Become a member!

SIGN UP
Sign up for your free Privateupgrades membership and benefit from VIP perks as Room Upgrades, free breakfast and 100 USD with every booking!

Benefit from exclusive promotions and VIP perks
Free Membership!


Book the best 5 Star Luxury Hotels in Honolulu

VIP Experience
Room Upgrades
Free Breakfast
Personal Travel Designer
From 583 USD
The Kahala Hotel & Resort

THE KAHALA HOTEL & RESORT

Sitting on the shores of Honolulu Beach, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is an iconic destination for visitors worldwide. From its beautiful ocean views to...

From 880 USD
Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina

FOUR SEASONS OAHU AT KO OLINA

The Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina is the perfect hotel for those who want to experience the best of what Hawaii offers. The hotel is located on the be...

From 749 USD
Halekulani

HALEKULANI

Halekulani is located by the freshwater springs that give Waikiki its name. Halekulani is a cherished blend of place and space, an oasis-like experien...

From 445 USD
Royal Hawaiian Hotel

ROYAL HAWAIIAN HOTEL

Like a city upon a hill, the chromatic Royal Hawaiian Hotel stands over Waikiki Beach. It has served as a beacon of luxury to travelers near and far e...

From 364 USD
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

ALOHILANI RESORT WAIKIKI BEACH

For a luxurious experience in Waikiki Beach, the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for you! This swanky, oceanfront hotel offers all...

From 636 USD
Ritz Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach

RITZ CARLTON RESIDENCES WAIKIKI BEACH

On the island of Honolulu lies the Ritz Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach. You will be surrounded by the island's beautiful greenery and the sound of t...

From 423 USD
Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani

HALEPUNA WAIKIKI BY HALEKULANI

Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani is one of the newest luxury hotels in Honolulu. Its modern design, stunning views, and personalized service offer guest...

From 355 USD
Moana Surfrider

MOANA SURFRIDER

The relaxed charm and historical essence of Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort Spa, Waikiki Beach, attract guests worldwide. There is no better way of s...

From 350 USD
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa

HYATT REGENCY WAIKIKI BEACH RESORT & SPA

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa is just steps from the azure blue waters and soft sands of Waikiki Beach. The 5-star hotel is directly across...

Hotel Promotions for Honolulu

Map view

Weather Forecast for Honolulu

Honolulu

Good to know about Honolulu

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and a tropical climate. So, whether you're looking to explore the local culture, relax on the beach, or take in some of the best views, Honolulu is a great place to visit. From the iconic Waikiki Beach to the bustling Chinatown district, Honolulu is a great place to explore and experience everything Hawaii offers. This guide will provide you with an overview of the city. From the best attractions and activities to tips on how to get around and where to stay. So, let's dive in and explore Honolulu!

History 

Honolulu means gathering place in Hawaiian. It is on the Island of Oahu. Honolulu is a multicultural city that embraces all cultures. For more than 300 years, globalization has been an everyday reality in this city. In the wake of Captain James Cook, the English explorer, whale hunters arrived. Later, missionaries followed, and then plantations were established. The military was then established, and then the tourist industry. Finally, in 1893, the Americans overthrew Hawaiian royalty.

Honolulu, the Capital of Hawaii today, is the American state's capital. Waikiki is home to many hotels and shopping centers. It is also the most prominent part of Honolulu. Business is significant on a sandy beach. All costs include sun and surf. Besides, there is always warm weather, no matter the season. Waikiki has 65,000 people visiting it every day. It is also one of the most popular vacation destinations worldwide.

For those who are interested, you can enjoy traditional Hawaiian traditions. The Royal Hawaiian Band performs weekly in the garden next to the Iolani palace. This is also where Hawaii lost its independence. On official holidays, the Royalists continue to protest for Hawaii's independence.

Furthermore, Honolulu's vibrant nightlife is unmatched. The city has a South Sea twist similar to an Amerasian cocktail. It shows its American pride on the Fourth of July.

Best Time to Visit 

Oahu's best time to visit is between mid-April and early June or mid-September to mid-December. These seasons offer the best attractions and festivals on all Hawaiian islands. The average temperatures are in the mid-60s-high 80s all year. But rain showers are rare from mid-June until August, so tourists flock to the island to enjoy the warmer weather. The North Shore is also a popular but expensive time to visit. This is when professional surfers come to the North Shore to catch waves and watch others compete in different events.

