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Things to do in Thua Thien-Hue

Our most recommended things to do in Thua Thien-Hue

From Da Nang: Full-Day Trip to Hue

1. From Da Nang: Full-Day Trip to Hue

Enjoy a lesson in Vietnamese history on this day trip from Da Nang. See the purple forbidden city, explore temples and places of worship, and enjoy a boat trip along the perfume river. After getting picked up from your hotel, head to Hue, stopping at Hai Van Pass to explore some abandoned war bunkers. Upon arrival, head to the city's prime attraction, the Citadel. Wander through this vast complex containing the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City. See the Emperor's private residence, and learn more about Vietnam's last dynasty, the Nguyen dynasty. Discover other architectural masterpieces such as temples, pavilions, gardens, and the gates to the Imperial City. In the afternoon, stop for lunch to reenergize before enjoying a boat trip along the Perfume River. Stop at Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery with origins dating back to 1601. Admire its iconic 7-story pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city.   Next, visit the serene Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of feng-shui. Explore the final resting place of a Nguyen Emperor. Admire the tomb's unique architectural design and learn more about the many myths and legends that surround this controversial emperor before heading back to Da Nang.

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

2. 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.

Hue: Full-Day City Tour with Dragon Boat Cruise

3. Hue: Full-Day City Tour with Dragon Boat Cruise

After meeting your guide in the city center, head out on a river cruise along the Perfume River in a traditional Dragon Boat to reach Thien Mu Pagoda, the oldest Pagoda temple in Hua. Next, visit the Citadel and learn more about the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last dynasty. See stunning artefacts in the Royal Antiques Museum, marvel at the architecture of the Noon Gate, and wander through the Ancestral Temple and Thai Hoa Palace. Then, experience the hustle and bustle of the Dong Ba Market and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant. Later, head to the Minh Mang tomb and experience the fusion of traditional Vietnamese and modern European architecture at the Khai Dinh tomb. Next, visit a conical hat village, where you can see local artisans creating these traditional hats and maybe even pick up a unique souvenir. Your final stop will be at an incense stick village where you will see incense being created.  Get dropped off in Hue city center in the evening.

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

4. 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 Heritage Tour: Full Day from Hoi An

5. Hue Heritage Tour: Full Day from Hoi An

Choose between a shared or private tour to explore Hue and visit the Citadel, Hue’s premier attraction. On your morning tour of the site, you’ll see the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City, and the Emperor's Private Residence. Following the Citadel visit, you’ll have a short break for lunch, followed by a boat trip on the Perfume River. Stop at Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many as the unofficial symbol of Hue. This is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of its most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk, who in 1963 drove to Saigon and set himself on fire in protest against the South Vietnamese regime and its cruel treatment of Buddhist monks and followers. Your final visit of the day will be to the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, designed using feng shui principles, and built to blend in with its natural surroundings.

Hue City Full-Day Tour

6. Hue City Full-Day Tour

Discover the sights and sounds of Hue, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city sits on the banks of the delightful Perfume River, where you will find amazing citadels, fabulous palaces, and royal tombs. Many of the sites can be reached by river, and on this full-day private tour a boat cruise is part of the program. You will be picked up from your hotel by your guide, who will take you down to the river for your cruise. Sail along the romantically named Perfume River, seeing Hue’s best-known religious sites, such as the Thien Mu Pagoda. Continue your journey by land, visiting the Imperial Citadel, from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. See the Flag Tower, Noon Gate, 9 Dynastic Urns, 9 Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and the Forbidden Purple City. After a break for lunch, visit Khai Dinh King’s Tomb and discover the blend of Western and Eastern architecture. Then visit Minh Mang King’s Tomb, where one is sure to be impressed by the majesty and symmetry of the architectural constructions. Continue to conical hat village, an incense stick-making village. The guided tour will give you a deep understanding about the king’s philosophy of geomancy, and how this affected royal life.

Hue: Private Tour by Car with Driver

7. 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.

