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10 Best Things to Do in Hue

Hue Best Attractions

The best attractions in Hue comprise well-preserved remnants of Nguyen Dynasty, royal tombs, and ornate pagodas, most of which are easily accessible on foot or bicycle. Once the capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945, Hue was ruled by 10 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty before its last ruler abdicated the throne in 1945 in favour of the Ho Chi Minh’s communist government in Hanoi. For anyone interested in the cultural history of Vietnam, Hue is a goldmine of tombs, pagodas, castles and ruins.

Set overlooking the expansive Perfume River, a vast majority of these ancient buildings have managed to survive violent wars throughout the years, which led to UNESCO listing them as World Cultural Heritage Sites. Attracting millions of visitors from all over the world thanks to its status as an epicentre of historical and cultural structures, read on for our comprehensive guide of Hue’s most popular attractions.

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  1. Cherish Hotel 4.0/ 5
  2. Hotel Saigon Morin 4.0/ 5
  3. Eldora Hotel 4.5/ 5
  4. Indochine Palace 5.0/ 5
  5. Midtown Hotel Hue 4.0/ 5
  6. Moonlight Hotel Hue 3.5/ 5
  7. Hue Serene Palace Hotel 3.0/ 5
  8. Pilgrimage Village Hue 4.5/ 5
  9. Alba Spa Hotel 3.5/ 5

Hue Imperial City, set along the northern bank of the Perfume River, features hundreds of monuments dating back to early 19th century, including the Forbidden Purple City, royal tombs, pagodas, temples, royal quarters, a library and museum, Also called the Complex of Hue Monuments, this UNESCO World Heritage Site also hosts daily cultural performances at 09:00, 10:00, 14:30 and 15:30. Entrance fee is priced at VND 150,000, which combines visits to both Hue Imperial City and Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities. A 30-minute drive from Phu Bai International Airport, Hue Imperial City is a must-visit for any visitor to Central Vietnam. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Hue City Centre, Hue
  • Price Range: VND 150,000
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2
Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda is set atop a hill just outside Hue City Centre, offering breathtaking views of Perfume River and Hue Imperial City. One of its standout features is a 21 metre-tall octagonal tower called Thap Phuoc Duyen, which was built in 1844 under the reign of Emperor Thieu Tri. Meanwhile, the main sanctuary houses wooden sculptures of temple guardians, gold-plated Buddha statues, and two-tonne bell cast in 1710. Thien Mu Pagoda was also the home monastery of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, who had self-immolated in 1963 in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: Kim Long, Huong Long Ward, Hue
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3
Thanh Toan Bridge
Thanh Toan Bridge

Thanh Toan Bridge is a tile-roofed footbridge that’s similar to Hoi An’s Japanese Covered Bridge, featuring ancient Chinese and Japanese motifs as well as ornate carvings of sacred animals. Built during the reign of Emperor Le Hien Tong (1740-1786), this wooden bridge is built over the Nhu Y River, spanning 17 metres in length. There’s also an altar commemorating its founder, Tran Thi Dao who was the wife of a high-ranking Mandarin in the emperor’s court. Thanh Toan Bridge, set within Thanh Thuy village, is a pleasant 20-minute drive from Hue City Centre, where you’ll pass by several traditional villages, rice paddies and several pagodas.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: 7 kilometres east of Hue
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4
The Mieu Temple
The Mieu Temple

