Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace
4.5
Speciality MuseumsHistoric SitesHistory Museums
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
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
Top ways to experience Iolani Palace
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown Honolulu
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • harm0nyl808
    Aurora, Colorado1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful & important visit
    I was born and raised in Hawaii but hadn’t yet been inside Iolani Palace. My 12 year old daughter asked to visit & I am so glad we did. We did the audio tour & it was so well done—so much important information presented in an engaging way. It honestly felt like an honor to enter this sacred space as a learner.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 26, 2023
  • Robert N
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great visit
    Very interesting self audio tour. The palace is amazing inside with original furniture or repo’s of the time period. Don’t pass up the basement with historic pictures and artifacts. I highly doubt this tour.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 29, 2023
  • MissL219
    Essex, United Kingdom1,568 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful palace
    We booked tickets online for this as there are only limited numbers for each tour and for each language. Inside, we had to wear the plastic booties to help protect the floor and keep the Palace as authentic as possible. We had an audio guide which gave us lots of interesting information. Worthwhile visiting, but book in advance.
    Visited July 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 30, 2023
  • Julie M
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Rich in Hawaiian history
    As a main-lander I found this a very interesting and valuable piece of history being told. Our guide told a beautifully woven story of the Monarchy. The palace is magnificent with much of the original furniture found and reproductions to replace lost items to bring it back to its grandeur. This was a spur of the moment last minute booked tour but definitely worth it.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 30, 2023
  • mymoai710
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    ʻIolani Palace Visit Review
    I've been living in Hawaiʻi more than 20 years and finally got an opportunity to visit The Palace. The exhibits are lovely, authentic and in excellent condition. I used the self-audio tour, from which I could learned a lot about the lives of Royal Family and related things. I will definitely make another visit in the near future.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 5, 2023
  • TravelFun7
    Bloomington, Illinois83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visit Iolani Palace!
    Iolani Palace is a great place to visit! Please pay close attention to parking. We parked in the wrong spot and our rental got towed - this was 100% my fault for not reading the sign more closely. This beautiful and historic royal residence is worth the trip. The audio tour has lots of good information, displays were interesting. Totally worth it for our family traveling with 14 and 10 year olds.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Ron M
    39 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Docent-led Tour
    The Docent-led tour by Hardy was excellent. He captured the chronological history of the Hawaiian kingdom through the ives of the royal family and the complicated situation in which indigenous Hawaiians find themselves due to both domestic and geopolitical events. I learned about the royal family's love of their people, their efforts to gain international recognition and their adoption of modern technology in the 1800s. The Iolani palace is very beautiful and it is in a continued process of being restored to its original splendor.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Petra M
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must See for your Hawaii Trip
    We had a wonderful and informative visit. This was one of the highlights of our trip. All four children with us also really enjoyed this. A great opportunity to educate our youth about the history and culture of the Hawaiian people and their land.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 7, 2023
  • Lorraine B
    Seaford, Australia314 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Palace with interesting History
    The Iolani Palace came as a surprise as it seems so European in its decor. I took the audio tour, which gave a description of the various rooms and some of the history of the former royal family of Hawaii. The palace itself is beautiful and worth seeing if you are interested in Hawaii's history.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 7, 2023
  • TMD2202
    Castlecrag, Australia3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A definite must see for all visitors to Honolulu
    While most visitors come to Honolulu for the wonderful attractions of the beaches, restaurants, bars and shops, there is one additional attraction that all visitors should make time to see while in town: Iolani Palace. Thankfully this significant architectural wonder has been lovingly restored so we can all enjoy and appreciate it. The interiors are magnificent, and showcase the superb furniture, artworks and other decorations acquired by the Hawaiian royal family. The best part of the tour are the supremely knowledgeable guides, who have a passion for the Palace's and Hawaii's history and are keen to share. Their stories and wealth of information give a rich understanding of the manner in which the islands united and then took their place in the world as a separate nation, only for that to be forcefully undone by the rich and powerful non-natives in the late 1800s. Two hours very well spent - very highly recommended.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 8, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles8,250 reviews
Excellent
5,865
Very good
1,806
Average
465
Poor
75
Terrible
39

Chelsea
Augusta, GA2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jbench2021
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JTSomelofske
South Royalton, VT5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
I loved the tour of Iolani Palace. I went at 9:00 am on a Friday and essentially had a private tour without many other visitors in the building obstructing my view of the portraits and material artifacts. The tour guide was knowledgeable and really presented a compelling narrative of the daily lives of the Hawaiian monarchs. I prefer living tour guides I can interact with, but an audio tour is available as well. Very glad I visited and would certainly return as the palace is recovering many lost artifacts after Hawaii's annexation to the United States. So the collection will be more complete as time passes.
Written January 17, 2020
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.

