Space is clearly limited in Rio. Even the more expensive apartments are tiny by many standards, with bathrooms resembling closets and kitchens resembling hallways. Beds are squeaked in wall-to-wall. The magic is in those that manage to take the space they have and turn it into something more, through excellent and beautiful curation.
Here are some of the best Airbnbs to stay in while visiting Rio de Janeiro.
The ultra cush
$3555/night • Rua República do Peru, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22021-040, Brazil
One of the most expensive Airbnbs I could find in Rio, this place is like the slightly-more-upscale version of the next listing. That said, oh my god, that bathroom. You know the one, with its black marble Jacuzzi. Also, Andy Warhol gallery. ‘Nuff said.
$3081/night • Rua Pompeu Loureiro, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22061, Brazil
There are at least two major components of this listing I’m going to mention. First and foremost, spiral staircase. I love them; I can’t help myself. Secondly, flippin’ glow pool. With light-up bar and water curtains.
$2500/night • R. Santa Gláfira, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22610-300, Brazil
This place, with its wonderful wooden doors and colorful kitchen, is the exact thing I fantasize about when I imagine getting away from the grey of Portland and escaping to some faraway magical not-Portland. I wish I were kidding, but I seriously honest-to-god believe I’ve dreamed of this place, down to the cow clock in the kitchen.
$2495/night • Rua Jackson de Figueiredo, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22611, Brazil
Every single photo looks like it was taken from a different movie. First one is clearly Jurassic Park. Second one is the set of every soap opera ever. Third one looks like Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I’m going to skip the dining room because it’s boring, but the fifth one looks straight out of The Princess Bride. And so on, and so forth. What would you pay to live in a bunch of different movies for the weekend?
$1405/night • R. Vinícius de Moraes, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21072-540, Brazil
Sadly, this listing taught me something new, and even more sadly it had absolutely nothing to do with Rio and its neighborhoods. Instead, I now know that SONOS is a thing which exists, and when comparing the price of the unit to the price of this rental, I may have to get one of those and just pretend I’m at this place instead.
$1276/night • Rua Nascimento Silva, Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There’s one in every batch — the apartment or home that looks as though the professional design and marketing team for a home furniture store designed it. Literally every single room of this looks like it was copied and pasted from a home-design site. Places like this don’t really exist outside the contrived magazine setting this was so blatantly ripped from, so that would be the obvious bonus to shelling out the 1.2 Gs to visit it.
$8822/wk • R. Gen. Urquisa, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22431-040, Brazil
The offerings for this place are as extensive as they are, indeed, grand. However, I can’t read or comprehend any of them because the clause “…is equipped with swimming pool, steamed sauna, and barbecue settings…” might as well be bold, underlined, italicized, and put into size 100 font. I can’t see anything else, nor would I want to.
$1093/night • Estrada da Gávea, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22451, Brazil
This house, from its crisp edges to its poured-concrete countertops, is artsy as hell, but it’s also clearly well thought out, and there’s a place for everything (including flip-flops, evidently). It’s the kind of neat that straddles the line between appealing to my mild OCD and taunting me to touch something I’m not supposed to. ‘Great House in Gavea,’ you are a wonderful tease, and if I could afford it I would stay in you in a heartbeat.
$1000/night • Rua Antônio Basílio, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 20511-190, Brazil
Take a gander at this incredible apartment: four bedrooms, accommodations for 10, 3D 50” television, 30Mbps internet (dwarfing the paltry offerings I have from my current ISP), and a big-ass sliding door. Also, that kitchen. I would live in that apartment just about anywhere.
$937/night • Avenida Rainha Elizabeth da Bélgica, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22081-031, Brazil
This place looks pretty much identical to every Kidrobot store I’ve ever seen, from the color balances, to the lighting, and even to the decor (some of which I’m 80% certain actually came from Kidrobot). So modern and sleek, this place is probably as expensive as it is because of how massive it is by Rio standards.
$360/night • Rua Francisco Sá, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22080-010, Brazil
Holy crap, look at this place! “Projector with hand-painted mural off to the right,” pretty much says it all. That, and a bed-facing, ceiling-mounted TV. I could die there happy, by which I mean I can afford to spend one night there, and hopefully I’ll just die during that night.
$260/night • Rua Alberto de Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22411-030, Brazil
This place sort of reminds me of a futuristic diner from the ‘80s. It’s probably the stools. Yes, the washing machine is seamlessly integrated into the rest of the kitchen appliances, and, yes, one of the bedrooms looks a bit like a woodland cabin, but the marble-inlayed Jacuzzi tub in one of the three bathrooms made me reconsider. Plus, with three rooms (two of which are luxury suites) and accommodations for eight, this place is a steal at $32.50 provided you’ve got seven other friends to split it with.
$250/night • Av. Atlântica, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22070-000, Brazil
This place is awesome, super modern, and super dangerous. The danger comes from being that close to the beach and being that white on every surface. You’re obviously going to get sand everywhere, and it’s going to show.
$167/night • Rua Visconde de Pirajá, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22410-001, Brazil
Spiral staircases weirdly stuck in the middle of the living room, batman! Though this place is somewhat unremarkable, as far as penthouses go, the view alone pretty much justifies the price tag. (Not to mention security, double bedrooms, and sauna access. Like no big deal.)
