Hue is best known for its royal mausoleums, imperial citadel, and iconic pagodas. Boasting a fantastic and rich cuisine, Hue is not only a favorite destination for people who love architecture but also a mecca for Vietnamese gastronomes. Here are the top 21 Top-Rated Attractions in Hue. Follow Hanami’s article to find out more!
Hue tourist attractions – Discover ecological and natural attractions
An Hien Garden House
An Hien garden house is located at 58 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street, Kim Long Ward, Hue City. It is not very far from Thien Mu Pagoda and Hue Imperial City. Similar to other constructions and ancient architecture built on the northern bank of the Huong River, the famous garden house faces this romantic river. As one of the most famous garden houses in Hue and designed in the typical architectural style of the city, An Hien Garden House’s beauty reflects the aristocratic and traditional essences of the city. Over a century in existence, An Hien remains the same in both landscape and architecture.
The garden house witnessed the historic changes of Hue city and has been inhabited by many princes, princesses, mandarins, and upper class elites over the decades.
Originally, An Hien Garden House was built as the palace of the 18th princess of King Duc Duc, but due to some reasons, the house changed hands several times after that.
The campus has a very large area of up to 4,608 m2, faces the Perfume River, is built in the traditional architecture of Vietnam and Hue, and is influenced by the law of feng shui.
Located almost in the center, the main house includes three compartments and two lean-tos, with all the indoor frame structures made of wood. Delicately carved and sculpted patterns surround the main column and the house’s rafter system. The tiles on the roof are laminated with dragons flanking the sides, and the middle of the rooftop is decorated with a lotus. The ancient furniture in the house is also an impressive feature, while right in front of the main house is a small pond full of water lilies. Visitors to An Hien Garden House can explore the space of the ancient house and discover more about the life of the female owner who was once associated with this location. Returning to Hue and failing to discover An Hien Garden House is a major oversight. Let An Hien Garden House mark your heart more with the poetics of Hue.
- Address: 58 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street, Huong Long Ward, Hue City
Thien An Hill
Thien An Pine Hill lies south-west of Hue City and is a wonderful gift of nature endowed on the poetic old capital city. Hue not only has magnificent mausoleums and palaces but also poetic destinations, such as Thien An Hill, which has cool air in the midst of vast pine forests that touch the hearts of visitors.
Thien An Hill is only 10 kilometers from the city center, which is accessible to all travelers, so don’t miss it if you’re visiting Hue.
If you are feeling lonely, come to Thien An to find your soul peaceful, relaxed, and extremely comforted. Enjoy the unspoiled beauty, fresh air, and stunning scenes here, and all your worries will vanish. Thuy Tien Lake, located in an abandoned park near Thien An Hill, and Thien An Monastery are also popular Hue tourist destinations.
- Address: Thuy Bang, Huong Thuy, Hue City
Vong Canh Hill
Vong Canh Hill is famous for its perfect beauty, combining the natural rivers and mountains. Possessing a peaceful, romantic, and fresh space, this sightseeing site is a great destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. If you have the opportunity to visit Hue, you should put Vong Canh Hill on the list of must explore places
Along the way to the Vong Canh Hill Hue, you can admire the beauty of the trees on both sides of the shady road. Visitors can relax in a cool, peaceful space and just walk to see the surrounding scenery. The hill is in the middle of the most attractive bend of the Perfume River. Looking down from above to a gentle space of the afternoon or dawn, the Perfume River appears beautiful; making an unforgettable feeling for those who have ever set foot in Hue. Or you can see the scenery of the Nguyen Dynasty royal tombs.
Lush green forests, roofs of village houses, and boats in the river make the scene very dramatic and eye-catching. The sunsets and sunrises from the hills are stunning. Water transforms into blue at sunset and into golden red at sunrise. Many writers, painters, and composers immortalized the beauty of Vong Canh Hill.
You can drive up here or ride a motorcycle, but the latter will be more relaxing and allow you to breathe in the fresh air. What fun it would be to travel with your closest friends!
- Address: Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street, Thuy Bieu Ward, Hue City
Lap An Lagoon – The Pearl of Hue
Lap An Lagoon is a rare green beauty located between Lang Co Bay and the Bach Ma Mountain range. There is no need to travel far to find “Tuyet Tinh Coc,” as you can see it by simply arriving in Lap An. It is a blend of three different color layers, including the deep blue of the mountains and forests, the turquoise of the lake, and the blue of the sky. If you come here in the early morning or on a gloomy day when it is cold, you will be in awe of the beauty of the layer of clouds and feel as though you are lost in a fairyland.
