The ancient city of Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty at the beginning of the 19th century and during the Vietnam-US war some of the most intense conflicts took place in this region. One of the main tourist attractions of Hue is the Royal Palace of the imperial city. There are also a number of places of interest left over from the Vietnam War, such as a military base and tunnels in the DMZ.

5 reasons to visit Hue

  1. Explore the ancient buildings and ruins of the Imperial City
  2. Sail the Parfum River by boat
  3. Learn more about the Vietnam War in the DMZ
  4. Cycle around the city
  5. Take a day trip to Bach Ma National Park

Practical information

In short

Region

Central Vietnam, Thua Thien Hue province

Number of residents

455,230

Recommended travel days

2 days

Vietnamese name

Hué

Best travel time

  • The best travel time: From January to April, with 20 to 25 degrees and almost no rain.
  • Dry season: The complete season that there is little or no rainfall is from March to August.

Money

Hue is a big city, there are plenty of ATMs to be found.

Local events and holidays

  • Hue Festival: This art festival is held in even years with local and international artists at historic buildings, street parades, sampan races and markets.

What to see and do in Hue

Best things to do

The city is a beautiful mix of old and new buildings that are mainly separated by the Parfume River. Hue was the imperial capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945. Although many beautiful buildings have been lost as a result of the wars, Hue is busy restoring various highlights in the city.

1. Hue Imperial City
In the walled imperial city, also known as the Citadel, you will find the Forbidden Purple City, dozens of royal tombs, pagodas, temples, royal rooms, a library and a museum.

2. Lang Co beach
Lang Co Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam; 10 kilometers long with palm trees, clear water and a number of good resorts.

3. Tombs and temples
You will find tombs and temples not only inside the imperial city in Hue, but also outside. The best known and most impressive are the Minh Mang Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, Hon Chen Temple and The To Mieu Temple.

4. Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass is on the route from Hue to Da Nang and Hoi An and is a mountain road that takes you along the coastline. The views are spectacular, and this is an incredibly popular route.

5. Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park is an old French hill station that extends over 40,000 hectares and offers great hiking trails, dilapidated French villas, waterfalls, a campsite and lots of wildlife.

6. Dong Ba market
Dong Ba market is the largest market in Central Vietnam and is the perfect place to see the local life.

7. Perfume river
The perfume river runs through the middle of Hue and can be a relaxing break from city life. Boat trips, pedalos and dinner cruises are available.

8. Biking
Hue is a good city for cycling, because there is little traffic compared to other large cities in Vietnam and with less rushed people.

9. DMZ
If you want to learn more about the atrocities of the war, you can visit the DMZ. You have here the Hien Luong Bridge, an abandoned American army base and the Vinh Moc Tunnels.

10 . Hue abandoned water park
Photography enthusiasts and explorers will want to go here. Ho Thuy Tien is a small abandoned water park on a lake.

Most popular activities in Hue

Favorited experiences, day trips and tours in Hue booked by fellow travellers.

Ho Chi Minh City street food tour

Ho Chi Minh City street food tour

$34.00
  • Taste some of the best street food
  • No need to research safe street food places and finding the best dishes.
  • Discover how locals live and eat.

Authentic Mekong Delta tour (My Tho)

$53.00
  • Exploring a peaceful Island– hardly visited by other tourists.
  • Taking a bicycle and motorcycle to discover the countryside.
  • Rowing sampan along the wonderful canal without tourist.
  • Visit some local coconut workshops.
Cai Be floating market Mekong Delta tour

Cai Be floating market & local Mekong Delta tour

$72.00
  • Learn how to make coconut candy, pop-rice, rice paper.
  • Visit fruit orchard and listen to traditional Vietnamese.
  • Visit local market and join a cooking class.
  • Make a bicycle ride through a village.
  • Visit a local pagoda and ancient house.
  • Rowing sampan along busy canals
Mekong Delta by speedboat

Mekong Delta by speedboat from Ho Chi Minh City

$97.00
  • Speedboat is the best way to go to the Mekong Delta and skip the traffic
  • Discover the smaller canals of the delta by rowing sampan.
  • Learn more about local life by walking and biking through villages and orchards.
Mekong Delta & Cu Chi Tunnels combo tour

Cu Chi Tunnels & the Mekong Delta combo tour

$72.00
  • Great if you stay very short in Ho Chi Minh City and want to visit both the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta.
  • Small group (max 10. people) and comfortable transportation
  • Boat trip through the Mekong.

Accommodation in Hue

Where to stay

The best area to stay in Hue is the city center, in the area closest to the imperial city, the main attraction of Hue, located on the banks of the river. Here you will find the vast majority of hotels in the city. The area also offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars and shops nearby.

Best hotels & hostels in Hue

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Hue Happy Homestay
  • Sunny A Hotel
  • Jade Hotel Hue
  • Hong Thien Ruby Hotel

Mid range hotel

  • Beaulieu Boutique Hotel
  • The Scarlett Boutique Hotel Hue
  • Moonlight Hotel Hue

High end hotel & resort

  • Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa
  • Vedana Lagoon Wellness Resort & Spa
  • Indochine Palace Hotel

Food & drinking

Restaurants

Hue is known for its imperial cuisine, originally prepared for the emperor. Although the food emphasis more on presentation than on taste, an imperial banquet is worth it. If you are a street food lover, then Hue is also the right place for you.

1. Serene Cuisine Restaurant
2. Risotto Restaurant
3. ZUCCA Restaurant
4. Golden Rice
5. Elegante Restarant

6. Madam Thu Restaurant
7. Family Home Restaurant
8. Nina’s Cafe
9. Les Jardins de La Carambole
10. Hanh Restaurant

Nightlife

There is is a lot to do at night in Hanoi. You can join the locals with a beer on the street, go clubbing, chill in a bar or enjoy a impressive performance in the Opera House.

1. Explore the illuminated sights in the evening
2. DMZ Bar
3. Why Not? Bar
4. Secret Lounge Hue

5. Le’s Garden Hue
6. Brown Eyes Bar
7. One For The Road

Transportation

How to get there?

Plane

Hue has a small international airport, with daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Hue’s Phu Bai International Airport is currently served by Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet and JetStar Pacific.

Bus

Hue is connected by bus to other cities in Central Vietnam. Buses run daily from Hoi An and make the journey to Hue in about three and a half hours. There are also daily buses from other cities, such as Phong Nha, Dong Hoi, Da Nang and even from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Train

Hue train station is one of the many stops on the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City train route that goes through the largest part of Vietnam. The train journey from Hue to Da Nang is a very beautiful route that is even worth doing as an excursion.

How to get around?

Taxis are everywhere in Hue, although there are a few that take you on a rather detour if you don’t know the area. To prevent this, look out for the Green Mai Linh or yellow Taxi Vang, which use both meters.

Cyclos and motor taxis are very popular. Drivers will name an amount they think they can get, so you have to come up with a price that you think is reasonable.

Cycling is best suited for those who want to visit the sights themselves in and around the center of Hue. There are numerous hotels with bikes and bicycle shops.

Itinerary 2 days Hue

Day 1

The first morning in Hue you start with a walk around Hue Citadel and the imperial city. In the afternoon you rent a bike or a motor-taxi to the Thien Mu pagoda along the romantic Perfume River. If you have more time, you can cycle even further. At night you take a boat trip along the Perfume River, where you can enjoy live music.

Day 2

Take a day trip through the DMZ. Visit the Vinh Moc Tunnels and the Khe Sanh Combat Base.