Explore the former palace of the Hawai’ian royal family. The building is filled with crown jewels, ballrooms and grand staircases.
As you make you way through the spacious corridors of ’Iolani Palace you’ll see crowns worn by kings and queens over a century ago, alongside other treasures. Explore the original living quarters and the room that the last Hawai’ian queen was kept a prisoner in after the monarchy was overthrown. There are jewels, a regal throne room and manicured gardens, a highlight of the palace.
After three years of construction under the supervision of King David Kalākaua the palace was completed in 1882. The design was inspired by the king’s international travels. See Renaissance-style columns and bold arches that are common across Europe. The palace was incredibly modern for its time and had access to electricity even before the U.S. White House. Before the turn of the century the American government overthrew the monarchy and since 1978 the building has been a museum.
Walk through the main reception room to reach the throne room. Picture the lavish banquets and wild parties that were once hosted in the dining halls before making a beeline for the richly decorated staircase that leads to the first floor. Admire the craftsmanship present in the koa wood and appreciate the portraits of the royals as you climb the stairs.
Visit the bedrooms of the past kings and queens of Hawai’i. Each room displays art and historic furnishings. Learn the story of Queen Lili’iokalani, Hawai’i’s last monarch, who was imprisoned in her bedroom after the Americans seized the island and the monarchy was overthrown.
Venture into the basement to find crowns and precious jewels. Outside, see the ’Iolani Coronation Pavilion. Two of Hawai’i’s last monarchs were sworn in in the beautiful green-roofed pagoda.
Join a guided tour to learn more about the palace’s history or pick up a brochure for a self-guided tour at the information desk. The ’Iolani Palace is located in central Honolulu. It’s easily reached by bus and tram or on foot from many hotels. The palace is closed Sundays and public holidays. A small admission fee applies.