Iolani Palace

Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua Iolani Palace served as the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. His sister and successor Queen Lilliuokalani then lived there following his reign.

iolani palace

It is a national historic landmark and offers tours to visitors who wish to learn about the kingdom and history of Hawaii and the lifestyles of royalty of the time.

The name Iolani has significance: Io refers to a Hawaiian hawk which flies higher than all the rest. Lani means heavenly, royal or exalted. The palace has been meticulously restored and history comes to life before your eyes as you walk its halls and go back in time. On site is a sacred tomb where several kings of the Hawaiian monarchy have been built.



History & Collections

New Beginnings

iolani palace king kalakaua

Iolani Palace was built to help mark Hawaii's rise and prominence as a modern nation in the new world. It was finally completed in 1882 with all of the latest technological innovations such as state of the art plumbing and telephone communications.

King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani moved in and helped begin a renaissance of the preservation of Hawaiian culture and traditions so that it would not be lost. The Hawaiian language was transcribed and public performances of the hula were held. He became known as the "Merrie Monarch".

King Kalakaua was a descendant of chiefs from Kona and played a significant role in conquests and the unification of the Hawaiian islands into one kingdom. He was the first king who traveled around the world and to meet a US president (Grant).

Succession, Overthrow & Monarchy End

iolani palace queen liliuokalani

In 1891 Queen Liliuokalani succeeded the throne after the death of her brother King Kalakaua. She tried to institute a new constitution that would strengthen the Hawaiian monarchy and reduce the suffrage of her subjects.

Much resistance was received by American descendants who were born and living here, plantation owners, foreign nationals and naturalized citizens. In 1893 she was overthrown by members of these groups, imprisoned and forced to sign a document relinquishing her power.

Afterwards a public trial was held in the palace, she was found guilty, fined and sentenced to 5 years of hard labor. This labor portion of the sentence was later changed to house arrest and the queen was forced to live in one of her bedrooms in the palace initially and later in another home she owned for more than an extra year.

Additionally she was forbidden to leave Oahu. 100 years later in 1993 the United States formally apologized to the native people of Hawaii under President Clinton.



Iolani Palace-Location & Hours


Iolani Palace is located downtown in the Capitol district on King St. Across the street is the King Kamehameha statue. The exact address is 364 South King St, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Parking is extremely limited and in the immediate area is metered. The cost is 25 cents for 15 minutes. During peak rush times it is restricted on certain streets. Read the signs carefully.

About 1.5 blocks away on Alakea St is garage parking. The name of the garage is Alii Place and the cost is $3 for the first 2 hours and then $1 for each additional hour.

The palace is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00. It is closed on the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The cost of admission depends on whether doing a guided tour or a self-guided tour. For guided tours it is $20 for adults and $6 for children aged 5-12 years old. For kamaaina and military with ID the cost is $15.

For self-guided tours the cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children aged 5-12 years old. There is an additional $1 for the audio portion. Admission to the basement and gallery exhibits is$7 for adults and $3 for children.

Tickets for all tours can be purchased on site. Guided tours are approximately evvery 15 minutes and self-guided tours approximately every 10 minutes. Japanese tours are available and reservations are recommended for guided tours in case a large group shows up and depletes the supply of available guides. All types of tours are offered on certain days and in some cases at certain times. See the website for more specific details.

Free admission with the Go Oahu card activity pass. Save the $21 admission to this museum and other museums on the island. Learn how...


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