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Imperial City, Hue

Imperial City, Hue: Our most recommended tours and activities

Imperial City, Hue: Tour from Hoi An and Da Nang

1. Imperial City, Hue: Tour from Hoi An and Da Nang

Travel back to the Nguyen Dynasty on a multi-stop tour from Hoi An and Da Nang to Hue. See the Imperial City, the Mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh, and the Thien Mu Pagoda. Get a taste of Hue cuisine during lunch at a local restaurant. Following pickup in Hoi An, the journey to Hue begins by crossing one of the best coastal roads in the world, the Hai Van Pass. Take advantage of a 30-minute stop at the peak and 5 minutes to take photos at Lang Co Beach.  After a final round of pickup in Da Nang, visit the Khai Dinh Tomb, a blend of Western and Eastern architecture constructed between 1920-1931. Then, enjoy lunch at a local specialty restaurant serving Hue-style dishes.  With a full stomach of local cuisine, continue to Hue’s main attraction, the Imperial Citadel. Once the home of the Nguyen Emperor, the citadel also contains the Forbidden Purple City. Explore Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s largest pagoda. Built in 1601, it is the subject of many local folk rhymes and is considered the unofficial symbol of Hue. Finish the day with drop-off back in Da Nang and Hoi An.

Da Nang: Small-Group Hue Imperial City and Hai Van Pass Tour

2. Da Nang: Small-Group Hue Imperial City and Hai Van Pass Tour

This tour takes a trip to the decadent Imperial City of Hue, a well-preserved walled city. Hue is a must-see for those who love history, complete with its beautiful architecture and Insta-worthy photo stops. Your tour will start at Khai Dinh Tomb, a site that looks more like a palace than a grave. After an equally impressive visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, a five-tier temple built in the 1700s, is the highlight of this tour: the Imperial City. Throughout your experience there will be plenty of time to wander the many ancient temples, browse exhibits at the visitors center, and stroll elegant gardens. At the conclusion of your experience, you will be returned to your Da Nang accommodation.

Hue: Private Tour by Car with Driver

3. Hue: Private Tour by Car with Driver

Enjoy the flexibility of traveling at your own pace with your private driver to discover the highlights of Hue's heritage. Following the suggested route, your driver will pick you up at 9 AM and take you to the Minh Mang Tomb, located at the junction of two tributaries of the Perfume River surrounded by rolling hills. Next, stop at Khai Dinh Tomb, situated on one of the Chau Mountains. Khai Dinh's tomb is surrounded by natural beauty and its architecture is a blend of East and West. Then, stop at Tu Duc Tomb, located in a beautiful area made of rolling hills and pine trees.Your driver will recommend a good and cheap restaurant where you can enjoy tasty dishes. In the afternoon, visit the the colorful Imperial City, an ornate palace complex surrounded by towering fortress walls. Your last stop is the Thien Mu Pagoda, constructed during the 17th century to worship the legend of a celestial lady. It became well-known worldwide when, in 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a 66 year-old resident monk died after setting himself on fire to protest anti-Buddhist policies of the government of South Vietnam. After your visit here, you will be dropped off back at your hotel in Hue city.

Hue: Imperial City Private Walking Tour

4. Hue: Imperial City Private Walking Tour

Visit the cultural epicenter of Hue with a private guide and unearth the city's history. immerse yourself in the Imperial City of Hue, which served as Vietnam’s capital from the early 1800s until the mid-1900s.  Explore the vast grounds, passing by the majestic entrance, the Noon Gate. See the Nine Holy Cannons, which are located on the ramparts just inside the Citadel said to symbolize the four seasons and the five elements. Continue to the Mieu and the Hung Mieu Temples. Also known as the Temple of Generations, learn how the Mieu was built as an ancestral temple to honor the ten emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. Walk a bit further north and see a smaller temple, the Hung Mieu Temple, built to honor the parents of Gia Long, the first emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Next, stop at the Thai Hoa Palace. Hear stories about how this lavish hall was used for important ceremonies and official receptions. Take in the spacious palace with its 80 columns, ornate dragon details, and immense courtyard. See the scenic and newly-renovated Phung Tien Temple, which was once a place where the emperor, empresses, and other royal females came to worship the Nguyen ancestors. Admire the rocky pools, pass by the library, and take photos by the flower garden. Your final stop on this private tour will be the Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theater, one of Vietnam’s oldest working theaters to date. It was restored and opened to the public in 2004 after many of its unique architectural elements and designs were replicated, making it easy for you to transport yourself back in time and imagine the former Vietnamese royals watching traditional performances.

Hue: Imperial City Guided Walking and Pedicab Combo Tour

5. Hue: Imperial City Guided Walking and Pedicab Combo Tour

The tour guide will meet you directly at your hotel lobby and you will then depart from the city centre and head to the Huong River. Begin with a walking tour along the river. Here you will be able to admire wonderful views along the river banks, and learn more about the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty.  Next stop is the Imperial City of Hue. The guide will lead you around the expansive site and share interesting stories and facts as you go. Discover the forbidden city and the gated courtyard, as well as several gardens, pavilions, and theaters. After visiting the Imperial city, hop on a pedicab to explore the area around the Citadel. Make several stops at interesting places along the way, such as the Fine Art Museum, and the beautiful royal garden of Tinh Tam Lake. See many old monuments that feature sophisticated architectural patterns in harmony with nature.

