45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam

best things to do in hue vietnam

Explore the charm of Hue, Vietnam, a town located along the picturesque Perfume River. With a rich history as one of the country’s former royal capitals, Hue boasts a wealth of cultural treasures waiting to be uncovered. From ancient architecture to insightful museums, history enthusiasts will find themselves immersed in the city’s storied past.

A highlight of any visit to Hue is exploring the ancient tombs of former emperors, scattered throughout the city. These majestic mausoleums offer a glimpse into Hue’s regal heritage and provide a fascinating insight into Vietnam’s royal history.

As a riverfront town, Hue offers scenic riverside strolls along the tranquil Perfume River, where cool breezes and stunning vistas await. Beyond the city center, numerous captivating day trip destinations beckon, promising diverse experiences for every traveler.

Get ready for an unforgettable journey as we unveil the 45 best things to do in Hue, each offering a unique glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese culture and heritage. Let’s get started!

Our Favorite Things to Do in Hue

Hue Imperial City

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

When exploring Hue, Vietnam, one of the top must-visit attractions is the Hue Imperial City, a majestic reminder of the Nguyen Dynasty’s reign from 1802 to 1945. This historical enclave boasts awe-inspiring palaces and monuments, including the Imperial Citadel, Flag Tower, and the intriguing Forbidden Purple City.

The Imperial Citadel, constructed in 1805 under the guidance of Emperor Gia Long, stands as a testament to Vietnam’s rich history. Spanning an impressive 500 acres, this complex encompasses ornate gates, majestic walls, serene temples, and meticulously landscaped gardens. Visitors can wander through its storied pathways independently or opt for guided tours offering deeper insights into its significance.

Standing tall within the Citadel’s confines is the iconic Flag Tower, erected by Emperor Gia Long in 1809. Its soaring height of over 100 feet and intricate carvings depicting Vietnamese history and mythology make it a captivating sight. Climbing to its summit rewards visitors with breathtaking panoramic views of Hue, while guided tours shed light on its symbolic importance.

Another highlight located within the Imperial City is the enigmatic Forbidden Purple City, commissioned by Emperor Minh Mang in 1833 as his royal abode. Though ravaged by conflict in 1947, remnants of its grandeur endure. Intricately designed gates, serene courtyards, opulent pavilions, and tranquil gardens beckon exploration. Guided tours unravel the secrets of this once-hidden gem, offering insights into its role in Hue’s imperial legacy.

Motorbike the Hai Van Pass

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Exploring Hue wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the thrill of motorbiking the Hai Van Pass. This scenic coastal route between Hue and Da Nang offers breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re riding solo or with a companion, the journey promises awe-inspiring vistas of the turquoise sea and lush greenery.

Hop on a motorbike or ride pillion for an exhilarating adventure along this iconic pass. Alternatively, opt for a car or vintage army jeep to soak in the beauty at a leisurely pace. Along the way, make pit stops at Lang Co beach, charming fishing villages, the enchanting Marble Mountains, and a picturesque waterfall.

Dong Ba Market

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

In Hue, Vietnam, delving into Dong Ba Market is an absolute delight. Situated at the heart of the city, this bustling marketplace stands as the largest in Central Vietnam, brimming with a kaleidoscope of colors, cultures, and historical significance.

As you step into Dong Ba Market, you’re instantly enveloped in its vibrant ambiance. The air is filled with the aromas of fresh produce and street food, while the lively chatter of vendors and shoppers creates an electrifying atmosphere.

Dong Ba Market is meticulously organized into sections, offering an array of goods to explore. From farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to exquisite handmade crafts like jewelry and pottery, the market caters to every taste and need. You’ll also discover sections dedicated to clothing, electronics, toys, books, and even live animals like chickens and ducks.

One of the highlights of Dong Ba Market is the warm hospitality of its vendors. With generations of expertise, they’re eager to share tales of the market’s rich history and culture while showcasing their diverse array of products. Engaging with these vendors not only enhances your shopping experience but also provides insights into Hue’s dynamic culture.

When navigating Dong Ba Market, don’t forget to hone your bargaining skills. Haggling is customary, so feel free to negotiate for the best deals. It’s advisable to carry small bills, as some vendors may have limited change availability, and credit cards might not be universally accepted.

Looking for the BEST Place to Stay in Hue?

