Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, Honolulu: Hours, Address, Iolani Palace Reviews: 4.5/5

Iolani Palace
4.5
Speciality Museums • Historic Sites • History Museums
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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
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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!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Iolani Palace
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
7,296 reviews
Excellent
5,032
Very good
1,718
Average
446
Poor
72
Terrible
34

Betsy S
Los Angeles, CA12 contributions
Family
So happy that we were able to fit in a visit to the Iolani Palace the day of our flight home. The staff was so welcoming and helpful. We had audio tour reservations at 1pm but had no problem getting in at 11:30am. Of course, we were lucky to go during a quiet time of the year and also, with few to no foreign travelers due to covid restrictions. It was amazing to see the palace with so few tourists. We did not feel rushed or crowded. The restoration done in the building is impressive. You really feel like the inhabitants just stepped out instead of having lived there over 100 years ago. The audio guide was very informative. I knew very little about the Hawaiian kings and queens but this visit really peak my interest. We came home with Queen Liliuokalani's autobiography to learn more about Hawaii's last monarch. If possible, I highly recommend scheduling a Friday visit as to hear the Royal Hawaiian Band play a free concert outside from 12 to 1pm. Mahalo to all the staff at the Iolani Palace!
Written January 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jck8882022
Tustin, CA1 contribution
Family
We went on the self guided audio tour early Tuesday morning. I recommend the earliest time you can so that parking is comfortable. There is a limited number of people indoors at the same time so we felt relieved. I recommend reading bit of the history beforehand so you can really take it all in. The docents were so nice and gave a personal flair. So many pieces of history, especially the artifacts in the basement. The restoration of the palace was amazing, and so different than what I remembered from ~50 years ago. The gift shop had unique items, and we bought historical books at a good deal.
Written January 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tttchan
8 contributions
Couples
Beautiful and historic. Tour purchase was required to go in ($25) and everyone had to wear shoe covers. Interiors were essentially European 19th century architecture with furnishings appropriate for use by European nobility during that time. The audio tour was quite interesting though and kept our attention throughout the 2 story building. Took about 1-2 hrs to go through.
Written October 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sam1973b
1 contribution
Family
We made a reservation to see the palace; however, we were taken in late (after our reservation time), and then pretty much kicked out at 5 til closing time. We had about 40 minutes to see this amazing palace. If the museum is going to make reservations, it should allow enough time to go through at least the whole tour that we paid for.

To make matters worse, they closed the gift shop early as well, which was how we got the kids to go. They are just like, sorry! Considering most of the funding for the upkeep comes from patrons like us, you'd think they'd be nicer, and more aware.
Written June 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

oldthor12022
Honolulu, HI1 contribution
We live on island and made reservations to see the Palace again, with a visiting couple. On line reservations for docent tour was easy, and tour time started very punctually. Read the tips and guidelines, to include bringing quarters if you are going to attempt to park on the street, to feed the meter 2 hours worth of quarters (around $3). If you're driving, streetside parking is tough to find, but if you do, closer and cheaper than public garage nearby. Their instructions provide location of that as well. The docent tour is completely inside, and the tour members receive slip-on booties to protect the interior floors and rugs.
Written May 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chelsea
Augusta, GA2 contributions
Solo
I paid extra for a more exclusive tour as there were no other tours available. The tour guide greeted us by telling us that she would not speak any louder than her normal quiet tone and if we couldn't hear her through her mask to ask questions. This didn't put me off at first until later in the tour. She singled me out for being on my own, and without my husband, on the tour which made me feel slightly uncomfortable. As we went through the rooms she told us we were allowed to take pictures as long as they were not flash pictures. As we went to the dining room the couple in front of me took a few pictures of the place settings on the table so I did as well. Suddenly the tour guide yelled at me, scolding me for taking the picture even though she had watched the couple in front of me do the same thing. I am not ignorant nor am I disrespectful. If she had wanted us to stay back from the table, she should have told us before hand. Secondly she singled me out and embarrassed me, I believe because I am young, and because I was alone. She did not make me feel welcomed and I almost left the tour then. I wish I had because she ruined the whole experience for me. Later in the tour the same couple ran their camera bag into a door and she still didn't scold them. My advice to you if you want to tour this place is NOT to pay for the expensive tour, just do the regular one where there won't be a rude tour guide to make you feel bad about yourself or regret your decision to come and learn about Hawaii's culture.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jbench2021
1 contribution
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Iolani Palace and am so glad that my friends recommended this historical site while on holiday in O'ahu. I would highly recommend the Docent led tour, though I hear the audio tour is also a good experience. The docent who led our group was incredibly knowledgeable not only about the space itself, but its people, changes in the culture and politics of that time, and historical context (both on a local and world stage).

Even outside of COVID restrictions, the groups are kept small, and I felt completely safe with the policies they had in place.

Touring the facility including the collection at the Visitor's Center, can be done in less than two hours, and the hosts/stewards of the palace do a great job at prepping visitors.

Given the content, location, and overall nature, I think this would be a great pairing for anyone planning to visit the Bishop Museum, but I would also recommend seeing either or both separately.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MaryEM B
2 contributions
This very inexpensive, personal insight into the history of Hawaii, is a must for anyone who wants the real information on Hawaii's history. See the artwork, lifestyle, jewels of the Kings and Queens. Learn about the the actual road and actions to their becoming a state. Hear about the courage and compassion of the leaders who are still role models today. The Docent we had, Douglas was a fountain of information. There are also Lei making demos and Royal Hawaiian Band performances on the lawn of the Palace. Check their website under events for activities.
Written May 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alena L
San Diego, CA48 contributions
We visited Iolani Palace in May 2022. I had purchased the docent tour and am so glad I did. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the tour was so interesting. We knew very little of Hawaii’s history prior to this visit, and we learned so much. The palace is beautiful and lovingly restored. They were even able to replicate the original carpet patterns. We really enjoyed the tour. However, signage outside could be a tad better. There is metered parking right by the palace, but we missed the driveway and had to go around the block again. Our parking meter was quarters only of which we had none (we were advised of this in the tour communication we received but I had forgotten). I was directed by someone to go “around to the back” to get to the ticket office/visitor center and I circled the palace with another couple also looking for it. The visitor center is actually a small building to the side of the palace. Once there, everyone was wonderful. I checked us in for the tour, the ticket office attendant exchanged a bill for quarters, I returned to my husband waiting in the car, we paid the meter and went back to the visitor center to view the movie and visit the gift shop prior to our tour. Everyone in the visitor center was so nice, and our docent guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. Once everything ended so well, I even enjoyed my little adventure of hunting for the visitor center. I am so glad we visited the palace, and I would highly recommend the docent tours.
Written June 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anonymousqwr
Caracas, Venezuela15 contributions
Couples
Well organized and well maintained museum with good story-telling. Good audioguide. Knowledgeable and friendly staff.

What to improve: parking instructions. The parking address provided by the museum via email led us to a closed gate, so we had to find other parking. Also, the museum indicated that parking on the grounds is metered. Once we arrived after parking somewhere else, the staff told us we should have continued around the building until we found an open gate and the “metered” parking was actually not enforced, so it was free. Who would have known that as a first time visitor who tried to follow the museum’s instructions?
Written February 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is open:
  • Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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