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“Beautiful grounds”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace
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Monarch's Tour: Bishop Museum & Iolani Palace Combo Tour
Ranked #13 of 321 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!
Eagleville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
88 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful grounds”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2010

I visited the palace grounds twice, but haven't actually been inside the palace. It's very nice from the outside. I've gotten some great pics of the trees surrounding the palace. Make sure to go out back and check out the trees. They are pretty cool.

Thank tawnyaluna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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McKinney, TX
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Iolani Palace - get in touch with the real Hawaii”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2010

Take a break from the beach and go on an tour of the Iolani Palace for a brief overview of Hawaiian history. Our docent was a wealth of knowledge and even extended our tour afterwards. She encouraged questions and I wish I could have stayed longer. It is amazing so many of the furnishings have been recovered and they are still coming back. As our guide said "when they are ready they return home." It is well worth the $20. We were lucky enough to stumble on an outdoor concert on the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian Band with a singer and hula dancer.

2 Thank linzo99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“if you're interested in history, don't miss this”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2010

This place is extraordinary. I love history, and once in Hawaii, there was no way I would miss out on seeing the only palace in the United States. The building itself is a lot smaller than I thought it would be, I'd assumed it'd be larger because it's well, a palace. But despite that, the details that have been lovingly restored are incredible - the ceiling panels, the window blinds, the koa staircase and the moldings...it's incredible. DO spring the extra $8 and go on the guided tour given by a docent. It blows that you can't take pictures inside - but you can take as many as you like outside. Super informative, really nice and helpful people who work there. The work they've done, and are continuing to do in preserving an important part of Hawaiian history and culture is impressive and should be lauded.

2 Thank plumie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A History Lesson”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2010

If you're into learning about the local culture of places you visit, this should be on your list. The palace is quite interesting with lots of beautiful artefacts to look at. It's a shame that so many things were lost and destroyed when the government came in.

I took a guided tour and learned quite a bit of Hawaiian history. The all-volunteer staff is well-versed in everything having to do with the palace and Hawaiian monarchy.

I would not advise bringing small children as they may become bored. The tour is little bit lengthy. You are also not permitted to take pictures or touch anything.

1 Thank WorfsBabyMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
730 reviews
596 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,413 helpful votes
“Audio tour of Iolani Palace -- highly recommended.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2009

Access: Iolani Palace is located in the Capitol District of downtown Honolulu and is easily found in almost all tour books and on most maps of the area. Of note, tickets to either the guided tours (reservation necessary) or the audio tour are purchased in the barracks on Richards street, located next to the Palace itself.

Palace tour: For those who miss the guided tour, the audio tour is a very good substitute. After listening to the introduction lecture outside the palace doors, you are given shoe covers and ushered into the palace itself. The self-guided tour continues on two levels with a total of 18 stops. Highlights include Queen Liliuokalani's Imprisonment room and the Grand Hall. As an added bonus, there is a fairly comprehensive museum on the basement level which is open all day and provides a little more academic view of the time period. Most people will spend 1-2 hours in the Palace depending on their interest level.

Summary: An excellent overview of a little known period of American history with a mix of European, American, and Polynesian influences. In a state that prides itself on the "outdoor entertainment" concept, Iolani Palace is a worthwhile indoor visit for those so inclined.

2 Thank midway42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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