Things to Do

Below are some of the best things and places to visit to do in Honolulu.

Diamond Head State Monument 

This monument stands in a shadowy position over Waikiki Beach's turquoise waters. It is one of Honolulu's most popular places. Besides, the volcano crater is close to the city's center, so it will not take long to get there. It's easy to see the beauty and grandeur of the mountain. You can also hike along the top trails of the island, which offer breathtaking panoramic views.

The Diamond Head Trail has become a popular tourist attraction. The summit is 560 feet higher than the base. You can then see the Diamond Head Crater and map out landmarks such as the Kuilei Cliffs and Honolulu's skyline. Lastly, you can relax at Leahi Beach Park after your hike. Locals love its incredible sunsets.

Waikiki Beach 

It's not surprising that Waikiki Beach, a world-famous beach in Hawaii, once attracted the Hawaiian archipelago's rulers and queens to its sands. It is here that the glittering rises and luxurious hotels of today loom against the turquoise water of the Pacific that they made the first longboards. In the 1800s, the island's nobles also rode the first longboards. 

Manoa Falls Trail 

Manoa is one of the most popular places in Honolulu for waterfall chasers. The historic, charming town is the starting point of the Manoa Falls Trail. Manoa Falls is a popular hiking trail that winds through lush forests. It is the most accessible waterfall in Oahu.

Manoa Falls is less than one mile away from the Lyon Arboretum. You can reach it via a gentle trail through a jungle with a wide variety of flora. Moreover, the prehistoric canopy is illuminated by the sun, making it a stunning sight for nature lovers. You may feel familiar because Jurassic Park parts were shot here. Although you shouldn't expect to see dinosaurs, you must have plenty of insect repellent for these hikes.

Chinatown 

Honolulu's Chinatown is between Kalihi–Palama's residential neighborhoods and Downtown. It pulses with life in spots such as the Maunakea Marketplace. Moreover, it bursts full of smells and sights among the tropical fruits you'll find in Oahu Market. There are also many other impressive temples. 

Honolulu Beer Works 

This brings together the islands' diverse communities with hops, barley, and other creations. It is Aloha State's premier microbrewery. The tasting room is in an industrial warehouse that has been revitalized. It is located between Kaka'ako's stylish and edgy communities.

The Animal Farmhouse has a pale beer and Delta hops. There is also the Pia Mahiai Farmer's Ale, which has traces of pepper and allspice. You can also enjoy great food at the restaurant, such as taro buns with Pacific salmon.

Kuhio Beach Park 

One section of Waikiki Beach is Kuhio Beach Park. This area offers shade, sun, and grass, all in equal measure. This makes it a genuinely unique Honolulu beach destination. Kuhio Beach has many activities that will appeal to all levels of travelers. Canoes and Queens are popular surf breaks.

Moreover, families can set up picnics in the park. Plus, the beach is only steps away. Others can enjoy hammocks, read, snack, or play volleyball.

You can also visit many local landmarks, such as the Duke Kahanamoku statue. Duke was an Olympic gold medalist and an important figure in the surfing world. Moreover, you will find the Wizard Stones from Kapaemahu in the park. These stones are believed to have healing powers.

Culture and Customs 

Oahu is a center for Hawaii's arts-and-culture scene. There are many music festivals and dance festivals on the island. You will also find many expressions of Polynesian culture throughout the island. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial in Kalihi offers a more detailed look at the island's Native Heritage. You might also consider attending a luau, a traditional Hawaiian cultural performance and feast.

English is widely spoken on the islands. But you may hear traditional Hawaiian phrases while on your trip. Hawaiian Pidgin or Hawaii Creole English is another language used. It's a combination of Hawaiian, Japanese, and Filipino languages. It also mixes with Chinese and Portuguese. The following words are native to Hawaii: "aloha." They use this to end a conversation politely. To greet someone, use "mahalo." This means "thank you."

What to Eat 

Oahu is home to many American-style restaurants, but you must try Hawaiian cuisine there. For example, shaved ice is a frozen treat infused with tropical ingredients, such as coconut and passion fruit. Besides, Poke (or marinated raw seafood) is another must-try. Local favorites include kalua pork. They wrap it in banana leaves before being cooked underground.

