Transportation around Oahu and getting around the island (updated 2023)

The main entry hub to Oahu is Honolulu international Airport and services the rest of the outer islands. From the airport you can get around by car rental, shuttle service, taxi, Uber or Lyft, private transport and the public bus service which is extensive and inexpensive.

**During this timeframe of increased travel to the islands, it is important that you secure your booking reservation for car rental asap because of increase demand and limited availability. Although you can get around the island and see more things with a rental car, you might just need it for a day or two in order to explore areas outside of Waikiki and Honolulu city. Find out more about the car rental shortage and what to do to plan your vacation here for more details to mapping out what you want to do and how to get around the island.

Honolulu airport area

Transportation to and from Waikiki

You can easily arrange a pick up with shuttle, taxi, Uber/Lyft, The Bus from the airport and around the city you can also use the This covers most of the main attractions around Honolulu area.

Transportation to and from Waikiki

Public transportation

The main bus service for the island is simply called β€œThe Bus” and services all around the island for inexpensive transport. For information on the routes and time schedules and services check out their website here

You can actually go around the island for just $2.50 and this takes about 4 hours to get to the North Shore and back. But also easy for shorter rides to places like the Ala Moana Shopping Center and downtown area (Bus 8) or further to the eastern side of the island.

For no hassle driving, parking fees and enjoying the scenic rides without a rental car, The Bus is a good option for budget minded travel on Oahu.

Public transportation

Car rental

If you want to explore more areas around and outside Honolulu, you want it to opt for a car rental for one or two days depending on your interest and what you want to do. Car rentals are cheaper and easier to pick up directly at the airport and you can check with any consolidators to find the best price and availability. Definitely secure your rental as soon as possible due to rental shortages happening around all the islands. When you do rent make sure to also budget for higher gas prices, resort parking fees into your stay. Check this aggregate car rental site for Discount Hawaii Car Rental  which offers you the best rates on the island through a variety of different car rental agencies.

Traffic is a major issue with visiting attractions on the island, so it is always better to plan visits to places outside of the commute hours or against traffic flow to travel with no hassle around the island.

Hawaii Car rental

Taxi Service or app rideshare

Taxis are popular and you can easily flag them down or find taxi stands around hotels, shopping and other typical venues for pick up spots. Rates seem to be similar between taxi and Uber/Lyft depending on the time frame and distance but traffic can make the rates go higher. Travel with Uber/Lyft does not charge for wait time between traffic areas with delays.

Uber/Lyft service

A popular option and accessible in the tourist areas around Honolulu it is easy to book on the app and secure waiting time for your pick up and price for your transport. Uber drivers are local and can also share some fun and cool things to do that are local or off the beaten path and it’s easy to talk story with local drivers and not have to deal with the hassle of money transactions for your transport.

Setting up a pickup and your travel destination is very easy when you have app for either company and all you have to do is book your travel directly on the sites.

Walking Waikiki or Honolulu area

An easy option in the downtown areas and along Waikiki beach area and attractions is walkable and you can definitely see more things on the streets. If you get tired, you can easily opt for a taxi or Uber from any destinations.

Bike rental with Biki

Bike rental with Biki

There are short term bike rental check outs with Biki are available all around Waikiki on hourly or longer basis for you to explore many sites and exercise at the same time. Check out these spots to do your own bike tour here for more information and availability.

Waikiki Trolley

Waikiki Trolley

A good alternative to visiting the downtown area and most popular attractions around Honolulu is the Waikiki Trolley that you can use like a hop on hop off service. You can book one day or more to explore all the main attractions around the city with no hassle and set pick up points. Check out the details to booking the Trolley here for more information.

To sign up for the Waikiki Trolley Hop on Hop off tours, check out their website here for more details.

Book an Oahu Tour

Book an Oahu Tour

Most Oahu tour operators will include pick up and drop off from your location for any activity or tour that you book not requiring separate transportation arrangements. It’s easy to book tours that you are interested in without the hassle or driving or directions to get to that tour site.

Here are a few samples of tour offerings you might want to consider that offer a complete service:

Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Battleship tour

Grand Circle island tour of Oahu

Helicopter tour around Oahu

Jurrasic Valley and Zipline tour

Polynesian Cultural Center and Luau

Check out these other posts on visiting Oahu

Exploring Kailua in East Oahu

Best things to do in Waikiki

Best things to do in Honolulu now

Explore the North Shore of Oahu

Things to do in Haleiwa now

Weather and best time to visit Oahu

Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place” of Hawaii, enjoys a pleasant tropical climate year-round. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and the type of experience you seek:

Dry Season (April to October): This is considered the best time to visit Oahu for most travelers. The weather is warm, sunny, and relatively dry, making it ideal for outdoor activities, beach outings, and water sports. However, it’s also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations.

Wet Season (November to March): Oahu’s wet season experiences more rainfall, but it’s still a viable time to visit. Rainfall is often brief and intermittent, and the island’s landscapes become lush and green. The wet season is a good option if you want to avoid crowds and secure better deals on accommodations.

Shoulder Seasons (April, May, September, and October): These months offer a balance between good weather and fewer tourists. You can enjoy pleasant conditions while avoiding the peak season’s crowds and prices.

Crowds and Pricing: Oahu experiences peak tourism during the summer months (June to August) and the winter holiday season (mid-December to early January). During these times, you’ll encounter larger crowds and higher costs.

Surf Season: If you’re a surfer, Oahu’s North Shore comes alive with massive waves during the winter months, particularly from November to February. It’s a mecca for surf enthusiasts but may not be suitable for swimming or snorkeling.

Festivals and Events: Check Oahu’s events calendar for festivals, cultural celebrations, and special events. Attending local festivals can add a unique dimension to your trip.

Hiking: Oahu offers excellent hiking opportunities. Be aware of the weather conditions and trail closures, especially during heavy rains.

Sun Protection: Regardless of when you visit, protect yourself from Hawaii’s intense sun. Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and bring a hat.

Ultimately, Oahu offers a variety of experiences year-round, so choose the time that aligns with your preferences, whether it’s enjoying sunny days on the beach or experiencing the island’s lush beauty during the wet season.

Have you planned how to get around Oahu yet?

Please share your thoughts and other recommendations in the comments below with your tips and suggestions for additional transportation around the island.

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Getting around Oahu. I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy these wonderful attractions and activities. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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  1. Jeff & Crystal Bryant

    There seems to be no lack in methods to explore Oahu. I wonder if the bikes would suffice for most everyday journeys? Of course, one would want something a bit more motorized when exploring the further reaches of the island.

    • emorata

      Bikes is a good way to explore downtown Honolulu and Waikiki area but areas outside need different transport means

  2. Jackie K Smith

    Oh so glad The Bus is still doing ‘that island tour’ as I call it for such a good price. Great recap!

    • emorata

      Getting around Oahu on The Bus is really good, cheap and covers so many cool places

  3. Michele

    Thanks for sharing the wide range of options for getting around Oahu. The Bus at just $2.50 for 4 hours of travel sounds like the best holiday deal ever!

    • emorata

      It is a great deal and you can even travel around the island



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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.