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Jade Scene Hotel in Phu Hoi, Hue, offers affordable boutique rooms with city views, flat-screen TVs, and private bathrooms. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, on-site dining, and free WiFi. Conveniently located 1.5 km from Trang Tien Bridge, bike rentals are available for exploring. With its cozy atmosphere and modern amenities, Jade Scene Hotel provides a comfortable stay at a great price.

Cycling Around Hue

In Hue, cycling offers a serene and authentic way to explore the city and its surrounding countryside. With relatively light traffic compared to other urban centers, Hue is considered one of the premier cycling destinations in Vietnam.

Many visitors opt for leisurely rides along the scenic banks of the Huong River, leading to iconic landmarks like the Citadel and nearby temples. Accommodations often provide bicycles for free, or you can rent them inexpensively within the city center. For avid cyclists, venturing beyond the city limits unveils tranquil countryside routes, offering a glimpse into local life away from the tourist trails.

For a guided experience, bike tours through Hue’s countryside are available, allowing you to discover hidden gems with the expertise of a local guide. As you pedal through lesser-known areas, you’ll encounter the authentic charm of Hue, rarely witnessed by mainstream tourists.

Alternatively, for a more leisurely journey, traditional cyclo rides offer a nostalgic experience reminiscent of Vietnam’s colonial past. These three-wheeled bicycle taxis provide a unique perspective of the city’s bustling streets and historical sites.

Escape the Tourist Center

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

In Hue, escaping the tourist center offers a glimpse into the authentic rhythms of local life. While staying centrally provides convenience, exploring the city’s side streets during the day unveils hidden treasures and cultural insights.

Venture off the beaten path and meander through the bustling streets, soaking in the sights and sounds of everyday Hue. Take a leisurely stroll and indulge in some people-watching, immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of local activity.

Pause for a moment of respite at one of the charming local cafes adorned with tiny plastic or wooden chairs. Engage with the friendly owners or waitstaff, who are often eager to engage in conversation and practice their English.

Sightseeing Things to Do in Hue

Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

The Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities stands as a majestic tribute to the rich heritage of the Nguyen Dynasty. As you step into this architectural gem, you’re immediately captivated by its grandeur, adorned with intricate details and stunning architecture.

Inside, the museum unfolds into several galleries, each offering a glimpse into different facets of the Nguyen Dynasty’s reign. The Imperial Gallery is the first encounter, showcasing royal garments, jewelry, and weaponry, providing insight into court life during this era.

Next, the Cultural Gallery unveils artifacts reflecting Vietnamese cultural heritage, including traditional musical instruments, pottery, sculptures, and paintings. Visitors can delve into the cultural nuances of the period through these meticulously preserved treasures.

The Military Gallery presents a compelling narrative of battles fought against foreign invaders, displaying weapons, military strategies, and uniforms worn by soldiers during significant conflicts.

In the Religious Gallery, visitors are immersed in the spiritual realm of the era, encountering religious artifacts, statues, and writings that shed light on the diverse faiths practiced during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Finally, the Art Gallery showcases masterpieces crafted by artists and craftsmen of the period, from paintings and sculptures to furniture and pottery commissioned for royalty.

Royal Tombs of Khai Dinh, Minh Mang, and Tu Duc

where to stay in hue

Exploring the royal tombs of the Nguyen emperors stands as a captivating journey into Vietnam’s imperial past. Among the seven known royal tombs, those of Khai Dinh, Minh Mang, and Tu Duc reign as the most visited and well-preserved.

Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, known for its symmetrical design and expansive layout spanning a forested 44-acre site, offers a serene retreat into history. Though the exact location of his tomb remains a mystery, visitors can marvel at approximately forty structures meticulously arranged along a central pathway.

The mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh, located on the mountainside, exudes grandeur with its monumental style and intricate detailing. Ascend stairs adorned with carved dragon banisters to reach the inner sanctum, where a life-size bronze statue of the emperor awaits. Despite Khai Dinh’s controversial reign marked by heavy taxation, his tomb stands as a testament to his lasting legacy.

Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb, renowned as the largest and most luxurious, reflects his dual role as both ruler and resident. Set amidst sprawling manors, pine forests, and serene lakes, this tomb served as a retreat for the emperor during his reign. Despite Tu Duc’s conservative beliefs and opposition to foreign influence, his tomb embodies opulence and elegance.