Lap An lagoon, considered the muse of Hue, is easy to bewilder people with its gentle, unusually quiet beauty, but it still has a mysterious charm.
Unlike other landscapes, Lap An possesses the simple and rustic beauty of nature but is very poetic and lyrical. A lot of people compare Lap An Lagoon Hue to a picture of water when surrounded by mountains and hills with blue water in the middle, rippling like a soft silk strip. It is worth mentioning that no matter what time of day, this lagoon can display its very attractive beauty. Coming to the Lagoon, you seem to get lost in the first realm, immersed in the airy, peaceful space, forgetting all the stress and worries of humans’ lives.
- Address: at the foot of the Phu Gia Mountain pass, Phu Loc District, Hue City
Perfume River – Truong Tien Bridge
A visit to Hue would not be complete without a boat excursion on the gentle Perfume River; otherwise, you cannot feel the romance of Hue. The Perfume River is a significant natural landscape that symbolizes the people of the ancient imperial state, Thua Thien Hue Province. In keeping with the historical imprints of the Hue Dynasties, the “Soul” of Hue shaped the mysterious beauty, silently witnessing historical and poetic impressiveness.
The Perfume River, or Huong River, is around 80 kilometers long, and owes its name to the fact that it flows through many forests of aromatic plants before reaching Hue, bringing with it a pure and fresh aroma. Perfume River is like the mild glamor of a young lady carrying quiet, sweet, and harmonious poetry that spreads throughout the civilized land.
During the sunset hour, all sunlight fades behind the majestic high mountains, and the Perfume River takes on a warm coat color. During the night, visitors are fascinated by the poetic reflection of a moon and the artistic voices of folk music on Perfume River, which paint a deep sound in every spirit.
Ngu Binh Mountain
Ngu Binh Mountain is one of the famous attractions in Hue City. With the Perfume River, Ngu Binh Mountain takes on an important role in the Feng Shui of the Hue Imperial Citadel. Moreover, it is a great place to enjoy the beauty of Hue as well as relax, compose poems, and enjoy sunrise and sunset.
Ngu Binh Mountain has been regarded as a fantastic site to observe nature by poets and visitors for generations. On clear days, people can see all of Hue Imperial City’s features, including exquisite palaces, antique pagoda roofs, and the blue and limpid Perfume River meandering in and out. Right in front of people’s eyes, stretches an endless pine woodland across the hills and broad plains, filled with green plants and trees. The vast dark purple Truong Son Annamite Range is concealed in the distance behind silver clouds, etc. To the east is a thin white beach, and the deep blue eastern seaside is the Thuan An estuary.
Ngu Binh Mountain, along with the Perfume River, is Hue’s second most important gift from Mother Nature. These two blend together to create a gorgeous mountain and river landscape.
- Address: An Cuu Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province
Thuy Xuan Incense Village
Thuy Xuan is the largest and oldest incense village in Hue, famous for its profession of making incense. This place is not only a famous traditional craft village of the ancient capital with a series of “blooming” incense facilities in green, red, purple, and yellow… but also an impressive Hue tourist destination in the eyes of tourists who love local culture.
The beautiful village is covered with green trees and hidden at the foot of Vong Canh hill on the romantic Perfume River. Walking along the streets of incense, you will be extremely “overwhelmed” with layers of color and scent in bunches of green, red, purple, brown, and yellow… very eye-catching and also very fragrant.
Along with the sun’s color, the blue sky in the middle of summer is a brilliant background to the thousand-like photos of many visitors.
- Address: 84 Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province
Tam Giang Lagoon
Tam Giang is 24 km long and is situated in an area of more than 50 square kilometers. You can go along the lagoon by small boat starting from Thuan An harbor. If you want to visit Thai Duong Ha village, wait for about 30 minutes while going through some bridges and fields along the lagoon.
Tam Giang Lagoon is located at the merge of three big rivers including O Lau, Huong and Bo Rivers. It belongs to Tam Giang Cau Hai, which is the largest freshwater lagoon system in Hue. Recognized as the richest source of flora and fauna in Southeast Asia, Tam Giang Lagoon in ancient Hue is an amazing place that is rarely discovered by tourists. It is also beautiful at sunset when golden water is sparkling in along with a maze of shrimp farming fields of all shapes and sizes that all fascinate travelers. From February to July is the best time to experience the life of a fisherman here.
