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  • Writer's pictureTravel Vietnam Local Guide

Hue travel guide - Time to visit and things to do

Updated: May 11

Prepare for an enchanting adventure through the lively streets of Hue, Vietnam, where an abundance of experiences awaits. Let us be your guide to the top things to do in Hue, ensuring your visit to this destination is truly unforgettable. From exploring its rich history to soaking in its natural beauty and cultural heritage, there's no shortage of activities to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Best travel time to Hue

  • The optimal time to visit Hue is from January to April, when temperatures range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and rainfall is minimal.

  • During the dry season, which spans from March to August, there is consistently little to no rainfall, providing ideal conditions for exploring the city and its surroundings.

Best things to do in Hue

Discover the best things to do in Hue during your Vietnam travels, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its charm and create lasting memories along the way.

01 Explore the complex of Hue Imperial Citadel - the top things to do in Hue

Hue Imperial Citadel - the top things to do in Hue
Hue Imperial Citadel - the top things to do in Hue (Source: Internet)

For a deeper dive into Vietnam's rich history, a visit to Hue Imperial City is a must. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this majestic complex is celebrated for its architectural grandeur and profound historical importance. Pass through the magnificent Meridian Gate and find yourself transported back to the era of the Nguyen Dynasty. Here, amidst sprawling gardens, ornate palaces, and precious historical artifacts, the stories of Vietnam's imperial past come to life, weaving together a captivating tapestry of cultural heritage.

02 Visit tombs and mausoleums in Hue

Tu Duc Tomb in Hue
Tu Duc Tomb in Hue (Source: Internet)

In addition to the Imperial City, Hue boasts numerous other tombs, temples, and pagodas scattered throughout the city and its surroundings. The tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors are particularly noteworthy, nestled on hills to the south of the city and accessible by boat or bicycle. In total, there are seven tombs, each offering a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the region. It's worth exploring these historical sites to gain a deeper understanding of Hue's imperial past.

The best known and most impressive are Tu Duc Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb, Tomb of King Thieu Tri, and Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang.

03 Enjoy a boat ride on the Perfume River (Song Huong) – One of the best things to do in Hue

For a serene and picturesque experience in Hue, nothing beats a boat ride on the Perfume River. Named for the fragrant flowers that grace its banks during autumn, this tranquil waterway offers a soothing journey.

As you glide along, you'll be mesmerized by the stunning vistas of verdant hills and historic edifices adorning the riverbanks. It's a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history of Hue, passing by iconic landmarks like Trang Tien Bridge, Thien Mu Pagoda, and the Hue Historic Citadel along the way.

04 Take a spiritual tour to famous pagodas

Discovering the spiritual side of Hue is a must-do experience. Touring famous pagodas like Huyen Khong Son Thuong, Dieu De, Tu Hieu, and Tu Dam unveils Vietnam's deep-rooted religious traditions. Each pagoda offers a serene sanctuary where you can immerse yourself in ethereal beauty and find inner peace.

05 Relax at beautiful beaches – Among the top things to do in Hue

Lang Co Beach in Hue
Lang Co Beach in Hue (Source: Internet)

For a peaceful getaway and a refreshing ocean breeze, look no further than the stunning beaches of Hue. Among them, Lang Co Beach stands out as one of Vietnam's finest, renowned for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're craving a rejuvenating swim or a leisurely walk along the shore, this idyllic beach offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

06 Discover Hai Van Pass

Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass (Source: Internet)

The Hai Van Pass, situated between Hue and Da Nang, is renowned as one of Vietnam's most breathtaking coastal routes. Many travelers opt to traverse this scenic road on a motorbike, although car or old army jeep rides are equally enjoyable. Along the way, you'll be treated to spectacular vistas, and you can enhance your journey by stopping at various attractions such as Lang Co Beach, quaint fishing villages, the Marble Mountains, and a charming waterfall. It's an unforgettable adventure that combines stunning scenery with fascinating sights.

07 Take an excursion to Bach Ma National Park – best choice for a fun and adventurous day trip in Hue

Bach Ma National Park, a former French hill station sprawling across 40,000 hectares, beckons with its enchanting landscape. Here, you'll discover picturesque hiking trails, remnants of dilapidated French villas, cascading waterfalls, a serene campsite, and abundant wildlife.

