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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Hawaii > Honolulu

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Getting around Honolulu

Public transport

TheBus (tel: +1 808 848 4500; www.thebus.org), Oahu's excellent mass transit system, serves the entire island via around 110 routes. Buses depart regularly along routes 19 and 20, which run between Honolulu International Airport and Waikiki.

Bus routes pass many of the major attractions such as Hanauma Bay (route 22), Sea Life Park (routes 22 and 23), and the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor (route 20).

 

TheBus has a reduced service on weekends and holidays. Ensure you have the exact fare as drivers don’t carry change. A one-day pass provides unlimited transfers for your day of travel.

The open-air Waikiki Trolley (tel: +1 808 593 2822; www.waikikitrolley.com) operates five lines around Oahu, including stops at major attractions such as Bishop Museum, Chinatown, Iolani Palace, Hanauma Bay, Sea Life Park, and Ala Moana Center. One-, four- and seven-day passes are available.

Taxis

Metered taxis provide transportation to and from almost any area of Oahu. Many are readily available at Ala Moana Center, the airport, and Waikiki hotels, but others are best arranged by calling the dispatch line.

Charley's Taxi (tel: +1 808 233 3333; www.charleystaxi.com) and TheCAB (tel: +1 808 422 2222; www.thecabhawaii.com) are two of the largest taxi companies on Oahu. If you are seeking something more environmentally friendly, EcoCab runs a fleet of hybrid electric vehicles (tel: +1 808 979 1010; www.ecocabhawaii.com).

Driving

Unlike most US cities, Honolulu is not laid out on a grid system, so driving can be confusing. Navigate with a good map, making note of major landmarks (such as King Street, the main artery) in order to get orientated. Driving in Honolulu tends to be slow, with bad traffic jams during rush hours. Luckily, drivers are rarely aggressive. There are parking lots dotted across the city, along with on-street metered parking; always check signs, as you can often only park for a limited time.

Car hire

To hire a car in Honolulu you need a valid national driving licence and passport, though some companies may insist on an International Driving Permit, so it's worth checking in advance. Most rental firms insist that drivers are 21 and over.

Among the major car hire firms in Honolulu are Avis (tel: +1 808 834 5536; www.avis.com), Budget (tel: +1 808 836 1700; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 808 922 3331; www.hertz.com).

Bicycle hire

Cycling is a pleasant way to get around Honolulu. The Hawaii Bicycling League (www.hbl.org) has a range of maps and routes on their website, and most routes run alongside the ocean with striking views.

The Bike Shop Hawaii (tel: +1 808 596 0588; www.bikeshophawaii.com), at 1149 South King Street, can get you onto two wheels. It offers a wide range of road and race bikes. It also organises weekend rides, which are open to newcomers.

Big Kahuna Motorcycle Tours and Rentals (tel: +1 808 924 2736; www.bigkahunarentals.com), at 407 Seaside Avenue, is one of the biggest bike hire companies in Waikiki. It also rents motorcycles, scooters, and Harley-Davidsons.

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Featured Hotels

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Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

A 10-minute walk from Waikiki beach this reasonably-priced 4-star hotel has 112 rooms and guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi and great amenities nearby.

Vive Hotel Waikiki

A great deal for its price, this sophisticated hotel is just three blocks the famed Waikiki Beach, and offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi, paid parking, and a spa. If you request a room above the seventh floor, you will also have a gorgeous view of either Koolau Mountain or the Pacific Ocean.

 

Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Constructed just close enough to the majestic Diamond Head Crater for peace and quiet, yet only a short (free) shuttle ride from Ala Moana, this boutique hotel offers the best of both worlds. Accommodations are intimate and classy, and visitors can participate in beach cruiser bike rides, outdoor yoga classes, and complementary evening wine receptions courtesy of hotel management.

 

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa

Luxury holidaymakers will appreciate the on-site car hire agencies as well as the foreign currency exchange and Private Line programme providing complimentary local toll-free and calling card phone calls. Your stay also comes with in-room coffee and discounted self and valet parking.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

Consistently voted one of Hawaii's top luxury hotels, the opulent Kahala offers up-close and personal Dolphin Quest encounters with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, private spa suites, and complimentary hula, ukulele, and lei making classes.

The Royal Hawaiian

Located on the Waikiki beach, this beatiful "Pink Palace of the Pacific" is popular with Hollywood celebrities and world dignitaries. It has 528 rooms and suites, many of them overlook the sparkling Pacific Ocean. It has become a popular wedding venue too.