Let’s be honest; most travellers arrive to Honolulu airport and then scatter like crabs in all directions, to other parts of Hawaii – Northern Oahu, Downtown Waikiki or islands further afield.

Being Hawaii’s capital city, it’s inevitable every Hawaiian encounter will pass through Honolulu at some point. Here’s your Honolulu City guide.


Honolulu airport is one of the business tin the United States. Located just 8km from downtown Waikiki, even less to Honolulu city centre, and about 45 minutes drive to the North Shore; Honolulu airport is convenient for travellers to connect with.

Most hotels in Waikiki offer airport transfers or shuttles to Honolulu airport. There are also public shuttles that travellers can take to downtown Waikiki or Honolulu city centre, from Honolulu airport. Transport to and from the airport is accessible and readily available.

Time Best Spent

Honolulu is all about Waikiki, and while Downtown Waikiki has a lot to offer, there are a few gems outside this area too.

Begin your day with a sunrise walk of Diamond Head Crater. The park opens at 6am and is a popular hike, so don’t expect a solo adventure. Diamond Head is however, popular for good reason. At the top of the 760 foot summit hikers are treated with 360 degree views across Oahu’s coastline, nature blessed inland, Honolulu city, and Waikiki. The hike takes between 40 and 60 minutes to reach the top and has some steep sections and narrow stairs. The best start to the day.

Next, head to Pearl Harbour (7am opening time). Take your time learning about the place which left long-lasting impact on the American and Hawaiian people. We highly recommend paying the little extra for the audio headsets. From Pearl Harbour slowly wander Downtown Waikiki, enjoying the energy and prying in stores en route to Rock Island Cafe. Enjoy a diner burger, fries and shake like they did back in the 50’s- enough to tide you over for your beach afternoon.

Next stop is Waikiki beach. Pick a spot to put your beach towel and bag full of anything my need for the day: book, sunscreen, water and snacks. Aside from a surf lesson and time in the water, there isn’t any need to move all day. Watch the antics, and enjoy the energy, but most of all just sit back and relax.

After freshening up back at the hotel it’s time for a late dinner and cocktail along Downtown Waikiki. You’re spoilt for choice so best not to make plans, but rather wander the Main Street looking out for the restaurant which pulls your desire the most. There are usually maitre d’s standing roadside ready to lure guests in with an assortment of offers, or to gently point out something delectable from the menu that entices you.

Day 2: Beyond Honolulu

Today, head further afield. Take a car over to Hanauma Bay for a morning of snorkelling. Best to get there early because the crowds can quickly spoil the fun though. Hanauma is a beautiful bay with golden sand and warm waters (when the season is right), from which tropical fish swim. A perfect place to put on flippers and mask, and cruise beneath the water surface. After enjoying the marine life, drive further north to visit the world famous surf breaks at Sunset and Pipeline. This isn’t the place to swim, or surf, but is certainly a place to pique interest as one of the best breaks in the world for big wave riders. In December when the WSL competition is on, expect to have limited vehicle access though.

Choose to then spend the afternoon walking one of the many trails in the area, or perched beachside at Kawela Bay.

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Hawaii in general is not the place to be indoors, and Honolulu is no different. Choose from being beachside, taking a surf lesson, or hiking one of the many trails.

Where to Sleep

Downtown Waikiki is where the action is, and there is plenty of accommodation to choose from. Weather you like resort life, classic hotel or serviced apartment, we have a host of options. Reach out and we’ll get your booking sorted.

What to Avoid

Avoid only experiencing Downtown Waikiki; Honolulu has plenty of spectacular landscape and there are many trails and day walks nearby for all fitness levels and abilities.