The Best of AirBNB: Antwerp Edition

Last summer, we spent two nights in a sprawling one-bedroom Airbnb flat in Antwerp. Our host, who was effortlessly fashionable in thick-rimmed spectacles and bold lipstick to match, also owned Barnini, an adorable coffee shop just below the unit. 

Our Airbnb unit was just above the aqua storefront in this photo. The street was lined with a bevy of bars and restaurants with patio seating, and across the street was a gathering space for the city's large weekend market.

Our Airbnb unit was just above the aqua storefront in this photo. The street was lined with a bevy of bars and restaurants with patio seating, and across the street was a gathering space for the city's large weekend market.

Barnini's laid-back, trendy vibe perfectly mirrored the personality of our fantastic host.

Barnini's laid-back, trendy vibe perfectly mirrored the personality of our fantastic host.

It was the perfect home base to explore Antwerp's fashion-forward scene, on a cafe-lined street and just a short walk to the eclectic shops in the Zuid and the cozy beer cafes sprinkled throughout the city center. 

Antwerp's city center, with the impressive Cathedral of Our Lady in the background.

Antwerp's city center, with the impressive Cathedral of Our Lady in the background.

The unit itself had one bedroom, along with a full-sized convertible sofa in the living room. Everything about the place screamed hip, from the modern Euro-style furniture to the eclectic art dotted throughout.

I loved the juxtaposition of classic decor with brightly colored modern snapshots. 

I loved the juxtaposition of classic decor with brightly colored modern snapshots. 

Our favorite poster hanging in the flat's kitchen. We liked it so much...

Our favorite poster hanging in the flat's kitchen. We liked it so much...

We recreated it ourselves! (Pretty accurate, I must say.)

We recreated it ourselves! (Pretty accurate, I must say.)

We had the entire place to ourselves and made great use of the dining room table and rear patio -- where we gathered nightly to enjoy our favorite Belgium beers before dinner. The oversized windows in the living room let in so much light, and we woke up every day to the buzzing sound of shopkeepers getting ready to open.

We loved the Houblon Chouffe, along with the 2014 Duvel Tripel. Sadly, not pictured here is the best beer I enjoyed on the trip (and that's impossible to get back in the US): Papegaei. 

We loved the Houblon Chouffe, along with the 2014 Duvel Tripel. Sadly, not pictured here is the best beer I enjoyed on the trip (and that's impossible to get back in the US): Papegaei

Our host was more than accommodating, giving us fantastic restaurant suggestions along with an insider's perspective on the best local happenings. She stocked the unit with city art guides and weekly event magazines. I would highly recommend staying at her urban pad for a stylish romp through Belgium's fashion center.