Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace
4.5
Speciality MuseumsHistoric SitesHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation and political intrigue. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu tells of a time when their Majesties, King Kalakaua, who built the palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, walked its celebrated halls. Today, you can enjoy one of the most spectacular living restorations in all of Polynesia and immerse yourself in Hawaii’s royal heritage. E komo mai! Welcome!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Randy M
    Acme, Pennsylvania161 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive
    A fascinating look at the lives of Hawaii's royal family prior U.S. annexation. Well-maintained, with lots of well-informed staff available to answer questions. You need to schedule the tour, but it was easy to do online, or even as a walkup. We chose to go here at he spur of the moment on a rainy day, and were able to join a tour within 30 minutes of our arrival. Plan on spending around two hours, and it will be time well spent.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 5 March 2023
  • aprilrichmk
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Iolani Palace is a treasure
    My husband and I loved learning about Iolani Palace and the royalty that graced its halls. The audio tour was both informative and succinct. I especially loved learning that the furnishings and art are original to the palace and more items are being reclaimed on a regular basis. A fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking history is told--one that needs to be shared with the world.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 7 March 2023
  • 863marciac
    Chesapeake, Virginia20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enriching experience
    The docent led tour was a wonderful learning experience! We learned so much about the local history and the Hawaiian royal family. It enriched our appreciation for local traditions and sites. I highly recommend this tour for adults and older teens. This really isn't appropriate for little ones.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 March 2023
  • Travelgrandmom
    North Wales, Pennsylvania64 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Royal Palace audio self guided tour
    This was my first trip to the palace even though I have been to Honolulu two previous times. It is well worth a visit. It takes about an hour and a half. There is an orientation film available for viewing before the tour. The tour is self guided with an audio device which describes each room. The woodwork inside the main hallway and the grand staircase is magnificent. The furniture pieces are reproductions based on photos.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 March 2023
  • Gen D
    Sydney, Australia4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do in Honolulu
    Such a beautiful place! The staff were so respectful and you could see that they care deeply about the palace. A definite must do while in Honolulu as it helps understand the past of Hawaii and explains a lot of the street names you can see in the city.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 March 2023
  • Awesome5329
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely a must for the history
    I've always been excited to visit the only palace in the USA! Everyone was friendly and the little booties you wear is a great idea for them to preserve everything in the palace. I learned a lot from the audio tour but for the price ($26 per person), I think the tour should have been led by someone.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Andrew S
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must-See Honolulu Experience
    Stunning tour that highlights the achievements of the Hawai’ian Monarchy and people through an impressive piece of 19th century architecture. My one complaint is that we were reprimanded for trying to take a group photo with a selfie-stick. It’s fine if selfie-stick photos are prohibited, but the introduction seemed to imply that only videos were prohibited. I think the docents should make a direct statement at the beginning of the tour clarifying the policy, since for us I believe it may have just been is misunderstanding. The general approach vistors should have when taking photos is that the Palace is a solumn place and that maximum reverence should be given at all times. If our docent recognizes this review, we just wanted to apologize for any misunderstanding or any photos we may have took in bad taste. Small gripe though, I still 100% recommend the trip to anyone visiting O’ahu. It's an easy to reach location from Waikiki, and provides an incredible immersion into the Islands' history in the space of little more than an hour.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Jade S
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hawaiian history and culture
    This was such a wonderful way to spend some time getting to know the Hawaiian history and also how Hawai’i became a part of the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed coming here and learning about the rich Hawaiian history. Recommend if you are a thinker and enjoy art and history. This paired with the art museum will be a perfect day for an art and history lover.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Goingplaces1234
    New York City, New York10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Great History Experience
    My family and I had a great time at Iolani Palace. It was a fantastic audio tour (we had booked a docent but they didn’t have one. Don’t worry, they called in advance to make sure I was okay with that and offered to refund my money or the difference for the audio tour!) The audio tour was well done and the grounds are well-kept. My boys, ages 7 and 12, were interested the entire time and engaged. They also have a museum in the basement you can go to before or after your timed tour. The tour deepened my knowledge of Hawaiian history and I’m grateful for it, as it was an excellent complement to the books I read prior to my trip.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 17 March 2023
  • Barbara R
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hawaiian dynasty history
    Wonderful excursion to get the history of the Hawaiian monarchy. The palace has portraits of the kings. The quilt on the second floor is not to be missed. We took the Docent tour so everything was explained to us and what wasn’t could be asked and answered. Loved the replica gowns and the diamond jewelry. Notice the beauty of the stairway carpets. Tour is 1 hour, allow 30 minutes more to peruse the lower level on your own.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 23 March 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Tim H
New Westminster, Canada1,124 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We booked a docent tour. Be warned, you'll be in and out in an hour, but that's OK.
Oh, and check in at the barracks that you walked past on the way in (there's no signage). It's also where the toilets are. The entrance we used was on Richards (there may be others).

The docent was friendly and expert. The tour was about 50% portraits of kings and queens, and unfortunately they are dark with age and the rooms not at all well lit. Perhaps someday they can fund some restoration.

Several of the kings and queens were serious movers and shakers, and well worth reading more about. They deserve those statues!

The rest of the tour, though, covered the US annexation, making it quite clear that it was illegal. Pres Cleveland stopped it, but McKinley rammed it through. And we got a good look at how they used the palace - clothing, furniture, dining spaces, etc.

If you time it right you can have a good lunch across Richards St. at Cafe Julia. If there's a staffer in the courtyard as you enter, ask about the architect!
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wilko6
Cheltenham, UK28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Very well organised tour with audio system to provide information, the story about the Palace is very interesting and provides an insight into the history of the monarchy of Hawaii
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

casppro
Apple Valley, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
The tour and tour guide was fantastic! We had a great time and learned a lot! The grounds were also beautiful!
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrnaturalman1
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
Just enjoyed knowing about the ancestry of the Queen and King of Hawaii and how it came about. So beautiful
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack P
Puako, HI29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
We have been coming to Hawaii for over 20 years and now live on the Big Island. We decided to come to Honolulu to explore the culture a bit. We were not disappointed. The visit takes about 2 hours and you come away with a better understanding of the people who share their aloha with us.
Written 2 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marlin500
Tumwater, WA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
We love this tour. The Iolani Palace has been restored beautifully. The docent was very well informed and spoke clearly. We enjoyed it very much and always learn more each time we take it.
Written 1 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scott t
Long Beach, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
My wife and I love seeing the history of when we visit new places. The Iolani Palace was absolutely amazing. Learning about the royal family was incredible and displays fascinating especially the peacock feather dress!
Written 1 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shphilosilveraway
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
The docent who led our group was excellent. She provided insightful information about the history, restoration, and architecture of the palace. Her knowledge of the Hawaiian history and the take over by the American government was presented and explained very well. The docent was happy to answer questions. The information presented included details about the wood used in the building, the people in the large portraits, and artifacts throughout the building.Excellent tour - thank you.
Written 1 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

O2682JTphil
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024
our docent was very knowledgeable about Iolani Palace i would not change a thing in his presentation. he took time to to answer questions. he felt proud to be an Hawaiian. i learned a lot about Iolani Palace,
and the history of Hawaii.
Written 1 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ReviewerDave
Atlanta, GA115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We did not have the time or budget to visit some of the more expensive cultural attractions on the island. This was a great alternative! The pre-tour video, audio guide, and staff were very helpful and informative. The upkeep of the palace was exceptional. This was a great use of our time and money to get some cultural exposure to the Hawaiian island.
Written 29 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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