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“Beautiful historic building with a sad story.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace
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$114.14*
and up
Monarch's Tour: Bishop Museum & Iolani Palace Combo Tour
Ranked #13 of 318 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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!
Willunga, Australia
Level Contributor
224 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic building with a sad story.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

Iolani Palace was the residence of the last monarchs of Hawaii. It is a fantastic building and a must see for anyone with an interest in history. The sad story of greed and colonial expansion by the US in the late 19 th and early 20 th century is tied to this building. It was great to see the efforts put into restoration and preservation of the palace by the local Hawaiian people in recent years - inspiring stuff!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Florida
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful piece of history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

There with our 5 kids last week. I'd been there 20 years ago, but it's much better now. The self-guided tour on a headset lets you fast forward, or delve deeper into any of the rooms/artifacts you wish. The headsets themselves are the best I've seen at any tour. Excellent audio quality. The palace is nice and cool and quiet- so a great change of pace from bustling Waikiki. Would also be a great rainy day choice since it's all inside.
Adds a great historical feel for the islands, that isn't well taught in mainland schools.
They keep it up impeccably, and as opposed to other reviewers, I'm actually glad they make everyone wear the booties- to keep the place clean and polished.
Definitely park on the property, not on the street- it's a tow away zone during rush hour!
If you have time walk out back behind the palace to the very interesting State Capitol building.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank ILOVURUP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level Contributor
34 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

The self-guided tour was a great way to learn about the Hawaiian aristocracy and how Hawaii became a US state and the tourist destination that it is now. We hear so little about this royal family since their history is so obscure. I am glad to see this place and now I am going to read the book Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell to complete my understanding if Hawaii.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mas4tune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great piece of history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

Interesting place to visit and to learn about the history of Hawaii. Beautifully restored and maintained. Audio tour was excellent and informative. Staff were very friendly. We enjoyed this experience.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nice, but a little boring”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

This is a nice building, but for the amount of rooms the tour could be 1/2 the time. The listening device seems slower than if a person was walking you through talking about it. They make you wear these dirty looking slippers over your shoes, so if you have sandals on they are actually touching your feet which kind of grossed me out.
We did learn a lot about Hawaiian Royalty that we didn't know before.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chiquita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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