3-Day Solo Itinerary: Nightlife & Sightseeing in Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

3 days

Surfboards at Waikiki beach
Hiking
Flamingo birds in Honolulu zoo Oahu
Diamond Head Crater
Makapu'u Point Lookout, Oahu

About Honolulu, Hawaii

Experience the tropical paradise of Honolulu, Hawaii, a vibrant fusion of natural beauty and city life. Immerse yourself in the island's rich history at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial or Iolani Palace. Explore the bustling Waikiki neighborhood, known for its stunning beaches, world-class dining, and shopping. Hike up the iconic Diamond Head for breathtaking panoramic views. Discover Hawaii's unique marine life at Hanauma Bay or the Waikiki Aquarium. Indulge in traditional Hawaiian cuisine and witness a mesmerizing luau performance. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Honolulu offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all types of travelers. Come and create unforgettable memories in this Pacific paradise.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Waikiki Beach and Downtown Honolulu

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the world-famous beach. Enjoy the sunrise and take a leisurely stroll along the shore, soaking in the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.

Lunch

Head to a local eatery for a taste of traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Try the 'plate lunch', a popular local dish that typically includes rice, macaroni salad, and a main entrée.

Afternoon

Visit the historic palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Take a guided tour to learn about Hawaii's royal history and see the beautiful architecture.

Dinner

Enjoy a beachfront dinner at a local seafood restaurant. Try the fresh catch of the day, paired with a tropical cocktail.

Evening

Experience Honolulu's vibrant nightlife. Visit a popular dance club or enjoy live music at a local bar.

Morning

Start your day with a hike up the iconic crater for panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of the crater. Pack a sandwich and some local fruits for a refreshing meal.

Afternoon

Visit the memorial, a significant World War II site. Take a boat tour to the sunken battleship and learn about the history of the attack.

Dinner

Dine at a trendy restaurant in the city's modern district. Try fusion cuisine, a blend of traditional Hawaiian and international flavors.

Evening

Watch a traditional Hawaiian hula show. Enjoy the music, dance, and storytelling of this ancient cultural practice.

Morning

Visit the popular aquarium, home to a variety of marine life native to the Hawaiian Islands.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local café. Try a poke bowl, a traditional Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, rice, and various toppings.

Afternoon

Explore the bustling market, a great place to buy souvenirs and local products. Try some tropical fruits and sample local snacks.

Dinner

Enjoy your last dinner in Honolulu at a fine dining restaurant. Try a gourmet version of a traditional Hawaiian dish.

Evening

End your trip with a relaxing evening at a beach bar. Enjoy a tropical cocktail while watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

1
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet is a large open-air market offering a wide range of goods, including local crafts, clothing, and food. It's a great place to find unique souvenirs and experience the local culture.

Shopping
Cultural Experiences
Diamond Head Crater

2
Diamond Head Crater

A famous volcanic cone that's an iconic feature of the island's skyline. Offers hiking trails with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu.

Attractions
Landmarks
Tours
Iolani Palace

3
Iolani Palace

The only royal palace in the U.S., offering guided tours of its historic rooms and artifacts.

Attractions
Landmarks
Museums
Architecture
Pearl Harbor

4
Pearl Harbor

A historic harbor where the 1941 attack by Japan occurred, leading to the U.S. entry into World War II.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Waikiki Aquarium

5
Waikiki Aquarium

An aquarium showcasing a diverse collection of marine life from the Pacific Ocean.

Attractions
Museums
Waikiki Beach

6
Waikiki Beach

Famous for its long rolling break, ideal for longboarding, tandem surfing and beginners.

Attractions
Beaches
Landmarks

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Poke

Poke

A traditional Hawaiian dish made from raw, marinated fish (usually tuna), poke is a staple in Honolulu. It's often served with rice and vegetables.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi

A popular snack in Honolulu, Spam Musubi is a sushi-style roll with grilled Spam, rice, and seaweed. It's a fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine.

