A Travel Price Comparison for Hawaii Kailua-Kona vs. Honolulu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Kailua-Kona or Honolulu, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Kailua-Kona or Honolulu?

Kailua-Kona

Kailua Kona, or Kona, as it is commonly referred, is the largest city on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It's a popular destination for sport fishing, snorkeling, and its beautiful sunsets. Kona is protected by the mountains so it receives very little rain annually and has about 300 days of sunshine every year. The closest airport is Kona International Airport at Keahole, which receives flights from the mainland United States, Canada, as well as Honolulu and other islands. Once in town, you can walk around Kona, but if you hope to explore anywhere else on the Big Island you will need a car. To take full advantage of your Hawaiian vacation it really is recommended that you rent a car for at least a few days while you're on the island.

Honolulu

Hawaii's capital city of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the state's center for government, finance, and transportation. It's also the home of Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the state of Hawaii. Nearly one million people live in this Honolulu metropolitan area. This is almost 80% of the state's population. The city is not the relaxed Hawaiian destination that you might be searching for, but is instead a fast paced, cosmopolitan city. In addition to attracting many tourists every year, you'll also find international businesses, military defense and a diverse culture and population.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, and The Best Camping Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Honolulu or Kailua-Kona?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kailua-Kona is $231, while the average daily cost in Honolulu is $284. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kailua-Kona and Honolulu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kailua-Kona $141
    Honolulu $183
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kailua-Kona $282
    Honolulu $366
Compare Hotels in Kailua-Kona and Honolulu

Looking for a hotel in Kailua-Kona or Honolulu? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kailua-Kona


Hotels in Honolulu


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kailua-Kona Hotel Prices and Honolulu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kailua-Kona $45
    Honolulu $26
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kailua-Kona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kailua-Kona are as follows:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $35

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Honolulu

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Honolulu are as follows:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $35
  • Airport Shuttle for Two
    $30
  • Hilton Parking
    $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Honolulu

Also for Honolulu, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Departure Transfer: Oahu Hotels or Cruise Terminal to Honolulu Airport: $20
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer (Honolulu Airport To/From Honolulu): $21
  • Airport Private Transfer with Arrival Lei Greeting: $35
  • Oahu: Honolulu Shuttle Bus Transfer to Pearl Harbor: $37
  • Private Transfer from Honolulu Airport (HNL) to Honolulu Port: $38
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal: $39
  • Oahu: Diamond Head Crater Trailhead Transfer & Entry Fee: $50
  • Private Transfers between HNL Airport and Honolulu City: $56
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by Minivan (up to 5 people): $70
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Honolulu HTL-APT (HNL): $81
  • Honolulu Airport & Ko Olina Hotels Private Transfer by Minivan (up to 5 people): $90
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by SUV(up to 6 people): $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Kailua-Kona or Honolulu?

Prices for flights to both Honolulu and Kailua-Kona change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kailua-Kona $58
    Honolulu $53
Typical Food Prices in Kailua-Kona

Some typical examples of dining costs in Kailua-Kona are as follows:


  • Buffet Breakfast for Two
    $53

Typical Food Prices in Honolulu

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Honolulu:


  • Dinner for Two
    $73
  • Lapperts Hawaii Ice Cream
    $5.55
  • Chai's Island Bistro (for 2)
    $53
  • Cheeseburger Waikiki (for 2)
    $34
  • Matsumoto Shave Ice (for 2)
    $7.50
  • Hot Dog with the Fixins'
    $8.30
  • Sushi Dinner for Two
    $73

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Honolulu

For Honolulu, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Hawaii Food Tour - Off The Beaten Path : $150
  • Lanai Tabura curated Private Aloha Plate Food Tour from Honolulu: $239

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kailua-Kona $40
    Honolulu $40
Typical Entertainment Prices in Kailua-Kona

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Kailua-Kona are as follows:


  • Diving with Manta Rays for Two
    $162
  • Body Board Rental (1 Day)
    $12
  • 1 Day Kayak Rental
    $47
  • 2 Tank Morning Scuba Dive
    $115

Tours and Activities in Kailua-Kona

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kailua-Kona are as follows:

  • From Kona-Volcanoes & waterfall tour in a small group: $295

Typical Entertainment Prices in Honolulu

For Honolulu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Parking for Hike
    $5.00
  • Pearl Harbor Audio Tour for Two
    $12
  • 2 hr Dinner Cruise
    $85
  • 1 Day Kayak Rental
    $36

Tours and Activities in Honolulu

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Honolulu.