From Hội An: Hue Imperial City and Hai Van Pass Tour

6. From Hội An: Hue Imperial City and Hai Van Pass Tour

This well-preserved walled city is a must for those who love history, beautiful architecture, and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. The day begins with a breathtaking journey from Hoi An through the Hai Van Pass. Once in Hue, the tour starts at Khai Dinh Tomb, a site that more closely resembles a palace than a grave. After visiting the equally impressive Thien Mu Pagoda, you enter the Hue Imperial City, known not only for its architecture, but for its beautiful landscaping. After the guided tour, try a delicious local lunch, wander the ancient temples, browse the visitors center, and stroll through the elegant gardens.

Danang or Hoian: Transfer to Hue City with Sightseeing

7. Danang or Hoian: Transfer to Hue City with Sightseeing

Explore Marble Mountain (Ngu Hanh Son) – have a hiking tour on the moutains – visit some caves and Buddihist temples. Museum of Cham Sculpture – Learn more about Champa ancient people, Hai Van Pass –the most beautiful road pass – the stunning view from the top; enjoy the best coffee in Vietnam with great view, Lang Co beach – a famous beach of Vietnam next to Haivan pass, it is a popular stop for tourists on the Hue-Danang route, Fishing village: Visit a lot of fishing boat on the lagoon where local live and move around for fishing. Then go straight to Hue city.

Hue: Guided Historical City Tour with Pickup and Lunch

8. Hue: Guided Historical City Tour with Pickup and Lunch

8:00 – 8:30 a.m: Our guide and car will pick you up at your hotel/stay in Hue city center and start the Hue city full day tour. We will help you enjoy a wonderful trip which is full of fun and interesting experiences. Take a dragon boat to cruise on Perfume river to visit Thien Mu Pagoda- The oldest pogoda in Hue city. The 30 min boat drive to the pagoda in the morning will be a great start for the journey. Fresh air from Perfume river will make you very comfortable. Visit Hue Imperial Citadel – Imperial city, the home of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty – the Nguyen Dynasty. Hue Royal Antiques Museum – A collection of ornaments from the Nguyen Dynasty. After the Citadel, our car will take you to Dong Ba Market, the busiest market in Hue with various kinds of foods and goods. Here you can see how the local people buy and sale things and this is also a chance for you to buy souvenirs for your friends and family. Have lunch with Hue dishes. Take a rest before continuing the trip to visit the tombs, our herbal foots bath is a wonderful gift for you! Visit Khai Dinh King’s Tomb – which is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture Minh Mang King’s Tomb – considered as the most majestic of all of the Royal Tombs. Renowned for its architecture, which harmoniously blends into its natural surroundings. On the way back, stop by the Conical hat village and incense stick village (practical experience with making conical hats and incense sticks at local house). 4:00 – 5:00 p.m: Back to your hotel. Tour ends.

Chan May Port: Self-Guided Hue City Tour by Private Car

9. Chan May Port: Self-Guided Hue City Tour by Private Car

Following a pickup at Chan May Port by your private driver, head towards the city of Hue. Relax onboard a modern vehicle for about 1 hour until you arrive at the first destination, where you'll begin your day of self-guided exploration. Avoid the crowds and visit the Nguyen King Tombs right in the morning. Ascend 127 steps to reach the tomb of King Khai Dinh, also known as the Ung Lang Tomb. Marvel at the unique architecture that blends both modern European and Vietnamese influences. From the top, you can see the courtyard with the House of Epitaph as well as statues of horses and soldiers. Next, head to Minh Mang tomb, the second ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty. Located in An Bang Village, the solemn and quiet architecture set represents the ideal balance of landscaping and architecture. The structure of the tomb is a symmetrical central axis, called Than Dao, and runs throughout the architecture. Afterward, you will have a lunch break in a local restaurant in the city and savor different typical specialties of Hue. Continue to Hue's most famous attraction and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hue Citadel. Visit this imperial palace and its temples, walls, and pavilions to learn more about the history of the Nguyen dynasty. Then, make your way to the Thien Mu Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hue, located on the banks of the Perfume River. After a long day of sightseeing in Hue City, your driver will be waiting for you to drop you back at Chan May Port.

Other Sightseeing Options in Imperial City, Hue

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What people are saying about Imperial City, Hue

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 143 reviews

Good experience to visit Vietnam historical sites. Although the trip to Hue lasts about 2 and half hours, the sites are near to each other. This makes the 4 to 5 hour stay at Hue enriching and fulfilling. The guide is comprehensive and accommodating. She also introduces a good restaurant for my self-paid lunch.

Albeit the weather was bad (raining all day), our guide Nuong was terrific. We were the only 2 people on the tour so it was very private. Nuong did a great job explaining the history and importance of Hue imperial palace which we would otherwise not have known.

Like that our tour guide, Ming has prepared photographs and map of the imperial city for our easy visualization. The weather was wet that day, added on to solemnity to the history

The tour was great We saw a lot of historical sights. Audio guides are available everywhere. Ideal for individual needs The driver spoke very good English and gave us some input

Nice mix of sites - but concentrating mainly on the Imperial Citadel. The guide was fun and informative.