- Address: Phong Dien District, Quang Dien District, and Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province
Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park – the only primeval forest in Vietnam, stretches from the East Sea to the Vietnam-Laos border. Bach Ma National Park in Hue is one of Vietnam’s five most beautiful national parks. And this is also a famous resort in Vietnam. This is the location of fresh streams, lakes, and waterfalls. At the same time, this place is also an ecosystem and a natural habitat for many rare creatures.
Everyone can see the shimmering beauty of Hue City, Hai Van Pass, and many other landmarks when coming here. Especially for those who love trekking and hiking, Bach Ma National Park is a place not to be missed.
- Address: Phu Loc district, Thua Thien Hue province
Thuy Tien Lake – Abandoned Water Park
Although it is not working anymore, this place is such a great attraction for taking photos because of its fabulous landscapes.
There are many ways to become “the real photographer.” At Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park, there are a lot of scenes and views for you to get excellent photos following different styles such as classic, outdoor, horror, etc. Going up to the head of the dragon, inside the dragon’s body, you will see the frame of huge dragon bones.
Getting to the dragon’s mouth is a good idea to get the best panoramic view. Exploring Thuy Tien Lake is another interesting activity besides visiting the historical sites in Hue. A lot of tourists are curious to come here to explore what makes this place so mysterious.
- Address: Thuy Bang Commune, Huong Thuy District, Thua Thien Hue Province
Ru Cha Mangrove Forest
Ru Cha is a primary mangrove forest that is being conserved and protected. The Ru Cha mangrove forest covers a total area of 5 hectares. Once they hear the name, visitors are immediately impressed by its mysterious name. As explained by locals, “Ru ” means forest while “Cha” indicates the plant accounted for more than 90% of this area. Ru Cha mangrove forest attracts visitors with its mysterious beauty. Walking along the concrete roads surrounding the forest, visitors will definitely have an exciting experience.
In autumn, cha trees (excoecaria agallocha) turn yellow, making the forest expose its untouched and romantic natural beauty, which enchants visitors. In the heart of the forest is an observatory, allowing visitors to admire the panoramic view of the surrounding green spaces and Tam Giang Lagoon.
Tourist places of historical sites in Hue
Hue Imperial Citadel
If you have never been to Imperial Citadel Hue before, now is the perfect time to go and learn more about this fascinating area within the country. There are ten entrances to the Kinh Thanh Hue, and there have been more than one hundred construction projects completed on this building over the years. Some of the projects were on the smaller side, while others were quite big. This building is square, and at the top of the walls, there are twenty-four bastions for defensive purposes.
Famously being one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Imperial City of Hue has long been a must-see attraction for tourists visiting a hidden charm of Vietnam.
Tu Duc Tomb
With unique architecture and perfect harmony with the natural landscape, Tu Duc Tomb becomes one of the buildings that make the charming beauty of Hue. Tu Duc Royal Tomb was built in the Nguyen Dynasty, deserving to be one of the most attractive and indispensable destinations when traveling to Hue City.
- Address: Thuong 3 Hamlet, Thuy Xuan Ward, Thua Thien Hue Province
Minh Mang tomb
Minh Mang Tomb is the final resting place of the second emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Minh Mang Emperor, whose reign marks the culmination of Nguyen Dynasty power throughout the country.
Minh Mang had ordered his Feng Shui tellers to search for the perfect Feng Shui place to construct his tomb after seven years on the throne. However, it took nearly 14 years to plan, consider, and choose before the Emperor decided to have his tomb constructed in this location.
Located on the Tam Tai Son mountain, Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra district, and 12 km from Hue city center to the west. The tomb of Minh Mang is a harmonious blend of picturesque landscape and solemn architecture, which portrays the strictness and deep beliefs of the Emperor.
- Address: Huong Tho Commune, Huong Tra District, Thua Thien Hue Province
Khai Dinh Tomb
Khai Dinh Tomb, officially known as the Ung Mausoleum, is situated on Chau Chu Mountain, about 10 km away from Hue City, Vietnam. The tomb is the smallest, but also the most costly and recent one in comparison with other tombs of Nguyen royals. It was established by Emperor Khai Dinh, the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, during the period from 1920 to 1931. This 11-year-to-complete tomb was located on a hillside and has a combination of Eastern and Western style in terms of architecture. Khai Dinh Tomb is considered one of the most worth-visiting Hue attractions.
The tomb is a rectangular monument leaning against Chau Chu Mountain in the rural area of Hue City. Built from modern materials like slates, concrete, and wrought iron, the tomb has a relatively gray and imposing appearance.
