First Time in Hue - What To Do

Hue Survival Guide

Travelling to Hue for the first time can be a memorable experience, especially when you’ve done your research. This UNESCO-listed city is known best known housing the Royal Palace of the Imperial City, which dates back to the 19th century. Hue is a favourite holiday destination amongst travellers who prefer a quiet retreat as it’s not as busy compared to cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. You can also find plenty beaches outside the city centre, including Thuan An, Lang Co and Canh Duong Beach. Read on for our Hue Survival Guide, which includes some ideas on where to stay, eat, shop, and party in the historical town.

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Hue at a Glance

Hue is home to 19th century structures, royal tombs, and ornate pagodas, most of which are easily accessible on foot or bicycle. The city’s hotels, restaurants, and bars are located opposite Hue Imperial City, where you cross Perfume River via Truong Tien Bridge. You can also enjoy plenty of local restaurants that recreate dinner courses that were once served to royalty. Nightlife here is rather limited, but you can find a bar or two that stays open until late.

  • Lots of historical landmarks
  • Beautiful beaches nearby
  • Very laidback
  • Good range of high-end, mid-range and budget restaurants
  • Plenty of public buses, taxis and cyclos
  • Nightlife is limited
  • Many places of interest require transport
  • No international flights to Hue

Things You Can Do in Hue

Exploring Hue on foot or cyclo is easy, especially if you’re staying in the city centre. The most popular landmark is UNESCO-listed Hue Imperial City. The complex takes about two hours to explore as you can see hundreds of monuments, temples, a museum, a library, and royal quarters. Daily cultural performances are held at 09:00, 10:00, 14:30 and 15:30. In the evening, many travellers opt for a boat cruise along Perfume River to catch the sun setting over Hue.

  • Hue Imperial City

    Hue Imperial City

    The Hue Imperial City (Complex of Hue Monuments) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features hundreds of monuments and Read More»

  • The To Mieu Temple

    The To Mieu Temple was constructed by Emperor Minh Mang in 1821 in commemoration of former emperors of the Nguyen Read More»

  • Perfume River

    Perfume River spans approximately 80 kilometres in length, flowing from Truong Son Mountain through Hue City Centre and Read More»

Best Places to Shop in Hue

Hue’s shopping scene is laidback and simple, which means you won’t find modern shopping malls or high-end boutiques. Local markets, art galleries and tailor shops are plentiful, making it a great city to shop for authentic handicrafts, silk paintings, antiques, and lacquerware. About a 10-minute drive from Hue Imperial City are several non-profit organisations and fair-trade outlets where proceeds go towards supporting the less fortunate.

  • Dong Ba Market

    Dong Ba Market is the oldest of its kind in Hue, with hundreds of stalls selling household items, handicrafts, clothing Read More»

  • Gia Huy Silk Hue

    Gia Huy Silk Hue is a tailor shop on Pham Ngu Lao Street that’s renowned for its efficient tailoring services and Read More»

  • Healing the Wounded Heart

    Healing the Wounded Heart Hue stocks a wide range of handicrafts, accessories and apparel made from recycled items. It Read More»

Best Places to Go at Night in Hue

Nightlife in Hue is rather quiet, but there are several bars and pubs that offer a good range of drinks and live entertainment. Most of these venues are set along the backpacker streets of Pham Ngu Lao, Le Loi and Nguyen Cong Tru, which are located about a 15-minute drive from Hue Imperial City. Five-star hotels and resorts are fitted with elegant lounges and all-day bistros.

  • DMZ Bar Hue

    DMZ Bar is a prominent nightlife spot in Hue City Centre where travellers can enjoy an impressive range of cocktails and Read More»

  • Le Gouverneur Bar

    Le Gouverneur Bar at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa offers first-rate Cuban cigars, spirits, whiskies, wines and Read More»

  • Brown Eyes Bar Hue

    Brown Eyes Bar Hue attracts a good mix of fun-loving locals and tourists with its extensive cocktail menu and Read More»

Great Restaurants We Like in Hue

Hue dishes were once exclusively served to past emperors and royal families of the Nguyen Dynasty, but there are many local restaurants, roadside stalls and high-end resorts that serve these specialities all year round. Catering to international demands, Hue also has a good mix of trendy bistros and expat-owned cafes serving western fare such as pastas, pizzas and grilled meats, as well as imported wines, beers and spirits.

  • Les Jardins De La Carambole Hue

    Les Jardins De La Carambole is set within a colonial-era villa. Here diners can enjoy authentic French, Italian, Read More»

  • Le Parfum Restaurant Hue

    Le Parfum Restaurant is an elegant dining venue within La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, where affluent travellers can Read More»

  • Ancient Hue Restaurant

    Ancient Hue Restaurant occupies a spacious two-storey wooden house dating back to the 1800s. It’s a popular dining venue Read More»

Hotels in Hue We Recommend to Our Friends

Hotels in Hue come in a good variety, be it affordable budget hotels to the more luxurious types. Aside from quality service and comfort, our favourite hotels offer ease of access to many landmarks, restaurants, and shops in Hue City Centre.

Azerai La Residence, Hue

With a stay at Azerai La Residence, Hue, you'll be centrally located in Hue, within a 5-minute drive of Imperial City and Bao Quoc Read More...

Indochine Palace

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace is a stylish accommodation choice located near the centre of Hue in the Central Coastal Read More...

The Scarlett Boutique Hotel

Located in Hue (Hue City Centre), The Scarlett Boutique Hotel is within a 5-minute drive of Dong Ba Market and Imperial Read More...


Best Hotels in Hue

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