Embarking on a trekking tour through Bach Ma National Park is the best way to explore its wonders. Choose from various routes, with some leading you to charming lakes and waterfalls tucked away in the forest. Don't miss the opportunity to ascend to the park's peak, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. It's an adventure that promises unforgettable moments amidst nature's beauty.

08 Discover the abandoned water park

Hue Abandoned Water Park
Hue Abandoned Water Park (Source: Internet)

Nestled within the verdant scenery of Hue lies the enigmatic Thuy Tien Lake, where the intriguing Hue Abandoned Water Park resides. Once a vibrant hub of amusement, this now-deserted park serves as a haunting reminder of days gone by. Its dilapidated water slides, crumbling structures, and empty pools tell a silent tale of the passage of time, evoking a mix of melancholy and curiosity. A visit to this unconventional attraction promises an off-the-beaten-path adventure, sure to captivate urban explorers and adventurous spirits alike.

09 Cycle around the city – One of the fun things to do in Hue

Cycling around Hue is undeniably one of the most delightful activities to indulge in. It presents a fantastic opportunity to explore the city and fully immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Pedal your way through magnificent architecture and picturesque scenery, taking in the beauty of your surroundings at your own pace. Along the journey, don't hesitate to interact with the friendly locals and savor the tantalizing flavors of street food. It's a memorable experience that allows you to truly connect with the heart and soul of Hue.

10 Go shopping at Dong Ba Market - one of the oldest and largest Hue markets

Dong Ba Market stands as the largest market in Central Vietnam, offering a vibrant glimpse into local life. Within its bustling halls, you'll find a plethora of goods ranging from handicrafts and fresh produce to clothing and meat. Conveniently located near the citadel and the Perfume River, it's effortless to combine a visit to Dong Ba Market with other nearby attractions. Take a leisurely stroll through the market, observing locals as they negotiate and shop for their daily necessities. It's an authentic and enriching experience that offers a unique window into Hue's bustling culture.

11 Take stunning photos at the Incense Village

Thuy Xuan Incense Village in Hue
Thuy Xuan Incense Village in Hue (Source: Internet)

In Hue, if you're seeking a scenic spot to capture captivating photographs, look no further than the Incense Village. The vibrant hues of the handmade incense sticks create a breathtaking backdrop for your shots. Whether you're focusing on intricate details or capturing the village's rustic charm in panoramic views, the Incense Village offers boundless opportunities to showcase your photography talents.

12 Enjoy royal court music – One of the exceptional things to do in Hue

Nhã Nhạc, or royal court music in Vietnamese, is a cherished traditional art form that traces its roots back to the imperial court, holding a profound place in Vietnam's cultural legacy. The melodies and rhythms of Nhã Nhạc are both soothing and enchanting, drawing listeners in with their delicate harmonies and elaborate instrumentation. Witnessing a performance of royal court music in Hue offers a rare opportunity to experience the preservation of this centuries-old art form firsthand and to admire the skill and dedication of the musicians who keep its traditions alive.

13 Savor mouth-watering local food

Exploring Hue wouldn't be complete without indulging in its mouthwatering local cuisine. Renowned for its delicate balance of flavors and elegant presentation, Hue food reflects the city's rich heritage as a former imperial capital. Embark on a culinary adventure through Hue and treat your taste buds to the unforgettable flavors that have earned this city a reputation as a paradise for food lovers!

14 Relax at walking streets – Among the best things to do in Hue at night

As night falls in Hue, the city pulses with vibrant energy and a delightful charm, making an evening stroll along the walking streets a must-do activity. Hue Night Walking Street and Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street beckon locals and visitors alike to indulge in the city's enchanting ambiance. Wander along these pedestrian-friendly avenues, immersing yourself in a symphony of sights, sounds, and aromas that capture the essence of Hue's nightlife scene.

15 Visit Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs for a relaxing soak

Indulge in a tranquil escape for your mind, body, and spirit at Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs, where the soothing mineral-rich waters await. Known for their therapeutic properties, hot springs are believed to promote overall well-being, offering a rejuvenating experience for visitors.

Beyond the healing waters, Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs offers a host of amenities and activities to enhance your spa retreat. From invigorating saunas to indulgent mud baths, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself and elevate your relaxation experience.

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