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Honolulu, the capital of the state of Hawaii, is a laid-back city on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu. Unwind on Waikiki Beach or climb Diamond Head for panoramic views of Oahu's coast. If Honolulu sounds to you as the paradise on earth: think twice. Honolulu, and much of Oahu, are overdeveloped. It's better to look for the real Hawaii elsewhere.
Honolulu enjoys a tropical climate, moderated by the California Current. Average daily highs are 80 °F in January and 88 °F in July. Temperatures rarely exceed 90 °F.
As Honolulu is located in the southwest, it is much drier compared to the northeastern parts of the island. Honolulu has only between 20 and 50 mm of rain during most of the year, more so from November to February. It is quite unusual for to have the wettest time of year coincide with the slightly cooler months. Oddly enough, the possibility of a tropical storm or even a hurricane is higher from May to November, opposite to the wetter months. Still, such storms are less frequent compared to for example the Caribbean or west Pacific.
|Avg Max||26.7 °C||26.9 °C||27.6 °C||28.2 °C||29.3 °C||30.3 °C||30.8 °C||31.5 °C||31.4 °C||30.5 °C||28.9 °C||27.3 °C|
|Avg Min||18.7 °C||18.6 °C||19.6 °C||20.4 °C||21.3 °C||22.3 °C||23.1 °C||23.4 °C||23.1 °C||22.4 °C||21.3 °C||19.4 °C|
|Rainfall||90.2 mm||56.1 mm||55.9 mm||39.1 mm||28.7 mm||12.7 mm||15 mm||11.2 mm||19.8 mm||57.9 mm||76.2 mm||96.5 mm|
Most visitors come to Honolulu by air, as it's the main hub to the Hawaiian islands from mainland USA and several other pacific nations.
Honolulu International Airport (Airport code: HNL), 3 miles (5 kilometres) northwest of the city's CBD, is the main airport in Hawaii and the principal hub of Hawaiian Airlines. There are direct routes to Honolulu's airport from Asia, North America and the Pacific.
Dozens of international destinations are served, among which many cities in the US, such as Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City. Other destinations include Vancouver, Auckland, Fiji, Taiwan, Micronesia, American Samoa, Seoul, Melbourne, Sydney, Manila, and quite a few cities in Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka.
To/from the airport
TheBus (Honolulu) routes 19, 20, and 31 stop on the upper (departure) level of the airport. Routes 19 and 20 connect the airport to Pearlridge Center (20 only), Hickam AFB (19 only), Downtown Honolulu, Ala Moana Center, and Waikiki. Route 31 connects the airport to Tripler Army Medical Center, via Kalihi Transit Center. Routes 9, 40, 40A, 42, and 62 run on Nimitz Highway within walking distance of the airport.
Taxis, limousine services, (hotel) shuttles and rental cars are all widely available, some of them requiring advance reservations.
There is currently no rail infrastructure around Honolulu.
Several Cruise lines such as Princess and Norwegian sail cruises with Honolulu as a port of call.
Visitors are advised to take care not to leave valuables in their cars in and around Honolulu, especially when parking in crowded tourist spots and beaches. Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Honolulu and the island of Oahu is served by The Bus. The bus is most convenient within the city and surrounding suburbs, but also serves rural areas throughout the island. Transport to the North shore takes a little over an hour from the airport by the eastern route and about two hours along the western ("windward") coast. A light rail system is currently under development, which will be integrated with the bus system and will serve the greater Honolulu area.
There are many pleasant walks in Honolulu. The infrastructure is generally pedestrian friendly. When leaving the city however, most use motorized transportation.
Though experience riding in traffic is recommended, the city is very bikable. There are many shops for renting or servicing bicycles in Honolulu. There are also several biking trails near Honolulu and around the island. For more information on biking in Hawaii, see the web site for the Hawaii Bicycling League.
|Hokondo Waikiki Beachside Hostel||2556 Lemon Rd Oahu||Hostel||79|
|Hostelling International Waikiki||Hostelling International Waikiki 2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Oahu||Hostel||79|
|Polynesian Hostel Beach Club Waikiki||2584 Lemon Rd. Waikiki Beach, Oahu||Hostel||73|
|Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki||419 Seaside Avenue, Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu||Hostel||81|
|Waikiki Backpackers Hostel||2569 Cartwright Rd.||HOSTEL||76|
|Hawaiian Monarch Hotel||444 Niu Street||Hotel||-|
|Stay Waikiki||2424 Koa Avenue||Hostel||78|
|Waikiki Backpackers Hostel||2569 Cartwright Rd||Hostel||-|
|Kahumana Community Center - Waianae||86-660 Lualualei Homestead Road Waianae||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Makiki Heights Drive||2179 Makiki Heights DriveHonolulu, HI 96822||GUESTHOUSE||-|
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
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