Honolulu, in southeast Oahu, is Hawaii’s state capital. The imposing Aloha Tower lighthouse greets arriving visitors with its Gothic architecture, while Ala Moana Park, with its serene beach, offers a break from the city’s bustle. History is the everywhere here, and you can step into the past at iconic sights such as Pearl Harbor, or explore the restored 19th-century homes in the Mission Houses Museum.

    Head to one of Honolulu’s beachfront cafes to sample pokē, a lightly spiced raw-fish salad, washed down with a freshly made tropical-fruit smoothie, before watching a smoldering sunset from an idyllic vantage point on palm-fringed Waikiki Beach.

    What to see & do in Honolulu

    Featured stories & fun stuff

    Where to shop & what to buy in Honolulu

    • 10 Best Places to Go Shopping in Honolulu

      Honolulu offers some of the best shopping experiences in Hawaii, whether you’re on the hunt for brand-name fashions or looking for unique local arts and crafts. Taking advantage of Honolulu’s mild tropical weather, many shopping centres have open-air layouts with lush gardens and rows of palms. Some malls are within easy reach of downtown Honolulu, while there are...

    Where to go & what to do at night in Honolulu

    • 10 Best Things to Do After Dinner in Honolulu

      After dinner in Honolulu, you’ll have your choice of things to see and do. From enjoying live music and cocktails at a bar or club to spending time with the family watching fireworks on the beach, there’s something for everyone. Whether you want wildlife encounters and moonlit walks or traditional fun like luaus and cultural events, Honolulu is home to...

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Start planning your trip

    More information about Honolulu

    A Honolulu vacation means soaking up Hawaiian sunshine on palm tree-lined beaches by day and romantic evenings watching the sun dip into the Pacific Ocean. So grab your surfboard, book your Honolulu hotel and step into a true tropical paradise.

    Golden beaches

    Of all Hawaii’s beaches, none is more famous than Waikiki Beach, a narrow 1½- mile stretch bordered by high-rise Honolulu hotels and watched over by Diamond Head mountain. When the waves are high, sun-tanned surfers paddle out into Waikiki’s Mamala Bay, making for great entertainment even for those preferring to watch from their beach blankets. Between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu Ala Moana Beach offers smaller crowds and calmer waters for swimming, while Hanauma Bay, on Oahu’s easternmost shore, is popular with snorkelers. 

    Island romance

    Stroll the stalls of Chinatown’s open market, gathering up fresh-cut orchid bouquets or plumeria leis (typical Hawaiian garlands). Waikiki Beach is a favourite spot for couples to take surfing lessons or for just soaking up some sun. Reserve space at a classic Hawaiian luau party and learn to hula at resorts throughout Honolulu. For a more laid-back evening, dine at 5-diamond La Mer in Waikiki, famous for French preparations of Hawaiian ingredients and sunset views of Diamond Head. End your romantic Honolulu vacation sipping mai tai cocktails in a beachside hotel, overlooking a brilliant red sunset. 

    Polynesian past

    A visit to downtown Honolulu reminds visitors of Hawaii’s history as an independent nation. The ‘Iolani Palace, America’s only imperial residence, highlights Polynesian history through its Victorian galleries and sparkling royal jewellery collections. Across the street, the King Kamehameha I statue stands before the Kawaiaha’o Church, built from 14,000 coral blocks, and Mission Houses Museum, where New England missionaries settled in 1820. For a taste of more recent history, visitors can take the short bus ride to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, which marked the beginning of America’s involvement in the Second World War. 

    Also popular in United States of America

    Keep exploring

    Travel alert

    Check COVID-19 restrictions.

    Find out more
    Back to top