Historic Honolulu Landmarks: 'Iolani Palace

About 'Iolani Palace

Oahu, also called “The Gathering Place”, it is home to most of Hawaii’s diverse people. Travelers that come to Oahu enjoy the striking contrast between the modern and the ancient in Hawaii. It’s here where you can enjoy both lively city life and a laid-back atmosphere at the many places to see on Oahu.

Oahu is popular for its Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. However, there are so many things to see in Oahu besides the beaches. With a wide list of attractions, Oahu is sure to satisfy all types of travelers.

One of the many places to visit on Oahu is ‘Iolani Palace. Learn more about one of Oahu’s landmarks, the majestic ‘Iolani Palace, which was once the home of Hawaii’s monarchs.

History, Culture, and Beauty

If you could see just one historical site on your visit to Oahu, there’s no question as to why it should be ‘Iolani Palace.

The palace was constructed in 1882. It is the only royal palace in the United States, which served as the official home of Hawaii’s King Kalakaua.

The spectacular home boasts of European-inspired architectural styles, which included Hawaii’s first use of modern technology such as the first flush toilets, electrical light system, and home telephone. Inside it, you can see beautiful portraits of Hawaiian royalty and a stunning koa staircase. You can also see beautiful elaborate furniture, ornaments, and royal gifts.

Hawaii was officially named the 50th state in 1959. From this year until 1968, the former ‘Iolani Palace served as a capitol building. It was neglected in the following years until 1978 when they renovated and opened the building to the public.

What To Expect

When you visit the palace, you will have the chance to see America’s only throne room, dining room, and reception area. You can easily imagine the wonderful balls and state dinners held there. You will see the living room of the royal family and have the chance to listen to the history of the palace. You will learn about Queen Liliuokalani’s imprisonment in one of the bedrooms upstairs after the royal family was overthrown.

In the basement, you can check out the ancient regalia of Hawaiian royalty. You can see precious jewelry on the golden crowns of the royals. On the royal grounds, you can view the ‘Iolani Coronation Pavilion, where King Kalakaua was crowned king.

The palace is located in the middle of an area notable for a walking tour. Behind ‘Iolani Palace, you can find Washington Place, which serves as the residence of the governor. You can also see the State Capitol building here.

To the eastern side of the palace, you can see the home of the office of the mayor and the city council, Honolulu Hale. Along the same side, you can also see Kawaiahao Church.

On the western side, you can explore Oahu’s arts and financial district in downtown Honolulu. You can also visit the Hawaii State Art Museum and Chinatown.

Visiting ‘Iolani Palace

The palace is open for public viewing from 9 AM – 4 PM on Mondays to Saturdays. They’re closed on public holidays and Sundays. Aside from allowing guests to view the palace, there are also other events such as classes, Hawaiian band concerts, and lectures.

There are several spots on the palace ground that are open for rent. These are great for various events.

You can choose between guided tours or private tours when visiting ‘Iolani Palace.

Things To Know Before You Go

Come in Conservative Attire

Know that ‘Iolani Palace is a sacred place and guests are requested to dress appropriately, showing respect for the historical and cultural significance of the place.

    • Do not come barefoot or shirtless.
    • The palace will also require guests to wear shoe coverings, which they will provide.
    • Do not wear beachwear or bathing suits to the palace.
    • Do not wear clothing that shows profanity.

Things To Know About Taking Pictures

The palace allows its guests to take pictures and share them with others. It is also alright to take pictures of the palace grounds, exterior, and interior for personal use. However, here are some things not allowed:

  • Taking videos
  • Audio recording
  • Flash photography
  • Using extended lenses, selfie sticks, and tripods or monopods
  • Commercial photography is not allowed unless performed with written consent from the palace.

Personal Belongings

Avoid bringing the following things inside the palace:

    • Food and drinks
    • Backpacks
    • Large bags
    • Luggage

Visit Oahu And See the ‘Iolani Palace

If you’re planning to go to Oahu, you can have a private tour. Book an Oahu limo tour with us. Immerse in the culture and history of Oahu and see the famous ‘Iolani Palace.