Honolulu

The most famous and largest city of Hawaii is of course Honolulu and here you can learn all about it

Honolulu
Honolulu

Honolulu, which means in Hawaiian as much as “gun bay” or “crossroads in the Pacific Ocean“, is the capital of the US state of Hawaii. As a rule, most tourists spend their vacations there, since the international airport is also located there.

All you should know about Honolulu as a tourist

As the most populous city in the United States, Honolulu stretches from the southeastern shores of Oahu Pearl Harbor to Makapuu Point. The metropolis is the center of Hawaii due to the numerous offers of culture, art, sights and events, as well as the always exciting nightlife. As already mentioned, most people spend their vacation there, as this is also the most famous island.

You can find beautiful beach hotels everywhere where you can spend a beach vacation. But you should also know that the accommodation prices are not very cheap. Since the islands are a year-round destination, there are no big differences. If you want to spend your first vacation in Hawaii then you should choose this city.

Number of inhabitants:
350.000

Metropolitan area:
Over 1 million

How to reach the most famous city of Hawaii

The most important thing is certainly how to reach Honolulu at all. You have already learned that it is located on the island of Oahu. There is also the largest international airport of Hawaii and that is the Honolulu International Airport. There are numerous direct flights to the American mainland, for example to Los Angeles or Las Vegas. You fly about six hours and then you have arrived in paradise. Hawaiian Airlines certainly has the best flight connections and you should take advantage of them.

On which island is Honolulu:
Oahu Island

Is there an airport there:
Yes, the Honolulu International Airport

How long is the flight time:
Los Angeles ( 5 hours, 50 minutes )
Las Vegas ( 5 hours, 52 minutes )

Which airline should you fly with:
Hawaiian Airlines

Weather, climate and best time to travel

As you have already experienced, Honolulu is a year-round destination. That means you can vacation there at any time of the year. Especially popular are the winter months from October to April when it is wonderfully warm and sunny. Then many Americans long for the sun and beach and you will get that there. It’s similar to the Sunshine State of Florida. But there are also months where it rains more.

Best time to travel:
October to April

What are the temperatures there:
Between 77 to 86 degrees

When are there many rainy days:
Winter months

Honolulu Attractions

As a tourist you should also have a look at the attractions of Honolulu. There are definitely a lot of them and in one week of vacation you can’t see them all. We always recommend a combination of beach vacation and sightseeing. The highlights are of course Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, Waikiki Beach and many more.

So that you can reach them at all, a rental car is useful and you can then drive off the island yourself. It is best to take the car directly after arrival at the airport and return it there. You can then make a tour of the island yourself. Furthermore, a Hop On Hop Off Tour offers itself where you get shown the most important sights in the shortest time.

These are the top 10 attractions in Honolulu:

1. Diamond Head
2. Pearl Harbor
3. Iolani Palace
4. Waikiki Beach
5. Aloha Tower
6. Bernice P. Bishop Museum
7. Ala Moana Center
8. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
9. Honolulu Zoo
10. Royal Hawaiian Center

1. Diamond Head

Diamond Head
Diamond Head

Probably the best view of Honolulu is from the 761 feet high Diamond Head. Sports enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth on a hike to Diamond Head State Monument. Not only are there hiking trails that promise a lot of exercise, but the view of the city skyline also makes hearts beat faster. Also old tunnels and dark military bunkers can be explored here and promise pure excitement.

Important to know is that it is a crater that has an estimated age of 300,000 years. Exact numbers are not available. We always recommend visitors to go to Diamond Head Lookout and there you have the most beautiful panoramic view where you can also take pictures. You should allow about an hour for a visit there.

Address:
3483 Diamond Head Rd
Honolulu, HI 96816

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM

2. Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor

A historical place is of course Pearl Harbor where the attack by the Japanese took place in 1941. Today tourists can visit the USS Arizona Memorial with about 1.5 million visitors per year. A highlight there is certainly the USS Missouri BB-63 which should not be missed. If you are interested in history then you are right there.

Many Americans died in this attack and it is an important memorial in the history of the USA. As a visitor, you immediately feel transported to another time. But also for tourists, for example from Germany, it is interesting to see what once happened there. Of course, something like that must not happen again.

Address:
1 Arizona Memorial Pl
Honolulu, HI 96818

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday
7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

3. Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace

What many tourists do not know is that there was also a king in Hawaii. The Iolani Palace is the former royal residence and an impressive palace. In our opinion, this is one of the most important sights that you should not miss to see. Even if you just want to take pictures. It is definitely worth it.

As you have already learned, it was once the residence, then the palace was also used as a seat of government and today it has become a museum that tourists can see. The magnificent rooms can be visited today, such as the throne room. Very worth seeing is also the blue room and you will be thrilled if you are interested in palaces.

Address:
364 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96813

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday to Monday
Closed

4. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach

Of course, the most famous beach is Waikiki Beach and this is how you imagine paradise. You have certainly seen it on many postcards. The district, which was once the vacation destination of the royal family, now offers numerous hotels and resorts for wonderful, unforgettable days in Hawaii. Due to the wonderful location directly on the sea, a room here is only a few meters away from the blue water.

By the way, the beach has a length of 1.8 miles and that is very much on an island. Furthermore, there is also a beautiful beach promenade where you can relax. It is best to book a hotel directly on the beach. Then you can walk there from there. Of course, you can also go surfing on this beach and there are other water sports.

Address:
Honolulu
Hawaii 96815

Opening Hours:
The beach can be visited at any time

5. Aloha Tower

Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower

You should not miss to visit the Aloha Tower which has a height of 183 feet. The special thing there is of course that there is a visitor platform where you have a great view of the harbor. Maybe you are lucky and a cruise ship is just in the harbor. That is then very impressive. Nearby is also the Aloha Tower Marketplace with numerous stores.

