How to Get Around in Honolulu

With so many Honolulu hotels sitting on the beach, you may wonder why you have to go anywhere at all. But there are countless opportunities to explore the island, and multiple convenient ways to do so.

Charter Bus

If you're lucky enough to be in Honolulu strictly for pleasure, book a seat on a charter bus. Charter companies hold guided tours that explore all of Honolulu, and can take you to the furthest reaches of the island. With a helpful guide along for the ride, you'll learn as you go. You may not be able to stop and linger on everything that interests you, but a guided tour lets you relax. Prices range from about $50-$100, depending on distance and content of the trip.

The Bus

Honolulu's own bus service, or TheBus, serves the entire population and goes everywhere on the island. Several routes are geared for tourist convenience, including the #22 Beach Route, and several routes that weave through Waikiki. Remember that many of these buses are ridden by locals, and will therefore be quite full during rush hour. One-way fare is $2.50, and you are given a pass that allows you to ride once more for free within two hours.

Car Rental

With greater and greater traffic congestion by the year, at the wrong time of day, it can take an enormously long time to drive even a short distance in Honolulu. However, there's nothing quite like the freedom to go wherever you may want to, especially with so many different places to see. A number of car rental locations are available across the island, including Enterprise, Alamo, Budget, and the usual suspects.

That said, the caveat about rush hour for the buses holds even more true for cars. The highway becomes a slow moving river of vehicles from about 4:30-7:30 going to and from town, and the morning rush hour is little better. Avoid traveling at these peak times, and you'll have the freedom to go wherever you wish.


The taxi service is fairly popular among Honolulu's older generation, many of whom never learned how to drive. With an easily remembered number (422-2222), it's no trouble to call a taxi at any time you might require one. However, with Waikiki amenities located so close together, and public transportation so strategically laid out, you are unlikely to require a taxi unless you're going to the airport.

The Trolley

The Honolulu Trolley has several lines that allow you to see historic, scenic, or panoramic Honolulu while the breeze blows through your hair. Buying a 4-Day or 7-Day pass online also gives you access to the Waikiki Aquarium for free. The trolley is especially recommended for those traveling with young children, as they're bound to enjoy the open-air vehicle.

Airport Shuttles

A number of companies provide service to and from the airport, with fixed rates depending on whether you're traveling to Waikiki, Kahala, or Ko'olina.

Last Updated: October 12, 2016