A Travel Price Comparison for Hawaii Maui vs. Honolulu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Maui or Honolulu?

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

Should I visit Maui or Honolulu? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Maui or Honolulu?

Maui

Who hasn't spent at least one Monday morning fantasizing about holding a mai tai on a Hawaiian beach? A trip to Maui may be just what we all have in mind, but it's so much more than a drink on a sandy towel.

At over 700 square miles, the island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands with a small population of just over 140,000 people. The island enjoys approximately two seasons a year with a mild climate just about everywhere. Rough living, right?

Voted "Best Island in the World" by many in the travel industry, Maui is the center for whale watching, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and the home of a large and lush rainforest.

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 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Honolulu or Maui?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Maui is $275, 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 Maui and Honolulu in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Maui 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 Maui


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: Maui Hotel Prices and Honolulu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Maui $62
    Honolulu $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Maui

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Maui:

  • Private Customizable Island Tour with Transfer: $500
  • Private Customizable Road to Hana Tour with Transfer: $500
  • Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) to Maui - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $172
  • Private transfer: Kahului Airport (OGG) to Kahului: $99
  • Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) to Maui hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $86
  • Maui to Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) - Departure Private Transfer: $86
  • Maui hotel or address to Maui Kahului Airport (OGG) - Departure Private Transfer: $85
  • Private Transfer from Lahaina Cruise Port to Kahului Airport(OGG): $80
  • Private Transfer from Kahului Airport(OGG) to Lahaina Cruise Port: $80
  • Kahului OGG Airport and Kihei Wailea Hotels Private Transfer: $43
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Maui Kahului Airport OGG: $31
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Maui Airport to Hotel: $13

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:

  • Honolulu HNL Airport Round-Trip Private Transfer in SUV: $272
  • Arrival Private Transfer Honolulu Airport HNL to Beach Resorts by Executive Car: $157
  • Arrival Transfer Honolulu Airport HNL to Beach Resorts by SUV: $211
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu To Ko'olina: $53
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu and Waikiki or Cruise Terminal: $18
  • Chief's Luau Admission Including Transfers: $181
  • HNL Airport & Waikiki Private Transfer by Brand New Mercedes Van: $160
  • Honolulu Airport & Ko Olina Hotels Private Transfer by Minivan (up to 5 people): $90
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by Luxury SUV(up to 5 people): $130
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by Minivan (up to 5 people): $70
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by Passenger Van(up to 14ppl): $140
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by SUV(up to 6 people): $100

Is it cheaper to fly into Maui or Honolulu?

Prices for flights to both Honolulu and Maui 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
    Maui $94
    Honolulu $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Maui

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Maui.

  • From Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Dinner Cruise Aboard the Quicksilver: $120
  • From Ma'alaea Harbor: Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise Aboard Calypso: $130
  • Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Prime Rib or Mahi Mahi Dinner Cruise : $140
  • Farm to Taco: A Farm to Table Cooking Class: $149
  • Premium Sunset Dinner Cruise from Ka’anapali Beach: $154
  • South Gilligans' Island Luau with Dinner and Drinks: $166
  • Mystery Puzzle Food Tour in Lahaina for 2 People: $170
  • Haleakala's Best Sunset Tour with Dinner: $179
  • Maui Sunset Luau Dinner Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor aboard Pride of Maui: $185
  • Wailele Luau Including Fire and Knife Performance plus Dinner: $219

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.
    Maui $38
    Honolulu $40

Tours and Activities in Maui

Here are a few actual costs in Maui for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Kayak Whale Watching Tour (7am-10am): $125
  • Private Upcountry Farm Tour on Maui : $300
  • Sunset Tour to Haleakalā National Park from Paia : $189
  • 1- Day Majestic Maui Scooter Tour With Waterfalls and Sea Cliffs: $145
  • 1pm Haleakala Guided Downhill Tour: $149
  • 1pm Haleakala Unguided Downhill Tour : $99
  • 2 Hours 30 Minutes Whale Watch and/or Scenic Tour: $150
  • 2 hour Maalaea Luxury Powerboat Sunset Cruise Exclusive 6 Guests: $283
  • 2-HR Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Tour - From Kihei : $136
  • 2hr Koa Kai Sunset Whale Watch Adventure: $104
  • 3 hours Koa Kai Maui Molokini Snorkel Adventure: $108
  • 3hr Koa Kai Molokini Snorkel & Whale Watch Adventure: $125

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.

  • 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
  • Waikīkī's Beaches and Royalty: A Self-Guided Audio 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
    Maui $41
    Honolulu $6.47

Sample the Local Flavors in Maui

Also in Maui, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Maui Farm Distillery and local craft experience Full-Day Tour: $224
  • Goat Farm, Distillery, & Glass-Blowing Tour w/ Tasting: $224
  • Maui Tour : Iao Valley, Hawaiian Distillery and Lavender Farm Tour: $300

Sample the Local Flavors in Honolulu

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Honolulu:

  • Shaxi Dive Bar Tour: $37


When comparing the travel costs between Maui and Honolulu, we can see that Honolulu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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



When is the best time to visit Maui 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 Maui or Honolulu in the Summer?

Both Honolulu and Maui during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Maui in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Maui is generally around the same temperature as Honolulu. Daily temperatures in Maui average around 79°F (26°C), and Honolulu fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

In Honolulu, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Maui. In the summer, Maui often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Honolulu. Maui gets 290 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 303 hours of full sun.

Maui usually gets less rain in July than Honolulu. Maui gets 0.4 inches (10 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 0.6 inches (15 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Maui 79°F (26°C) 
    Honolulu 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Maui or Honolulu in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Maui and Honolulu. Most visitors come to Maui for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Maui is around the same temperature as Honolulu in the autumn. The daily temperature in Maui averages around 78°F (26°C) in October, and Honolulu fluctuates around 80°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Honolulu this time of the year. In Maui, it's very sunny this time of the year. Maui usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Honolulu during autumn. Maui gets 245 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 246 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Maui usually receives less rain than Honolulu. Maui gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 2.1 inches (54 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Maui 78°F (26°C) 
    Honolulu 80°F (26°C)

Should I visit Maui or Honolulu in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Maui as well as Honolulu. The winter months attract visitors to Maui because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Maui is around the same temperature as Honolulu. Typically, the winter temperatures in Maui in January average around 72°F (22°C), and Honolulu averages at about 73°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Honolulu. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Maui this time of the year. In the winter, Maui often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Honolulu. Maui gets 217 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 212 hours of full sun.

Maui receives a lot of rain in the winter. Maui usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Honolulu. Maui gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Maui 72°F (22°C) 
    Honolulu 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Maui or Honolulu in the Spring?

Both Honolulu and Maui are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Maui this time of year.

In April, Maui is generally around the same temperature as Honolulu. Daily temperatures in Maui average around 74°F (24°C), and Honolulu fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

It's quite sunny in Honolulu. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Maui. Maui usually receives less sunshine than Honolulu during spring. Maui gets 231 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Maui usually receives more rain than Honolulu. Maui gets 1.8 inches (47 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 1.7 inches (42 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Maui 74°F (24°C) 
    Honolulu 76°F (24°C)

Typical Weather for Honolulu and Maui

Maui Honolulu
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 72°F (22°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 72°F (22°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Mar 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Apr 74°F (24°C) 1.8 inches (47 mm) 76°F (24°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
May 76°F (24°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm) 78°F (25°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 80°F (26°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 0.4 inches (10 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.6 inches (15 mm)
Aug 80°F (26°C) 0.5 inches (13 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.4 inches (11 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 80°F (26°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Nov 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Dec 73°F (23°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)