To explore these royal marvels, visitors can arrange transportation from downtown Hue via cyclo or Grab. Admission fees for individual tombs are VND 150,000 each, with combination tickets available for bundled access to the Imperial City and select tombs.

Looking for the Best CHEAP Hostel in Hue?

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

New World Hotel in Phu Hoi, Hue, caters to budget travelers with an indoor pool, sun terrace, and tasty breakfast. Air-conditioned rooms feature private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. The restaurant serves Asian and American dishes, with vegetarian options. Bicycle and car rentals are available for exploring the city at an additional cost.

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

One of the most historically significant excursions in Hue is a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s tumultuous past. From 1954 to 1976, the DMZ served as the dividing line between North and South Vietnam, spanning approximately 75 kilometers across the country.

While exploring the DMZ, visitors encounter a solemn landscape marked by remnants of conflict and resilience. Museums and visitor centers delve into the Vietnam War era, offering poignant insights into the devastation wrought upon both the land and its people.

It’s important to note that the DMZ may not be suitable for young children due to the somber nature of its historical significance. Parents can decide whether their kids are ready to engage with this aspect of history.

Going on a guided day tour via platforms like Get Your Guide offers a comprehensive exploration of key sites within the DMZ, including the Vinh Moc Tunnels, Dakrong Bridge, and Khe Sanh Combat Base. Departing from Hue in the early morning, visitors can immerse themselves in this poignant journey within a 1.5-hour drive.

Thien Mu Pagoda 

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

In Hue, a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda along the Perfume River offers a serene immersion into Vietnam’s Buddhist heritage. The pagoda’s entrance, guarded by majestic stone lions, sets the tone for the beauty and reverence within.

Inside, intricate shrines dedicated to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, along with statues depicting Buddhist legends, adorn the temple grounds. Stupas, bell-shaped structures containing relics or ashes, pay homage to revered individuals and monks.

The focal point of Thien Mu Pagoda is the towering seven-story “Heaven’s Gate” or “Thap Phuoc Duyen,” standing at 21 meters tall. Built in 1844 to honor a devoted monk, the tower boasts intricate carvings illustrating Buddhist mythology and Vietnam’s cultural legacy.

Exploring the pagoda’s grounds reveals gardens brimming with fragrant flowers, creating a tranquil environment for contemplation. Visitors can partake in traditional Vietnamese boat rides on serene ponds or simply bask in the peaceful ambiance, serenaded by birdsong echoing through the trees.

Huyen Tran Princess Temple

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Located in Hue, the Huyen Tran Princess Temple enchants visitors with its sprawling complex adorned with serene lotus-filled lakes. This tranquil sanctuary also houses the monastery of Emperor Tran Nhan Tong, offering a glimpse into Vietnam’s royal legacy.

Exploring the temple grounds, visitors can wander through picturesque orchard gardens, immersing themselves in natural beauty and serenity. A highlight of the visit is the library, preserving crucial documents detailing the history of previous kings and historical figures from the Tran Dynasty.

Hon Chen Temple

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Hon Chen Temple, located on the outskirts of Hue, venerates Po Nagar, the revered Goddess of the Cham people, within Ngoc Ho Village’s picturesque setting atop a rugged cliff. This sacred shrine has undergone restoration twice, in 1832 and 1886, preserving its historical significance.

Within the temple, visitors encounter a treasure trove of antiquities, including ancient vases, intricate Chinese calligraphy, and ornate animal carvings, offering glimpses into Cham culture and craftsmanship.

For a truly immersive experience, time your visit during the third and seventh lunar months of the year to witness vibrant local music and dance performances.

Unusual Things to Do in Hue

Hue Abandoned Water Park

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

For urban explorers and photography enthusiasts, a visit to the Hue Abandoned Water Park, Ho Thuy Tien, promises a surreal experience. Situated on a lake just a short distance from the city, this forgotten relic has languished in abandonment for over a decade.

Wandering through the park, visitors encounter eerie ruins, overgrown foliage, and broken structures, evoking a sense of stepping into a post-apocalyptic world. The centerpiece, a dragon’s head rising from the lake, adds to the park’s haunting allure.

Amidst the desolation, empty swimming pools and dilapidated slides stand as remnants of its former glory. While not an official tourist site, the park beckons adventurers to explore its decaying beauty. Exercise caution, as certain areas may have hazardous conditions, including glass on the floor, making sturdy footwear essential.

