The best attractions in Hue City to visit

Hue is one of the top destinations in Vietnam. When telling about Hue City, people think of many ancient architectural works and natural scenes with poetic and charming features.

The life of Hue has in the calm and quiet space of the old capital, the influence of the imperial palaces.

Here are some top famous tourist attractions to visit when you come to this city.

Hue Imperial Palace
Hue Imperial Palace – Photo: Hue Flavor

Thien Mu Pagoda

Located on the hill of Ha Khe, on the left bank of Huong River, 5 km from Hue City center, Thien Mu Pagoda stands out in the middle of poetic natural space. This pagoda is the source of inspiration for music and poetry.

From the long-distance, you can see the Phuoc Duyen tower standing highly as a Buddhist symbol that everyone often mentions when telling about this Buddhist land.

Coming to Thien Mu Pagoda- one of the top famous pagodas in Vietnam, listening to the sound of the bell mixing with the natural beauty, you will find your heart more peaceful, and more relaxed.

Time to visit: all day, suggested time: early morning or late afternoon
Entrance fee: free

Hue Citadel and Imperial Palaces

Located on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue Citadel is cultural heritages recognized as world cultural relics.

Hue Citadel includes the Imperial Palaces and the Forbidden City, surrounded by the tall outer walls.

Visiting the complex of Hue Citadel, you will admire the magnificent palaces, temples, and shrines, lavish in the architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty.

You not only have the opportunity to learn more about history, but you also live with the royal style of this unique architectural space.

Time to open: every day from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Entrance fee: 200,000VND/guest

Hue Royal Mausoleums

During the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945, there were 13 kings, but only 7 tombs were built.

The kings choose location and architecture for their own future houses, so each mausoleum here has its different architectural features with exquisite, unique carvings.

The most unique are Tu Duc Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb, and Khai Dinh Tomb.

  • Royal Tomb of Tu Duc: Located in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong village, 8 km from Hue City center, Tu Duc Royal Tomb (also known as Khiem Lang) is probably the most beautiful tomb of the Nguyen Dynasty’s tombs due to the harmony between the natural landscape and traditional architectural style. Surrounded by lush green trees and built near a large lake, Tu Duc Mausoleum appears with ancient features and sophisticated architecture, immersed in romantic nature and peaceful space.
  • Minh Mang Royal Tomb: This tomb is a beautiful mausoleum that visitors can find the combination of waters and mountains, creating attractive gardens. The architecture of this place has influence oriental traditional style with many temples built by wood and clay titles.
  • Khai Dinh Royal Mausoleum: Built on Chau Chu Mountain, Khai Dinh Tomb is the resting place of the 12th emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. This is the last royal tomb constructed in Vietnam. Despite its small size compared to the other tombs of its predecessors, the Khai Dinh tomb was built very elaborately and sophisticatedly in a period of up to 10 years. The mausoleum has the architecture of East-West cultures. The top highlight of this site is the internal decoration, using porcelain and glass from teapot, cup, dishes, bottle…

Time to visit: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Entrance fee for each royal tomb: 150,000VND/guest

The Perfume River – Huong Giang

As a symbol and the pride of Hue people, the Perfume River (Huong River or Huong Giang) is gentle as a long, soft silk strip in the middle of the imperial land.

The Perfume River often has green, clear water, and it reflects the whole poetic view of the city under the sunlight.

Many artists, when cruising to admire the peaceful Huong Giang and listen to traditional Hue folk songs here, have found a great source of inspiration to compose immortal poems and songs.

You can now choose a dragon boat to spend your time on the river to explore its beauty.

Time to visit: all day, but boat trip on the river is from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Entrance fee: free

Trang Tien Bridge

Trang Tien Bridge (or Truong Tien Bridge) crosses the Perfume River with beautifully curved spans and is considered as the typical symbol of the ancient capital of Hue.

Truong Tien Bridge is more than 100 years old and witnessed the ups and downs of the nation’s history.

Nowadays, the bridge is decorated with a modern lighting system; at night, it shines brightly and colorfully.

Time to visit: All day, suggested at sunset
Entrance fee: free

Vong Canh Hill

From the top view of Vong Canh hill, you will see the charming water landscape of the poetic Perfume River, temples, and pagodas.

If you have the opportunity, visit Vong Canh Hill at sunrise or sunset, you will see Hue becomes more beautiful and brilliant in the shimmering sunlight.

Time to visit: All day, the suggested time is at night.
Entrance fee: free

Thien An Hill – Ho Thuy Tien

Thuy Tien lake is located on Thien An hill with green trees.

If Ho Thuy Tien has a quiet, romantic, and slightly ghostly beauty, Thien An Hill has the appearance of a “small Dalat” because it is covered with green pine trees.

All combine with each other to bring explorers the feelings of comfort and relaxation in a tranquil space.

Time to visit: All day, the suggested time is at sunset.
Entrance fee: free

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market is the largest and the oldest shopping site in Hue city. Dong Ba Market lived with hundreds of years of history of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Nowadays, the market is not only one of the famous shopping places in Hue for urban residents but also a tourist destination where many tourists visit to buy souvenirs for relatives and friends and to explore the daily life of the local people.

Time to visit: 6:00am – 6:30pm.
Entrance fee: free

Lang Co beach

Hue has not only the ancient historical and cultural relics but also owns beautiful beaches that fascinate plenty of visitors.

Lang Co Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hue and Vietnam.

It has long white sand beaches embracing the clear water as one of the top tourist destinations on the way from Hue to Hoi An or Da Nang City.

Near the beach are majestic green forests and the famous Hai Van pass, which will surely make your experience fantastic.

Time to visit: All-day
Entrance fee: free

Lap An lagoon

Near Lang Co beach, Lap An Lagoon is also an attractive tourist destination in Hue, which visitors often explore besides the trip to Lang Co Beach.

When the sunset disappears behind the majestic Bach Ma mountain range, the calm water surface of Lap An lagoon turns into a vibrant orange-yellow color mixed with the deep blue color of the lagoon’s water, looking like a great picture, extremely fanciful and vivid.

Moreover, the people here are famous for farming oysters, so in addition to admiring the beautiful nature, you also have the opportunity to enjoy many dishes made from oysters.

Time to visit: All day, the most beautiful time is sunset.
Entrance fee: free

Ho Truoi – Truc Lam Zen Monastery

Located at the foot of Bach Ma Mountain, Truoi Lake is a massive hydroelectric project.

In the middle of Truoi lake, Truc Lam Bach Ma Zen Monastery is the first monastery in Central Vietnam, looking like a lotus in the middle of a blue lake.

From the Zen Monastery, visitors have an excellent chance to admire the majestic mountains and forests in the cool, fresh air of the tranquil place.

Time to visit: 7:00 am – 5:00pm
Entrance fee: free, but tourists have to pay for boat service to cross the lake.

Above are the top destinations to visit when you have time to travel to Hue City, the Imperial Palaces.

We hope that with these suggested attractions, you will have wonderful journeys to explore the beauty of Hue as well as Vietnam.

About the author


Editor at HueFlavor is a15-year local guide, Mr. Ho Thom, who loves local food in Hue as well as in Vietnam. Trusted by hundreds of guests around the world.