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Living in Honolulu

A comprehensive guide about living well in Honolulu

Living in Honolulu comes with plenty of delightful perks. With a holidays vibe and a generally laid-back lifestyle, this location is ideal for any expatriates keen on enjoying what the island has to offer. Read to find out more about Honolulu's education, transportation, culture and leisure.

Life in Honolulu

A great city for sports and recreation lovers, expats can enjoy surfing and body boarding on many of the city’s white sand beaches, or run, cycle or walk through the luscious landscape that the outer suburbs of the city enjoys. For any expat looking to cool down after a warm days work, there is even ice-skating on offer in the city’s ice palace.

Education in Honolulu

The education system in Honolulu is similar to the one found in mainland America, and is made up of three levels of education: primary, secondary, and college/university education. There are both public and private schools available in Honolulu, and these include secular as well as Christian schools, such as the Sacred Hearts Academy and the Lutheran High School of Hawaii.

Universities within the city include the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chaminade University, and Hawaii Pacific University. Colleges are also available in Hawaii, and these include Honolulu Community College and Kapiolani Community College. While all of the public high schools are free to attend, fees for the private schools range in price and university education is likely to be very expensive for international students and the children of expats living in Honolulu.

Transportation in Honolulu

Traffic within Honolulu has been a problem for many years now, and it is thought to be one of the worst cities in the USA for congestion and traffic jams. As Honolulu is relatively small in terms of landmass, there are not many main roads, meaning that those that do exist can become gridlocked very easily. It is therefore advisable for expatriates and tourists to avoid rush hour altogether if at all possible.

There are also public transport options available throughout the city, however, which mainly consist of buses. These buses are wheelchair accessible and also have provision for bikes, which can be stored in racks. Taxis in the city are regulated, so that your fare will be the same whatever company you choose to use, and chartered bus services can also be hired for those who are traveling in a large group and want the privacy and comfort of their own transportation.

Culture and Leisure in Honolulu

Most of the leisure activities in Honolulu are based around the beach. The warm, white sand beaches of the city, particularly the world famous Waikiki beach, are a favorite of expats and locals alike, and are particularly popular with surfers and swimmers as the waters around Hawaii are warm throughout the year. There is also the possibility of canoeing off the coast of Honolulu, and as the waters are relatively calm, it is an excellent place to learn how to swim, surf or body board.

Beyond the laid-back beach lifestyle, Honolulu is also well-known for the Pearl Harbor attacks of the Second World War. The navy base and its surrounding memorials, such as the USS Arizona Memorial, are very popular with visitors wishing to learn about this particularly tragic slice of Hawaiian history. There are also many other museums in Honolulu, including the Bishop Museum, which tells the history of the state and recounts the history of the natural world. It is the biggest on the island with a wide range of permanent exhibits and temporary exhibitions which change throughout the year.

Honolulu is also surrounded by natural green landscape, which is perfect for hiking in if you wish to escape the city, and many areas around the capital offer excellent views across the city below and the chance to explore ancient volcanic landscapes.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: September 09, 2021
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Join Our Exciting Events in Honolulu

Once we've helped you move to Honolulu, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Honolulu Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Honolulu and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Honolulu Holiday Celebration at Lobby Bar Hilton

Start date Dec 18, 2019, 6:00 PM

Attendees 21

InterNations Honolulu Chinese New Year in Chinatown

Start date Jan 31, 2020, 6:00 PM

Attendees 23

InterNations Honolulu - Craft Beer Festival

Start date Feb 29, 2020, 5:00 PM

Attendees 4

InterNations Seattle & Honolulu - Two Beer or Not Two Beer?

Start date Mar 17, 2021, 4:00 PM

Attendees 79

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