Ho Quyen Ancient Tiger Arena

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

A short distance from Hue, the Ho Quyen Ancient Tiger Arena stands as a lesser-known gem, steeped in historical intrigue. Constructed in 1830, this arena once hosted brutal spectacles of tiger and elephant fights, showcasing the might and prowess of these majestic creatures.

While not a mainstream attraction, Ho Quyen offers a unique glimpse into Hue’s past, providing a contrast to the grandeur of the Citadel and the Tombs. Its obscure nature adds to its allure, appealing to adventurous travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences in Hue.

Blind Massage

For a meaningful and rejuvenating experience in Hue, consider booking a massage at the Institute of the Blind. Staffed by visually impaired masseurs, this establishment offers not only relaxation but also supports the local community.

Indulge in a therapeutic massage knowing that your patronage contributes to the institute’s mission of providing employment opportunities for the visually impaired residents. Each session provides a chance to unwind while making a positive impact.

After your massage, treat yourself to a session in the institute’s herbal steam room, further enhancing your relaxation experience.

Phu Bai Airport

Once a bustling airport, Phu Bai Airport in Hue now stands frozen in time as a museum dedicated to Vietnamese war history. During the Vietnam War, it served as an American garrison, a pivotal hub in the conflict.

Today, visitors can explore the remnants of this historic complex, including the deserted airstrip where aircraft once landed and took off. Walking along the former runway offers a poignant glimpse into the airport’s past significance.

Amidst the grounds, various historical relics such as bunkers and outbuildings dot the landscape, remnants of the American military presence. These artifacts provide tangible connections to the wartime era, offering visitors a compelling insight into Hue’s turbulent history.

Best Free Things to Do in Hue

Traditional Festivals and Celebrations in Hue

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Hue boasts a rich tapestry of traditional festivals, each offering a vibrant celebration of Vietnamese culture. The biennial Hue Festival, held in April, is a spectacular showcase featuring music, dance, art exhibitions, and traditional activities like dragon boat racing and kite flying, drawing global crowds.

Another significant event is the Ancestor Worship Ceremony, occurring annually on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Families gather to honor their ancestors, offering food, incense, and performing rituals at ancestral shrines, highlighting the importance of ancestral reverence in Vietnamese culture.

Throughout the year, Hue hosts various traditional festivals including the Mid-Autumn Festival, Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year), Hung Kings Commemoration Day, and Trung Nguyen Festival (Buddha’s birthday). These festivities offer visitors immersive experiences in local customs, accompanied by delectable cuisine, lively performances, and vibrant decorations.

Hue Free Walking or Bike Tour

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Exploring Hue on a free walking or bike tour offers an enriching way to discover the city’s hidden gems. GuruWalk provides excellent options, though it’s customary to tip your guides. Embark on a culinary adventure with a food/market tour, savoring Hue’s delicacies at Dong Ba market.

Alternatively, delve into the city’s culinary scene on a walking food tour. Dive into history and culture with a guided exploration of the Hue Imperial City, unraveling the secrets of this majestic site. For a more immersive experience, opt for a bike tour, winding through Hue’s backstreets to uncover its hidden treasures.

Thanh Toan Bridge

A stroll across Thanh Toan Bridge offers a unique experience near Hue city. This wooden footbridge, adorned with Japanese and Chinese architectural elements, stands as one of Vietnam’s rare roofed bridges. Tran Thi Dao’s ingenious suggestion led to its construction, simplifying transportation across the canal.

Resembling Hoi An’s iconic bridge, Thanh Toan Bridge boasts ancient ceramics and intricate detailing. Unlike its counterpart, entry here is free. Once a shelter for midday naps, today locals gather under its roof for leisurely chats. Venturing 7 km from Hue, visitors are treated to a tranquil escape, surrounded by greenery and serene waters.

Co Ha Gardens

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Indulge in the serene beauty of Co Ha Gardens located in the Northeastern corner of the Imperial Enclosure. Meticulously restored, these gardens offer a tranquil retreat amid bustling Hue. Wander through pathways adorned with ornate gazebos and vibrant flora, serenaded by the gentle flow of streams.

Once strolled by royal families, Co Ha Gardens provide a glimpse into the city’s regal past. Despite the armies of gardeners tending to its beauty, the atmosphere remains peaceful, inviting visitors to unwind and savor the fresh air.

