The Best Airbnbs in Brazil
Considering a trip to the land of caipirinhas? Consider accommodation where you’ll have a kitchen in which to whip up your own. Airbnb exploded in popularity in Brazil in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and then again ahead of the 2016 Olympics, a shift that continues to benefit travelers — especially those headed to big cities.
Want to get $40 off your first Airbnb booking? Click here!
Airbnb has its perks everywhere around the world, but in Brazil in particular I found it had quite a few advantages over traditional hotels.
For one, laundry — I was warned ahead of my trip by several bloggers that laundry service was hard to come by in Brazil, and boy, were they right. Unlike hostels in Europe and Southeast Asia, not a single hostel and even several hotels I stayed at in Brazil did not offer a laundry service of any kind. Some offered to point me in the direction of a local laundromat, but my days were quite busy and setting aside a full one to do a wash and dry just didn’t fit into the itinerary. So having access to a washing machine occasionally along the way of our trip was essential. (A Scrubba washbag would have been a good back up in-between.)
Also, much of Brazil can be fairly challenging to travel for those with special dietary needs — vegans will certainly find themselves occasionally frustrated in this meat and cheese laden land. Solution? Having a kitchen at hand! Even without any special circumstances beyond a light case of picky eating, I enjoyed having some breaks from eating out on such a long trip.
Finally, I personally found Brazil to be at times overwhelming to communicate in. If you don’t speak Portuguese, an Airbnb can be a nice place to retreat, recharge, and get ready for your next round of talking tango. For our six week trip through Brazil, Heather and I rented Airbnbs in São Paulo and Rio de Janiero, and scoured listings for every destination we visited in the country. Here are a few of my favorites!
São Paulo had, hands down, the best selection of Airbnbs I’ve seen… anywhere! I was astounded at the amount of super trendy, wildly affordable apartments in some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, like hip Vila Madalena and charming Vila Mariana. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised; considering São Paulo is the art and design capital of the country, it makes sense its residents would have some pretty well-done dwellings. Based on the amazing and diverse listings I favorited, I feel like any traveler to São Paulo would be crazy not to check out Airbnb listings.
Heather and I ended up renting a colorful one bedroom in Vila Madalena to recover from the Tomorrowland Brazil festival in. We’d originally rented a similarly styled apartment at a lower rate, but when the host cancelled at the last minute, Airbnb happily provided us enough credit to upgrade to this listings. Between the pool, the gym, and the comfy couch, we didn’t want to leave! The hosts were generous and kind, and we left rested and refreshed after two short nights. Starting at $96 per night.
Looking for something a bit more affordable? Check out this contemporary studio in the heart of the same neighborhood, starting at $53 per night.
Rio de Janeiro
Overall, the Airbnb selection in Rio was a bit dated compared to São Paulo’s slick listings, and in the Southern beach zones, the majority were located in Copacabana as opposed to hipper Ipanema.
That said, I was beyond obsessed with the charming and chic loft we ended up booking for three nights by the beach. Again our host was communicative and helpful, and we relished the opportunity to play house for a few days between hotel-hopping. Rates start at $85 per night.
Another listing we considered was a small but sweet studio in Copacabana starting at $60 per night.
Not a beach bum? Check out this colorful and artsy offering in Lapa, starting at just $40 per night.
Paraty probably won’t wow you with its overall selection of Airbnbs. This traveler’s retreat home is a stunning exception. Starting at $96 per night.
Like Paraty, Ilha Grande doesn’t have a huge selection of Airbnbs. Most are rooms in pousadas or guesthouses rather than freestanding apartments. One incredibly unique exception? A charming ramshackle houseboat floating in Vila de Abraão Bay. Heather and I nixed it due to the lack of electricity and wifi, but for travelers not running online businesses, it might be the perfect fit! Starting at $82 per night.
In a vast sea of drab corporate hotels, Airbnb stands out as an exciting option in Brasília. While most apartments won’t be featured on design blogs anytime soon, I did find one great deal with style in spades. I didn’t end up making it to Brasília on this trip, but when I return I’d love to hit up this modern and cute studio for just $36 per night.
Don’t forget! If you want to get $40 off your first Airbnb booking, click here for my free discount code! I can’t wait to hear about your own experiences in Brazil and beyond in the comments.
Do you look for rental apartments when you travel, or do you still stick to hotels and hostels?
