Press pause on the pulsating Bangkok and southern islands for a soul-renewing stay in Thailand’s northern highlands. Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai is heralded for its ancient pagodas and remote valleys inhabited by hill tribes. Whereas, the moated Old City will quench your appetite for culture and cuisine, the landscape beyond the walls will leave you agog. Experience mountains, waterfalls, stupas, and bazaars from these unbelievable Airbnbs in Chiang Mai.
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Luxury Chiang Mai Airbnb near mountains and markets
Six miles from the Old City, this knockout home at the base of Doi Suthep gives you the best of rural and urban Chiang Mai. Minimalist styling, ample windows, and a Balinese bathroom place full attention on the natural environment. The loft may be used as a second bedroom, yoga den, or movie lounge. Although technically shared with the host couple, you’ll likely have the swimming pool and hot tub all to yourselves. Free airport pick-up is offered alongside a medley of services to help you plan your time up north.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $279 per night
Old City Chiang Mai private pool villa
One of the most family-friendly Airbnbs in Chiang Mai’s moated old city, this spacious and modern vacation rental consists of three en-suite bedrooms. Walled and totally secluded, the private pool is a sight for sore eyes after a day of exploring the nearby pagodas. The kitchen is fitted with a huge fridge, stove, and barbecue grill for nights when you feel like dining in. Fast Wi-Fi, a Smart TV, and a washing machine ensure you have all the conveniences necessary for a short or long stay.
Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $161 per night
Modern Nimmanhaemin Road Airbnb with rooftop pool
Staying at this cute and comfy one-bedroom condo in “Nimman” lets you call the hippest part of Chiang Mai home. Suitable for a couple or solo digital nomad, the high-floor apartment is divided into a bedroom and an open-plan kitchen/lounge with a breakfast balcony. There’s no fee to use the rooftop pool or gym although utilities will be added for stays exceeding one month. One Nimman and MAYA are each a five-minute walk while Old City is doable on foot.
Two guests, one bedroom
Price: $40 per night
“Fun Valley” mountain retreat with VIP services
Located in Mae Sa Valley, this is the best Airbnb in Chiang Mai near waterfalls, ziplines, and breathtaking viewpoints. The fully-equipped kitchen (oven included!) earns its stripes in this remote setting while the fireplace keeps the mountain chill at bay in this high-altitude part of Thailand. When you’re not adventuring, the plunge pool and hammock will ease you into vacation mode. Breakfast and any orchard fruits that catch your eye are on the house. The host can assist with vehicle rentals (essential) plus food deliveries, massage treatments, and private chefs.
Ten guests, five bedrooms
Price: $343 per night
Vintage villa minutes from Tha Phae Gate
Convenient for the Old City, Tha Phae Road, and the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, this luxurious villa fuses Lanna and Tuscan architecture. As both floors mirror one another and have a separate kitchen, it feels more like two apartments and will therefore suit traveling friends or couples. Interiors are furnished with state-of-the-art appliances and there’s a barbecue for al fresco dining. The lighted pool means you can practice laps at any time of day or indulge in moonlit swims.
Eight guests, four bedrooms
Price: $170 per night
Eco-friendly earthen home in an organic plot
One of the kookiest Airbnbs in Chiang Mai, “Peanut” is one component of the Leafy Greens retreat. Originally designed for meditation retreats, these clay huts have found a new leash of life as Northern Thailand’s answer to Bag End. As the most deluxe cob house, Peanut comprises two stories with two bathrooms and basic kitchenware. You’re welcome to pluck veggies from the garden and prepare meals in the shared outdoor kitchen. It’s recommended to rent a motorcycle while staying at the hobbit house otherwise the Grab taxi app has you covered.
Five guests, two bedrooms
Price: $43 per night
Twin villas with private pool near Nimman Road
One of the best Chiang Mai Airbnbs for larger families and groups, this vacation rental is spread across two three-story villas. The interiors mimic one another with each having its own accessible first-floor suite plus a kitchen, living room, and a top-floor den with a hot tub. Attention to comfort and hygiene can’t be faulted and secure parking for up to two cars is a benefit. Out in the yard, a stunning pool swallowed up by tropical flora will make it tough to venture off the premises.