French Architecture in Hue

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Admire Hue’s architectural heritage with its captivating French-designed buildings. Wander through the city streets to admire gems like Azerai, showcasing elegant Art Deco style. Pass by UBND tỉnh Thừa Thiên Huế, another architectural marvel blending French influences with local charm.

Immerse yourself in the city’s ambiance, appreciating the fusion of colonial and Vietnamese architectural elements. Don’t miss the picturesque pinkish railway station, a testament to Hue’s rich history and unique aesthetic.

Best Day Trips from Hue

Lang Co Beach

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Go on a day trip from Hue to the stunning Lang Co Beach, one of Vietnam’s finest coastal destinations. Just 60 kilometers from the city center, this pristine beach stretches 10 kilometers, boasting palm-fringed shores and crystal-clear waters.

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle as you relax on the soft sands or take a refreshing dip in the sea. Lang Co Beach offers a serene retreat, ideal for a day excursion or a stopover en route to Da Nang, just before the breathtaking Hai Van Pass. Consider extending your stay with excellent resort options available nearby.

Want to Know the Best Lang Co Beach Resort?

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Angsana Lang Co is a contemporary resort offering chic interiors and free Wi-Fi. It boasts 2 restaurants, a bar, spa, and outdoor pool. Rooms include flat-screen TVs and DVD players, with en suite bathrooms featuring bathtubs, bathrobes, and free toiletries. Suites and lofts offer kitchenettes and spacious living areas. Guests can enjoy massages, workouts at the fitness center, and water sports activities.

Bach Ma National Park

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Go on an adventure to Bach Ma National Park, a former French hill station boasting 40,000 hectares of pristine wilderness just a short journey from Hue. Explore the park’s diverse landscapes with excellent hiking trails, dotted with remnants of dilapidated French villas, waterfalls, and forests teeming with wildlife.

Opt for a guided trekking tour through the park’s verdant forest, offering various routes to suit all levels of adventurers. Traverse scenic paths winding past tranquil lakes and cascading waterfalls, and don’t miss the opportunity to ascend to the park’s peak for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding forest canopy.

Phong Nha Cave

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Go on a captivating journey to Phong Nha Cave, located within the stunning landscapes of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, just a few hours’ drive from Hue. While only the initial 1500 meters of its extensive 44.5-kilometer network of passages are open to the public, the experience is nothing short of enchanting.

Venture through the cave’s labyrinthine canal aboard a boat, marveling at the mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors adorning its intricate grottos. Despite the lengthy journey of approximately four hours from Hue, the opportunity to explore this natural wonder is truly rewarding.

Thuan An Beach

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Thuan An Beach offers a picturesque retreat just a short distance from Hue. Its serene landscape, adorned with vegetation and coconut palms, provides a tranquil escape. The soft, white sands and clear waters are inviting for swimming or simply basking in the sun.

Beyond relaxation, Thuan An Beach presents a plethora of activities. Adventurers can indulge in water sports like kayaking and jet skiing, while nature enthusiasts can explore nearby forests and villages through hikes or bike rides.

Delve into the local culture at nearby markets, sampling Vietnamese cuisine and browsing handmade souvenirs. As evening falls, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife, from traditional music performances to lively bars and clubs.

Accommodation options cater to all preferences, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, with beachfront villas offering unparalleled ocean views and ultimate relaxation.

Want a Boutique Stay at Thuan An Beach?

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Villa Louise Hue Beach Boutique Hotel, offers accommodation with a private beach area. It features 2 outdoor pools, an indoor pool with massage and jet streams, a beach bar, and a restaurant. Guests enjoy free WiFi throughout. Some rooms include a private bathroom with a spa bath. The resort provides free bicycle use, and cycling is popular in the area.

Tam Giang Lagoon

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Just 15km from Hue, Tam Giang Lagoon enchants visitors with its stunning vistas and captivating hues, particularly during sunset. Arriving around 4 p.m. ensures a breathtaking view as the entire 52km² area is bathed in radiant yellow, making it Vietnam’s premier sunset spot.

Don’t overlook the chance to explore Thai Duong Ha fishing village, a tranquil oasis located along the lagoon’s shores. Additionally, a visit to the Rucha mangrove forest is highly recommended for its natural beauty and ecological significance.

Elephant Springs

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Situated between Hue and Da Nang, Elephant Springs offers a tranquil alternative to crowded tourist spots. Its name derives from the elephant-shaped boulders dotting the area, adding to its natural charm. Here, visitors can unwind amidst the jungle, enjoying the cool waters and serene atmosphere.

