9 Airbnbs With Breathtaking Views

From the Swiss Alps to the Brazilian rain forest, these Airbnbs are worth booking just for the views.

Cafe table on a balcony overlooking lake and mountains in Switzerland

Coffee just tastes better when it comes with an alpine view like this.

Courtesy of Airbnb

They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but when it comes to Airbnbs, the opposite can be equally true. In the Instagram-era, vacation rentals offering outlandish vistas are gaining in popularity, and last year, Airbnb even added a new search category called “Amazing Views” to make finding them easier. Recently, the company announced some of the most wishlisted properties in the collection, and they look out over landscapes that might be worthy of a painting or a postcard: Think a Swiss alpine lake, the Umbrian countryside, the Malibu coastline, and red-rock mountains in Utah. These are the kinds of spots where you might find yourself ignoring your friends or partner to stare out the window at the horizon, daydreaming about owning your own little piece of paradise.

Lakeside retreat in the Swiss Alps

  • Location: Bürglen, Switzerland
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Book now: airbnb.com

We mean this as a compliment: The view from this property, pictured above, is so perfect that it looks like someone asked AI to generate a logo for a mineral water company. The one-bedroom apartment is tucked under the sloped roof of a Wes Anderson–esque farmhouse (the host, Jos, lives downstairs), and its front window and compact balcony perfectly frame Lake Lungern, which is surrounded by eye-vibratingly green pastures and backed by often-snowcapped peaks. Design lovers will appreciate the space’s clever mix of rustic textures (knotty wood walls) and playful modern design touches, including cloud-like light fixtures that hang over a serene reading nook.

A design home with open sliding doors looking out over a jungle and the ocean beyond

The mile-wide sliding doorway frames an expansive view of the Costa Rican shoreline.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Three-level beachfront villa in Costa Rica

  • Location: Santa Teresa Beach, Costa Rica
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Book now: airbnb.com

It seems like you can’t go a few minutes in Design loverswithout hearing the country’s unofficial motto, pura vida, but after taking in the view from Villa el Mango, you may think about coining a new one: pura vista. This three-level house is built into a steep hillside, surrounded by its namesake tropical fruit trees, and its bedrooms and common areas face seaward, with enormous bi-fold glass doors that open to create a basically open-air floor plan. From here or from the infinity-edge saltwater pool, you’ll enjoy a verdant panorama that extends out over the adjacent forest to Santa Teresa beach and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

An outdoor seating area with flowers and cacti looking out over the mountains and Pacific Ocean

The plant-filled patio offers the best seat for gazing out over the Pacific.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Ocean-view Malibu hideaway

  • Location: Malibu, California
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Book now: airbnb.com

If the word “Malibu” conjures images of oversized mansions (fit for, say, Barbie), you’ll be charmed by this surprisingly cozy one-bedroom bungalow. Reached via a not-for-the-faint-of-heart canyon road, the house sits on a terraced plot that overflows with succulents and orange, lemon, and fig trees ripe for the picking. There’s an ocean-facing desk that looks out all the way to Catalina Island, and it might be the best place in Southern California to get away from it all and finally finish that screenplay or novel you’ve been working on. The only distraction you might face: the hummingbirds that dart around the bougainvilleas outside the window.

Mirrored cabin in Norwegian woods

The WonderInn is located in the Nordre Øyeren nature reserve, where it’s not uncommon to run into moose and eagles.

Photo by Dani Purington Photography

Mirrored glass cabin outside of Oslo

  • Location: Rælingen, Norway
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Book now: airbnb.com

If you’re not paying close enough attention, you could almost miss this sleek tiny home: The surface of Norway’s first mirrored glass cabin operates as camouflage, reflecting back the serenity of the surrounding Nordre Øyeren nature reserve. About a 25-minute drive from central Oslo, WonderInn occupies prime waterfront real estate, where you’ll be sharing the space with moose, beavers, deer, and eagles. When the sun goes down, make your way to the fire pit or hot tub, which juts out over the delta, for a dual view of the stars—up above and reflected by the walls of your temporary home.

A house with glass walls and modern furniture with green jungle outside.

