My First Airbnb Experience
I think Airbnb is a bit of an addiction, once you start you can't stop. I've defiantly caught the bug and I can see myself doing this for any city break in the foreseeable future. At first I was skeptical, renting out someone's home seemed a little weird. Am I allowed to snoop? What if I damage a prized possession? Or worse, what if I got there and the place wasn't anything like the pictures? I think I was overthinking the whole thing a little too much but after booking a quick weekend trip to Brussels, I started to dabble in the array of apartments.
There were a few that I really liked and after having a discussion with Andrea, we both thought this particular apartment in Saint Gilles, was perfect. Don't get me wrong, I love staying in hotels, but at the end of the day you get the same routine breakfast and you're confined to your hotel room, so this is what made me think about having a whole apartment for space, as well as having the choice to make a cup of tea and eating tubs of ice-cream whenever.
Of course, when you go to a new country you want to experience everything - the culture, the food etc so we knew we would be eating out of an evening but for breakfast we spent about €4 on the essentials: bread, bacon, eggs and a good ol' avocado. Perfect for making a quick brekkie before heading out for a full day of adventures.
The apartment was located on the second floor, up some very windy staircases, so we just about managed! However, once we were welcomed in, it was worth the climb. The co-host was a lovely woman named Sarah, who showed us around and left us the keys. Previous to us, people had left bottles of drink, food in the freezer and other goodies, which was lovely as we didn't have to buy a great deal.
The place had a wonderful feel to it, it's high ceilings were incredible and the tall windows let in an abundance of light. It was extremely clean and stylish which was perfect for taking instagram pictures (a definite requirement on my behalf). The bedroom had a half glass door which led to a small dressing room, with a desk, chest of drawers and set in wardrobe. It had so many hangers and storage space so if you're staying for more than a few days you're more than well equipped.
Also something else I have to mention was that there was a hairdryer, scales and a variety of toiletries in the bathroom. This might not always be the case in some airbnb's, but maybe check with the host as to what there is, as we overpacked on some things which we really didn't need to.
Waking up in Saint Gilles was lovely. It is known as the 'Arts' area where musicians and artists live. Our apartment overlooked other homes so of a nighttime I did a bit of people watching as well as watching the other locals - the cats that perched on the rooftops.
Now, I know you're all wondering how much this actually cost. With the use of all the facilities and a whole apartment to ourselves, the total price was £166 including a cleaning fee based on a 2 night stay for two people. It was also Gay Pride on the Saturday that we arrived, so I don't know whether the price was slightly increased as previously, you can grab this apartment for as little as £51 per night.
I thought that this was a very reasonable price and it did beat some of the hotels that I had looked at. But as I has said before, it gives you a completely different experience. You live like a local and it can make a trip feel a little less constructed.
Because there was no-one checking in the day after us, we were lucky enough to have a late check out which was ideal for us as our Eurostar was an evening journey. It's always a good idea to check with your host if this is possible.
I would love to stay in this apartment again if I ever went to Brussels again. Its location is perfect for getting to all the touristy parts of the city, either by walking or by hopping on the bus. The nightlife consists of a considerable amount of bars and cafes, so even if you want a pizza at midnight, you're sorted.
Click here to see the airbnb.