$154/night • Rua Duvivier, Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22020-020, Brazil
This is basically an upscale hotel, complete with TV, doorman, 24-hour concierge service, the whole nine. The difference, however, is that you do have to cook your own meals, but at least you can cook them in the fully equipped kitchen.
$142/night • Rua Desembargador Alfredo Russel, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
It’s as charming as it was obviously furnished by hipsters. However, between the two bedrooms and living room full of intriguing doodads and tasteful art selection, this place is not a bad choice for a grownup holiday.
$132/night • R. Barata Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22040-002, Brazil
This two-bedroom apartment two blocks from the beach sleeps five for one price, with only $13 a night for every guest thereafter. That’s an incredibly affordable $26.20 per person a night for those 5 guests, to stay in an apartment a stone’s throw from a beach in Rio.
$118/night • Av. Gen. San Martin, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22441-015, Brazil
This self-proclaimed “photographer’s loft” is pretty sweet in and of itself, but the gem in this listing is the included photos of the neighborhood, from the dope discotheque to the 24-hour pizza and beer lounge. I’d never want to leave.
$90/night • R. Alm. Alexandrino, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20241-265, Brazil
I want to go to there. It’s like a jungly refuge, the perfect hideout to meet my agent contact and pick up the dossiers for our next mission. Okay, so maybe the ragdolls and fuzzy pillows read less ‘secret agent’ than the exterior and surroundings, but this place has an unbelievable amount of space for Rio, so sprawl out while you can!
$80/night • R. Raimundo Correia, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22040-040, Brazil
Okay, so full disclosure — I’m a sucker for purple, and this place has it in spades. Aside from that, however, it’s also pretty cute and has all of the amenities you’d expect, with the added bonus of fluent English-speaking hosts. Sure, it only has five reviews, but five stars means they’re doing something right!
$74/night • R. Joaquim Murtinho, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20241-320, Brazil
This place is all about workflow. It’s got a desk, and you get to crash in a freakin’ hammock. I imagine myself swaying gently while trying to brain my way through my next track, or seeking inspiration while staring out the window. Then, when it strikes, I’ll sit up too fast, and the hammock will dump me on the floor. I’ll curse it and everything about everything but get to the desk in time to take down some notes.
$70/night • Rua Santa Luzia, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20020-021, Brazil
First and foremost, I love the wee sitting area. It would be the perfect place to enjoy a little espresso and nurse the Brazilian hangover from the night before. The tile work around the mini kitchen is killer, and with comments about the “charmous”-ness of the place, how could you not want to stay here?
$70/night • Estrada do Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22451-090, Brazil
I’m really into the decor in this place, especially the pulled-back-curtain-revealing-batcave-entrance closet in the bedroom picture. It’s like a magical boho princess studio, full of light and primary colors. It’s important to note, however, that there’s no kitchen, so take that into account and plan to eat out for every meal.
$70/night • R. Santo Amaro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22211-230, Brazil
It’s sparse and furnished with toys, but this place has all the bare necessities (namely, a place to sleep and a bunch of toys). Fun fact: Carioca is a Brazilian adjective or demonym used to refer to the native inhabitants of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
$69/night • Rua Aires Saldanha, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22060-030, Brazil
This ultramodern greyscale space is absolutely ideal, given the price. Sure, it’s a tad small, but then again so is everything in Rio, and I personally can’t get over how awesome the decor in the kitchen is, especially the backsplash that resembles an equalizer.
$65/night • R. Barão de Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22211-150, Brazil
This place has solid beach house vibes and a very back-to-basics feel, but when I saw “quiet house” I couldn’t help but think about my dad. My dad is the kind of person who would complain if he heard any street noise whatsoever and expect to be moved to the top floor opposite the penthouse suites where the air is thin and the noise is nonexistent. Dad, this one’s for you.
$58/night • Rua Taylor, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20241-060, Brazil
Arty and cosy indeed, this cute and colorful crib comes complete with a heap of bikes (though they’re mostly kids’ bikes) and makes for a killer package. The comments make me more than optimistic about the quality of this Airbnb, and at $58 a night it’s hard not to see this as an ideal option for your trip to Rio.
$37/night • Rua Orestes Barbosa, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21940-375, Brazil
With ‘good vibes’ in the name, it’s hard not to want to stay here, especially with mentions of a ‘baby pig’ in the comments (which I cling to as a literal description, despite the photos of a tiny dog). Seated in a prime location, and with a host who gets solid reviews, this would be a great choice for a budget first-timer.
$31/night • Rua Joaquim Murtinho, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20241-320, Brazil
Yes, it’s literally little more than a bed and a bathroom, but for $31 a night this is the ideal foothold in Rio if you’re on a budget. Plus, there are certainly worse things after a night of drinking than being able to crawl out of bed and be immediately in the bathroom.
$2501/night • Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
C’mon, it’s a yacht.
$132/night • Rio, Rio de Janeiro 22420-040, Brazil
It may not be up to the same luxury standard as many of the other places, but this place is a serious find. It’s a whole house, with a covered porch and air of authenticity as “one of the last houses of Ipanema neighborhood.” It would be a standalone experience staying at this place, which is why it’s on the honorable mentions list.
$25/night • Rua Riachuelo, Rio de Janeiro, 20230-013, Brazil
Sure, it’s literally a listing for a couch-bed in some artsy hippie chick’s apartment, but for $25 a night I’d crash there, and it seems like a pretty good, well-priced foothold in Rio. Plus, the reviews are in, and she seems super nice. Definitely a top honorable mention.