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Revealed: Cities where it’s cheaper to RENT than Airbnb

Researching places to stay short term can be tricky, especially when travelling abroad. This is why many people turn to Airbnb. But with more and more examples of price-hiking hosts hitting the news, wanted to find out if Airbnb really is the best option.

To do so, in-house experts scoured the internet to find the average price of Airbnb stays across major cities, along with the average rent in the cities, to determine if the app is a bargain or a rip off. The comprehensive study was performed on a sample of 35,648 Airbnb listings from 52 major cities, with ratings from 2,845,681 users.

The top 10 cities with the biggest Airbnb rip-offs

RankCityAverage Rental Price Per NightAverage Airbnb Price Per NightDifference
1Reykjavík (Iceland)€ 37.10 (£31.33)€ 133.50 (£112.72)€ 96.40 (£81.40)
2Reading (United Kingdom)€ 32.26 (£27.24)€ 123 (£103.86)€ 90.74 (£76.72)
3New York City (United States)€ 87.85 (£74.18)€ 178.50 (£150.72)€ 90.65 (£76.54)
4London (United Kingdom)€ 58.06 (£49.02)€ 146 (£123.28)€ 87.94 (£74.25)
5Oxford (United Kingdom)€ 32.26 (£27.24)€ 117.50 (£99.21)€ 82.24 (£69.24)
6Dublin (Ireland)€ 56.54 (£47.74)€ 139 (£117.37)€ 82.55 (£69.70)
7Copenhagen (Denmark)€ 45.16 (£38.13)€ 127 (£107.23)€ 81.84 (£69.10)
8The Hague (The Netherlands)€ 35.48 (£29.96)€ 113 (£95.41)€ 77.52 (£65.45)
9Paris (France)€ 40.32 (£34.04)€ 113 (£95.41)€ 72.68 (£61.37)
10Luxembourg (Luxembourg)€ 53.23 (£44.95)€ 120 (£101.32)€ 66.77 (£56.38)

Across all 52 cities included in the city, Airbnb was the most expensive accommodation option.

The worst offender was the Airbnb prices in the Icelandic capital Reykjavík. The average price of a night’s stay in this city costs an incredibly reasonable €37.10. However, for customers looking for accommodation on Airbnb the average price is €133.50, a whopping €96.40 more than the average rental price.

The second largest price difference can be found in Reading, England. Once again, the average price of a night in this city is pretty affordable at just €32.26. But on Airbnb it’s a different story. The average price on the site is €123, which is €90.74 more than average.

The third biggest difference is in New York City. Perhaps unsurprisingly NYC had one of the most expensive average prices per night at €87.85. However even with the high average price, the average on Airbnb was still €90.65 higher at €178.50 per night.

The top 10 cities with the smallest Airbnb rip-offs

RankCityAverage Rental Price Per NightAverage Airbnb Price Per NightDifference
1Seoul (South Korea)€ 40.97 (£34.59)€ 54 (£45.60)€ 13.03 (£11)
2Belgrade (Serbia)€ 22.58 (£19.07)$37.00 (£31.24)€ 14.42 (£12.18)
3Tirana (Albania)€ 12.90 (£10.89)€ 30 (£25.33)€ 17.10 (£14.35)
4Bucharest (Romania)€ 17.42 (£14.71)€ 35 (£29.55)€ 17.58 (£14.85)
5Sofia (Bulgaria)€ 13.87 (£11.71)€ 33 (£27.86)€ 19.13 (£16.15)
6Athens (Greece)€ 25.48 (£21.51)€ 45 (£38)€ 19.52 (£16.48)
7Skopje (North Macedonia)€ 7.24 (£14.56)€ 28 (£23.64)€ 20.26 (£17.43)
8Podgorica (Montenegro)€ 11.61 (£9.80)€ 32 (£27.02)€ 20.39 (£17.40)
9Warsaw (Poland)€ 18.39 (£15.53)€ 39 (£32.93)€ 20.61 (£17.40)
10Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)€ 12.90 (£10.89)€ 35 (£29.55)€ 22.10 (£18.66)

The city where Airbnb prices are the most in line with the average is Seoul, South Korea. The average price per night in this city is €40.97. Travellers searching for a space on Airbnb can expect to pay around €54 which is a small increase of €13.03.

The second smallest difference can be found in Belgrade, Serbia. In this city the average price per night is a very affordable €22.58. The average price on Airbnb is €14.42 higher at €37.00.

The third smallest difference is in Tirana, Albania. The price per night in this city is one of the lowest of the cities in the study at €12.90. Despite the fact the difference in prices is one of the lowest in the study, the Airbnb price is still more than double the average at €30 per night (€17.10 more).


  1. wanted to find out if Airbnb is the cheaper option in major cities compared to the average rental prices.
  2. The analysis was performed on a sample of 35,648 Airbnb listings from 52 major cities with ratings from 2,845,681 users.
  3. Firstly, a list of current market rent estimates for 1-bedroom flats was obtained from Eurostat. The rent values used in this study have been compiled by Eurostat through specific rent surveys carried out annually in cooperation with relevant real estate agencies.
  4. The average rent per month of each city has been used to calculate the price for one day of rent and allow comparison with Airbnb prices.
  5. Information such as price per 1 bedroom apartment, user ratings and number of reviews was then collected from Airbnb. To account for seasonal variation, 5 listings for each month of the year have been compiled to obtain an average price per apartment.
  6. Finally, the difference in rental prices between the market rent estimates and Airbnb prices was calculated.
  7. Figures for Canada, Mexico, USA, Singapore and South Korea were in the local currency and have been converted to Euros.

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