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October 22, 2007
Once home to murderers, thieves and hardened criminals lurking in captivity behind bars, some prisons are now home to some very plush hostels. But some say some prisoners that checked in, never checked out and are still there today serving out their sentence, sharing quarters with hostel guests. Hostelworld.com recommends the following prison hostels for fearless travelers….
Langholmens Vandrarhem STF/HI, Sweden, Europe
Once home to some of the coldest convicts in Europe, the Lanholmens' is no longer the Crown Prison, but a unique accommodation option for travellers with a penchant for excitement. The now freshly renovated prison cells offer visitors a quiet and comfortable place to stay. Built in the 1840s, the Crown Prison served as Sweden's largest penitentiary until 1975, when the last convict left the island. In May 1989, the facility re-opened as a premier hostel after two years of renovation. The old prison entrance hall has been converted into the reception area, with a cafeteria open 24 hours a day.
Rates start at €24.00 per person per night
Jailhouse Accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand
Dungeons, cages and jailhouses have always had the reputation of being dark, desolate and frightening places. This Halloween, when booking your travel accommodation, consider a night in the big house. Located in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Jailhouse Accommodation hostel offers visitors the thrill of sleeping somewhere offbeat and unique. The Jailhouse Accommodation once stood as the Addington Prison, a penitentiary to local crime-lords full of dread and misery. Today, with its modern renovation and friendly atmosphere, the Jailhouse Hostel is a captivating, relaxing and fun place to get locked up!
Rates start at €15.00 per person per night
Hostel Celica in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe
Does the thought of spending the night behind bars chill you to the bone? Or is it just the vision of yourself in that hideous orange jump-suit that's revving up your nerves? At Hostel Celica, you might not escape the remnants of the building's prison iron bars which are artfully placed on the doors and windows. But at least the rooms are hip. The hostel also enjoys a great location in the center of Ljubljana, among the new cultural area surrounded by galleries, artists' studios, cultural events and a vivid weekend party life. With a great location, free Internet access, an in-house art gallery and a room that resembles a plush prison cell, the only crime you will commit is getting away with a great deal.
Rates start at €19.00 per person per night
Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Canada
If your Halloween travel plans will keep you in North America, the Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel is your best bet for a fittingly eerie experience. The only hostel in North America located in a former prison, it offers a realistic-perhaps too realistic for the faint of heart-prison experience. You'll sleep in actual prison cells, or maybe even the former prison hospital. If that's not enough to get your heart pumping, take a trip to the un-renovated 8th floor for a look at what life was like for inmates in this prison which operated for more than 100 years. Tours are available, during which you can hear inmate stories or maybe even come across a few inmates who "never checked out."
When it comes to comfort, you have no reason to be afraid. This Victorian-era architectural relic has been completely renovated and boasts a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable staff. The Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa and is convenient to the city's many dining, recreation and shopping options.
Rates start from €19.00 per person per night
St Christopher's Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Located near the famous Edinburgh Dungeon, The St. Christopher's Edinburgh hostel provides a gateway to a spooky, scary and gruesome look into Scotland's past-a perfect Halloween experience!
Described as an ideal "day out for the family based on pain, fear, torture and death," the Edinburgh Dungeon features a ghastly display of torture equipment, including the maiden guillotine, headcrushers, thumbscrews and flesh tearers. Everything you encounter at the Dungeon is based on actual historic events. A collection of dreadful rides, frightening actors and devilish special effects will force all visitors to face their fears. Fear not, if you survive your day of horrors, you can return to the convenience and comfort of the St. Christopher's Edinburgh hostel. With comfortable rooms, a full-service restaurant and bar, satellite TV and Internet access, the hostel is a perfect place to catch your breath and unwind before heading out for a night on the town. Located at the centre of Princes Street, guests do not have to go far to experience the many sightseeing, culture, shopping and nightlife options in the heart of Edinburgh.
Rates start at €15.00 per person per night
Hostelworld.com is a leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for over 15,000 hostels and budget hotels in 166 countries worldwide. The site also offers budget travellers free podcasts, customised city guides, a travel social network and more. Hostelworld.com is headquartered in Dublin and is fully owned and operated by Web Reservations International Ltd (WRI).