Being the last capital of Vietnamese feudal system, Hue city is most famous for the remains of citadel from the Nguyen Dynasty, as well as the range of king’s tombs located at the suburbs. A trip to Hue city is one filled with the Central’s distinctive royal culture, the historical footsteps of the last Vietnamese monarchy and the natural beauty of mountain and sea here. If Hue is your next destination, here are few Hue tourist attractions to make your trip a memorable one.

Best time to visit

girl in ao dai walking through the ancient palace gate Hue tourist attractions
Autumn is the best time to visit Hue

It is always the first thing to do in when planning a trip – figuring out the best time to visit a place. There are two seasons per year in Hue: the dry season from March to August and the rainy season from August to January. While dry season is extremely hot, rainy season has high temperature fluctuation and lots of heavy rains. If you want to contemplate Hue at its best, it is best to avoid the hottest months like May, Jun and July. The end of rainy season will be on December and January is also to be avoided as the heaviest rains will fall during these months.

Autumn is the best time to visit Hue as July, August and September are the months with cool weather and clear sky. Also, visiting Hue on April would be ideal because Hue city will hosts the annual Hue Festival on April with lots of activities and traditional arts and crafts.

So, you are in Hue city, where should you head to first?

Cultural Hue tourist attractions

The citadel

the outside of the palace gate
The citadel – home of Vietnamese’s last monarchy

The first Hue tourist attractions one must come while in Hue is the citadel. Although only few places of the citadel are well-preserved, and part of the citadel was bombed during war, visiting this place will give you a view of how Vietnamese royal family used to live. Hue’s museum of royal art is also within the premise with many artifacts from the royal family. Within the citadel, there is the Imperial City. This is a walled palace that had great ancient design and architect.

Do pay attention to the Xich lo drivers in front of the citadel. If they offer you a ride around the citadel, they mean a ride outside of the citadel. If you fancy a ride around the local houses though, you may want to take the offer and remember ways to bargain wisely.

Khai Dinh tomb

the outside of the king tomb sky tree ancient buildings

The last king of Nguyen’s Dynasty, this king invested a huge grand of money for his resting place after death. By increasing the tax up to 30% to fund for his work, Khai Dinh was not the most favourable king for his people. His tomb is an admirable work of art that combines architecture from both Asia and Europe, with decoration made by the most skillful artisans of the time.

Tu Duc tomb

the inside of the king tomb sky tree ancient buildings

the inside of the king tomb sky tree ancient buildings statues

the outside of the king tomb sky tree ancient buildings lotus pond
Tu Duc Tomb is the combination of nature and building’s structure

If you are looking for a more traditional architectural approach, this is the place that you should visit. Tu Duc is among the most knowledgeable kings in Nguyen Dynasty, yet in his tomb there are only poems written by his father king, not his own. Hue’s architecture favours the combination of nature into the building’s structure, and Tu Duc tomb was designed with that concept in mind. Visiting this place, you will get the chance to enjoy the serenity of relaxing in between forest and pond. Tu Duc’s first wife and adopted son is also buried within the premise, which shows his soul as a family man.

Music on Huong river

river girls in ao dai at night singing

One activity that you should not miss when visiting Hue is to listen to the royal music – “ca trù” in a floating ship on Huong river. Huong river is one of many famous Hue tourist attractions for its beauty and calmness. It has been the muse for many poetry and literature. Therefore, listening to the traditional Vietnamese music on the poetic river has great meaning to the locals. This activity used to be reserved exclusively for royal families. The lyrics of the songs are mostly Vietnamese idioms, many of them are used by Vietnamese people as a subtle way to flirt and to ask the other out. You will also get the chance to send flower lanterns onto the river at the end of the trip and see how they shine at nights.

Hai Ba Trung high school

school trees vietnam flags pink buildings

Formerly named Dong Khanh school, this was the first female school in the Central during early XX century. In 1896, there was only Quoc Hoc school or “National School” for male students and girls weren’t allow to go to school. Although was meant as a place for French’s daughters in Vietnam to study, this school gave Vietnamese female students a chance to be educated. Dong Khanh’s students were famous not only for their violet “ao dai” as uniform, but also for their wisdom and contribution to the Vietnamese revolution alongside male students from Quoc Hoc school.

Scenic places

wide scene small boat river dawn

wide scene small boat river sunset clouds sky
Tam Giang lagoon at dawn and sunset

Aside recommended places by many travel agencies in town, you can also visit famous Hue tourist attractions as Tam Giang lagoon and Ru Cha mangrove forest. One of the biggest and most beautiful lagoons in South East Asia, the beauty of this lagoon at dawn and sunset will immediately leaves you speechless.

trees rivers autumn human

trees path
Ru Cha mangrove forest

The mangroves in Ru Cha, on the other hand, will take you to another world, away from the city and people outside, and above it all, the temperature here will take summer heat away.

Thrilling activities

man walking forest tree
For some actions, visit Thanh Tan Hot Spring resort

If you are looking for some actions, Thanh Tan Hot Spring resort will keep you and friends entertained. You can pick between ziplining above a spring and through tree tops, or challenge your integrity with zigzag bridge, net bridge and other obstacles in high wire line. The resort also provides natural hot spring for you to relax after a long eventful day.

For those who enjoys a less trodden path, try visiting Thuy Tien Lake and their abandoned water park. Once featured in the Huffington Post, this water park has an eerie atmosphere from their moss-invaded statues and algae lakes that can make your goosebumps rise.

One last thing to note, since 1st July, it is forbidden to wear revealing clothes when visiting ancient Hue tourist attractions such as the citadels and tombs in Hue. As for the rest, have an enjoyable time and don’t forget to give our guides at a call when you are in town for a customized city tour just for you!

Personalize your trips with

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Nguyễn Vân

Hey, my name is Van. I’m 19 years old and I’m single. I was born in Nghe An province but now I has been living in Hue city for studying…Learn more