7 Ways to Get from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki

by Mariam Beard • Last Updated: December 10, 2021

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Quick Details | From Splurge ($$$) to Budget ($)

  • Island: OAHU
  1. Limousine
  2. Rental Car
  3. Metered Taxi
  4. Flat-Rate Taxi
  5. Rideshare – Uber or Lyft
  6. Shuttle Bus
  7. City Bus

Are you planning a trip to Oahu and wondering how to get from Honolulu Airport (HNL) to Waikiki? In this video, we show you seven ways to get from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki, from SPLURGE ($$$) to BUDGET ($).

#1: Limousine

If you’re planning something special, such as a birthday trip, anniversary trip, girls trip, or any other special occasion, a limousine is a great way to start off your trip. Pricing varies by company, but in general a limousine pickup from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki runs around two hundred dollars. The limos can hold about 7-10 depending on how much luggage you have, so make sure to double check with the company the capacity of the limousine and ask where the luggage will go (in the trunk, in the passenger area, etc.)

#2: Rental Car

In general, rental cars that are picked up at the airport are going to be cheaper than those that are picked up in Waikiki. However, one thing to keep in mind is Waikiki hotel parking. If you’re going to be staying at a Waikiki hotel, parking per day can run anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on the hotel. Make sure to double check with the hotel what their specific parking rates are, so the savings you get for picking up the car at the airport (instead of in Waikiki)doesn’t go immediately into the parking rates.

#3: Metered Taxi

This is by far the easiest and most convenient option. No pre-booking is required. Once you get your luggage from baggage claim on the ground level, you’ll head right outside to the median. From there, there’s a taxi stand. Meter taxis can run $40 to $60. The distance from the airport to Waikiki is only about 9 miles or 14 kilometers, so this will be about a 20 minute drive depending on traffic.

#4: Flat Rate Taxi

These are pre-ordered and run around $30. These are also really great options if you’re flying in during a busy time of day. For example, if your flight is arriving at around 4:00pm on a Friday, rush hour traffic is typically from 4:00pm-7:00pm. Having a flat rate taxi can avoid those price fluctuations that come when you’re waiting in traffic.

#5: Rideshare – Uber and Lyft

To go from the airport to Waikiki, this will normally run you between $20 and $30. Keep in mind pricing does vary between the app, so whenever you use these apps, always check both. For pickups, rideshare apps are not allowed to pick you up at the same level as the taxis. Taxis are able to pick you up at ground level across from baggage claim.

For rideshare apps, you’ll grab your luggage, head to the closest elevator to go up one level to the second floor. From here, you’ll head to the median (see YouTube video above for more details and what this looks like) where it’s marked with a sign that says “Rideshare”. From Terminal 1, it’s just outside Lobby 2, and from Terminal 2, it’s just past Lobby 4, in between 4 and 5. So just right across the way, you’ll see this sign for rideshare pickup zone.

#6: Shuttle Bus

These typically run $10 to $20 per person and is a shared ride into Waikiki. Depending on the company, some also offer luggage assistance if you need help ordering your luggage from baggage claim to the actual shuttle. Other companies allow you to add on a fresh flower welcome light to your shuttle ticket for an additional fee. For those of you who definitely want to get a fresh flower lei, this might be a great option for you.

#7: City Bus

The city bus costs $2.75 one way to get from the airport to Waikiki. You can pay for this ticket with cash. You may also notice some people paying with a Holo Card. These are stored value cards that you can add money to. You can get these in Waikiki in many locations. The most popular ones to purchase these from are going to be the ABC Stores and 7-Eleven. These Holo Cards are beneficial because they allow for a maximum fare of $5.50 per day. From Terminal 1, the city bus stop is just outside of Lobby 3, and it is clearly marked on level 2 outside of Lobby 4, just across the way from the rideshare sign.

The city bus is the least expensive option, but it does have the most restrictions. The most important restriction of the city bus is that you cannot bring any luggage on board. The only thing you could bring is maybe a large purse or a backpack. Because of this reason, the city bus doesn’t work for transportation for a lot of people who are arriving to Waikiki with luggage.

When would the city bus work?

  • Island Hopping (Day Trip, no luggage)
    The city bus would be great for those who are island hopping to the island of Oahu for just a day, maybe they only have a backpack or day pack with them. They want an inexpensive way to get from the airport to the downtown area or Waikiki.
  • Picking up / Drop off Rental Car
    This also is a great option if you, for example, had a rental car that you had at the airport, dropped off the rental car, but still had to get back into Waikiki. The city bus would work for you because you wouldn’t have any luggage and it’s $2.75, so it’s one of the cheapest ways to get into Waikiki. Keep in mind it is a city bus, so there are frequent stops. It would take you about an hour to get from the airport to Waikiki.

I hope this video helped you to give you ideas on ways you can get from the airport to Waikiki, so you can figure out what works best for you.

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Aloha! I'm Mariam.

I'm an Oahu resident sharing my adventures here in Hawaii to help take the guesswork out of planning your trip to Hawaii.

I've worked full-time as a concierge for a decade and have planned thousands of itineraries for travelers like you!


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