Even though Hue is most well-known for the citadel, tombs, pagodas and historical buildings…; they are not all the city has to offer. Hue also possesses a list of must check-in sites that is rather little-known. From scenic spots to historical sites; make sure to visit all of the following places in order to explore the beauty of this ancient capital to the fullest!
- Travel guide to Hue: How to fully experience the Ancient capital
- Top best-selling street food in Hue
1. Nguyen dynasty kings’ mausoleums
Nguyen dynasty kings’ mausoleum complex is considered one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city since it is not only a popular spot but also a cultural and historical impress and a pride of Hue people. Most of the mausoleums situate in the Easten South of the city.
Gia Long mausoleum (Huong Tho village; Huong Tra commune)
It is also called as Thien Thu Mausoleum and was constructed from 1814 to 1820, under the direct supervision of king Gia Long. Situated in a flat hill, the mausoleum is surrounded by 34 mini mountains. This is a majestic picture of the harmonious combination of nature and architecture; showing the luxury and royalty of a famous king in Nguyen dynasty.
Minh Mang mausoleum (Huong Tho village; Huong Tra commune)
Also known as Hieu mausoleum; the tourist attraction situate in Cam Ke mountain; 15km from Hue city centre. Minh Mang mausoleum is a collection of 40 palaces and pagodas. Besides, the mausoleum is a storage with almost 600 sculptures of poem in Bi Dinh; Hien Duc gate; Sung An palace and Minh Lau. Minh Mang mausoleum shows the majesty of a talented king.
Tu Duc mausoleum (Thuy Xuan ward, Hue)
Also called Khiem mausoleum; 5km from Hue city centre; it is a masterpiece of Nguyen dynasty architecture. Yu Duc mausoleum consists of almost 50 designed structures with “Khiem” on their names. The place also has Minh Khiem opera house, which is the oldest opera house in Viet Nam that is still in existence.
Khai Dinh mausoleum (Thuy Bang village; Huong Thuy commune)
The structure is a harmonious combination of Western and Eastern architecture. It is also the height of the art of forming crystal and ceramic. Therefore, Khai Dinh is favored by many tourists because of its aesthetic.
If you have time, you also can visit many mausoleums of Nguyen dynasty king such as Thieu Tri mausoleum; Duc Duc mausoleum; Dong Khanh mausoleum..
2. Citadel Hue- Dai Noi
Dai Noi is the name used mainly for a complex including imperial citadel and forbidden city; built in1804. Dai Noi has more than 140 structures varying in size to serve the central government apparatus. Its gate system is as marvellous as the structures. Dai Noi locates in an area of an almost perfect square shape; with each side can be up to 2500m. Some of the most notable spots in Dai Noi:
Ngo Mon (the main gate in the southern part of the citadel)
Built in 1833 under the reign of king Minh Mang, Ngo Mon is majestic and superficial. Numerous important traditional rituals of Nguyen dynasty were held here.
Thai Hoa palace
This is the most important piece of architecture is the citadel. Constructed in 1805, Thai Hoa palace hosted the main events throughout 13 kings of Nguyen dynasty; from Gia Long to Bao Dai. The palace has a huge yard in the front and lots of golden thrones for the kings to take a rest. With spacy area and lots of fascinating scenery; Thai Hoa palace is definitely worth visiting.
Thai shrine (for Nguyen kings, built in 1802); Hung shrine (for Nguyen Phuc Long, the father of king Gia Long); The shrine (for Nguyen kings, built in 1821); Trieu shrine (for Nguyen Kim, the father of Nguyen Hoang tien) are attractive for tourists.
Co Ha garden and Kham Van palace
One of the five gardens in the citadel; the playground of the princes- Co Ha garden! The garden is spacious and beautifully designed.
Some additional places inside the citadel that you can check out: Cuu Dinh; forbidden city; Duyet Thi Duong opera house; Dien Tho palace; Thai Binh Lau…
In 1993, The old citadel of Hue was considered World Culture Heritage by UNESCO.
3. Hue High School for the Gifted (Truong Quoc Hoc Hue)
The school is built in the base of Dinh Thuy su (where Nguyen dynasty’s marine soldiers practised) in the southern part of Perfume River. Initially, the school was only a series of small cottages. In 1914, the cottages were replaced by firm buildings in Western Europe style and the structure is maintained until today.
This is considered a top favorite destination for those love the combination of ancient and unique; especially with the flaming red walls of Hue High School for the Gifted.
4. Dong Ba market
Similar to Ben Thanh market in Sai Gon or Dam market in Nha Trang; Dong Ba is a symbol of Hue. The market was first opened in king Gia Long’s reign; after lots of hardship, the market was renamed as Dong Ba in 1887 by king Dong Khanh.
5. Tu Dam pagoda
Situated in 1 Su Lieu Quan street; Tu Dam pagoda was first named An Ton, established by Minh Hoang Tu Dung in 1695. The pagoda plays an important role in the revival and development of Vietnamese Buddhism in the modern days, as well as being a famous tourist attraction in Hue.
6. Thien Mu pagoda
Nobody can overlook this spot when talking about Hue. Thien Mu pagoda, also known as Linh Mu pagoda; lies in Ha Khe hill, in the left bank of Perfume River, Kim Long neighborhood, 5km to the West of the city centre.
This is the first pagoda built in Hue (1601). When mentioning Thien Mu pagoda, the first image that comes to mind would be Phuoc Duyen tower, previously known as Tu Nhan tower; built in 1844 by king Thieu Tri. The tower is 21m tall, with octagon shape and has 7 floors. Each floor of the tower is dedicated for a different Buddist. In the front of the tower is Huong Nguyen communal house.
