Visit the 'Iolani Palace
Commissioned by King Kalakaua (completed in 1882) as a residence for Hawaii's monarchs, this unique palace has elements of classical European architecture mixed with Polynesian influences. Daily guided-tours bring the history of the Palace alive. Spend an hour walking through the many rooms and hallways of this architectural wonder you will learn of the history of the islands during the great time of transition for the Hawaiian people.
At a Glance:
Highlights: 'Iolani Palace is a National Historic Landmark, as the one time official residence of Hawaii's monarchy, its ornate furnishings and meticulous period restoration make touring it a step back in time.
Options: Guided or self-guided tours available
Reservations: Recommended for guided tours
Cost: $ 21.75 adult Guided Tour admission $6 for kids 5 to 12 years of age
Available Tues thru Thursday 9 am to 11 am, every 15 minutes
Friday and Saturday 9 am to 11:15 am
$14.75 adult $6 child 5 to 12 for self-guided audio tour offered in 8 languages
$ 7 adult entry to the basement galleries, this no extra charge for tour takers.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9am-4pm, first 2 hours guided tours only.
Where to start:
Once you have found parking and walk upon the Palace grounds, walk to the stone mini-fortress guardhouse along Richards Street. Enter and visit the gift shop to get your tour tickets. Guided tours go into the Palace first and are the first hours of the day and are the best way to see Iolani. The guided option is the way to go if it fits your vacation flow, the crowd is quiet and smaller then after the self-guided tours begin. The guides are history buffs and can engage in questions and tell unique stories of events around the Palace. Either by guided or self-guided tours be prepared to wear special clean protective socks that must be worn within the Palace over your shoes to keep the outside intrusion of oils and dirt.
At the time of 'Iolani Palaces creation, it was the centerpiece of Honolulu culture and the residence of the royal Hawaiian monarchy. Seeking to impress dignitaries from other nations doing trade, and building relationships with Hawaii the design of the palace has a layout to entertain and impress. The largest hand carved native Koa wood staircase in the world fills the entry room, and a grand hall and throne room fills one of the downstairs wings of the building. The massive ceilings and ornate details of every room transports you to the late 1800's, the sense of royalty is emblazoned within the classic details. The Hawaiian kingdoms monarchs utilized this space for a brief dozen years before the throne was abdicated the story of which is woven into the buildings history. The cultural identity of the Hawaiian's is present through out the grounds.
Going with the guided tour option is best, making it easier to park and get the most attentive tour environment. Make sure to walk the grounds visiting the coronation pavilion, after that visit the King Kamehameha statue and the Ali'iolani building across King Street from the Palace.
Phone: call 808-522-0832 or 808-522-0823 for info
Or Palace Shop: 808-532-1050
364 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
Between King and Beretania streets in downtown Honolulu.
From Interstate H-1 E:
- Take exit 21A from I-H-1 E (14.5 mi / 19 min)
- Continue on Pali Hwy to your destination (1.0 mi / 4 min)
- Merge onto HI-61 S/Pali Hwy
- Continue to follow Pali Hwy (0.3 mi) Continue onto Bishop St (0.2 mi)
- Turn left onto S King St look for cross street Richards and Punchbowl. The palace grounds are between the two streets making left turn onto Punchbowl to begin circling the block for parking.