uhlirchristina
6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
First, I and my traveling partner were lucky as we were visiting Honolulu the final week of December/first week of January and had a chance to do one of the evening tours of Iolani Palace in honor of the 158th birthday of Queen Liliuokalani. We both enjoyed hearing about the historical context and variety of interesting stories about Iolani Palace and the Royal Family that inhabited it for so many generations. That being said, I must admit that I was unpleasantly surprised by the inhospitable reception we received from the staff in bringing an Osmo as a photographic, not videographic, aid as it was not included in the prohibited items list. Had we known such items were not permitted, we would have had a much more enjoyable experience. That being said, I would like to visit Iolani Palace again, during the day, to get the full experience we were told about by the performers and staff we talked to.

Thank you for all of the thoughtful explanations of the palace, Royal Household, and the Hawaiian Islands!
Written January 9, 2020
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.

ppoleshaj
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
My lifetime friend lives on Maui and had never been to Iolani Palace. Every time I visit I see and appreciate new things from the ornate brass hinges on doors to the inlaid wood and I marvel at the craftsmanship of the woodwork and plaster.
The room where the Queen was held prisoner for 8 mo. and holds the handmade patchwork quilt she made is even more emotional when you hear her own words as she describes her treatment by her captors.
I highly recommend every resident in Hawaii should visit Iolani Palace and take your family for an amazing view of Hawaii's history.
Written October 22, 2021
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.

M.L.E
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Family
My favorite part was the stories behind all the rooms, clothes and jewelry. Our docent, “Auntie” Gladys was enthusiastic and entertaining - full of anecdotes about generations of the royal family of Hawaii. The restoration of the original furniture, floors etc was amazing and I particularly enjoyed the gowns and coronation cloak on display. Due to the virus restrictions, the group was only 5, we all wore masks and kept social distance, so it felt very safe

I would advise anyone else to make sure you leave a little extra time to find the palace (our GPS got us a little lost) and the entrance for the parking. Also bring quarters - the parking has old fashioned coin drops, no credit card swipe
Written November 6, 2020
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.

Phil M
45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
We were in Honolulu a year ago and on the way back from Pearl Harbour stopped at the statue opposite the palace, but left before we could see it. This trip it was on our 'must do' list and we were not disappointed. Booked on line, easy process. From Waikiki got a day pass for the bus and had a nice air conditioned 40 minute ride to a stop one block from the Palace. Arrived about half an hour early as advised. The whole process was very user friendly. A brief intro from a guide and donned the obligatory surgical style overshoes and then you are at your leisure to wander around the two levels of the palace, learning about the relevant history of the palace itself and the Hawai'ian royal dynasties. The level of detail was excellent and informative. We took around an hour and bit to see those two levels, then another twenty minutes in the basement. If you like history and want more than a superficial tourist experience of Honolulu this is well worth the time and entrance price.
Written January 20, 2020
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.

ChrisH
Frederick, MD524 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Two adults visited here on a Wednesday midday in early February and had a great visit. Spent about 3 hours total. We used our GoOahu passes to obtain the self-guided walking tour. Well done tour. Palace was most interesting. Boy, all we can say is that actual history the way it happened is way different than what we were taught 50 years ago in elementary school about how Hawaii's monarchy was ended by U.S. interests. Worth it from our perspective to hear what really happened.
Written March 1, 2020
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.

theresainGR
Grand Rapids, Michigan63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Iolani Palace, the only Royal Palace on US soil located in Honolulu. This is a self guided walking tour with optional audio headsets (which I recommend). So much Hawaiian history learned in this 90 minute tour. The Palace is kept impeccable as you have to wear booties to protect the flooring and no food/drinks allowed.
Relatively inexpensive to visit, I think it was $20, which is a great deal to experience this history.
Great way to spend a few hours in Honolulu.
Written March 7, 2020
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.

alstenek
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Really enjoyed my recent visit to 'Iolani Palace. The tour was self-guided with an audio device that narrated the visit to each room. Some of the audio selections seemed long-winded and repetitive, but overall the information presented was interesting. Markers are placed throughout the palace to help guests maintain their distance from one another. The docents are posted to each room to help guide visitors and answer questions. The basement had great exhibits as well.
Written July 20, 2020
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 7,462
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Iolani Palace - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Honolulu HotelsHonolulu Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Honolulu
All things to do in Honolulu
Day Trips in Honolulu
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars