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Huế, once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, is known as the cultural heart of Vietnam. Several sources claim that the name ‘Hue’ was derived from “Hoà”, meaning harmony, which could be the reason for the Nguyen dynasty to choose Hue as its emperor city. Lying along the banks of the Perfume River (Hương Giang) and embedded in the mountains, Hue has managed to preserve its grandeur and former glory along with its unique atmosphere. For more than a century, from 1802 to 1945 to be exact, Hue was the capital of Vietnam and the emperor's domicile. Its citadel and the Forbidden City are truly important historical destinations that are worth-visiting. In 1993 the UNESCO declared a number of monuments in Hue as world cultural heritage sites.

Hue: places of interest

• Citadel and Imperial City (see article on Citadel of Hue) Resembling the style of the Forbidden City in Beijing, the citadel complex is built with two walls: the Outer Wall (Ngoại Thành) and the Inner Wall (Nội Thành). The impressive Outer Wall, which surrounds the complex, was built between 1805 and 1832, measuring 11 km in length, 6 m in height, and has 11 gates as well as 24 towers. Its Inner Wall (Nội Thành) surrounds the Forbidden City where the Emperor’s Palace is. The area inside this wall used to be reserved only for the imperial family and the royal household. Upon entering the Citadel through the “Midday Gate” (Ngọ Môn, entrance fee 55,000 Dong), a lotus pond sits right next to the entrance of “Hall of Highest Harmony” (Điện Thái Hoà), considered the most important building. This hall used to hold royal ceremonies and was used as an important venue for official receptions.

• Thien Mu Pagoda
(see article on Thien Mu Pagoda) The Thiên Mụ Pagoda was built in 1601 during the reign of Southern Vietnam ruler Nguyễn Hoàng (1525-1613). According to an old legend, a Holy Lady who often appeared and predicted that a popular leader of the country would one day establish a pagoda on this hill to bring peace and prosperity to the people. The ruler is said to have built this pagoda in order to fulfil the prophecy. Thiên Mụ (Pagoda of the heavenly woman) also lies on the banks of the Perfume River (Hương Giang), approximately 5 km from Hue.

• Minh Mang Tomb
(see article on Minh Mang Tomb) The Minh Mang Tomb is one of the most interesting emperor tombs in Hue. Found on Cam Ke Hill, 12 km outside the city on the west bank of the Perfume River, the tomb could be reached by car or preferably by boat. Emperor Minh Mang (1820 - 1841) was the second son of Emperor Gia Long, who founded Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the last known dynasty in Vietnam’s history. The Minh Mang Tomb is renowned for its remarkable architecture which blends harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Like other tombs from the same period, the general elements of this tomb’s architecture are its outer-walls, triple gate (Tam Quan Gate), Salutation Court, Stele House, temples, lakes, pavilions, gardens, and the tomb itself.

• Tu Duc Tomb
(see article on Tu Duc Tomb) Located in a narrow valley 8 km from Hue (Duong Xuan Thuong village), Tự Đức Tomb is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture among the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. Lying in a lush pine forest, this tomb is known as Emperor Tự Đức's (1848-83) final resting place. Of all the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty, his reign was the longest.

• Khai Dinh Tomb
(see article on Khai Dinh Tomb) Emperor Khải Định, who ruled from 1916 till 1925, chose his tomb to be built on the slope of Chau Chu mountain, 10 km from Hue. Its construction began in 1920 and lasted eleven years. Among the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, his tomb’s architecture was widely criticized for applying concrete elements and incorporating Vietnamese and Western concepts in its structure (admission fee: 55,000 Dong). During the colonial era, such was considered an attempt to decline the Vietnamese culture.

• Hue’s Festival The cultural Festival of Hue is celebrated biannually in even-numbered years. The festival is presented with a large number of local and international cultural performers held in several locations within the city. One of the cultural highlights of the festival, an event called “Dem Hoang Cung” offers a fabulous dinner show inside the citadel. During the festival period, hotel bookings should be made in advance.

Hue: getting around and transportation

At Phu Bai Airport (ca. 20 km south of the city center), Vietnam Airlines (office 23 Nguyen Van Cu Street, Tel. 3 824 709) offers several flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) daily.

Taking Hung Vuong Street, Hue’s main bus station extends 4 km to the southeast. Several connections to Da Nang are available (40,000 Dong, 3 hours). The An Hoa bus station (Hwy 1A), northwest of the citadel, caters northern destinations like Dong Hoi, Dong Ha, Quang Binh. Hue also is a regular stop destination of the “open-tour bus” routes (e.g. Sinh Café’s special service to foreign travellers). Most buses normally drop passengers off in Hung Vuong Street and pick them up from their hotels. Companies like Mandarin and Sinh Café handle bookings for the bus to Laos (e.g. Savannakhet).


Hue's train station (Tel 3 822 175, 2 Phan Chu Trinh Street) is at the southwest end of Le Loi Street and offers rides on the Reunification Express Train (Hanoi-Saigon-Hanoi). Destinations included are Hanoi, Vinh, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Saigon (HCMC).


Hotels and accommodation

Low priced

Orchid Hotel Hue

30A Chu Van An St., Hue City Central, Hue, Vietnam

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Hue Serene Palace Hotel

21 Lane 42 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Hue City Central, Hue, Vietnam

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Saigon Morin Hotel

30 Le Loi St. , Riverside / Perfume River, Hue, Vietnam

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Cherish Hue Hotel

57-59 Ben Nghe st., Hue City Central, Hue, Vietnam

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Ana Mandara Hue

An Hai Village, Thuan An Town, Phu Vang District, Hue, Vietnam

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Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa

130 Minh Mang Road, Hue New City, Hue, Vietnam

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Tu Duc Tomb 2014-07-30

Located in a narrow valley 8 km from Hue (Duong Xuan Thuong village), Tự Đức Tomb is one of the most beautifully designed complexes among the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. Embedded in a lush pine forest, this tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tự Đức (1848-83) who had the longest reign of all...

Royal Tombs in Huế 2013-09-12

The Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) is the last of the Vietnamese dynasties. In total, there were 13 emperors, only seven of which had tombs however: Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri, Tu Duc, Duc Duc, Dong Khanh and Khai Dinh. The seven imperial tombs are located in a hilly region southwest of the Citadel....

Khai Dinh Tomb 2013-09-12

Emperor Khải Định, who ruled 1916-1925, has chosen slope of Chau Chu mountain, 10 km from Hue, as the location to build his tomb. The construction of the tomb was started on 1920 and lasted for 11 years. The architecture of this tomb is the most criticized of all the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. The...

Citadel of Hue 2014-07-30

There are sources claiming that the name of the city Huế comes from “Hoà” (harmony). This could be the reason for the Nguyễn dynasty to choose Huế to be their emperor city. Lying on the bench of the Perfume River (Hương Giang) and embedded between the mountains Huế still has the grandeur and the...

Thien Mu Pagoda 2014-07-30

The Thiên Mụ Pagoda was constructed 1601 by Nguyễn Hoàng (1525-1613), who was the ruler of southern part of Viet Nam. He followed an old legend, saying that a Holly Lady has often appeared, who predicted that one day, a popular leader of the country will establish a pagoda at this hill for the sake...

Minh Mang Tomb, Hue 2014-07-30

Among the emperor tombs in Hue, the author of this article likes the Minh Mạng Tomb the most. The Tomb is 12km from Hue, on Cam Ke Hill, on the west bank of the Perfume River and can be reached by car or – much nicer – by boat.

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace 2013-06-25

The BEST WESTERN PREMIER Indochine Palace is surrounded by lush exotic gardens that make it an outstanding landmark in Hue, setting new standards of excellence that is difficult to match by any hotel in Vietnam. This world class hotel is designed to appeal to the affluent, up-market leisure and...

Gerbera Hotel Hue 2013-06-25

Gerbera Hotel Hue is designed in a unique combination of Western and Asian architecture, offering genuine Vietnamese hospitality. The 108 rooms and suites with international standards, services and facilities offer one of the best views of the Perfume River and the Citadel.

Hue Smile Hotel 2013-06-25

Set amidst the historical Hue City, Hue Smile Hotel - one of the best three-star hotels in Hue - is ideal for both business and leisure travelers. Perfectly located near the business district and many popular local destinations, it’s always just some walking-minutes to wherever you want to go.

Saigon Morin Hotel 2013-06-25

Built in 1901 by the French businessman Monsieur Morin, the Saigon Morin Hotel is one of the most traditional hotels in Vietnam and a part of the history of Hue city in the last 100 years. After suffering heavy damage by the typhoon of 1904, the Hotel was transferred into the hands of Mr. Guerin and...

Festival Hue Hotel 2013-06-25

Perfectly located in the southern part of Hue City at Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Festival Hotel is an excellent three star hotel with all amenities. From the formerly named Dong Da Hotel it is just a short walking distance to the peaceful Perfume River and the city’s historical sites. The hotel is...

New Star Hue Hotel 2013-06-25

The New Star Hotel is located in the heart of Hue City just a few steps away from the lovely Perfume River. The convenient location, the modern architecture and the diversified service will make the New Star Hotel a memorable venue for you visiting our country’s ancient capital Hue.

What other people think Create New Comment

So spectacular!

gabriel 2010-05-17

The city of Hue, with his Perfume River, with so many monuments that remember us of the days of the emperors, conquers tourists with spectacular views, noises of present day life and whispers of long gone days of glory!



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