Unlike other springs in the region, Elephant Springs remains relatively undiscovered by tourists, allowing for a more peaceful experience. Don’t miss the chance to see the carved elephant stone, where water spouts from its trunk, adding to the allure of this hidden gem.

Best Foodie Things to Do in Hue

Bun Bo Hue

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Indulging in a steaming bowl of Bun Bo Hue is a culinary must when in Hue. This iconic dish, simply called Bun Bo locally, is a delectable noodle soup featuring rice vermicelli, tender slices of beef, and flavorful beef shank. While known as Bun Bo Hue elsewhere in Vietnam, in Hue, it goes by its abbreviated name.

Whether enjoyed at Mu Roi, Quan Cam, or My Tam, expect an explosion of flavors with each spoonful. Priced around VND 30,000 per bowl, it’s not only delicious but also budget-friendly, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Salt Coffee (Ca Phe Muoi)

In Hue, don’t miss trying the unique Ca Phe Muoi, or salt coffee. Unlike the famous egg coffee in Hanoi, this local creation blends Vietnamese coffee with fermented milk, salt, and cocoa powder. The salt enhances the sweetness of cocoa and milk while mellowing the coffee’s bitterness.

It may sound unusual, but it’s a delightful concoction worth experiencing. For the best taste, head to Ca Phe Muoi, credited with inventing this specialty. Expect to spend around VND 15,000 per cup.

Banh Hue

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Indulge in the diverse flavors of Banh Hue, a family of small rice flour cakes unique to Hue. This culinary treasure includes varieties like banh beo, banh uot, banh ram it, banh nam, banh loc, and cha tom, each featuring rice flour and shrimp in various forms. Despite their differences, they all boast a soft, silky texture bursting with umami goodness.

Sampling a variety is a must, and many eateries offer sampler sets for a comprehensive tasting experience. Original Hang Me is renowned for serving some of the finest banh hue in the city. Expect to spend around VND 180,000 for two.

Com Hen and Che Bap on Con Hen Island

Go on a culinary journey to Con Hen Island to savor two of Hue’s iconic dishes: Com Hen and Che Bap. Com Hen, or Bun Hen, features rice or noodles topped with stir-fried basket clams and assorted ingredients, offering a delightful mix of flavors and textures. While Com Hen is the original version, many prefer the noodle variant for its enticing texture.

Con Hen Island, located in the Perfume River, is renowned as the birthplace of Com Hen, making it the perfect spot to indulge in this local delicacy. Com Hen Hoa Dong on the island serves up the finest rendition of this dish, ensuring an authentic culinary experience.

Pair your Com Hen with Che Bap, a Vietnamese dessert soup made with sweet corn. For the best Che Bap, opt for those made from corn grown on Con Hen Island. Com Hen Hoa Dong also offers a delectable Che Bap, featuring a thick, creamy texture with crunchy corn bits.

Expect to spend around VND 10,000 for Com Hen and VND 8,000 for Che Bap.

Nem Lui Hue

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Indulge in the distinctive Nem Lui Hue at Quán Bánh Khoái Hạnh. These grilled pork skewers are wrapped around lemongrass stalks, adding a refreshing citrusy flavor. After grilling, dip them in a savory sauce and enjoy them wrapped in a leaf with vegetables. The lemongrass infusion elevates the dish, offering a unique and aromatic culinary experience.

Banh Khoai

Savor the crispy delight of Banh Khoai, a dish akin to Banh Xeo in Saigon but with its own unique flair in Hue. This savory treat features a rice flour and turmeric powder base filled with an array of vegetables or meat. Break it apart, wrap it in leaves, dip it in sauce, and relish the explosion of flavors.

Unlike its southern counterpart, Banh Khoai in Hue boasts a distinct crispiness that adds to its appeal. Experience this culinary gem at Banh Khoai Thượng Tứ and Quán Banh Khoai Hạnh.

Banh Bot Loc

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Indulge in the delightful Banh Bot Loc, a unique delicacy featuring chewy tapioca encasing a succulent shrimp, all expertly steamed together. Dip these delectable treats in sweet chili fish sauce for an explosion of flavors that will leave you craving more.

Be warned: it’s easy to devour a dozen or more in one sitting! While available in numerous restaurants across Hue, we recommend trying them at establishments like the one located across from Tovo.

