Honolulu’s Iolani Palace is not trivial. The only official Royal Palace in the US offers a glimpse into Hawaii’s history that is much needed to understand the past and help explain the islands today and into the future. It also features unique architecture seen nowhere else, called American Florentine.
As Hawaii scrambles to reimagine tourism in its post-pandemic world, cultural experiences are of greater significance. So it is excellent timing that the COVID-challenged Iolani Palace will be getting much-needed help from new funding from the National Park Service (NPS). This grant will ensure that Hawaii’s landmark treasure will be able to complete roof repairs. The Palace said they would receive one-half million dollars from NPS, which will be used for 9,000 sq. ft. of work. In addition, the State will provide matching funds to help complete the project. Could more funding come from NPS? We don’t know the answer but are happy to see NPS step in to help.
A spokesperson for Iolani Palace said, “we are incredibly grateful to be among the projects included in the Save America’s Treasures list of grantees. This award underscores the importance of preserving history and helps us to ensure that the stories of our Alii and the impact they had in Hawaii and around the world continue to be told.”
NPS added, “Iolani Palace has stood for nearly 140 years, and we are pleased to support and partner with the Friends of Iolani Palace to protect and preserve this National Historic Landmark for future generations.”
Virtual tour of Iolani Palace
Step inside now and see the Palace before you visit.
New Visitor Policies During COVID-19 Began September 13, 2021.
The Palace has been challenged during COVID as visitor income dropped precipitously. All visitors 12 and older must show proof of vaccination or have a negative test result within 48 hours of their tour. Masks are required inside. For more information, read Iolani Palace COVID-19.
Iolani Palace – since 1882.
Step away from everything you think of as Honolulu and inside the rich history of the Hawaiian Kingdom. America’s only royal Palace is here in Honolulu. Iolani Palace, built 139 years ago in 1882, was the home of Hawaii’s last two monarchs.
Visitors who come to Iolani Palace will learn a part of history that seems excluded from mainland textbooks. This includes the imprisonment of Queen Liliuokalani by the United States and the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.
Our favorite things to see at Iolani Palace are the Throne Room and the quilt made by the Queen during her palace imprisonment. The Palace Galleries also include the crown jewels.
Most of the Palace furniture and furnishings were sold at auction after the overthrow. The Friends of Iolani Palace have worked hard to have many of these items returned. My favorite story is of a visitor who looked at an old Palace photograph and saw a table that resembled his. When he returned home to the mainland and examined the table, it had the official royal markings and was donated back to the Palace.
The Palace has a list of their most wanted furnishings. Maybe one of your family antiques belonged to the royal household? So far, the Friends of Iolani Palace have located original pieces in 38 states and four foreign countries.
Admission: You can visit Iolani Palace by reservation. Tickets must be purchased onlines. Refer to Iolani Palace Visiting Hours for details. Guided tours are limited to Wednesday morning and Thursday morning and afternoon. Self-led audio tours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.,
If you come on Friday, you may hear the Royal Hawaiian Band performing on the Palace grounds starting at noon. Guided tours are $30 for adults, and self-led audio tours are $25.00.
Help the Friends of Iolani Palace by doing any of the following:
1. Take a tour and share your experience with others.
2. Purchase gifts and souvenirs from the Palace Shop.
3. Make a donation and become a member.
4. Shop online at Amazon and Hawaiian Airlines. A portion of each sale will be donated to Iolani Palace when you use their links. Details are here: http://www.iolanipalace.org/donations-membership/support-iolani-palace/
Palace Location and Parking: Capitol District of downtown Honolulu at the corner of King and Richards Street.
Limited metered parking is available on Iolani Palace grounds and nearby streets.
A private parking garage nearby is at 1099 Alakea Street. The entrance is on the right side of Alakea Street between King Street and Hotel Street. Alakea is one-way.
Accessibility: There is an elevator between floors. If you need additional help, make sure you mention it at the time of reservation. See their website for accessibility information.