  • Waikīkī's Beaches and Royalty: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Hawaii‘s Historic Kingdom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Military and Entertainment in Waikiki: A Self-Guided Tour: $7.99
  • Oahu: USS Arizona Memorial Chief's Narrated Multimedia Tour: $7.99
  • Honolulu In-App Audio Tour: Historical & Cultural Treasures: $9.00
  • Waikiki Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Downtown Honolulu Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • USS Arizona Commander's Narrated Multimedia Tour - 23 Stops: $11
  • Oahu: Honolulu 3-Hour Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Honolulu, HI: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • O'ahu's South Shore: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Historic A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kailua-Kona $15
    Honolulu $6.47

Sample the Local Flavors in Honolulu

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Honolulu:

  • Shaxi Dive Bar Tour: $37


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kailua-Kona and Honolulu, we can see that Honolulu is more expensive. And not only is Kailua-Kona much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kailua-Kona would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kailua-Kona and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Honolulu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Honolulu than you might in Kailua-Kona.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kailua-Kona Expensive? and Is Honolulu Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kailua-Kona or Honolulu?

Honolulu has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Kailua-Kona. When comparing the sizes of Kailua-Kona and Honolulu, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Kailua-Kona as well as Honolulu.

Kailua-Kona is around the same temperature as Honolulu in the summer. The daily temperature in Kailua-Kona averages around 78°F (25°C) in July, and Honolulu fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Honolulu. In the summer, Kailua-Kona often gets less sunshine than Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 303 hours of full sun.

Kailua-Kona usually gets more rain in July than Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 0.6 inches (15 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Kailua-Kona 78°F (25°C) 
    Honolulu 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu in the Autumn?

Both Honolulu and Kailua-Kona are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In the autumn, Kailua-Kona is around the same temperature as Honolulu. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Kailua-Kona in October average around 78°F (26°C), and Honolulu averages at about 80°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Honolulu. Kailua-Kona usually receives less sunshine than Honolulu during autumn. Kailua-Kona gets 138 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 246 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Kailua-Kona usually receives less rain than Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 2.1 inches (54 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Kailua-Kona 78°F (26°C) 
    Honolulu 80°F (26°C)

Should I visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu in the Winter?

Both Honolulu and Kailua-Kona during the winter are popular places to visit.

In January, Kailua-Kona is generally around the same temperature as Honolulu. Daily temperatures in Kailua-Kona average around 74°F (23°C), and Honolulu fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

In Honolulu, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the winter, Kailua-Kona often gets less sunshine than Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 158 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 212 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Kailua-Kona. Kailua-Kona usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Kailua-Kona 74°F (23°C) 
    Honolulu 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Kailua-Kona or Honolulu in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Kailua-Kona and Honolulu.

Kailua-Kona is around the same temperature as Honolulu in the spring. The daily temperature in Kailua-Kona averages around 74°F (24°C) in April, and Honolulu fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Honolulu this time of the year. Kailua-Kona usually receives less sunshine than Honolulu during spring. Kailua-Kona gets 134 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Kailua-Kona usually receives more rain than Honolulu. Kailua-Kona gets 3 inches (76 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 1.7 inches (42 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Kailua-Kona 74°F (24°C) 
    Honolulu 76°F (24°C)

Typical Weather for Honolulu and Kailua-Kona

Kailua-Kona Honolulu
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 74°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 73°F (23°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Mar 74°F (23°C) 4.4 inches (111 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Apr 74°F (24°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 76°F (24°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
May 76°F (24°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 78°F (25°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Jun 77°F (25°C) 1.8 inches (47 mm) 80°F (26°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Jul 78°F (25°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.6 inches (15 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.4 inches (11 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 1.1 inches (29 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm) 80°F (26°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Nov 76°F (25°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Dec 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)