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Iolani Palace, Honolulu

4.5
#2 of 111 in Museums in Hawaii
The only royal palace in America, Iolani Palace saw the reign of Queen Lili'uokalani, Hawaii's last monarch, end with her overthrow in 1893. Soak up the building’s Hawaiian renaissance style, which seems fitting given that the site served as the seat of government for the independent Kingdom of Hawaii. Constructed in 1879, the building has a series of rooms restored to their formal royal glory, complete with period-accurate furnishings, fabrics, and decorations. You can explore the grounds on a docent-led tour or a self-guided audio tour, but be sure to book ahead of time to ensure a spot, as tickets can sell out. Our Honolulu trip builder tool makes visiting Iolani Palace and other Honolulu attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Iolani Palace Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
4,870 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were very impressed by the preservation of the palace, the very well narrated audio guided tour and the displays in the basement. A must see during a visit to Honolulu.  more »
  • One of the best restored historical location I have ever visited. It was a pleasure and a joy to hear of the royal families history and understand some of the local feelings of their wonderful islands...  more »
  • the Palace with electrical and telephone equipment preceded the White House, bathtub with hot/cold water, a souvenir from the corners of the world and complete tourist literature, musical instruments and modern piano design and construction of the Palace of the European model, with the system building conservation is good, fun tour
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  • This is an absolutely amazing place. I can't believe it is so well preserved. Visitors be aware that you will be asked to wear cloth booties over your shoes because they are preserving the original flooring! The palace is by tour only but while waiting you can visit the downstairs museum which is amazing. I would recommend to not bring small children...they require you to use their palace strollers for 4 and younger but if they get antsy you still have to take them outside. Active military get in for free until September because it was paid for by the Blue Star Program.
  • Our experience was wonderful we had the best tour guide and name was Zita. She had been doing this for ever and knew everything there was to know about the princess and her family. She could tell you who every picture was who painted it, she knew every room by heart. Zita was very patient refurbishment to original condition is incredible everything there was about the Palace and would answer any question. She could tell you when everything was built and when it was refurbished. Be sure to take note of all the beautiful Banyan trees on the property. At the time I was in a wheelchair. And security was wonderful helping me go up to secret elevator so I could enjoy the palace.
  • Do *not* miss this treasure of Hawai’i on your ‘Oahu vacation. The workmanship is exquisite and the construction quite frankly ahead of its day, not just for Hawaii but the whole world. Not only is the restoration gorgeous and exact, but you feel the full sweep of Hawaiian history here. This was the interface of Western diplomacy in the Imperial Age and the powerful traditions of the ancient Hawaiians... a dance the Kings of Hawaii managed for over a century from first contact to the putsch that made Hawaii an American colony. They did *everything* right by the rules of the day (and were still screwed over by greed and treachery). You will not only be amazed... with luck, you will come away wiser.
  • Loved it. A great historical place to visit. Very well done self-guided tour with headphones. You can also have a real tour guide if you want to pay more.
  • Fantastic glimpse into the history of the Hawaiian royal family. Great audio tour comes with the ticket and lots of beautiful and interesting things to see. A bit pricey as museums go, but they seem to run on just donations and tickets, so no big deal.
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