It is important that you do not have to pay an entrance fee for the observation deck. That means everyone can go there without needing a ticket. Furthermore, you also have the opportunity to take great photos there. By the way, the tower used to be the highest building in the city. In the meantime, however, there are many skyscrapers in the vicinity which are of course significantly higher.

Address:
155 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

6. Bernice P. Bishop Museum

Bernice P. Bishop Museum
Bernice P. Bishop Museum

One of the most visited museums in Hawaii is the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. There is the largest collection of Polynesian artifacts and also a large butterfly collection. Furthermore you can see there the insignia of the kings. This would be, for example, chief’s jewelry, scepter, crown and much more.

In the Bishop Museum you can find numerous old art treasures, which are exhibited there well protected for the visitors. Furthermore, there is also a large library that you should see with more than 50,000 volumes. The Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium also belongs to the museum, so a visit there is particularly interesting.

Address:
1525 Bernice St
Honolulu, HI 96817

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

7. Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center

Surely you want to go shopping in Honolulu and then the Ala Moana Center is just right. This is an outdoor shopping mall with about 350 stores. You can buy almost everything there and there are always good deals. Especially in the evening, strolling there is a lot of fun in warm temperatures. If you stay in a hotel nearby then this is very convenient.

You can find exclusive stores and also souvenir stores where you can buy a souvenir. Our tip is to plan enough time there because you can not get out of the amazement. Furthermore, live entertainment is also offered regularly and there you should of course watch and you also do not need to pay an entrance fee.

Address:
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday to Saturday
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 till 18:00

8. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

And with the beach program and the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve district, which is one of the most popular meeting places for snorkelers, should not be forgotten. This rounds out a visit in all points and a reunion here is always a pleasure in the truest sense of the word.

Important to know is that it is a natural bay and it is a natural paradise. Especially on weekends there is always a big rush of visitors and you have to expect a waiting time. Our tip is to go there during the week. But you should not miss to visit this beautiful bay and you will be thrilled.

Address:
Hanauma Bay Lookout
Honolulu, HI 96825

Opening Hours:
The bay can be visited at any time

9. Honolulu Zoo

The entrance to the Honolulu Zoo
The entrance to the Honolulu Zoo

Who would like to make excursions finds the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium in this beautiful city. Especially for families with children this is very interesting because there are of course many animals. You can look at about 1,000 animals on an area of 103 acres. There are animals there that you have probably never seen before.

These are for example the white-handed gibbons, or the red-flanked duiker. You can definitely take good pictures there. Especially the protection of the species is very important in this zoo and there are also offspring. If you are looking for a great destination that you can do in an afternoon then this is certainly the one.

Address:
151 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Sunday
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

10. Royal Hawaiian Center

Royal Hawaiian Center
Royal Hawaiian Center

Of course, there is no shortage of shopping opportunities throughout Honolulu, which offer numerous local and international specialties. You should not miss to visit the Royal Hawaiian Center. Because there is always a great entertainment program where you can watch, for example, a hula show. You should not miss that in your Hawaii vacation.

Of course there are many stores and restaurants that you can visit. As you are used to there is also an outdoor shopping mall. You can go shopping outdoors and that is always a lot of fun. You can also do a workshop there on how to make a flower necklace. You should try that once.

Address:
2201 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday
11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Downtown Honolulu, Chinatown und Kapahulu

Honolulu skyline at night
Honolulu skyline at night

In search of an even deeper immersion into the real Hawaii, the small district of Kapahulu offers many small and very familiar stores, where tradition is writ large. In an affectionate and very hospitable way, the culture and culinary arts of Honolulu are brought closer to every visitor here.

In Downtown Honolulu and also in Chinatown you can find numerous stores and street markets, where you can buy all kinds of things. However, those who find their way to Downtown or Chinatown at night will find many unique clubs and bars, which always enchant their visitors with varied programs. Whether you are a lover of traditional Hawaiian events, or modern disco nights, boredom is unknown in this part of the city.

Are there also street markets there:
Yes, these are worth seeing

What kind of nightlife is there:
Clubs and bars

There is also art and culture

Chinatown as well as Downtown form the cultural center of the city and also art lovers will find numerous galleries with old as well as contemporary art here. Especially in Chinatown you can also find historical temples, which bring a piece of China, as well as Japan to Hawaii. The skyline of Honolulu is very beautiful, but of course can not keep up with New York, for example, which is much more modern. From China to Japan, to Vietnam and Malaysia, Hawaii has intercultural flair at its best.

Do you also find galleries there:
Yes, these also exist

Farmer’s market of Kapiolani Community College

A stop at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers’ Market is recommended. This is the largest farmer’s market on Oahu, where you can enjoy a variety of local delicacies. You can of course buy typical local products that are only available on this island. So you should stop by there once.

You can buy local products there:
Yes, definitely try

Hotels and where to stay

Hilton Hawaiian Village
Hilton Hawaiian Village

As you have already experienced, the accommodation prices in Honolulu are accordingly high. That means you have to spend more money there. There are many beach hotels in the best location which are of course also expensive. Our tip is to stay in the second row where it will be cheaper. Especially the accommodations at Waikiki Beach are very popular.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort:
2005 Kālia Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815

Trump International Hotel Waikiki:
223 Saratoga Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815

Aston Waikiki Beach Tower:
2470 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

Our opinion

Now you have learned a lot about Honolulu and it is a great city to spend a beach vacation. There are many sightseeing and shopping possibilities. Usually this is also always the first destination if you decide to travel to Hawaii. It is also home to the largest airport and the most popular city.

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