Jail Hotel Löwengraben,Luzern

Who would be crazy enough to volunteer to go to prison? No, ok then how about spending a night in a hotel that used to be a jail house?

We had this wonderful opportunity in Lucerne, Switzerland.

You can imagine my joy when I heard that we would be staying in an old jail house. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Most of us were very curious but there were a few that refused to sleep there. Our Contiki tour leader had his hands full because they believed that bad spirits are hanging around.They found accommodation elsewhere for the night.

Jail House Hotel in Lucerne

Before I tell you what it was like, let me give you more information about the actual jail and why it was so awesome to stay there. This jail was built in 1862 and it was operating as a prison until 1998. For more than 135 years the prison kept prisoners who attempted to escape under lock and key. What came to mind was the movie with Sean Connory, The Rock and Alcatraz prison.

It was subsequently converted into a hotel and named the “Jailhotel” or Hotel Lowengraben.This place really had my imagination going.

Our room had two single beds and a very, very small bathroom. The room is small and it is difficult for 2 people to move comfortably. Burglar bars are fitted in front of the window and it really does feel like you are in prison. The rooms are furnished with the bare minimum and you get a taste for prison life.

Jail House Hotel in Lucerne
My bed

The bathroom was tiny and when the door was closed I felt claustrophobic!

Jail House Hotel in Lucerne
The bathroom

If the room is getting too small and the thought of imprisonment is scaring the living daylights out of you then join the rest of the inmates at the Alcatraz bar!

There is also a library with former prison books and a large collection of very interesting items from the former prison. Clothes, typewriters and other items are on display behind glass windows.

At night it was really scary to walk down the corridor and it almost reminded me of the movie “The Green Mile”. Maybe I have watched too many movies.

It was a great experience staying at this jail hotel. It must have been the most interesting place where I have stayed.

Address: Jailhotel Löwengraben,Luzern

Getting There/Directions:
Walk – 5 to 10 minutes walking distance from railway station.

Date: April 2004

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. That must been a strange experience. Just makes me wonder about all those prisoners, how many were going to walk that green mile, how many missed home and wrote letters, how many died in a fight there. Would love to go there and spend a night there. The walls will have many stories and mysteries hidden in them. Wow!

  2. Boy High end accommodations lol Priceline gone bad!!!Really interesting to see this Thankshttp://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/07/grand-canyon-part-two.html

  3. Hi Anna, thank you for the visit! It was definitely a different experience but something that will always stick in my memory. Regarding the photos, I had such a bad experience with my camera when I travelled to Europe for the first time. These photos are not good quality but it is all that I have. I have learned my lesson when it comes to a borrowed camera 🙂

  4. Hi Rimly, I found it quite interesting that some people refused to sleep there. It didn´t freak me out but I can just imagine what stories there must have been in this prison. It could make such an interesting book! Unfortunately we only got to spend one night there and I would love to go back one day and spend more time there. Especially in the library. Who knows what you might find there?

  5. That DOES look like a cool experience! Sadly, my shower is about that size. Thankfully I only get annoyed (not clausterphobic) from hitting the shower curtain and/or wall all the time.

  6. I guess I'm one of those crazy travellers who actually looks forward to sleeping in a place like this 🙂 I wouldn't even mind sleeping inside a coffin, I wish there's also a hotel that offers that service.

  7. Wow! This is amazing! I wouldn't have thought it would've been an experience like this. I truly enjoyed reading your post and the photos you shared as well. It would've been complete if you were made to wear prison shirts and pants too :P…hahaha…oh with number codes imprinted on them. What great adventures Nelieta. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is very interesting Nelieta. It's the first time I've ever heard of such. What atmosphere did it generate from you? Did it give the same feeling of being imprisoned? Great stuff!

  9. What an unusual idea for a hotel! Definitely interesting! I think I might be a little freaked to spend the night, considering what it used to be. I can't imagine the untold happenings that have occurred inside! I think it's a neat idea that they preserved it so well for those who are bold enough to partake in such an adventure for the night!

  10. Hi BlogNostics, glad you liked it! I didn´t have a problem at all to sleep there. The only thing I did not like was the very, very tiny bathroom and when I closed the door I felt claustrophobic. I guess also the fact that you were locked into a room didn´t always feel so good. But apart from that it was an amazing experience!

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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