It’s the state capital and largest city in Hawaii, acting as the islands’ central hub for the millions of tourists who head here in search of sun, sea and sand. Quite often, they’re not disappointed as the weather in Honolulu is pretty hot all year round – even in winter, temperatures can exceed 25°C. You’re also never too far away from the beach either! Honolulu is a city famed for more than its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its sunny climate. It had a major role towards the end of World War Two, a fact which is commemorated throughout the city. Some of the scenes here are incredible too, especially Diamond Head, an ancient volcanic crater which overlooks the shore towards Waikiki Beach.
Many of the roads in Honolulu are tightly-packed due to the fact that Oahu is a small island. Just for getting round those corners, a small car will make your driving experience more pleasurable.
Driving in Honolulu
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Traffic is a major problem at times in Honolulu. Rush hour in the city is between 5am and 8am and 3pm to 6.30pm on weekdays.
Most of the roads away from the interstates leading into the city are relatively quiet. Using them will help you to avoid traffic.
Public transport such as buses always get right of way on the streets of Honolulu. The same goes for pedestrians, even if they’re not on the crosswalk.
Highlights & Hotspots
The first place many people go to when arriving in Honolulu is Waikiki Beach, the main spot for sun-seekers. Here, you can sunbathe, go swimming, snorkelling, diving or perhaps play a little volleyball with some of the locals if the mood takes you.
Pearl Harbor, one of the most famous sites of World War Two, is on the western side of Honolulu. Tours to the site are available most days, where you can look up close at the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin, a submarine which is also open for tours.
To learn about Hawaiian culture, the best place to go is the Bishop Museum in the western part of the city. Artefacts about the state’s history and exhibitions dedicated to science sit side by side while there’s also a planetarium to visit.
Despite being miles away from the US mainland, Honolulu has a thriving theatre scene. The Diamond Head Theatre offers many of the same shows you’re likely to experience on Broadway or in the West End, with a local twist.
Honolulu International Airport is the principal airport of Hawaii, lying three miles northwest of the city centre. It serves close to 18 million passengers a year and has three terminals ‚Äì Commuter, Interisland and Main Overseas. Flights to most continents board here.
To get to the airport, it is accessible directly by either the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway or the N Nimitz Highway. The former takes you eastwards to the city centre.