8 Best Things to Do in Hue

Hue is a famous tourist destination and one of the most charming cities in Vietnam. Located by the beautiful Perfume River, Hue used to be the royal capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen Dynasty. This is a great destination for history lovers with ancient buildings, old landmarks, beautiful pagodas, and museums. People flock over here to check out the ancient tombs of the emperors located throughout the city providing a deeper knowledge of Hue in the good old days. And it’s also a place of wonderful food with huge options around the town.

There are so many exciting things to do around this renowned and charming city that attracts millions of tourists every year. However, not many people know well about what are the Best things to do in Hue, especially first-time visitors. Incredible Asia Journeys has rounded up the list of 8 Best things to do in Hue to help you bring the best memory home!

1. Best Things To Do in Hue Vietnam

1.1. Visit the Imperial City

One of the best things to do in Hue is visit the Imperial City even if you are only here for 1 day. The Imperial City was built in the 18th century under the reign of King Gia Long – the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. It served as the Imperial Seat of Vietnam for a long time but then lost its role when the new government of President Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam. After that, the Imperial City suffered from heavy damage during the Indochina War in the 20th century.

Nowadays, the Imperial City is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hue. This is a perfect place for a walk and learns about the rich history. If you are planning to visit on your own, you can have a tour guide to explain the information at the ticket booth. They will take you around for 1 hour, but be aware that their English skill is not excellent. The ticket to enter the Imperial City is 200.000 VND (USD 7.85) for adults and 40.000 VND ($1.57) for children (7-12 years of age). Also, the price to hire a tour guide is 150.000 VND for one group.

Imperial City

1.2. Visit the Tombs of the Former Emperors

What to do in Hue Vietnam? Visiting the Tombs of Former Emperors is probably one of the best things that you should do in Hue. There are 7 tombs of ancient emperors in total but the tomb of King Khai Dinh, King Tu Duc, and King Minh Mang is the nicest that you should visit thanks to its unique appeal. 

You can consider combining to visit both Hue Imperial City and Tombs:

- Combo of 3 sites: Hue Imperial City, Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb is 420,000 VND ($16.49) for adults and 80,000 VND ($3.14) for children (7-12 years of age).

- Combo of 3 sites: Hue Imperial City, Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb is 420,000 VND ($16.49) for adults and 80,000 VND ($3.14) for children (7-12 years of age).

The tombs are mostly built in the 19th and 20th centuries with beautiful architecture and typical Vietnamese design.

If you are wondering between various options, you can take a look at our tour a full day to visit Hue City HERE

Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh

1.3. Cruise along the Perfume River

The Perfume River runs through the city of Hue and is one of the most beautiful waterways in this city. It is the best place to take in all the beauty of this romantic city. Therefore, cruising along the Perfume River is one of the best things to do in Hue. If you take the cruise in the daytime, you will see people going out for an early run and buffalos swimming, enjoying the cold water.

If you take the cruise in the daytime, you will see people going out for an early run and buffalos swimming, enjoying the cold water. If you opt for a night cruise, you will have a chance to see the local vendors with their food stalls by the river bank. All the dragon boat that hosts Hue Folk Music will light on with lanterns creating a romantic scenery on the river. After finishing the boat tour, you can go to those food stalls and get something to eat.

Besides, tourists can also tour around Hue City by this dragon boat in the morning. The boat will take you to visit the Imperial City, Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang Tomb. It is a fascinating day tour around Hue providing the amazing landscape with an interesting history of the city.

Perfume River and dragon boats

1.4. Visit the Thien Mu Pagoda

Besides the royal tombs, Hue is also famous for ancient and beautiful pagodas. The Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the most interesting places to visit in Hue and people often go there to find peace. It is also considered as the symbol of Hue and visitors can take a beautiful view over the Perfume River from here.

It is known for the gold and silver images of Buddha inside and also a huge bell as well as a stone turtle. The best time to visit Thien Mu Pagoda is in the early morning when the temperature is not too high and you can slowly stroll around, observing the life here.

