Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Honolulu
Relax and have fun...don't come out to work. There really is a thing called "Hawaiian Time"...hang loose, no worries and aloha are all things to remember and just BREATHE!
Stop by a farmers market to taste a variety of tropical fruit and be sure to get your fill of local seafood — whether it's poke, sashimi or on the grill — for some of the freshest fish you have ever tasted!
What to pack: Shorts/t-shirts for anyone, sundresses for ladies if you like ... or capris. Most everyone wears slippers (flip flops/thongs). The weather is plenty warm. You will want a light jacket or sweater for the evenings as the weather can be cooler, esp with a breeze. (But not cold, mind you.) Jeans for the plane, and if you are planning to hike or do a lot of walking you might want tennis shoes. Dress is super casual.
Spending the holiday season in Hawaii is like magic for many, and Honolulu attracts repeat visitors year after year, who come for its tropical sunsets, warm waters, delicious food, and unique shopping opportunities. Santa himself pulls into Waikiki Beach in a canoe each year, so you know you'll be in good company too, as you celebrate the season and welcome in the new year in this piece of paradise!
In the words of those who've been there before ...
Honolulu has no end of great activities and destinations, for the sports lover, the foodie, the outdoor adventurer, the sightseer, or the photography nut.
Honolulu is a great destination for all ages, there is so much to see and do. Honolulu is a place where you can do as much or as little as you feel like, you can travel to Hawaii any time of the year and get great weather.
Honolulu boasts one of the most dynamic dining scenes in America and is one of this planet’s most delicious destinations.
Honolulu is a vacation paradise. Waikiki presents some of the finest beaches for sun and people watching. Food options are plentiful for all categories. A nice libation can be had as well. There are many activities for all ages and energy levels.
Visitors to Honolulu will discover more than just sand, sun, and surf in this sunny paradise. Inquisitive minds can explore the layers of history that have blended into a modern and multicultural city, and art lovers will find plenty to stoke their creative sides. Ducking into a museum is also a nice way to beat the heat or to take cover on a rainy day.
What is the best way to get there?
Honolulu is served by the Honolulu International Airport, a 15-minute drive from downtown Honolulu. The Airport Waikiki Express provides shuttle service to hotels in Waikiki every half hour.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting Honolulu from overseas, use the State Department’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.
When is the best time to visit?
Shoulder seasons: The best time to visit Oahu is during a shoulder season: from mid-April to early June or between September and mid-December. Attractions are less crowded, rates are lower, and there are lots of festivals taking place. Expect temperatures around 75 Fahrenheit (23.8 Celsius) in either season.
Biki is a bicycle sharing program on Oahu. Most Honolulu Biki stations are located between Chinatown/Downtown and Diamond Head.
Visitors can purchase passes for a one-way trip or for multiple stops. For more information, see here.
The public bus service in Honolulu is called TheBus, which runs services around the whole island. If you are planning to make multiple journeys, you can purchase a day or monthly pass. Note that transfers and large luggage are not allowed.
For more information about the network and fares, see here.
Hailing a taxi on the street in Waikiki is usually easy. In Honolulu, it is easiest around Ala Moana, Downtown, and Pearl Harbor. Or, find the nearest hotel and have front desk call.
Uber and Lyft are readily available in Honolulu on your smartphone.
On the ground
What is the timezone?
Hawaiian-Aleutian Time Zone
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in the United States is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The plug has two flat parallel pins.
What is the currency?
The U.S. Dollar.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
How much do I tip?
$1 a drink or $2 for a more labor-intensive cocktail
$1 to 3 per bag
$2-$3 per night
$1-$2 per person
Are there local customs I should know?
The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 21 years old.
Walk to the right of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view.
Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to the elderly, pregnant women, or someone with a disability.
Take your shoes off
In Hawaii, it's customary to take your shoes off before entering a home.
Practise beach etiquette
Malama ka ʻaina, or, “take care of the land.” Dispose of your trash properly and keep your distance from turtles and other wildlife.
It’s considered rude to ignore others. Smile and say hello, or “aloha” to passersby.
You’re on Hawaiian time and it is considered improper to show impatience in line or to honk your horn.