Taking some time off can give you some serious perspective on life that’s easily lost when caught up in the 9-5 grind of everyday life. Crowds and standardized tourist offerings leave us not only with cookie-cutter travel experiences, but an unsatisfactory “break” from our already chaotic lives.
Enter: Airbnb. By providing a modernized version of couch surfing, Airbnb has connected adventure seekers with people wanting to rent out private spaces. Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Palermo, and even the great Queen Bey are all opting to vacay in places that feel more like home.
While many of these listings range in location and amenities, the app is packed with easily overlooked historical sites in buried corners or seemingly ordinary places. Here we’ve picked eight of our favorite hidden gems with a story to tell. From geometric structures in Japan to majestic castles in Britain, these fantastical Airbnb picks are anything but blasé.