Imperial City, Hue

Imperial City, Hue: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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: Private Tour by Car with Driver

2. 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.

Hue: Imperial City Private Walking Tour

3. Hue: Imperial City Private Walking Tour

Visit the cultural epicenter of Hue with a private guide and unearth the city's history. immerse yourself in the Imperial City of Hue, which served as Vietnam’s capital from the early 1800s until the mid-1900s.  Explore the vast grounds, passing by the majestic entrance, the Noon Gate. See the Nine Holy Cannons, which are located on the ramparts just inside the Citadel said to symbolize the four seasons and the five elements. Continue to the Mieu and the Hung Mieu Temples. Also known as the Temple of Generations, learn how the Mieu was built as an ancestral temple to honor the ten emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. Walk a bit further north and see a smaller temple, the Hung Mieu Temple, built to honor the parents of Gia Long, the first emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Next, stop at the Thai Hoa Palace. Hear stories about how this lavish hall was used for important ceremonies and official receptions. Take in the spacious palace with its 80 columns, ornate dragon details, and immense courtyard. See the scenic and newly-renovated Phung Tien Temple, which was once a place where the emperor, empresses, and other royal females came to worship the Nguyen ancestors. Admire the rocky pools, pass by the library, and take photos by the flower garden. Your final stop on this private tour will be the Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theater, one of Vietnam’s oldest working theaters to date. It was restored and opened to the public in 2004 after many of its unique architectural elements and designs were replicated, making it easy for you to transport yourself back in time and imagine the former Vietnamese royals watching traditional performances.

From Hoi An: Full-Day Hue City Tour

4. From Hoi An: Full-Day Hue City Tour

This well-preserved walled city is a must for those who love history, beautiful architecture, and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. The day begins with a breathtaking journey from Hoi An through the Hai Van Pass. Once in Hue, the tour starts at Khai Dinh Tomb, a site that more closely resembles a palace than a grave. After visiting the equally impressive Thien Mu Pagoda, you enter the Hue Imperial City, known not only for its architecture, but for its beautiful landscaping. After the guided tour, try a delicious local lunch, wander the ancient temples, browse the visitors center, and stroll through the elegant gardens.

Hue Historical Tour from Da Nang

5. Hue Historical Tour from Da Nang

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Da Nang, and then travel to the former imperial capital of Vietnam to see the sights of Hue. Experience the natural beauty of the Hai Van Pass, and get stunning views of Ocean Cloud Pass and Lang Co Beach before arrival. Visit the ancient citadel to see highlights such as the Forbidden Purple City and Emperor's Private Residence. Continue to the 17th-century working Buddhist monastery of Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of the city. See the car that belonged to a former monk who drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the South Vietnamese regime's cruel treatment of Buddhist monks and their followers. After, visit the serene Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of feng-shui.

Danang or Hoian: Transfer to Hue City with Sightseeing

6. Danang or Hoian: Transfer to Hue City with Sightseeing

Enjoy a bit of sightseeing on your transfer from Danang or Hoian to Hue city. Explore this charming city on the Perfume River and visit some of its palaces, pagodas, tombs, and temples while meeting some of the locals. Get picked up at your hotel or the airport in Danang or Hoian, visit places such as Haivan Pass, Langco Bay, and the Khai Dinh Tomb. Have a break for lunch, and then go see the Royal Citadel, the Forbidden City, Hue Royal Museum, and the seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbank. End your trip at your hotel in Hue.

Hue: Imperial City Guided Walking and Pedicab Combo Tour

7. Hue: Imperial City Guided Walking and Pedicab Combo Tour

The tour guide will meet you directly at your hotel lobby and you will then depart from the city centre and head to the Huong River. Begin with a walking tour along the river. Here you will be able to admire wonderful views along the river banks, and learn more about the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty.  Next stop is the Imperial City of Hue. The guide will lead you around the expansive site and share interesting stories and facts as you go. Discover the forbidden city and the gated courtyard, as well as several gardens, pavilions, and theaters. After visiting the Imperial city, hop on a pedicab to explore the area around the Citadel. Make several stops at interesting places along the way, such as the Fine Art Museum, and the beautiful royal garden of Tinh Tam Lake. See many old monuments that feature sophisticated architectural patterns in harmony with nature.

Chan May Port: Self-Guided Hue City Tour by Private Car

8. Chan May Port: Self-Guided Hue City Tour by Private Car

Following a pickup at Chan May Port by your private driver, head towards the city of Hue. Relax onboard a modern vehicle for about 1 hour until you arrive at the first destination, where you'll begin your day of self-guided exploration. Avoid the crowds and visit the Nguyen King Tombs right in the morning. Ascend 127 steps to reach the tomb of King Khai Dinh, also known as the Ung Lang Tomb. Marvel at the unique architecture that blends both modern European and Vietnamese influences. From the top, you can see the courtyard with the House of Epitaph as well as statues of horses and soldiers. Next, head to Minh Mang tomb, the second ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty. Located in An Bang Village, the solemn and quiet architecture set represents the ideal balance of landscaping and architecture. The structure of the tomb is a symmetrical central axis, called Than Dao, and runs throughout the architecture. Afterward, you will have a lunch break in a local restaurant in the city and savor different typical specialties of Hue. Continue to Hue's most famous attraction and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hue Citadel. Visit this imperial palace and its temples, walls, and pavilions to learn more about the history of the Nguyen dynasty. Then, make your way to the Thien Mu Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hue, located on the banks of the Perfume River. After a long day of sightseeing in Hue City, your driver will be waiting for you to drop you back at Chan May Port.

Other Sightseeing Options in Imperial City, Hue

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What people are saying about Imperial City, Hue

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 135 reviews

Since I don't spend much time in Hue, I wanted to experience the top attractions with as little stress as possible. so I booked this tour, which covers everything that was important to me. I was picked up on time. super friendly and helpful driver! Seen everything I wanted to see - in comfort and very relaxed. very entertaining ride between each station. We recommend!

The transfer from Da Nang to Hue went well. Upon agreement, the driver will stop at the sights and wait there. You have enough time to explore them. It would be good to book in good time in order to be able to clarify departure and other details beforehand. As stated in the description, tickets are not included.

Very interesting tour, I was alone with Thi (tour guide) and a very experienced driver! It was a great day, I learned a lot about the country and its people! Should you have seen!

Was a great tour with simultaneous transfer. Especially our guide (Mr.D) was super friendly & spoke good English so that we could learn a lot along the way.

Great English speaking driver who informed us about the sites he took us to visit.