The Mieu Temple, part of the UNESCO protected Complex of Hue Monuments, was constructed by Emperor Minh Mang in 1821 in commemoration of former emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. One of the most well-preserved structures in the complex, this ancestral temple houses an ornate three-tiered pavilion, various personal items and portraits of its 10 emperors, as well as nine dynastic urns that were cast between 1835 and 1836. While travellers are free to explore the temple site, guided tours are available for those looking to know more about the history of Hue.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: Le Huan, Thuan Thanh, Hue
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5
Minh Mang Tomb
Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang Tomb, hailed as the most ambitious royal tomb built during the Nguyen Dynasty, is located along the west bank of Perfume River. Accessible within a 30-minute drive from Hue City Centre, construction of the expansive tomb started in 1840 under the order of Emperor Minh Mang before it was completed two years later during Emperor Thieu Tri’s reign. Surrounded by landscaped lakes and canals, Minh Mang Tomb houses 40 buildings in total, including palaces, temples, terraces, and pavilions. Open daily, entrance to Minh Mang Tomb is priced at VND 100,000 for adults and VND 20,000 for children below the age of 12.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: Huong Tho Commune, Huong Tra District, Hue
  • Price Range: VND 100,000 for adults, VND 20,000 for children under 12 years
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6
Tu Duc Tomb
Tu Duc Tomb

Tu Duc Tomb is one of the many royal tombs set within the outskirts of Hue Imperial City. Built between 1864 and 1867 in commemoration of the fourth emperor, the complex also served as a summer palace for Emperor Tu Duc thanks to its natural hillside and riverfront landscape. Home to a massive lake and over 50 palaces, pavilions, temples and shrines, the Tu Duc Tomb offers relaxing ambience for visitors looking to experience the remnants of ancient Nguyen Dynasty. Set within Thuong Ba Village, the royal tomb is 15-minute drive from Hue Imperial City.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: Thuong Ba Village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue
  • Price Range: VND 100,000 for adults, VND 20,000 for children under 12 years
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7
Perfume River
Perfume River

Perfume River spans approximately 80 kilometres in length, flowing from Truong Son Mountain through Hue City Centre and Bang Lang Fork. Locally known as Huong River, it was so named after wilted flowers from upriver orchards are carried through its flow during autumnal months, resulting in a strong floral scent. As most of Hue’s iconic attractions, temples, and local villages are set along Perfume River, there are numerous tour operators offering paddleboat rentals, boat rides and dinner cruises at various price points.

  • Location: Hue, Vietnam
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8
Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park stands at 1450 metres above sea level, hosting majestic waterfalls, hiking trails, and dilapidated French villas. Situated in the Annamite Range, this verdant landscape is a popular retreat for locals and travellers from both cities as there are local buses stopping at the nearby Cau Hai Village for 60,000 VND for those travelling from Hue or VND 80,000 from Da Nang. Home to thousands of rare plants and wildlife, visitors can enjoy a full day (or two) of hiking, camping, rappelling, swimming and even abseiling over Do Quyen Fall (Rhododendrun Fall).

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Location: Phu Loc, Hue
  • Price Range: VND 40,000
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9
Huyen Tran Princess Temple
Huyen Tran Princess Temple

Huyen Tran Princess Temple is an expansive complex filled with lotus lakes, Emperor Tran Nhan Tong’s monastery, orchid gardens, and a library containing documents of former kings and important figures of the Tran Dynasty. A 15-minute walk from Tu Doc Royal Tomb, standout attractions include a 2.37-meter tall copper statue of the late princess and a 1.5 tonne Hoa Binh bronze bell. Visitors can also enjoy a number of cultural activities at Huyen Tran Princess Temple, such as incense offerings, bell-ringing ceremony, martial arts, traditional art and music performances, as well as floral arrangements and human chess.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: 151 Thien Thai, Thuy An, Hue
  • Price Range: VND 10,000 for adults, VND 5,000 for children below 12 years
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10
Hon Chen Temple
Hon Chen Temple

Hon Chen Temple was built to worship Po Nagar, the Goddess of the ancient Cham population in Ngoc Ho Village. Set atop a small rocky cliff in Ngoc Ho Village, this unique shrine underwent numerous restorations under the reigns of Emperor Minh Mang and Dong Khanh between 1832 and 1886. Today, it houses several relics such as ancient vases, Chinese scriptures, religious figures, and animal carvings. Hon Chen Temple Festival is held in the middle of the third and seventh lunar month every year, when visitors can enjoy traditional rituals, folk dance and music performances by local devotees in colourful costumes.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
  • Address: Ngoc Ho Village, Huong Ho Commune, Hue
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