Banh Canh Ca Loc

Savor the flavors of Banh Canh Ca Loc, a quintessential street food experience in Hue. Venture into the bustling alleyways where local vendors serve up this delicious dish on plastic stools. Watch as the noodles are expertly crafted from scratch, using a blend of tapioca and rice flour. Known as “bánh canh,” these noodles are the heart of the dish.

Then, feast your senses as the fragrant broth is prepared, featuring tender pieces of snakehead fish, vegetables, and the freshly made noodles. Whether enjoyed at a roadside stall or a cozy eatery, the authentic taste of Banh Canh Ca Loc perfectly captures the essence of Hue’s culinary scene.

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Best Things to Do in Hue at Night

Huda Brewery Tour

Go on a memorable Huda Brewery Tour for a unique night out in Hue. Located near Phu Bai Airport, this brewery showcases the fusion of Danish technology with local brewing traditions. Join a guided tour of the factory to uncover the fascinating history behind the renowned Huda brand.

Explore the brewing process and witness firsthand how a variety of flavorful beverages are crafted. As part of the experience, indulge in sampling sessions, where you can taste the diverse range of brews on offer. From crisp lagers to robust ales, there’s something to suit every palate.

Hue Western Area Nightlife

Experience the vibrant nightlife of Hue at the Western Area, situated along Pham Ngu Lao, Chu Van An, and Vo Thi Sau streets. Since its inception in September 2018, this entertainment hub has transformed perceptions of Hue as an early-to-bed city.

Spanning approximately 1 km, the Western Area offers a diverse range of cultural encounters, delectable specialties, and lively entertainment options. Explore stalls showcasing intriguing items, ideal for souvenir shopping or casual gatherings with friends over beer and music.

Indulge in the local flavors and atmosphere at renowned establishments such as DMZ Bar, Brown Eyes Bar, and Golden Rice Restaurant, known for their exceptional dining experiences and vibrant pub scenes.

Want to Know a Secret?

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

The Wise Credit Card is a traveler’s ally, offering a host of benefits tailored to globetrotters. With just one card offering competitive exchange rates in 160 countries, it ensures seamless spending abroad for a worry-free journey. This is the card we use while traveling as it offers the best rates and lowest fees.

Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street

Discover the lively ambiance of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street, Hue’s equivalent to Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street. Positioned along the picturesque Perfume River, this bustling pedestrian street is the epicenter of nightlife activities in the city.

Experience a plethora of entertainment options, from leisurely strolls along the riverbank to indulging in Hue’s culinary delights. Sample local specialties like Hue water fern cakes, lemongrass skewers, lotus seed sweet soup, and the renowned Hue beef noodle soup.

Enjoy live music performances and street dance shows hosted by local youth, creating an energetic atmosphere that draws crowds of students and visitors alike. With occasional events like flash mobs and street painting, Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street promises endless excitement day and night.

Nearby dining spots such as Burger Shack Hue – Leu Hamburgers and Ba Hoa Restaurant offer delectable options to satisfy your cravings amidst the vibrant nightlife scene.

Ironwood Bridge

As a significant landmark in Hue, the Ironwood Bridge complements the iconic Truong Tien Bridge and Phu Xuan Bridge. Spanning 400 meters in length and 4 meters in width, this bridge stands as a testament to the dedication and sacrifices of many.

Located at the foot of the renowned Truong Tien Bridge, the Ironwood Bridge offers a captivating sightseeing experience for pedestrians. Its expansive deck, covering 2443 square meters, provides an ideal vantage point to admire the serene beauty of the Perfume River illuminated by the night lights of the city.

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

We’ve tested the top eSIMs on the market in Peru, and AIRHUB took the top spot. It’s the most reliable, giving us the strongest signal possible even at the highest altitudes and the deepest canyons of our hikes.

You’ll have the option to access multiple carriers when you sign up for an Airhub eSIM. Haven’t found any other eSIM that got that in the bag.

Rooftop Bar or Cafe

In Hue, rooftop bars and cafes offer a serene escape, especially as night descends over the city. Hue boasts an array of cafes, making it a paradise for coffee lovers. As evening falls, there’s nothing more tranquil than finding a cozy spot in a rooftop cafe, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Perched atop buildings, these cafes provide an enchanting vista of Hue City and the shimmering Perfume River below. Savoring a cup of coffee, accompanied by the subtle aroma of freshly brewed beans, while soft melodies drift through the air, creates an ambiance that’s both captivating and relaxing.

