Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Kelly
The International Market Place is a bustling outdoor shopping center located in Honolulu, Hawaii. There’s over 80 stores, a lanai full of great restaurants, and frequent cultural events. The International Market Place opened in the 1950s, and then it was renovated in 2016. The new shopping center blends the old with the new. There’s still a massive banyan tree growing in the entrance’s courtyard, and now there are lots of upscale stores. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about visiting the International Market Place in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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How to Get to the International Market Place
Address: 2330 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
The International Market Place is located in the heart of Waikiki. The shopping center is located just a bit north off of Kalakua Avenue.
There is a parking garage near the International Market Place that is located at the intersection of Kuhio Avenue and Walina Street.
We visited the International Market Place just prior to checking into our luau at the Royal Hawaiian resort. It was only a 6-minute walk from the International Market Place to the Royal Hawaiian resort.
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About the International Market Place
The International Market Place first opened in 1956 as Waikiki Village. Donn Beach, known as one of the founding fathers of “Tiki Culture”, helped to envision and build the market place.
In 2013 the International Market Place was closed for an extensive three-year renovation. After its re-opening in 2016, all revenue proceeds benefit the Queens Medical Center. I’ve personally visited the International Market Place both before its renovation and after, and I can definitely comment on the major changes.
Tip: Take a look at the Go City Oahu all-inclusive pass. You’ll be able to save money by bundling multiple attractions on the island!
What to See at the International Market Place
When you enter the International Market Place, you’ll first be greeted by a gigantic banyan tree. The tree was planted in the mid-1800s and is over 60 feet tall!
In the early days of the International Market Place, Donn Beach had a treehouse built in the banyan tree. From high up in the tree, he could easily survey the market’s happenings.
Currently, there are bridges on the second floor of the market place that run through the banyan tree’s many branches. It’s a cool experience to walk across the tree!
The International Market Place contains a number of shops. You’ll find local brands like the Honolua Surf Company and Maui Divers Jewelry. You’ll also see stores such as Rolex, Sketchers, and Tesla. See the full list of stores.
Some places you should definitely check out at the International Market Place include:
- Liliha Bakery: This is one of Hawaii’s most famous bakeries. Be sure to try a Coco Puff or a Poi Mochi Donut. Check out their Instagram page to see photos of their creations!
- Kona Coffee Purveyors: For an excellent cup of coffee, visit Kona Coffee Purveyors. They grow their beans on the Big Island, which has a microclimate well-suited for coffee growing. At their cafe, you can also order pastries from the award-winning b. patisserie.
- Honolulu Cookie Company: The Honolulu Cookie Company is well-known for their pineapple-shaped macadamia shortbread cookies. We bought boxes of these home to our family as souvenirs! Don’t have room in your suitcase? You can also order them straight from their online store.
- Magnolia Ice Cream and Treats: For Instagram-worthy ice cream creations, be sure to visit Magnolia Ice Cream and Treats.
At the time of this writing, the Mahiku Farmers Market occurs every Thursday from 4pm to 8pm. We visited the farmers market and it was filled with local vendors selling souvenirs, crafts, and food. Check out the events schedule to confirm dates and times.
At the time of this writing, there’s nightly live music at Moani Waikiki and Shore Fyre.
Dining Options at the International Market Place
The International Market Place contains a lot of great restaurants and food stalls. Listed below are several options you should check out!
Grand Lanai (Restaurants)
The Grand Lanai is located on the third floor and contains numerous restaurants with both indoor and outdoor seating.
- Eating House 1849: The dishes here are inspired by plantations with a heavy influence from Portugal, Japan, and the Philippines.
- Stripsteak Waikiki: This fancy steakhouse is perfect for a date night. Chef Michael Mina has won both Michelin stars and James Beard awards for his work.
- Herringbone Waikiki: Looking for amazing seafood? Make a reservation for Herringbone Waikiki. Their outdoor patio is large and spacious, and their seafood is top-notch.
Kuhio Avenue Food Court
This food court features 10 restaurants and several bars. Here’s a few places to visit:
- Banzai Burger: Excellent burgers.
- La Pina Cantina: Tacos, cocktails, and more.
- Tipsy Tiki: The name says it all!
How Much Time Do You Need at the International Market Place?
If you just want to see the International Market Place and just walk around, you could visit in under an hour.
If you’d like to spend more time shopping and dining, you could easily spend several hours at the International Market Place. I’d recommend picking up some cookies for souvenirs at the Honolulu Cookie Company, dining at one of the numerous restaurants, and then getting an ice cream treat from Magnolia Ice Cream and Treats.
Our Experience at the International Market Place
I first visited the International Market Place in 2002, prior to the renovation. Back then, the market contained lots of stalls with souvenirs, crafts, food items, and local vendors. The market had more of a “small town” vibe with lots of local crafts. There was a maze of stalls, and it was really fun to explore all of the shops.
It was interesting to re-visit the International Market Place in 2022 (20 years later!), because it was so different than what I remembered. Although the banyan tree and the signage were the same, it no longer felt like a “market”. Instead, it felt more like a modern outdoor mall. The new renovation is absolutely beautiful, but it’s a different experience than what I remembered.
During our most recent visit, we stopped by the International Market Place prior to checking in to the luau at the Royal Hawaiian. (You can read all about the luau!) We were lucky to visit during their farmer’s market, so I was glad to see some more local presence in addition to the big-name stores.
We were impressed with the beauty of the International Market Place. It was a really nice place to walk around!
Best Hotels Near the International Market Place
We recommend staying in Waikiki when you visit Honolulu. You’ll be steps away from the beach, and you’ll have a dazzling array of restaurants and shops within walking distance.
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: When we visited Waikiki, we stayed at the Ali’i Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The Ali’i Tower is the most luxurious tower on the resort property, and it has its own private pool, lounge, and check-in. The Ali’i Tower has ocean-view and oceanfront rooms, and it’s just steps away from the beach and lagoon.
- The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort: This is another 5-star located right on the beach with two pool options. (Plus poolside cabanas!)
- Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel: This hotel is located within walking distance of the beach, as well as other attractions such as the Honolulu Zoo and Kapahulu Avenue.
- Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach: Waikiki Beach is just a 3-minute walk from this hotel. This hotel also offers daily complimentary breakfast.
Tip: You have to use reef-safe sunscreen while you’re in Hawaii, because other sunscreens can harm the waters. Make sure you buy yours in advance, as they tend to be more expensive on the islands.
Summary: The International Market Place in Hawaii
The International Market Place went through a major renovation. We really enjoyed attending the farmers market and seeing the banyan tree. We miss the small feel of the old market, but we have to admit the new market is very nice. We hope this article inspires you to visit the International Market Place during your next visit to Honolulu!
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Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.