aerial view of honolulu downtown

aerial view of honolulu downtown

Historic Downtown Honolulu Walking Tour Itinerary


This tour will show you around the historic downtown district of Honolulu, detailing the history of each building and creating a picture of old Hawaii packed with history. This tour takes only an hour or two - good for when you have some spare time in Honolulu or are just looking to get away from the bustle of Waikiki

You can start this tour at any time of day, but we suggest starting before lunch if you're looking to fit in a self-guided tour of the Iolani Palace as well. Here's a rundown of what you'll see on the tour. 

1. Kamehameha Statue

kamehameha with leis

The Kamehameha I statue is the starting point of the tour and has an unusual story associated with it. The statue is beautifully framed with the Ali’iolani Hale in the background.

Pro tip: If you come near Kamehameha Day (June 11), the statue will be draped in long leis in celebration!

RELATEDKing Kamehameha the Great & His Conquest to Unite Hawaii

2. Ali’iolani Hale

Aliiolani Hale

The Ali’iolani Hale is a gorgeous and historical building - the name meaning “house of heavenly kings.” Here, you’ll hear some fascinating backstory about the building, and why it’s so important!

RELATED: History in the Big City: The Cultural Sites of Honolulu

3. Kawaiahao Church

Kawaiahao churchPhoto from Kawaiahao church

The Kawaiahao Church is an extremely historic church - the first Christian chapel on the Hawaiian Islands. The audio goes deep into the building itself and the history surrounding it.

RELATEDHistory in the Big City: The Cultural Sites of Honolulu

4. King Lunalilo’s Tomb

King Lunalilo's Mausoleum from wikipediaPhoto from Wikipedia

Located on the grounds of the Kawaiahao Church, this tomb contains the People’s King of Hawaii - King Lunalilo. An extremely well-loved monarch who did a lot for his people. Learn all about him and his legacy on the tour. This is a sacred spot - please be respectful. 

5. Honolulu Hale

honolulu hale at the sidePhoto from Wikipedia/ Wide front view of Honolulu Hale, the City Hall of Honolulu, Hawaii

This building is the City Hall of Honolulu - and is beautiful both inside and out. In the lobby, you can view the historic architecture, and also art exhibits from local artists on display! 

6. State Library

The Hawaii State Library  478 S. King St., Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.Photo from Wikipedia / The Hawaii State Library — 478 S. King St., Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

An imposing building with dramatic Greek-style pillars out front, the State Library is a sight to behold. The tour details the long history of reading and writing in Hawaii, and how the library was established.

7. Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the last stop on the tour - and it’s quite the epic place to end! This Palace is easily the most significant building on the tour. This is because it was an actual palace that generations of Hawaiian royalty lived in. Heaps of landmark events in Hawaiian history - both good and bad - took place here at the palace. 

Pro Tip: Iolani Palace has its own self-guided audio tour, which you can read about here!

RELATED: The History of Hawaiian Monarchy: The Iolani Palace

If you’re looking to hear more about the long history of these isolated islands, this tour is for you! It’s nice and short and just spans a handful of blocks, so you needn’t worry about walking too far. Have fun!

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image of honolulu

Check out the tour here: Historic Downtown Walking Tour



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