Airbnb: Home Away from Home
One of the most fascinating applications of the technology boom, Airbnb is a one-stop website to go to, to ensure a comfortable, affordable. I have yet to use the app to book something, but research tells me that it gives you an idea of the amount of money you can spend and save, and gives you access to a welcoming place to stay in every city of the world.
However, as someone who lives in Lahore, it becomes easy to separate the rip-offs on Airbnb from the real deals, as that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Just a cursory look at the recommendations tells you how obnoxious some people are being, taking $10 to $15 to share an accommodation in a neighborhood which has literally nothing nearby.
In a Nutshell:
- Good reintroduction to the city
- Affordable options are aplenty
- Nostalgic experiences for bored millennials
- A shoestring budget? No problem
- Book accommodations closer to the city center
- User-friendly website
There are above one hundred options to rent on Airbnb for Lahore. At the outset, you ideally want to steer clear of options in Paragon City, WAPDA Town or Bahia Town. This isn’t because these accommodations or its surroundings are below par but because none of the go-to places and tourist spots of Lahore are anywhere near it. Ideally, you want a place in the Cantonment, Gulberg, Model Town or even Mall Road (if you’re really lucky).
If you want to experience the better developed, or posh areas of the city, Lahore, then all the shopping malls and centers are in and around Gulberg, Model Town, and DHA. For quieter surroundings, the Cantonment is an ideal and picturesque setting. It is also very secure. But Lahore in its historical and cultural essence is viewable through the Walled City or Old City. Mall Road and Anarkali would provide excellent accommodation for access to these places, but they may lack in quality, particularly hygiene standards.
Always ask for more pictures! A lot of adverts on Airbnb display single pictures and that is not enough evidence for a place to stay. Please don’t fall for any of the no charge on cancellation policies, and do your homework before you book a place to stay. Since I’m always in the everyone-is-out-to-get-me mental phase, I advise you to not trust strangers. Especially on Airbnb.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend well-sifted and thoroughly researched accommodation in the Walled City, because I give you my word you won’t find anything like it. Being someone who lives in Lahore, I wouldn’t mind booking myself a worthy place to stay on Airbnb in the Walled City for a day or two, given the chance. As I write this, however, I can only find one listing for the Walled City in Lahore. This was a family home with one spare bedroom, which, if it is livable, is an ideal way to explore the essence of Old Lahore.
I think Airbnb is a useful tool for a great experience, inside your own city, or as a tourist who wants to experience living in the city. You just have to be able to filter out for terrible choices, because a good choice would mean an amazing experience. Read up on neighborhoods and set the tone for your escapade beforehand for the best experience.