I absolutely love Airbnb! They are much more affordable than hotels and offer better amenities and a homey vibe. Also, you can save tons of bucks by cooking your own food. My mom and I always rent Airbnb’s or apartments when we travel, and have found amazing ones from Belgium to Malta to Mexico! Brazil looks amazing, great colors and lighting in those places.
Right? Brazilians certainly have a sense of style — you can feel it in these beautiful places! I personally only Airbnb when I’m traveling with someone else as it makes me feel isolated when I’m on the road solo, but I think it’s just perfect when I’m with a crew!
I’m bookmarking this post! You never know when you find yourself in Brazil in want of a gorgeous looking apartment!
Seriously! I have a wishlist primed and ready to go for my return trip!
It’s crazy what good deals you can find through Airbnb. Here in Canada, it’s often even cheaper than hostels (which I find to be often over-priced in this country). I’m doing an Eastern Canada road trip in June, and all of our accommodations are Airbnbs (except one) and all for very reasonable prices. I love all the places you’ve shared in this post, and it’s great to see so many nice-looking and affordable listings.
Same in Brazil, accommodation is expensive and so Airbnb is often quite competitive for what you get. Even compared to private rooms in hostels!
Gorgeous pictures! I am glad to learn that there are more Airbnbs in Brazil!
Airbnb is definitely my go-to now wherever I go. It is such an intimate way to learn about local cultures and explore how the locals live.
I agree! I love playing house and seeing what it might be like to live somewhere new and exotic.
How cute are those apartments? I love tiny spaces and the colors are so fun!
Most of the Airbnbs I looked at were quite space efficient! That’s just fine for me — I too love tiny homes and apartments. Less to clean 😉
I enjoined this post as I enjoy all your posts
Thank you Jo-Anne! You are a loyal, lovely reader 🙂
Those Airbnbs are so stylish!! It’s still becoming a “thing” in Japan, but so far the government has been cool about it so hopefully it continues to grow. I often check it out for my trips, but I usually get put off by cleaning fees that are sometimes almost the cost of the accommodation. It’s definitely more doable when you’re not traveling solo…I recently stayed in one here in Japan with three friends and it was perfect for us!
Ugh yes cleaning fees! They are the worst. I actually rent my place on Airbnb now when traveling and I charge exactly what my cleaning lady charges me ($12!) It annoys me when hosts use that as a way to jack up their rates. Personally I don’t use Airbnb when I’m traveling alone because I get spooked too easily at night (le sigh, lifetime phobia of the dark) and prefer hotels and hostels in the situation. But in groups of friends or family thy are awesome!
Oh my god! These Airbnb’s looks surreal. I will be like “take my money!!!” 😀 I think the best one I’ve been was in Venice and the owner is an interior designer… yes, it was a beautiful apartment!!
Nice! That does sound like a dream! I admit, I’m totally looking for the most hip place whenever I’m on Airbnb… I wish they had a “style” filter 😛
Great info! Sounds like Airbnb is a good option to have for Brazil, especially if you’re traveling with someone else. I’m same as you, I don’t like renting apartments when I travel solo, but when I’m with a friend they’re great!
Yup! Even if I don’t talk to a single soul in a hostel or hotel, I just like knowing they are there, ha ha.
We stayed in that AirBnB you linked to in Lapa!!! Tanja (the host) is AMAZING and we loved our stay there 🙂
No way! That is so fun! Both the hosts I stayed with were fabulous too and truly went above and beyond what I expected. Considering the language barrier it was SO nice to have hosts I could easily ask questions to via text anytime.
Love this post! DAMN it makes me want to go to Brazil. So many freakin’ cute places!!!!
I spent HOURS on Airbnb before this trip, ha ha… figured I better put them to good use 😉
A very fun read for this Airbnb diehard who makes wish lists on that site for places she has no immediate plans to visit!
Just read in the comments you are also afraid of the dark? Oh girl, we are so alike. For solo trips, have you ever considered a private room in someone’s home through Airbnb? I’ve been curious about this option. Something I wouldn’t do — stay in a standalone property by myself. Eeek!
I agree, that would totally freak me out. As for renting a room in someone’s home… I’ve never done it but depending on the host, I’d be open to it. Typically I avoid it because despite my profession and my bubbly online personality (which is indeed genuine!) I really do recharge from having alone time and so if I can have a bit of anonymity and privacy in my travels, it is rare and I grab it!
Those apartments are gorgeous and the prices are so great wow thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Sandy! Browsing Airbnb is one of my favorite time-wasters 😉