it was a 2 hour walking tour around Rome. I still can’t believe how cheap it is!! We did this on the first day that we arrived and it was a great way to start our holiday. We got to know the neighbourhood a bit and learnt some history and fun facts about places, that you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Russell was a great tour guide and really took his time to get to know each couple, his tours are maximum 10 people which I find is a great number, as other tours that are also 5€ were maximum 20 people (which I personally find too many people). He also gave us a lot of tips on where to eat and drink at, which is so important in Rome as there are a lot of tourist traps.
If you want to go on a walking tour as well, have a look at his tour here.
Air Bnb Luggage
Check out from our flat was at 10am and our flight first went at 15:40. Our host sent me a 10% voucher for Air Bnb Luggage, where you can put your luggage for the day. It was so easy to use and so quick! We had an air bnb luggage just around the corner from us (3 minute walk away), and checking our luggage in and out was so easy. It cost 5€ per luggage for the whole day, very cheap and useful if you have a later flight.
I absolutely cannot wait to use Air Bnb again. The whole experience was very easy and there wasn’t one thing that I found complicated. Obviously it is a different experience than being in a hotel, but what I liked is that if there had been a problem, our host was just a whatsapp message away. She also messaged me halfway through our stay just to check that everything was okay. It really felt like we had someone incase something went wrong or if we got locked out.
I personally find the standards of hotels in Italy are not the same standard as in other countries. Which makes it very hard for me to find a hotel that I like that isn’t 5000€ for a long weekend. Air Bnb is literally perfect as the flat was very clean, set in the centre of Rome, and so cheap!
I reccommend Air Bnb for cities where hotels are generally very pricy, it is the perfect alternative where you can save money and have a unique experience in a new country.
Dont forget to click here before you register to get 34€ off of your first stay!