Twelve guests, five bedrooms
Price: $253 per night
Loft in a century-old villa near Night Bazaar
Installed above the Thapae East jazz bar, this chic Chiang Mai Airbnb is perfect for sociable groups hungry for street food, markets, and late nights. The six-bedroom loft occupies one floor of a residence built in the early 20th century. Award-winning interiors spoil you with vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, woody furnishings, and plant life. Turn your ear to what’s playing downstairs while dozing in the hallway hammock and enjoy having the pubs and coffee houses of Tha Phae Road at your fingertips.
Twelve guests, six bedrooms
Price: $202 per night
Artist studio homestay in the trees
Kindle your imagination with a stay above a functioning workshop hosted by an artist/chef couple. Fashioned from recycled materials, this romantic Chiang Mai Airbnb was respectfully assembled so as not to dislodge the giant trees that poke through parts of the space. Paintings and sculptures by Torlarp himself adorn the treehouse while the bedroom floats in the loft among the treetops. During the day, you can peep at the artist in action but nights may be spent in total solitude.
Three guests, one bedroom
Price: $101 per night
Fantastical Chiang Mai Airbnb on the riverside
Ever fancied living in a doll’s house? This bohemian mansion north of the walled city will make that dream come true. An original Lanna residence, this reimagined home has been gussied up with woven handicrafts, vintage finds, and one-of-a-kind treasures. Two en-suite bedrooms come with four-poster beds while the living areas curl around an ornate patio and private pool. A personal kayak is docked ready for Ping River paddles once you’ve polished off your complimentary breakfast.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $160 per night
Traditional teak house in Old City
A short walk from Wat Chedi Luang and the Gate Market, this unique Chiang Mai Airbnb in a quiet part of the Old City even affords a peek at the mountains. The two-story Lanna dwelling comprises a salon, kitchen, and upstairs en suite bedroom. A separate rice barn provides extra space for relaxing, dining, or working. Carefully appointed with handcrafted furniture and decor, thoughtful touches include a pair of bikes and handwritten insider tips on where to eat.
Two guests, one bedroom
Price: $75 per night
What is the best area to stay in Chiang Mai?
Three miles from the airport, Chiang Mai’s Old City is bounded by monumental gates. This moated district overflows with temples, markets, massage parlors, and eateries. Attractive to first-time visitors and families, this part of Chiang Mai is relatively walkable although a bicycle or motorcycle wouldn’t hurt. By night, the Old City is hushed while outer areas beckon revelers.
Stay east of the walls near Phae Road for easy access to the chief night bazaar and accompanying bars. Lying to the west, Nimmanhaemin is one of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Chiang Mai. The namesake road thrums with cafes frequented by young Thais and remote workers. Airbnbs in Chiang Mai’s “Nimman” cater to longer stays while the nightlife scene strikes a balance between the Old City and Phrae Road.
Widen the search and you can stay in the foothills of the sacred mountain, Doi Suthep, or in one of the peaceful communities along the Ping River. Choosing accommodation further out means you’ll need to rent a vehicle or rely on Grab to get around.
What is there to do in Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai is a multi-faceted province where you’ll blend outdoor adventures with cultural immersion and exciting nightlife. Here’s what to bump to the top of your itinerary.
- Bounce around the Old City temples as Wat Chedi Luang
- Ride the songthaew up Doi Suthep to Wat Phra That and Bhubing Palace
- Explore the stupas, falls, and trails of Doi Inthanon National Park – home to Thailand’s tallest peak
- Walk alongside elephants at the ethical, ‘hands-off’ Elephant Nature Park
- Swim at the Bua Tong, Mae Sa, and Huai Kaeo waterfalls
- Learn to cook khao soi and other Northern Thai dishes
- Take a Muay Thai class – or watch a contest
- Unwind on the banks of the Huay Tueng Thao Reservoir
- Inhale rare plants at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden
- Brave the Jungle Coaster at Pong Yang Adventure Park
- Go rafting on the Mae Taeng River
- Surf harem pants, silks, and crafts at daily and weekly markets in and around the Old City
- Stay out all night in the bars near Phae Road
- Bring your license and embark on the Mae Hong Son Loop road trip by scooter