Thien Mu Pagoda

1.5. Go shopping at Dong Ba Market

When traveling to a new destination, the best thing to do is to go shopping, buy gifts from that place, and in Hue, Dong Ba Market is the best shopping spot. Coming here, you will see a flea market and you can buy everything here from classic souvenirs to traditional Vietnamese food. The market is open from 3:00 AM to 8:30 PM so feel free to visit at any time of the day. However, be aware of the price because some people will sell higher prices for tourists so you will need to negotiate.

Dong Ba Market became more famous when chef Anthony Bourdain came and filmed an episode of his show. He tried the noodle vermicelli with beef and found it delicious.

Dong Ba Market

1.6. Go trekking at Bach Ma National Park

Go trekking at Bach Ma National Park is recommended as one of the best things to do in Hue if you stay there for more than 1 day. Bach Ma National Park is located at 1,450 meters above the sea level therefore it is the spot for a panorama view of Hue. In the past, it acted as a French Hill Station and now it turned into a popular attraction for tourists and locals.

On the way up, you will see an amazing waterfall and hiking trails as well as a few campsites for those who want to stay overnight. The fresh air, flora, and fauna here will be a memorable experience during your trip to Hue. Besides, you can also pay a visit to Cau Hai Village after go trekking.

Bach Ma National Park

1.7. Admire the Hue Museum Of Royal Antiquities

Admire the Hue Museum Of Royal Antiquities is probably one of the best attractions in Hue if you are a lover of history. It is where the variety of pieces from the Nguyen Dynasty are displayed from 1802 to 1945. In the Museum Of Royal Antiquities, you will find different galleries showing traditional furniture, textiles, jewelry, and other things that used to belong to the royal family. The museum is situated right outside of the Citadel so you can visit it after walking around the Imperial City. The entrance fee to this museum is already covered with the same ticket of the Citadel so it’s very convenient to combine the visit of these places.

The museum will show you the Imperial life and the antique collection of the Nguyen Dynasty. Besides, it’s free so you shouldn’t miss this!

Hue Museum Of Royal Antiquities

1.8. Do cycling to Thanh Toan Village

Thanh Toan Village is located about 8 km away from Hue center and it is one of the less touristy destinations nearby. Besides the beautiful countryside roads, peaceful rural scenery, Thanh Toan village is also famous for its tile-roofed bridge. The bridge which crosses the Nhu Y river is made up of wood and topped with a tiled roof. It is only 17 meters long and it has a shrine inside dedicated to the patron of the construction. This is a perfect place to get some rest, see the authentic feature of Hue and its residential neighborhood.

After cycling, you can relax in a small village market nearby for food and drinks. Thanh Toan Village is definitely in the list of best things to do in Hue.

Thanh Toan Bridge

2. When is the best time to visit Hue 

The best time to visit Hue Vietnam is from January to April when the temperature is not too high and there are fewer chances of rainfall during the day. Visiting Hue during this period, you will feel comfortable wandering about or exploring the historical sites. There are also many festivals celebrated at this time, such as Lunar New Year and Hue Festival. You will have a chance to enjoy cultural shows, visit local markets, enjoy traditional music performances, or taste amazing special dishes.

Hue Festival 2022

On the other hand, the rainy season of Hue begins in September and ends in December. The temperature of this period tends to drop quickly and it rains more often. If you are planning for a trip to Hue in this period, it’s recommended to avoid visiting in October and November because these are the peak months of the wet season.

Hue Rainy Season

Besides, Hue can be extremely hot at mid-day so to make your trip more enjoyable, you should start the tour early to avoid the intense heat.

Otherwise, take a look at some of our day tours from Hue City. It is more convenient when you have transportation and someone to explain the information to you:

We hope that this list of a few things to do in Hue gave you a great start for your plan of a short trip to Hue. In our opinion, it would take more than one day to visit all the charming attractions of this city. However, if you only have one day, that’s enough for the main attractions or a full-day Hue city tour. Tell us if you have any more difficulties, Incredible Asia Journeys is always happy to help!

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