An Bang Cemetery
The An Bang Cemetery – “City of Ghosts Vietnam,” will overwhelm you with regal stone lions abound and glittering mosaic dragons, unicorns, and phoenixes that inlaid the roof ridges. It is such a great mixture of different architectures, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Western. Even in many graves, there are copies of the Nguyen dynasty Emperors tombs and the Citadel of Hue.
About 90 percent of the villagers have overseas relatives. Family members who live in western countries or the USA have been sending money home, much of which is used to build graves. Especially, due to the competition in the construction by the villagers, there are a lot of luxury graves costing fifty thousand US dollars for their ancestors or even for family members who have not yet died. They even built-in advance to be ready for their deaths.
The village has a total of 44 clans with a history of nearly 500 years. The tombs here were all built by the descendants of the clans. According to legend, the tombs were demolished and rebuilt numerous times simply because other tombs were more beautiful, so they had to be built more beautifully, and this became a trend in the village. Currently, An Bang village has about 10,000 tombs; each tomb costs an average of 800 million to 2 billion. There are even graves of up to 4 billion VND.
Because of the uniqueness of the system and architecture and thanks to the ideas of famous cultural researchers in Hue several years ago. These days, tourists are very curious about this special city, so there are more and more people coming here to visit.
Other famous Hue tourist attractions
Dong Ba Market
Dong Ba market is considered a paradise for snapshots of daily activities as well as for shopping, with everything from souvenir items to bronze goods, Hue sesame sweetmeat, and conical hats, just to name a few.
As the busiest trading place in Hue, the products are really diverse for you to choose from and purchase. The main building has a lot of clothes and bags on the second floor, and on the first floor, they sell candy, hats, stationery, and souvenirs.
Though a series of new markets have emerged ubiquitously inside the fast-growing Hue City, and one no longer has to go far for shopping, Dong Ba remains the biggest and most significant market in both Hue and Central Vietnam. Tourists coming here may not be able to get out soon since they are so absorbed by the interesting Hue’s typical goods!
Quoc Hoc Hue Gifted High School – The oldest school in Hue
Being the first and oldest high school in Vietnam, Quoc Hoc (National High School) was originally the school for children from royal and noble families. Not only is Quoc Hoc famous for its charming scene, but it also gained prominence for its traditions of patriotism, industriousness, academic achievements, and respect for the time-honored values of teacher-student relationships.
Ancient walls and green trees make the school look even more poetic. On autumn days, visitors may feel like being lost in Europe while walking in the school. In the spring, a kind of flower that is similar to cherry blossoms creates a picturesque scene. Then summer came, and the school was steeped in orange-red phoenix’s tail flowers. Anyone dropping by Quoc Hoc Hue Gifted High School will suddenly think of their memorable school days.
- Address: 12 Le Loi Street, Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province
Hue Walking Street
If Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street at the intersection of the Saigon River and Bach Dang Harbor, Hue City has Hue Night Walking Street along the Huong River (Perfume River). It offers this place fabulous charm to attract a lot of people who come to enjoy the poetic views, take photos, and enjoy the fresh air.
This walking street in Hue, Vietnam, opens every night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Traveling to Hue night walking street, the residents and foreigners will have a great chance to taste delightful Hue street food, buy eye-catching keepsakes, and learn more about the convention in Phuoc Vinh Ward, Hue City. This is one of the largest, most famous, and oldest churches in Hue. Today’s church is built in modern architecture, designed by architect Ngo Viet Thu.
Phu Cam Cathedral
This stunning church in Hue has undergone more than ten reconstructions as a result of the various ups and downs of history and the ages. It was constructed using European architectural design. Although this church was clearly planned in 1963 with a methodical design, it wasn’t finished until 37 years later as a result of historical variations. When Phu Cam Church was formally opened in 2000, it became a religious activity center for the ancient capital’s parishioners as well as a tourist attraction for visitors from far and wide.
The church was constructed to look simple but really delicate and artistic. The church is massive both inside and out; the inside of the church is very airy, with a capacity of 2500 – 3000 people, and has arches with levels that rise to make it appear incredibly magnificent and beautiful.
Hue is one of the most charming towns in Vietnam and is located on the banks of the beautifully named Perfume River. This part of Vietnam has a long and illustrious history, as it used to be one of the main royal capitals of the country. As such, history lovers will find a huge amount to enjoy here, from the rambling ancient architecture to the engaging museums that will fill you in on all the details. Many people come here in particular to check out the ancient tombs of former emperors, which are dotted all over the city and provide you with a fascinating insight into Hue in the days of old. And these are just the most obvious things to do in Hue, just a scratch of what this beautiful city can offer. We hope this useful information will help you have a wonderful trip in Hue City.