The Art Prison Hostel is an ex-communist prison in downtown Prague, now run as a quirky hostel. As you might expect it isn’t the most luxurious of places to stay. In fact the basement hostel rooms retain something of the prison’s old austerity, with stark bare walls, bunk beds and high windows and shared facilities.
There are also more comfortable rooms upstairs in the Pension Unitas. Both the pension and hostel are kept spic and span, and are remarkably cheap considering their fantastic central location between old town square and the main theatre.
The building was originally a convent, but Czech secret police used it as a prison and interrogation HQ for ‘enemies of the state’ during the Communist era. The former president Václav Havel, who was in power from 1989 to 2003, was even kept and interrogated here in one of what are now guest rooms.