As of this writing, Americans are unable to visit New Zealand, Australia or Switzerland due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, so consider this story as a way to plan future travel.
Sometimes, you hit a point – especially if you are traveling in the long run—When you want to stay somewhere more memorable than a regular hotel or Airbnb. While hostel can be great money-saving alternatives, some of which are very attractive for one reason: they used to be a prison.
If you want to live in non-traditional and historic accommodation, these three prison hostels in New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland fit the bill, with displays of former prisoners and their escapees, cell examples showing how things used to be and the graffiti left behind by former residents. Jail hostel don’t take themselves too seriously – some even have photo-ops where you can hold onto a sign that says what you want – and while the history, look, and layout may surprise at first, their newest amenities, large kitchens and quirky ambiance are sure to be. provide a more memorable stay, not to mention a good night’s sleep as they are basically very dark and quiet. Here’s a look at the three prisons turned hostels I stayed in during my trips to New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland.
Located just a 20 minute walk from Christchurch city center in Addington, New Zealand, Jailhouse accommodation built in 1874 and served as a women’s prison, military camp, and prison until 1999. The Gothic Revival Building was purchased in 2006 and is now an award-winning hostel. Choose from single, double or twin bunk cells (pictured above) or choose a dormitory with six or 10 beds, and relax in one of the two movie rooms, pool table area, large dining area (pictured above). article) or a cozy living room by the front door. Get an idea of the situation by examining sample cells or looking at the walls covered in graffiti drawn by former occupants. Don’t forget to pick up the words “what do you want?” photo near the check-in desk – they’ll even lend you a black and white prison outfit for a more authentic look.
Fremantle YHA Prison
Even though it is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fremantle YHA Prison is one of my favorite hostels in Western Australia, so much so that I stayed there twice during my two years serving as digital wanderer. Built in the 1850s and used until 1991, this hostel once served as a women’s prison and is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the adjacent Fremantle Prison, which once housed men. Today, you can live in two, four, six, eight or 10-bed dormitories, budget options and luxury private rooms or larger historic cottage which was once a prison guard’s place. Plaques on the walls tell about famous prisoners and their famous escapes. Cook up a storm in the giant kitchen or outside BBQ area, relax in the dining room, library or one of the outdoor courtyards, or play volleyball with your fellow “convicts”.
The Barabas Hotel
The Barabas Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland, is a kind of mix between hotel and hostel, with 60 prison cell styles to choose from, whether you are looking for two, three, four or six bed dormitory rooms. For a little more privacy, rent a library, a private double room filled with crime novels. Recently renovated, the building was used as the central prison of Lucerne from 1862 to 1998 and is named in honor of a former prisoner who spent time there as a defender of conscience until 1975 and decorated his cell with frescoes. The beds are comfortable, there is free Wi-Fi, the rooms are quiet and for an extra $ 10 per day, you can enjoy a fresh continental breakfast. If you just don’t feel the prison vibe, choose to stay in one of the three Japanese themed rooms located above the restaurant inside the hotel, Izakaya Nozomi.