The Guides to Visit Hue City for the First-time Guests

Hue City is famous for its poetic and peaceful place, where people stay away from the noisy city, return to the old things, and feel the thrilling rhythm of life on each road.

hue imperial city
Hue Imperial City | © Vietnamdrive

Despite the ups and downs and changes, Hue still retains its intact values ​that are the ancient style, the gentle characters of the locals, the poetic nature not to be lost by urban development.

Find the ancient imperial palace of Hue City

On the tourist Vietnam map, Hue has been a world cultural heritage, located in Thua Thien – Hue province, Central Vietnam.

In the south is Hai Van Pass to Da Nang City, in the north connects with Quang Tri Province where has the old demilitarized zone (DMZ), and the mountain ranges and the ocean control the west and the east.

hue imperial city map
Hue City on Vietnam Map

The main feature of Hue City is the ruins of the ancient capital, such as the imperial city and the royal mausoleums.

You can find plenty of places to see in the daytime and many activities at night in Hue to do; join different cultural tours, spiritual tourism, natural discovery, and beach relaxation; and taste its great cuisine. All of these make Hue City become a must-stopped destination in Central Vietnam.

Famous tourist destinations in Hue

Hue not only has the Huong river, Ngu mountain, Trang Tien bridge, Dong Ba market but also includes many famous destinations, which should be in your itinerary to explore Hue.

Imperial Palace of Hue

imperial palace of Hue
Imperial Palace of Hue | © Vietnamdrive

Coming to Hue, a must-see place is the Imperial Palace located in the ancient Citadel of the city center.

This destination still preserves almost cultural and historical traces through the kings of the Nguyen dynasty (1802 – 1945).

The Citadel in Hue includes three huge walls: The outer one is the citadel’s wall. The Imperial Palace wall is inside the citadel, protecting royal buildings and temples to worship Nguyen ancestors. The Forbidden City is the third wall, inhabited by kings and royals.

The entrance fee is 200,000 VND / person.

Royal monuments of Nguyen kings

khai dinh royal tomb
The guests visit Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. © Vietnamdrive

Besides the imperial palace, the royal tombs are the next famous tourist attractions in Hue.

When visiting the royal monuments, you seem to explore a lively place, not a dead area.

There are a total of 7 tombs out of 13 kings of this dynasty, carrying the oriental architecture and feng shui.

In which you can choose two of these mausoleums for your itinerary in Hue, including the royal tombs of Gia Long, Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, and Tu Duc.

The entrance fee to visit each royal tomb is 100,000 VND/guest.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Temple Hue City Vietnam
Thien Mu Temple – Photo: Vietnamdrive

Thien Mu Pagoda, Heavenly Lady Pagoda in English, was built in 1601 on Ha Khe hill, overlooking the poetic Huong River.

About 5km from the city center, Heavenly Lady Pagoda is a famous spiritual destination, as well as the birthplace of many well-known photos of Hue city.

Ru Cha Forest

Ru means forest because it is all planted with Cha trees, so people call it Ru Cha, with the function of preventing salinity and protecting the mainland.

This place preserves the wild features of nature in peaceful areas. This place is the favorite spot for taking pictures, typically wedding photos.

Chuon Lagoon

Chuon has a rare beauty, both immense and peaceful. It is great to visit this site in the afternoon for great photos.

Coming to Chuon lagoon to enjoy some local food at a restaurant floating on the water, see the fisherman catching the fishes and crabs, all make you have new and unforgettable feelings.

Lap An Lagoon

Lap An lagoon
Taking wedding pictures on Lap An lagoon.

Large, quiet, idyllic lagoon for people living by fishing, you will find a slow pace of life, making you relax at Lap An lagoon.

The lagoon locates at the foot of Hai Van Pass, right next to Lang Co Bay, also known as popular tourist destinations.

Thus, you can come there to spend your time when combining a day trip from Hue at these attractions.

Tam Giang Lagoon

Tam Giang Lagoon is the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia. Typically, there is an ancient fishing village of Thai Duong Ha as an oasis in the middle of the lagoon.

Like most places in Hue, it is both calm and attractive as an ancient town. Coming to Tam Giang Lagoon, seeing the local people working on the boats in the early morning or at dawn is what you can try.

Beautiful beaches

canh duong beach in Hue
Tan Canh Duong Beach | © Vietnamdrive

Hue owns plenty of beautiful coastal beaches with white sand, clear blue water, calm waves.

Some famous beaches near Hue City include Canh Duong (Loc Vinh commune, Phu Loc district), Lang Co (at the foot of Hai Van Pass), Thuan An (Thuan An town, Phu Vang district).