Shopping at Vincom Plaza Hue

Vincom Plaza, situated in the heart of Hue, stands as the largest and most contemporary shopping complex in the city. Spanning over 14,000 square meters across five floors and two basements, it offers a diverse range of amenities.

Visitors can explore its expansive shopping center, catch a movie at the BHD cinema, or browse through the offerings at VinMart supermarket and VinPro Electronic Supermarket. Additionally, Vincom Plaza features an indoor food court, providing a variety of culinary delights.

Romantic Things to Do in Hue

Dragon Boat Trip on the Perfume River

best things to do in hue vietnam

Go on a romantic dragon boat trip along the Perfume River, flowing through Hue, known for its fragrant flora. These wooden vessels, a traditional means of transportation for locals, offer an intimate way to explore the river’s charms. From ancient pagodas to verdant forests and limestone cliffs, the scenery along the journey is enchanting.

As you glide through the water, soak in the sights of small villages located along the riverbanks, offering glimpses into local life and culture. Couples can opt for sightseeing tours, reveling in the serene ambiance while learning about the region’s rich history.

For those seeking adventure, fishing trips are available, providing opportunities to reel in the abundant catch, especially during spawning season. Rent fishing gear from local vendors and cast your lines into the tranquil waters.

Royal Court Music (Nhã Nhạc)

Experience the enchanting melodies of Nhã Nhạc, also known as royal court music. Originating from the imperial court, this ancient art form is a testament to Hue’s rich cultural heritage. The music’s delicate harmonies and intricate instrumentation create a captivating atmosphere, perfect for a romantic evening.

Attending a royal court music performance offers a glimpse into the preservation of this centuries-old tradition. Immerse yourselves in the soothing rhythms and mesmerizing melodies, appreciating the skill and dedication of the musicians. Let the evocative sounds of Nhã Nhạc transport you to a bygone era, where love and romance intertwine with the echoes of history.

Performance at the Royal Theatre

45 Best Things to Do in Hue Vietnam -

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam by attending a performance at the Royal Theatre in Hue. Located within the restored citadel, the Royal Theatre offers daily shows featuring traditional Vietnamese dances and plays, providing an authentic glimpse into the country’s vibrant culture.

Sit back and relax in plush chairs as you watch captivating performances unfold on stage. From graceful dances to captivating dramas, each show showcases the talent and artistry of Vietnamese performers.

Performances are held multiple times throughout the day, allowing you to choose a time that suits your schedule.

Hue Royal Cuisine

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Hue’s royal cuisine for a truly romantic dining experience. This culinary tradition dates back to the Nguyen dynasty, offering a glimpse into the opulent meals enjoyed by royal court members. A typical royal meal consists of eight to nine meticulously crafted courses, each presented with artistic flair.

Prepare to be dazzled by the presentation of the dishes, with vegetables delicately carved into intricate shapes resembling animals. Despite its slightly touristy vibe, the experience offers a unique insight into Vietnamese culinary history, especially with a knowledgeable guide to explain the significance of each dish.

For the ultimate royal dining experience, head to Ancient Hue Garden Houses, renowned for its impeccable service and authentic royal cuisine. Although it may be pricier than other options, the opportunity to savor these imperial delicacies in an enchanting setting makes it worth the indulgence.

Visit Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a romantic getaway to Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs. Located amidst picturesque landscapes, these hot springs offer a tranquil haven for couples seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Immerse yourselves in the mineral-rich waters, renowned for their therapeutic benefits, which soothe tired muscles and invigorate the senses.

Indulge in a range of spa treatments and wellness activities, including rejuvenating saunas and invigorating mud baths, designed to enhance your overall well-being. Whether you prefer unwinding in the warm embrace of the natural springs or exploring the various amenities available, Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic escape.

Now You Know What to Do in Hue!

In conclusion, Hue, Vietnam, offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and culinary delights that will captivate any traveler. From exploring the ancient Royal Tombs and Citadel to indulging in delicious local cuisine, Hue promises an enriching experience.

Its proximity to both the beach and mountains makes it an ideal base for exploring central Vietnam. Whether you have just one day or several to spare, Hue’s attractions will leave a lasting impression.

Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant heritage and discover its hidden gems. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share any questions or thoughts in the comments below!

Leave a Comment