Hue is one of the most charming towns in Vietnam and is located on the banks of the beautifully named Perfume River. This part of Vietnam has a long and illustrious history as it used to be one of the main royal capitals of the country. As such, history lovers will find a huge amount to enjoy here, from the rambling ancient architecture to the engaging museums that will fill you in on all the details. Many people come here in particular to check out the ancient tombs of former emperors which are dotted all over the city and provide you with a fascinating insight into Hue in the days of old.
There are a number of fascinating day trip locations close to the city, which means that can happily spend a week in Hue and still not see and do everything that this pretty part of Vietnam has to offer
Here is the bucket list travel in Hue city, Vietnam
- Visit the Tombs of the Ancient Emperors
- Walk along the Perfume River
- Visit the Imperial Citadel
- Admire the Thien Mu Pagoda
- Journey to Bach Ma National Park
- Shop at Dong Ba Market
- Sunbathe on Thuan An Beach
- Walk across the Thanh Toan Bridge
- Take a tour to Phong Nha
- Trip to Hai Van Pass
1. Visit the Tombs of the Ancient Emperors
One of the big draws in Hue is the tombs of the Ancient Emperors and this is the main reason why so many visitors travel here every year.
Anyone with an interest in ancient architecture and history needs to visit the tombs which were built in honor of famous emperors of Hue.
The tombs mostly date from the 19th and 20th centuries and are carved to tell the stories of Buddhist legends.
Some of the main tombs not to miss include the Tomb of Tu Duc, the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Tomb of Khai Dinh.
If you are not sure which tombs to visit on a trip here then you can take a dedicated guided tour.
Recommended guided tour in Hue: Click Hue day tours
2. Walk along the Perfume River
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The Perfume River is one of the most famous waterways in Vietnam and Hue is the perfect place to take it all in.
There is a delightful waterfront promenade along the banks of the river and this makes a great place to come for a scenic walk in the evenings.
You can also take to the water yourself if you want to get a closer look at the river and rent a paddleboat or opt for an elegant dinner cruise.
3. Visit the Imperial Citadel
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The Imperial Citadel in Hue would have been the previous center of the government and is made up of a vast complex.
When you walk around you can admire the moats, carved gates and royal pavilions, and there are also a clutch of engaging museums on the grounds.
If you like Vietnamese costumes, textiles and art then make sure not to skip the main galleries here.
4. Admire the Thien Mu Pagoda
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This temple sits overlooking the Perfume River and is known for its gold and silver images of the Buddha.
The pagoda is so well known in Vietnam that it is also the official symbol of Hue and you can take in beautiful views over the city from this spot.
Other highlights to look out for inside include a huge bells that was cast in 1710 as well as a stone turtle which dates from the 17th century and holds a marble stele.
5. Journey to Bach Ma National Park
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Bach Ma National Park is located at 1,450 meters above sea level and encompasses some of the prettiest scenery in all of Hue.
On a visit here you will find towering waterfalls as well as pretty hiking trails and there are several crumbling French villas to observe along the way.
The park is part of the wider Annamite Range and this part of Vietnam is known for its lush landscapes.
You can also combine a trip here with a stop off at the Cau Hai Village.
There is also the option to stay overnight here at the camp ground of you can just spend the day swimming in limpid pools and taking in the flora and fauna.
6. Shop at Dong Ba Market
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Dong Ba Market is one of the premium shopping spots in Hue if you are looking for a dose of authenticity in the city.
Here you will find a flea market as well as a number of toothsome local food stalls.
This spot was made famous when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain came here and filmed an episode of his show ‘No Reservations’. Bourdain sampled the Bun Bo here but you will find a huge number of other dishes including noodle soups and spring rolls.
7. Walk across the Thanh Toan Bridge
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Thanh Toan Bridge is the most famous bridge in Hue and is said to date back some 200 years.
The bridge spans the Nhu Y River and is made up of a wooden platform which is topped with a tiled roof.
The bridge only stretches for 17 meters but it also has a shrine located inside which is dedicated to the patron of the structure.
You will find the bridge around 10 kilometers to the north of the city and this is a great place to come to see a more authentic side of Hue as this is also a residential neighborhood.
8. Head up to Phong NHA
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If you want to explore rural Vietnam in it’s finest, then Phong NHA is definitely one of the best places to go.
Amongst there things, it includes the best caves to be found anywhere in the country. So, if you’re nearby you can’t miss it.
If you can’t afford he time to go there for a couple days, or if you are flying out from Hue, then you can still do a day trip to Phong NHA.
9. Hai Van Pass
The Hai Van Pass is a route along Vietnam’s coastline that winds up and over a mountain. It’s one of the best things to do in Hue and it’s incredibly popular because of its incredible views of the coast. Many who are motorbiking across the country take this route but if you’re not you can always opt for the option of having a local drive you which is very common to do from Hue.
The road is known for being quite dangerous, with sharp curves that make it difficult to see oncoming traffic, heavy fog and even cows on the road! However, it is still widely driven. If you’re driving there is also the option to take the Hai Van tunnel which was built to make the pass safer. You can also do it the opposite way from Hoi an to Hue
10. Sunbathe on Thuan An Beach
Around 14 kilometers outside of Hue is Thuan An Beach, so if you fancy some sea and sun then this is the spot for you.
Part of the Phu Van Distict, Thuan An Beach consists of a long strip of fluffy sand and many locals claim that this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
Activities here include swimming and sunbathing and the main season here runs from May to September when temperatures in Hue rise.
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