Thien Mu pagoda is an icon for the peaceful beauty of Hue, becoming a must-visit destination for everyone who looks for a sacred and romantic spot. Your trip to Hue won’t be completed without visiting this pagoda.
7. Phu Cam conical hat village
The image of conical hat has long been linked with the image of Hue, becoming a famous figure in Vietnamese literature. For that reason, you should make time to visit Phu Cam conical hat village in Phuoc Vinh neighborhood to directly observe the process of making conical hat- a representative of Hue.
8. Dan Nam Giao
Situated in Dien Bien Phu street in the heart of the city; Dan Nam Giao will be the highlight of your trip because this is a famous historical symbol of the area. Built in 1806 under king Gia Long’s reign; this place was used mainly for sacrificial activities.
9. Hai Van gate (Lang Co village, Phu Loc town)
This gate has witnessed the ups and downs of Vietnamese history. Locating at the top of Hai Van pass- one of the most dangerous passes in Vietnam at 490m above the water; Hai Van gate has the entire view of Hai Van bay- a perfect wide angle; especially for those who are passionate for landscape or want to have marvellous pictures.
- 10 Hue specialties that if you have not tried yet, then you have not visited the real Ancient capital
- What to prepare for a trip to Hue?
10. House garden
The next destination is beautiful house gardens like An Hien house garden; Phu Mong house garden and Thuy Bieu house garden.
Beaches are the specialities of the Middle of Vietnam, so don’t forget to check out the attractive beaches when you’re in Hue!
Canh Duong beach (Loc Vinh village, Phu Loc commune)
65km from the city centre, the beach has an arc shape with gentle slope, white sand and blue water. The beach has an unexplored beauty- so beautiful that people call it “a dream come true”
Lang Co beach
Lang Co beach was nominated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in 2009. The beach 75km away from Hue’s city centre, right under Hai Van pass.
Lang Co beach has it all to offer: the color blue of water, yellow- white of sand, honey of sunlight and green of trees. All shades of color combine, together making a breath-takingly beautiful picture.
Thuan An beach (Thuan An village, Phu Vang town)
15km from the heart of the city, Thuan An beach is a popular tourist attraction. Here you can spend time to enjoy rice alcohol from Chuon village and fresh seafood, as well as other regional specialities.
12. Vong Canh hill:
Vong Canh hill is situated in Thuy Xuan warn at the Southwest of Hue city. Its foothills is contiguous to Huong River, in the area of Nguyen kings and lords mausoleum, opposite the Chen Rock on the other side of the Huong river.
13. Chuon lake
Chuon Lake (Phu An commune, Phu Vang district), which is also considered as a Hue tourist attraction popular for people to post their pictures of it online, is also a part of Tam Giang lagoon. Being only 10 km far from Hue city, to get here you just need to go straight on route 49 and turn to An Tuyen. Here you can gaze at the spectacular scenery of the lake and enjoy the beautiful sunset on the ferry in addition to tasting the local food and of course… taking some “deep” pictures to share to your friends about your amazing trip to Hue!
14. Tam Giang lagoon
In most of the Hue tourism guidebooks, Tam Giang lagoon is always a place that you should never miss. With the length of 25 km, Tam Giang lagoon stretch from the estuary of O Lau river to Thuan An bridge and connect with Thuy Tu and Cau Hai lake.
From February to July is the ideal time for experiencing the daily life of the local fishermen: joining the fishermen to go fishing, trying the dishes from fresh seafood, or just simply enjoy yourself under the red – colored sky when the sun sets on Tam Giang lagoon.
15. Pe Ker pass
When it comes to Hue, many people will immediately think about Hai Van pass and sometimes forget about this Pe Ker pass, which is not a well-known place for anyone who is willing to explore the wilderness and enjoy the landscape from above. Pe Ker pass is 800 m long with a 10% slope. Just travel about 10km to the North from A Nor waterfall and you can enjoy the spectacular scenery of Pe Ker pass.
Pe Ker pass also brings a bit of thrill for anyone who enjoys the sense of adventure and wants to explore themselves through the meandering pass.
16. Ru Cha mangrove forest
Ru Cha is a primary mangrove forest which is being rehabilitated and developed with an area of nearly 5 ha at Huong Phong, Huong Tra. From Thuan An port, you can visit the place by boat or local people’s fishing boat.
Ru Cha is considered as one of the wilderness in Hue – the only primary forest which is remained in the Tam Giang lagoon. Pass through the trail into Ru Cha, you will catch sight of a concrete boat, the local Poseidon’s temple, where the fishermen will pray every time before pushing off.
17.Truong Tien bridge
The last destination that Jtatours wants to introduce to you today is the popular Truong Tien bridge of Hue. Truong Tien bridge (also called Trang Tien) is a bridge across Huong River, designed and constructed by French, done in 1889. It has the length of 420.6 m.
After many name modifications, after the bomb rain which shortened the bridge, nowadays, Truong Tien bridge is still the historical witnesses across the Huong river and welcome many tourists visiting everyday.
Hue ancient citadel tops tourist destinations in Viet Nam
Man-made ‘beach’ to open soon in Ha Noi
Siem Reap's Unlikely Culinary Treasure
Top 5 Tips for a Safe Beach Holiday in Halong Bay
Vang Vieng "The fun capital of Laos" happy pizzas & Tubing
Electric Tram Tours of Chiang Mai City