The glass walls of this Indigenous-inspired escape let in the vibrant greens of the rainforest on your doorstep.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Design house with private waterfall in the Brazilian rainforest

  • Location: Paraty, Brazil
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Surrounded by rainforest and within walking distance of a private waterfall, this two-bedroom house sits about 20 minutes by car from the Portuguese colonial town of Paraty, located on the Costa Verde between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. But its design inspirations come from much farther afield: Architects based the house on the traditional abodes of the Asháninka, an Amazonian Indigenous people. Nearly every wall contains enormous windows, meaning you can see the abundant tropical greenery from the dining room table, the mezzanine office setup, or even bed. But if you really want to commune with the locals—aka the hundreds of bird species—you’ll want to head out to the hammock or the open-air gym.

A modern industrial red and black house next to a harbor with boats

This strange-looking suite occupies an industrial funnel once used for shipping.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Tower suite on the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands

  • Location: Harlingen, Netherlands
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Fulfill all your post-industrial fantasies at this compact suite, housed in a converted, 40-foot-tall funnel, once used in the shipment of sand, grain, and gravel. It looms over the harbor like some red-and-black robotic crab, offering a seagull’s-eye vantage point out over the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage–listed intertidal zone that transforms throughout the day from expansive mudflats to a full-on body of water. Despite the strange exteriors, the suite is comfortably appointed, with a hot tub, included breakfast, and binoculars to be used for peering out toward the islands of Vlieland and Terschelling.

A Greek villa at dusk with a lit infinity pool and views of the sea

The westward-facing villa means you’ll be able to take in sunset views from your infinity pool.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Villa with infinity pool in the Greek Isles

  • Location: Kathisma Beach, Greece
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Much lesser-known than its Aegean peers, the island of Lefkada sits directly off the western coast of mainland Greece, where it’s accessible by a causeway and floating bridge. This one-bedroom villa is built on a westward-facing, terraced hillside, meaning this is prime sunset-spotting territory—especially from the infinity pool or the mattress-like cushioned lounger that sits next to it. A five-minute walk from Kathisma beach, the unit is part of a walled complex with two other villas (Wave Infinity Grand Villa and Wave Twin 2 Infinity), in case you happen to be traveling with a larger group.

A-frame cabin next to trees and red rock formations on a sunny blue-sky day

From this A-frame tiny home, you’ll feel like you can practically reach out and touch the iconic red-rock formations.

Courtesy of Airbnb

A-frame cabin overlooking Zion

  • Location: Hildale, Utah
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Book now: airbnb.com

This tiny A-frame cabin packs a punch in its compact 144 square feet, but to make the most of it, you’ll want to let in the great outdoors: The side swings open like the trunk of a car, resulting in uninterrupted sight lines of red-rock canyons and sandstone formations in the Canaan Mountains, about a 50-minute drive from the national park. The cabin sits at the top of a series of staircases, with a pair of swinging chairs at the summit, an outdoor grilling area on the midway landing, and a hot tub at the base. During the summer months, you can also book a $25 per person UTV tour of the surrounding area to see some of the hosts’ favorite canyon views, but you’re also more than welcome to explore the area on your own: The wilderness surrounding the property is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and open for public use, meaning this land is, quite literally, made for you and me.

A tile-roofed historic home in front of rolling green hills and a pink-clouded sky

This collection of historic homes sits atop an Umbrian hillside from which you can see all the way to Assisi.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Cottage in the Umbrian countryside

  • Location: Pierantonio, Italy
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Book now: airbnb.com

Set in the Umbrian countryside about 20 minutes north of Perugia, Casa San Gabriel is a collection of four agrarian structures that date back to the 16th century, including this compact gem called La Stalla—or “the stable.” With its original beams and terracotta tiles, the lovingly restored cottage is surrounded by three acres of olive groves, vegetable and herb gardens, and fields where you might run into the owners’ pet alpaca and two goats. The main house has a pool, a wood-burning pizza oven, and a library of DVDs and guidebooks, and if you travel with a larger group, you can spread out across the other rentals, Il Fienile (“the barn”) and La Cantina (“the cellar”). Bonus: From this hillside vantage point, you can gaze all the way to Assisi.

Nicholas DeRenzo is a freelance travel and culture writer based in Brooklyn. A graduate of NYU’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism program, he worked as an editor at Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and, most recently, as executive editor at Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Sunset, Wine Enthusiast, and more.
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