Most travellers to Vietnam will visit Hanoi and Hoi An, but is there anything in between these places that is worth visiting? Hue, is approximately 150km North of Hoi An and would be a stop off before Hoi An if you’re travelling North to South, or a stop after if you’re going South to North. But, is Hue worth visiting?
What is Hue famous for?
Hue is famous for being the site of the Imperial City in Vietnam. The Imperial City was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 onwards. This walled city housed the royal family of the time. Therefore Hue was the seat of power in Vietnam until 1880. This is why Hue is so culturally and historically significant within Vietnam.
What to do in Hue?
In Hue itself, the main tourist attraction is the Imperial City which makes Hue worth visiting. We would recommend spending at least half a day there to fully enjoy the experience. There are in excess of over 100 structures within the Imperial city to view, as well as the famous Citadel.
The ticket for entry to the Imperial City is 200,000 VND (less than $10) with an additional cost of 100,000 VND to enter the Citadel. The Imperial City closes at 17:00, so be sure to arrive before 15:00 to get the most from your entry fee.
The Dong Ba market is also worth a visit whilst in Hue. There is a huge sprawling food market selling all the fruit, vegetables and meat and fish that you could imagine. A great spot to mingle with locals. Inside the market, there are also hats, accessories, clothing and souvenirs for sale. Don’t forget to haggle!
What to do near Hue?
Near to Hue, there are some great attractions to explore. We would recommend hiring a scooter so that you can get around easily within Hue and to visit the nearby tourist attractions, which are all within 15km of Hue.
To hire a scooter in Hue, there are many options. We find when travelling Vietnam that it is much easier to arrange scooter hire through your accommodation provider, than hiring one privately.
Visit the abandoned water park near Hue
The abandoned water park is approximately 15km from Hue. This giant area, was a water park for a brief few months in 2004, before it was forced to shut its doors. An ambitious project if we ever did see one! Although a number of developers have since bought the property, it still lies unused and abandoned.
Why is this worth visiting? Well, it’s fairly unique. And if you like weird and slightly creepy tourist attractions, then this one is for you.
Entering the abandoned water park is somewhat of a challenge. When you get to the entrance, expect to see a sign saying “no visitors” and to find a security guard telling you to leave. However, don’t let this put you off! Simply, park your bike and follow the footpath into the water park. When you arrive to the water park, the same security guard will ask you to kindly pay a small fee to walk around the park. Yes, very strange! Just make sure you don’t climb on the slides, after 18 years without maintenance, they may not be very stable.
Visit some tombs and temples near Hue
There are a huge number of tombs (marked as Langs) on Googlemaps. We visited Lang Khai Dinh, which costs 150,000 VND to enter. Expect to spend about 30 minutes exploring this site. But there are many others to explore. More Langs than Made in Chelsea.
Where to eat and drink in Hue
Inexpensive food close to the Imperial City Hue
If you’re near to the Imperial City in Hue and looking for some good local food, check out Quan Nhua 36. This place has a great menu, with a roaring BBQ and good selection of Huda Beer served cold and very cheap.
Local food in a modern setting in Hue
Madam Thu is a tiny restaurant, with only a handful of tables. But it’s well worth trying to get into this popular spot for lunch or dinner. With super reasonable prices, this restaurant serves the best crispy pork noodles with satay sauce that we’ve ever found. Plus, the service is excellent with friendly and engaging staff.
Drinks on a vibrant terrace bar in Hue
Our favourite spot for drinks was the quirky bar Xa Ban pub, which has a small terrace overlooking a buzzy street in Hue. We enjoyed the wide range of Huda beer here, as well as the different flavours of Soju available (each bottle is only around $3!) The menu is full of spicy meat dishes, perfect to accompany the drinks.
Best late night party spot in Hue
When the party is over in the pubs, head to the Brown Eyes Bar which stays open until the last man standing. This fun bar in Hue has a pool table, dance floor and free shots. We didn’t mean to go in, but the fun staff tempted us and then we didn’t want to leave.
Coffee shop and work space in Hue
For any digital nomads in Hue looking for a great work spot, we loved the Coffee House. Spacious interior, with plugs at most tables and fast wifi. This seems to be the go to spot in town for students and remote workers alike. Complete your day with a giant bubble tea – the ultimate sugar rush.
Where to stay in Hue?
In Hue, there are plenty of great accommodation options, whatever your budget. The city is split by the river running through, with the Imperial City to one side and the modern part of the city to the other side of the river.
We would recommend staying on the modern city side of the river, as this is where the most restaurants and bars are, as well as where most of the accommodation.
For a budget option, we recommend Shark Homestay, which has a central location close to many bars and restaurants. This family run place has a hostel vibe, costs approximately $15 per room for two people, which includes breakfast.
For something more “mid range”, we recommend My Fa House, which is around $25 per night for two people. This stylish but bijou hotel has a great central location.
If you want to stay outside of Hue, there are some opulent eco hotels that are inexpensive. The Nano Eco Hostel is a great space for budget travellers, or La Paix Riverside Villa offers a little more luxury with great views.
How to get to Hue from Hanoi
There are a number of different options to get from Hanoi to Hue. We’ve written a short guide here to help you find the best solution.
Want to read more about Vietnam?
How to get from Hanoi to Sapa
Are you planning to visit Sapa from Hanoi? Here’s our short guide on how to get from Hanoi to Sapa for the adventure of a lifetime. If you want to read about other amazing places to visit in Vietnam, check out our detailed guide here. Where is Sapa? Sapa is in the North of Vietnam,…
Where to visit in Vietnam for the first time
Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? Find out here where to visit in North, Central and South Vietnam.
Is Ho Chi Minh City worth visiting?
Ho Chi Minh City has fast become one of my favourite cities in the world. This surprises me (it’s E writing this not J), as I’m not really a “city person.” Islands, countryside, nature? Yes. Cities? No. But, Ho Chi Minh City somehow has won me over. Is Ho Chi Minh City worth visiting? A…
5 Digital Nomad cafes in Ho Chi Minh City with the best coffee
If, like us, you are always on the lookout for a great cafe to work when you’re travelling, but you’re not willing to compromise on the standard of the coffee, then you will love Ho Chi Minh City. When it comes to places to work for Digital Nomads, it’s an absolute dream. On our recent…
5 best places for craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City
If you love craft beer, Ho Chi Minh City is the place to go in Vietnam. There’s no shortage of beer anywhere in the country, obviously. But it you know your Ale from your IPA then a visit to one of these 5 best places for craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City is a…