Kakolanmäki – Turku’s hottest hill

Once upon a time, Kakolanmäki was where the very worst villains and crooks were sentenced. Now everyone wants to go to Turku’s hottest hill.

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Even in the early 2000s, there was no reason to go to Kakolanmäki unless you were going there to do time. But in recent years, the prison area has undergone a remarkable revolution and now a trendy funicular ride will take you inside the stone walls to dine, stay, and enjoy.

It is worth visiting Kakolanmäki at least for a walk, but you can easily relax here for an entire weekend. Let’s take a look at all the attractions you can find in Kakolanmäki. 

Kakolanmäki services

Hotel Kakola

Hotel Kakola offers unique accommodation inside the old prison. The new hotel, which opened in autumn, is an interesting combination of trendy lifestyle hotel and rough prison vibe. You can sleep in an elegant suite, a comfortable family room or a former solitary confinement cell. This is comfort with a capital C.

Restaurant Ruben and Wine Bar Hilarius

Even though you’re in a prison, you don’t need to waste away from hunger. A daily lunch and Sunday brunch are served at Hotel Kakola’s restaurant Ruben. The plates shine with local and sustainable produce. It is lovely to sip a glass of good wine at Wine Bar Hilarius and soak up the dark, hygge atmosphere.

Psst! By the way, a night at Kakola is a pretty amazing gift idea. Give your mother-in-law a night in a solitary confinement cell for Christmas! You can browse and order gift cards here.


Kakola is a hill of culinary delights – one excellent example is the restaurant, Kakolanruusu. Here, it’s about food grilled over an open flame and portions shared amongst the table. The Kakola feast, consisting of multiple courses, will bring the best of the kitchen’s flavours to the delight of your group and the equally delicious offerings continue on the à la carte list.

Tip! On dark autumn nights, it is nice to hang out at the cosy lounge bar beside the warmth of the fireplace, enjoying a good drink and a small snack from the bar.

Kakola Brewing Company

Stop by the small Turku brewery to enjoy a laidback, casual outing and a top selection of beers. As well as the taste, the clever design of the bottles and the inventive names are delightful. Taste these treats at the minibar and then take the best ones’ home. They also make great souvenirs, as tried and tested.

Kakola store

Outside the granite building, there is a glass pop-up ship container of the Kakola store, where you can find products made by prisoners and local producers. Grab a Kakola mug, stylish prison poster, or a bag of Länsiselli liquorice to take home or even as a souvenir. 

And that’s not all: Kakolanmäki’s services also include bakery, Bageri Å, which makes sourdough delicacies, and coffee roasters, Frukt Coffee Roasters. It will also be worth visiting Kakolanmäki in the future – at least one good reason is Kakola Spa. We are already looking forward to it.

A tour to Kakola

By the way, if you are interested in learning even more about Kakola prison, guided prison tours can be organised for groups year round. On a guided tour, you will hear about everyday life in the prison, its history, and some wild stories. The popular Kakola: Then and Now general tours will continue again this year.

Text Jemina Sormunen. Video Oliver Webb.

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