The best time to visit Hue

If many people say that Hue is the most beautiful in the rainy season, do you believe it? Hue is known as a rainy city, so it is not surprising that the rainy season from Oct to Feb is still crowded with visitors.

Sitting at a coffee shop, tasting a Vietnamese coffee, looking at the rain, and romantic with your partners, what is more exciting? Only by watching the rain, you can feel all the poetry of Hue.

The mildest temperate in Hue comes in March and April. Then, it becomes the hottest from May to September, the temperature can reach 35-40 degrees with strong humidity.

Transportation to Hue

Vietnam train
A train coming to the Hue tain station. | Vietnamdrive

Luckily, Phu Bai airport is a small one near Hue city center, only 15 km far away, where you can fly to this city from Noi Bai airport in Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat airport in Saigon.

Many people coming from Hanoi to Hue on the night train can have a different experience while exploring Vietnam.

The things to note are that the train is a long time, from 10 – 12 hours, and sleeping on the overnight train is hard, making you feel a little tired for the next morning. Thus, plan to get free for the first morning when you come to Hue.

From Da Nang or Hoi An to Hue, the safest and most comfortable vehicle is a private car. The beautiful settings of nature along the way is a highlight for your journey during this distance.

Where to stay in Hue

sai gon morin hotel hue
Saigon Morin Hotel is one of the first hotels with international standards in Hue City. ©Vietnamdrive

Hue city has two parts divided by the Perfume River. The north side has the ancient citadel, but not the main place for eating, sleeping, and entertainment at night.

Thus, choosing the hotels or resorts in the south part of the river is the most convenience. Many good hotels and resorts stay in this part of the city to spend overnight.

We recommend you check the popular 3-star hotel in Hue, the Eldora Hotel and Moonlight Hotel that are the well-known 4-star hotels in Hue City, Saigon Morin Hotel (4*+) – La Residence Hotel and The Pilgrimage Village Boutique & Spa that are the top 5-star Hue hotels.

Please note that there are two resorts with 5-star standards located far away from the city center, including Venada Lagoon Resort with 60 km away, and Ana Mandara Hue Resort on the beach with 14 km away from the center.

These two resorts are beautiful, but it is hard for the guests to come to the city to have dinner and explore the nightlight.

What to eat in Hue

Hue Pancake
Hue Pancake

Hue is the paradise of culinary with plenty of tasty dishes. When you travel to Hue, enjoying specialties is a must-do activity that many guests like to come there.

The highlight food which you can taste covers Bun Bo Hue, Nem Lui (grilled skewers), Hue pancake, Banh Nam, and fig salad.

You may check the restaurants: Hong Mai (110 Dinh Tien Hoang) for pancake and Nem Lui, Y Thao Garden (3 Thach Han) for fig salad, and Ba Xuan Restaurant (11 Ly Thuong Kiet) for Bun Bo Hue.

Vegetarian food is one beautiful side of Hue culinary because there are more than 100 pagodas in this area, and around 60% of the locals are Buddhist people. You may try it at Lien Hoa Vegetarian Restaurant at 3 Le Quy Don Street.

If you want to have a street food tour that a lot of guests like it, you may check Hue Flavor.

Notes when traveling to Hue

ao dai hue
Hue girls like to wear Ao dai to take pictures. © Vietnamdrive

1. Dress code: Hue has many different ancient imperial palaces, royal tombs, temples, and pagodas, so when visiting its attractions, you need to have elegant clothes with a sleeved shirt, and dress or paint covering the knee. The customs show your respect for the locals, culture, and relics.

2. Many attractions in Hue city can take you a lot of time to explore most of them. You need to plan a good itinerary and select highlights to visit when you do not have long holidays. You can check the Hue city tour that covers most of the top destinations in this land.

3. When you travel on the dragon boat on the Perfume River, the boat owners may invite you to buy some souvenirs. Therefore, if you do not get the gifts, tell them with your agent or boat owner in advance. It is a good way when you prepare from 50,000 VND – 100,000VND to give them as a tip in advance.

4. Many dragon boats serve folk song performances on the river at night. If you want to join the show, you have to buy a ticket at the Toan Kam boat station. And, be careful to avoid falling down the river when you are on the boat at night.

5. Not all street food is suitable for foreigners. Although most dishes are very flavorful, you need to choose to taste this kind of food carefully. We do not recommend the international guests taste the food in the market. You may check the restaurants mentioned above.

Hue city gives peaceful feelings to most guests when traveling to this city. The romantic river, majestic imperial palaces, and royal tombs combining with great cuisine make Hue become a perfect destination during your holidays in Vietnam.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.