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig is a traditional Hawaiian dish often served at luaus. The pig is slow-cooked in an underground oven, resulting in tender, smoky-flavored meat.

Lau Lau

Lau Lau

Lau Lau is a native Hawaiian dish consisting of pork, fish, and taro leaves wrapped in ti leaves and steamed until tender.

Lomi Salmon

Lomi Salmon

Lomi Salmon is a traditional Hawaiian side dish made from salted salmon, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. It's often served with poi at luaus.

Poi

Poi

Poi is a staple Hawaiian food made from taro root. It's mashed until it becomes a smooth, thick paste and is often served with other traditional dishes.

Haupia

Haupia

Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian dessert made from coconut milk. It's a gelatin-like pudding with a sweet, creamy coconut flavor.

Malasadas

Malasadas

Malasadas are Portuguese donuts that have become a popular treat in Honolulu. They're deep-fried and coated in sugar, often filled with custard or tropical fruit jams.

Shave Ice

Shave Ice

Shave Ice is a popular dessert in Honolulu. It's made from finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrups, often served with ice cream or sweetened condensed milk.

Loco Moco

Loco Moco

Loco Moco is a comfort food dish in Honolulu. It consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy.

Plate Lunch

The Plate Lunch is a quintessential Honolulu meal. It typically includes two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and a choice of meat, such as teriyaki beef or fried fish.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is a classic Hawaiian cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and tropical fruit liqueurs. It's a popular drink to enjoy while relaxing on Honolulu's beautiful beaches.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Honolulu, Hawaii as a tourist is typically during the shoulder seasons, which are April to June and September to mid-December. During these times, the weather is pleasant, the crowds are thinner, and the rates are more affordable. However, if you're interested in surfing, winter months (November to February) offer the best waves. Keep in mind that the busiest and most expensive times are during the U.S. school holidays, particularly over Christmas and New Year.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Honolulu. It provides the flexibility to explore the city and the rest of the island at your own pace. Most major car rental companies have offices at the airport and in the city center.

TheBus is Honolulu's public bus service. It operates throughout the city and to many of the island's popular tourist destinations. It's a cost-effective way to get around, but can be slower due to frequent stops.

Honolulu has a bike-sharing program called Biki. Biki stations are located throughout the city, making it easy to pick up and drop off bikes. It's a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially the Waikiki area.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in Honolulu. They can be a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're traveling in a group or have a lot of luggage.

Taxis are readily available in Honolulu, especially in tourist areas like Waikiki. They can be hailed on the street, booked by phone, or through a mobile app.

Honolulu, especially the Waikiki area, is very pedestrian-friendly. Many attractions, shops, restaurants, and beaches are within walking distance.

The Waikiki Trolley operates several lines that cover major attractions in Honolulu. It's a fun and convenient way to sightsee around the city.

Many hotels offer shuttle services to and from the airport, as well as to popular tourist destinations. Some attractions also offer their own shuttle services.

Renting a motorcycle or moped can be a fun way to explore Honolulu and the rest of the island. There are several rental companies in the city offering a variety of options.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Honolulu, Hawaii as a first time visitor

1

Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and is located on the island of Oahu.

2

The official language is English, but you'll also hear a lot of Hawaiian and Pidgin (a local creole language).

3

The currency is the U.S. dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases.

4

Honolulu has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 65-90°F (18-32°C) throughout the year.

5

The city is generally safe, but like any other tourist destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions.

6

The legal drinking age is 21, and it's illegal to drink alcohol on the beach.

7

Tipping is customary in Honolulu. It's usual to tip 15-20% at restaurants and for services such as taxi rides.

8

Hawaii operates on Hawaii Standard Time, which is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10).

9

Public transportation is available, including buses and trolleys, but renting a car can give you more flexibility to explore the island.

10

Honolulu has strict smoking laws. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places and within 20 feet of doorways and windows.

11

Sunscreen is a must. The Hawaiian sun can be intense, and it's easy to get sunburned even on cloudy days.

12

Pack a light rain jacket or umbrella. Rain showers are common, especially in the winter months.

