Iolani Palace – America’s Only Royal Residence

Iolani Palace Honolulu Hawaii
Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, located in downtown Honolulu on Ohau Hawaii, is the only royal palace in the United States. It was constructed as seat of the government in 1882 by King David Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani.

It would be quite worth your while to visit America’s only royal palace (some would even be surprised with this fact!) when you are in Honolulu. A visit to Iolani Palace would surely change your perspective of Hawaii as you get a glimpse of the last days of Hawaii’s royalty.

The Iolani Palace was built by King David Kalakaua, Hawaii’s final king and the first monarch to travel around the world visiting other sovereign states. Inspired by the grand palaces owned by other monarchs, he constructed his own in a spot that is now located in downtown Honolulu.

Completed in 1882, it cost over $360,000 and was powered by electricity and equipped with telephones. Incredibly, the White House wasn’t even powered and had no telephones during that time yet.

The Iolani Palace kept its splendour as a royal residence until the king’s successor, his sister Queen Lili`uokalani , was overthrown and imprisoned there. The Iolani Palace became the capitol of the Provisional Government until 1969. It was vacated afterwards but was restored with the efforts of the “Friends of Iolani Palace.”


It is easy to get a bus to the Iolani Palace which is at the heart of Honolulu,. You could go on a self-guided tour with pre-recorded tour information. A guided tour is best since there are areas that are off-limits to unguided guests.

At admission price of $20 guided tour for adults, you can visit the beautifully restored state apartments and other rooms, the artifacts and jewelry of the royalties, and the past glory that was called the Hawaiian Kingdom. Tours are from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm.  Source:

Iolani Palace
364 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813


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