Where to Stay

Below are some of the best areas to stay in Honolulu. Most popular are the hotels in Waikiki.

Waikiki 

Waikiki was a resort that belonged to Hawaiian royalty back in the 1800s. It is now Hawaii's most popular tourist destination. Waikiki is home to the majority of Hawaiian hotels. Oahu accounts for two-thirds of all hotels in Hawaii. Waikiki is the most populated neighborhood in Honolulu. But residents live in high-rise condos or apartments that share streets with various hotels.

Waikiki is known best for its beaches. There are five separate beaches. Waikiki's beaches are made up of soft sand. They also have moderate to gentle waves, buffered by a coral reef. There are, however, a few rocks at the southeast end. Waikiki is also where modern surfing began. 

You can also enjoy a wide range of water sports on the beaches. These include surfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Moreover, most of the beaches are perfect for beginners. There are also casual and fine dining options.

Diamond Head 

This neighborhood is south of Waikiki (Kahului), Kaimuki (Kahala), and Kapahulu. The neighborhood's name comes from the Diamond Head volcanic rock tuff cone. Hiking up the lush trails for breathtaking views of the island and ocean from its summit is one of the best things to do here. Besides, the southern tip of the volcano is home to a few quiet beaches.

Some attractions are also located west of the volcano. They include the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the two best beaches on the western coast. These beaches are both more active than those in south Diamond Head. Kaimana Beach is home to a few high-end restaurants offering sunset views. However, you will find most restaurants in Waikiki or Kapahulu.

Ala Moana   

Ala Moana is a neighborhood north of Waikiki. It runs across the Ala Wai Canal. This area is famous for its white-sand beaches and shopping. This area was also home to fishermen and taro farmers in ancient Hawaii. Ala Moana was established as a shopping district in 1949. It is famous for its high-end shops and fashion boutiques.

Foodland Farms and the Farmers' Markets are where you can buy locally-sourced produce, flowers, food, and other items. Also, a Kakaako Farmers Market opens Saturdays from 8 am until 12 pm. It offers a wide variety of international and local cuisines. There are many bars and restaurants around. Ala Moana Regional Park is 100 acres and runs along the coastline.

Downtown 

Downtown Honolulu is the city's historical, government, and financial center. This area includes Chinatown and the Arts District. It also consists of a portion of Kaka'ako. That is the warehouse district on the western boundary of Ala Moana. Downtown is a favorite tourist spot. Here, you will find Honolulu's oldest buildings. Merchant Street also has a rich collection of buildings from the mid-19th century. Meanwhile, the Arts District contains many art galleries, museums, and community centers.

Moreover, you will find various Asian cuisines in Downtown restaurants. There is also a selection of New American fine dining and crowd-pleasing Italian. Plus, you will find plenty of high-end bars and cocktail lounges. Not to mention live music venues and hole-in-the-wall bars. Ala Moana beach is approximately a half-hour walk away.

Kahala 

Kahala is referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Hawaii." It is the most affluent area in Honolulu. A large portion of the properties in Kahala has been used as vacation homes by celebrities and tycoons. This quiet neighborhood is also home to a series of tranquil beaches. Besides, the area's position in a bay behind a reef calms the site. Kahala Mall offers a variety of shops and restaurants. The Kahala Hotel Resort is the area's only luxury hotel.

How to Get Around 

Car rental is the best way around Oahu. You can get a car rental service at the airport. Waikiki is also a great place to walk to certain zones. There are also two other options: the Waikiki Trolley and the public bus. However, these services may not be available in all areas. You can also get taxis or ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.

How to Stay Safe 

Oahu can be considered a safe island. However, theft is quite common in tourist areas like Waikiki. Therefore, you should always keep your valuables safe and secure. Avoid Kalihi or downtown Chinatown areas if you are alone and traveling after dark. To avoid being cited, keep your electronic devices, such as tablets, phones, and video games, out of reach at crosswalks in Honolulu.

Oahu is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy the many outdoor activities. However, use sunblock to shield yourself from the sun. Use it while you're swimming, surfing, and hiking. In winter, when tides are strong, you'll also want to be mindful of the warnings regarding currents at your local beaches. Only go to beaches with lifeguards.