How to get around Honolulu


One of the great things about Waikiki is that everything is within walking distance. You’ve got delicious eateries, famous hotels, shopping centres and of course stunning Waikiki Beach close by. But what happens when you want to venture further?

When you travel to Hawaii, here are some easy options for getting around Honolulu…

The Bus:
This is the only public transport on Oahu, but it’s an efficient system that will take you to all the main shopping areas and tourist sites. Each ride is US$2.50, whether you go a few blocks or non-stop around the island – but make sure you have the exact money, because you won’t be given change. There is a great route planner on, plus the bus audio announcements tell you the street names at each stop, as well as any nearby attractions, so it’s very visitor-friendly.

The new buses are now also spreading the spirit of aloha. Drivers can flick the switch to put up the electronic shaka (hang loose) sign on the back of the bus to say mahalo (thanks) to other kind drivers on the roads 🙂

electronic shaka sign on The Bus in Hawaii United States

Waikiki Trolley:
Since 1986 the classic street reproductions of San Francisco cable cars have been transporting millions of visitors to Honolulu’s highlights. This iconic transport option not only gets you from A-to-B, but the drivers will share their local knowledge and let you know about all the sites on their route.

You’ve got 4 lines to enjoy with bonus free admissions, and a big tip is check out the historic walking tours that are included with your pass during the summer months. Plus if you just want to get back from Ala Moana Centre to Waikiki, you can jump on board for US$2 – cheaper than the bus and lots of open-air fun!

Car hire:
Driving around the island is the perfect option if you want to take your time and get off the regular routes. All the major car companies are represented and in most cases you can choose an airport or Waikiki pick-up. Make sure you factor in the cost of parking if it’s not included at your hotel and if you’re not used to driving on the right, remember that the driver’s side of the car should always be on the centre of the road.

To this list of transport options you can add sightseeing tours and also taxis are readily available. But however you choose to get around Oahu, it will be easier than you thought and you’ll have lots of fun exploring Honolulu and beyond!

Plus if you want to discover more of Hawaii, check out Intrepid’s new Hawaiian Highlights, a 10-day island-hopping adventure to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island!

Photo: Sue Elliot and Shaka bus sign courtesy of Oahu Transit Services.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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