13

Hawaii has a plastic bag ban, so bring a reusable bag for shopping.

14

Honolulu has a diverse food scene. Don't miss out on trying local specialties like poke, loco moco, and shave ice.

15

Be respectful of the local culture and traditions. For example, don't take rocks or sand from the beach as it's considered disrespectful.

16

If you're planning to hike, stay on marked trails and be aware of your surroundings. Hawaii's natural beauty can be dangerous if you're not prepared.

17

The ocean can be unpredictable. Always check the surf conditions before going in the water and never turn your back to the waves.

18

Honolulu is a bustling city, but it also has quiet areas. If you're looking for peace and tranquility, try visiting during the off-peak season.

19

Hawaii has a high cost of living, so be prepared for higher prices than you might be used to, especially for food and gas.

20

Lastly, remember the Hawaiian word 'Aloha'. It's used to say hello and goodbye, but it also represents love, peace, and compassion.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Swimsuits

  • Beach cover-up

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Flip flops

  • Walking shoes

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Aloe vera or after-sun lotion

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport or ID

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • Hotel reservation confirmation

  • Car rental confirmation

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Guidebook or map

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Power bank

  • Travel adapter (if needed)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for the beach

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Beach bag

  • Beach towel

  • Snorkeling gear

  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing

  • Umbrella or rain poncho

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

Weather Conditions

Visiting Honolulu, Hawaii, you can expect a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. The average temperature typically ranges from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C). However, it's important to note that Hawaii has two main seasons: the dry season (May to October) and the rainy season (November to April). During the dry season, you can expect less rainfall and more sunshine, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and beach lounging. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices. The rainy season, on the other hand, sees more rainfall, especially in the afternoon and evening. However, showers are usually brief and followed by sunshine. This season is less crowded and offers lower prices, making it a great time to visit if you're on a budget. Regardless of when you visit, it's a good idea to pack light, breathable clothing, a hat, and sunscreen to protect against the strong Hawaiian sun. Also, bring a light rain jacket or umbrella, especially if you're visiting during the rainy season. Lastly, keep an eye on the weather forecast. While hurricanes are rare in Hawaii, they can occur, particularly from June to November. Stay informed and heed any warnings or advisories from local authorities. Remember, the weather can vary greatly depending on which part of the island you're on. The windward (eastern) side tends to be wetter and cooler, while the leeward (western) side is typically drier and hotter. So, plan your activities accordingly and enjoy your visit to beautiful Honolulu!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

27° / 18°

January is one of the cooler months in Honolulu, but still warm by most standards. Expect occasional rain showers.

February

27° / 18°

February is similar to January with mild temperatures and occasional rain. It's a great time to visit if you prefer less crowded beaches.

March

28° / 19°

March sees a slight increase in temperature. Rain showers are still common, but less frequent.

April

29° / 20°

April is a transition month with temperatures starting to rise. There's less rain, making it a good time for outdoor activities.

May

30° / 21°

May marks the beginning of the dry season. Expect warm, sunny days perfect for beach activities.

June

31° / 22°

June is a great month to visit with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. It's a popular time for surfing.

July

32° / 23°

July is one of the hottest months in Honolulu. It's perfect for beach activities, but don't forget your sunscreen.

August

32° / 23°

August is similar to July with hot, sunny days. It's a great time for water sports and exploring the island.

September

32° / 23°

September remains hot, but with less tourists around. It's a great time to explore the less crowded beaches.

October

31° / 22°

October sees a slight drop in temperature. It's still warm enough for beach activities and the start of the rainy season.

November

30° / 21°

November is a transition month with temperatures starting to drop. Expect occasional rain showers.

December

28° / 19°

December is one of the cooler months, but still warm by most standards. It's a great time to escape the winter chill elsewhere.

Did you know?

Did you know that Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii?

1 of 10

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Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

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Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

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Waimea Bay

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Polynesian Cultural Center

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Dole Plantation

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Haleiwa Town

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Kualoa Ranch

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