When traveling, tourists often appear in foreign prisons. For example, according to the report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UK, almost 7000 people from thousand Britons were arrested and detained while traveling in the past year. And the fifth of the trials was related to drugs.
As it turned out 2290 British also came under scrutiny of Spanish guardians of the peace for the past year. Even 1534 British were arrested in the United States, 249 – in the United Arab Emirates and 202 in Thailand.
To avoid exposing yourself to temptation to check what it is to be in a foreign prison, you may need to make a purely sightseeing tour of the former correctional institutions, and thus satisfy your curiosity. Publication Sky scanner prepared the list of the world’s best tours to such institutions.
1. Alcatraz Prison, San Francisco, USA
I think this is the most famous prison in the world, located in the heart of California San Francisco Bay. It is mostly famous because for 29 years of its existence, no prisoner could make a successful escape from its walls. However, the Chancery of the prison stores the names of five persons to be dead in the sea during the flight, whose bodies were never found. Strolling through the corridors of the disbanded prison, now converted into a museum, you can see this place with the eyes of its former prisoners, through the story of their escape attempts, food riots, and solitary confinement.
2. Robben Island, South Africa
Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life, now is a World Heritage site and the museum, reminding the cost at which freedom and democracy in South Africa was achieved. From XVII to XX century, this rocky island was a place of exile, isolation and deprivation of freedom for hundreds of Africans. Currently, tours are held in the island. They show the tourists the security systems applied earlier, provide an opportunity to talk with former detainees and boating around the island.
3. San Pedro, La Paz, Bolivia
In 2003, after the publication of the book Marching Powder, covering the adventure of British drug courier who got in a Bolivian prison, interest in the correctional institution expanded enormously. However, the prison is really interesting and is a rather small town, where prisoners work and earn their tolerable existence. On the territory there are kindergartens, restaurants, barbershops. Typically, those people who have been charged with drug trafficking are kept here. Prison administration concludes a separate contract with each offender, under which the prisoner must pay for his own accommodation, food and clothing. Until recently, there were taken unofficial trips, but about two months ago, the Bolivian authorities took this matter seriously and banned recreational trips. The main reason was the fact that in this prison you can buy the purest and the best cocaine in Bolivia, for which many arrived here.
4. Hostel Celica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Celica word means “prison” and in this case the name of the institution fully reflects its essence. Former Yugoslav penal institution through the efforts of the current owners of the building was converted into a hotel and a small art gallery. 12 prison rooms are individually decorated. Rooms for loving couples and rooms for several people will be found here. But it is true, the place in the hostel will have to be booked in advance. There Are a lot of people who want to sleep on the hard prison mattress.
5. Prison Backpackers, Mount Gambier, Australia
Another place where you can feel yourself as a caught violator is the Australian prison, now converted either into a museum, or a hotel. You will have to sleep behind thick, rusty bars on the rough wooden beds, which the owner of the restaurant makes himself, using nearby growing pine as raw material. The guests will feed themselves either in the prison canteen or go for “a vacation” in a nearby village. In addition, around the restaurant there are enough places where you can “escape” starting from the Blue Lakes and ending with extinct volcanoes and caves.
6. Karosta, Liepaja, Latvia
The advertising slogan of the former KGB prison reads: “unfriendly, unheated and uncomfortable”. The standard prison procedure for admission is waiting For those who are succumbed to the charm of these words: a long queue in the study, a medical examination (fortunately, only in words), photographed in profile and full face, card print of a prisoner. Improper conduct is punished here by a reprimand to the Chief’s office and the forced march along the perimeter of the prison courtyard. They say, here excursions are especially popular in men’s company and those who suffer at times of the former USSR. Especially, advanced companies sometimes organize corporate parties in a correctional establishment for their employees.
7. Liberty Hotel, Boston, USA
It will be costly to live in this former prison. Millions of dollars were invested in the repair of the building that once belonged to the city correctional system, and now there are high – quality hotel rooms where the price starts from $450 per night. The only thing that somehow reminds the history of the house is the track and architecture of the central courtyard preserved somewhere in the old days where the prison spirit still haunts.
8. Seodaemun Prison Museum, South Korea
Occupying Korea, the Japanese have built this prison, to imprison scientists, writers and teachers who were trying to preserve Korean culture. Now here is the prison museum, reminiscent of the many descendants of Koreans who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Resistance against Japanese aggressors. Here, tours of schoolchildren are organized to remind them of the price of Korean independence.
9. Tower of London, London, United Kingdom
Tower of London is not only a fortress and royal palace, it was once a prison where political prisoners, who have especially strongly spited the British monarchy were kept. After visiting the Prisoners Exhibition, you can see the real experience while in prison, as well as make a tour of the tower, which held prisoners awaiting sentencing, usually brought to death.
10. Devil’s Island, French Guiana
A paradise island in an idyllic part of French Guiana was transformed into a terrible colony by Napoleon where political prisoners, together with notorious murderers and thugs have been sent. For almost two hundred years of existence of the prison over 80 thousand people were sent here, most of them disappeared without a trace. The few tourists, who come here now, can see the remains of huts, solitary confinement and other prison paraphernalia. But for the most part, the island is now again the paradise of the earth, which it was before it was captured by the colonialists.