Hue, the former and the last imperial capital of Vietnam, is always an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. The whole city seems to be a living museum, whose every part is a tourist attraction.

Spend as much as possible time in this city, but if your time is limited, there are particular items that you should not miss. Below are some suggestions.

Historic Sites

Wandering around the city of Hue, you can feel the vibe of the past triggered in remaining buildings in the Forbidden City or the tombs of the Emperors.

Tu Cam Thanh, Dai Noi, or the Forbidden City, is on the northern shore of the Perfume River. At the entrance of Ngo Mon (the Ngo Gate), the main gate into the Citadel, is the Nine Holy Cannons cast from bronze under the Tay Son dynasty.

hue

There are seven tombs of the Emperors scattering the city of Hue, devoted to 9 of the 13 monarchs of the Nguyen Dynasty. Tombs of Kings Minh Mang, Tu Duc, and Khai Dinh are the three most visited while monuments to Kings Duc, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan are placed in the same tomb.

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market is the largest market place in central Vietnam. It is an interesting place for anyone eager to learn about local culture. It has all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as the sampan landing, the bus station, and the bazaars. Dong Ba market is also ideal for photographing of daily activities as well as for shopping with almost everything traded, from souvenir items to bronze goods, such as Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical hats with poems enclosed or local specialties. It is definitely a must-explore destination for those interested in Vietnamese food or culture.

đông ba

Hue Cuisine

In Hue, you have the opportunity to try traditional food characterized for a region that was once the land of monarchs. Some of the most popular Hue cuisines are com hen (cold rice served with boiled mussel, different spices and a variety of herbs), bun bo Hue (Hue style beef vermicelli), nem lui (lemongrass skewers), banh beo (a kind of small steamed rice pancake), banh khoai (pancake, similar to banh xeo), and many other typical snacks of Hue. Mam tom chua (sour shrimp sauce) is a unique specialty that is served with many dishes.

Bach Ma National Park

Bạch Mã National Park, covering 220km2,  is a protected area 40km to the south of Hue City and 65km to the north of Danang. Housing many rare animals and a variety of flora in the semi-tropical rain forest with a cool climate, the park is an ideal destination for tourists who want to explore the wild beauty of nature.

From Hue, you can book a day tour with English speaking guide to Bach Ma National Park or travel there on your own. The best time to visit the park is in February.

bach ma

DMZ

About 100km away from Hue is the DMZ, Vietnam’s Demilitarized Zone. It covers the five-km areas on either side of the Ben Hai River, the former dividing line between North and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. The area was actually the most heavily bombed area in the country during the war and a destination you should not miss if you want to learn more about the Vietnam war and its remnants.

Some of the must-see items in the DMZ include Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge, Vinh Moc Tunnels, and Khe Sanh Combat Base.

hien luong

You can book a tour or a separate car to visit the DMZ from Hue in one day.

Phong Nha Ke Bang

Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites located in Quang Binh province, is about 180km to the north of Hue.  It is home to 300 different grottoes and caves, including the largest cave in the world. Moreover, Phong Nha is also well known for its variety of flora and fauna.

phong nha

Phong Nha-Ke Bang is an ideal destination for those who are enthusiastic of the beauty of nature. It is advisable that you spend a whole day exploring the area and travel between Hue and Phong Nha – Ke Bang in other days

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda is located on the north shore of the Perfume River, about 3km away from the Citadel. It has long been considered as one of the symbols of Hue. Visiting the pagoda, you can see the Austin motor vehicle which drove Thich Quang Duc to where he conducted his self-immolation in Saigon in 1963 to express protest against Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime. It is also a much visited holy site which is housing many monks.

thien mi

Tombs of the Emperors

There are 7 tombs scattering the city, devoted to 9 of the 13 monarchs of the Nguyen Dynasty. These tombs were designed and built during the lifetime of the emperors they are devoted to. Tombs of Kings Minh Mang, Tu Duc, and Khai Dinh are the three most visited while monuments to Kings Duc, Thanh Thai, and Duy Tan are placed in the same tomb.

khai dinh

Japanese Bridge

The bridge is commonly called Japanese Bridge because of its resemblance to the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An. The construction was initiated by Tran Thi Dao, wife of a high-ranking Mandarin in the court of Emperor Le Hien Tong, somewhere in the middle of 1740 and 1746. It was built to facilitate transportation and communication between the two sides of the canal. In 1925, under the order of Emperor Khai Dinh, an altar dedicated to Tran Thi Dao was placed on the bridge. Today, many locals still travel to the town to visit her tomb.

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market is the largest marketplace in central Vietnam. It is an interesting place for anyone eager to learn about local culture. It has all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese market, such as the sampan landing, the bus station, and the bazaars. Dong Ba market is also ideal for photographing of daily activities as well as for shopping with almost everything traded, from souvenir items to bronze goods, such as Hue sesame sweetmeat, conical hats with poems enclosed or local specialties. It is definitely a must-explore destination for those interested in Vietnamese food or culture.

đông ba

Huong River

Huong (Perfume) River crosses the city of Hue. It owes its name to the fact that it flows through many forests of aromatic plants before reaching Hue, carrying with it a pure and fresh aroma of flowers.

The river runs through a lot of tourists attractions such as the ancient citadel, tombs of emperors, Hon Chen Shrine, Thien Mu Pagoda, etc before finally reach the sea. Follow the river on a boat, you can explore every corner of the former capital city. It has long been mentioned in poet and literature, considered as a poetic symbol of Hue.  One you should try is a boat ride or cruise on the Huong River and listening to the singing of imperial music at night. When the water surface glitters, the singing breaks the night and enters tourists’ souls.

huong river

TRANSFER IN HUE 

Depart from To4 seat car7 seat car16 seat car
Hue AirportHue Center15 USD17 USD 21 USD
Hue CityDa Nang airport55 USD65 USD75 USD
Hue CityHoi An City 60 USD70 USD80 USD
Hue CityHoi An - Hue City75 USD85 USD95 USD
Hue CityPhong Nha Cave90 USD110 USD125 USD
HueMy Son - Hoi An85 USD95 USD115 USD
Chan May PortHoi An - Chan May Port100 USD115 USD130 USD
Chan May PortHue City - Chan May Port95 USD100 USD125 USD
HueBana Hill - Marble Mountain - Hoi An85 USD95 USD105 USD
HueHue City Tour Fullday45 USD55USD65 USD
Hue airportPhu Loc (Venada Lagoon Resort)45 USD55USD65 USD