Vietnam: eSIM Data Plan

8. Vietnam: eSIM Data Plan

Make your trip to Vietnam hassle-free with your convenient eSIM. Stay connected on your travels with high-speed coverage in Vietnam and upgrade for coverage in 10 countries, or 8 countries, including, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea. Purchase and install your eSIM anytime and anywhere, and choose from a variety of data packages, validity options, and coverage in additional countries. Simply scan the eSIM QR code to access all your essential apps on your trip. Avoid the trouble of managing multiple SIMs with this zero-waste solution. Get one eSIM per device and top up by simply buying and activating additional eSIM plans as you go. Once activated, your coverage will begin according to your selected duration. Select 8 countries for coverage in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and South Korea. Select 10 countries for coverage in Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. All iPhone models launched beyond iPhone XS can support eSIM. For Android, if you are unsure, please check with the guideline photo for eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after installing this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. APN (Access Point Name): internet Local operator info: Vietnam: Viette The rest of the countries is available in the voucher info on your GYG App after purchase

Hue: Shuttle Bus to/from Hoi An or Da Nang

9. Hue: Shuttle Bus to/from Hoi An or Da Nang

Enjoy hassle-free travel between Hue, Hoi An, and Da Nang using a great value bus transfer. Choose from a 1-way service to each of these Central Vietnamese cities. Save yourself from navigating the public transportation system or hassling for ticket prices. Take comfort in the fact that all buses are air-conditioned and are regularly maintained to high-quality standards.

Hue City Tour and River Cruise

10. Hue City Tour and River Cruise

Your private, English speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel. Once you’ve exchanged greetings, you will get into your comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to begin your exploration of this culturally rich region. Your first stop is, of course, the Citadel where the last king of Vietnam, Bao Dai, stepped down in August 30th, 1945. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is guarded by an ancient moat and thick stone walls. The vast Citadel encompasses the Imperial City, Forbidden Purple City, and the Royal Theatre, so stretch those legs and get ready for a morning of exploration! Making your way well off the tourist track, you will visit some locals including the inspiring Ms. Thuy who specialises in making Vietnam’s world famous conical hats. Situated in a quiet area, visiting Ms. Thuy’s house is a true exploration of rural Vietnam and a fascinating insight into the skill of conical hat making, as well as the interesting life of this friendly and open woman. Next up is the tomb of King Tu Duc, the most popular and impressive of all the royal mausoleums. It houses courtyards, pavilions, temples and chambers. Your tour guide will tell you all about its fascinating history and the king’s life of imperial luxury, from his 104 wives to the unfortunate ending for the 200 burial servants!  Just before lunch, you will visit Bunker Hill which overlooks the Perfume River and boasts amazing panoramic views. The area served as a great military vantage point by providing secret observation posts for the surrounding territory. Many bunkers still remain so you’ll have the chance to get up close and investigate them. Then you will have lunch and recharge your batteries at a serene nunnery pagoda and then head off for to your next destination: Tiger Arena, an ancient colosseum where tigers and elephants would fight to the death all in the name of royal entertainment. The final leg of your tour today takes us to the iconic seven story Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue city. From here you will board a classic dragon boat and cruise down the Perfume River back towards the city, where your guide will take you back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Thua Thien-Hue

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 570 reviews

Visita guiada con Ms. Nhu y Mr. Trung (conductor) excelente. Dedicamos unas 4h a visitar las 3 tumbas, una pagoda y una tiendecita local. La visita fue muy enriquecedora para conocer la historia de los diferentes emperadores de Hue y sus curiosidades. Además, intercambiamos aspectos y tradiciones culturales entre Bcn y Vietnam. Al finalizar nos recomendaron un lugar de comida típica. Sin duda, repetiríamos! Muchas gracias a ambos!

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.

Our guide Tri was amazing. Went nice and slow for us. Had rain gear for when it lashed out of the heavens and he had great English which really helped. He explained everything as we went along. Lovely lunch by the sea. Highly highly recommend this tour Make sure to ask for Tri he was a great.

Driver picked us up on time at agreed pick up point. Very nice driver who tailored the trip to our needs.

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