Travel to Hue – Discover the fascinating and unique travel experiences in Hue with a detailed guide to its attractions, distinctive cuisine, and suitable travel itinerary.

I. Hue in a nutshell

Visiting Hue means exploring a region of extraordinary natural beauty, with the serene Huong River flowing by the majestic Ngu Binh Mountain. Additionally, Hue boasts renowned festivals, famous local cuisine, and significant cultural and historical values recognized worldwide.

The cultural relics and unique architectural works of the Nguyen Dynasty, including palaces, shrines, pagodas, temples, and tombs, still preserve their solemn, ancient, and dignified charm. From the contemplative atmosphere of the Nguyen Emperors’ tombs to the purity of Thien Mu Pagoda or the grandiosity of the Imperial City of Hue, tourists can experience unforgettable emotions.

Traditional folk festivals and religious ceremonies, such as the Nam Giao Offering Ceremony or Hon Chen Temple Festival, as well as various genres of folk and court arts, are still maintained. Visiting a Hue garden house allows visitors to witness an ideal and harmonious ecological model, with a close connection to nature.

Hue’s cuisine, ranging from common street food to imperial cuisine, from vegetarian to savory dishes, showcases the harmonious combination of taste and beauty, creating a unique culinary style. Every tourist in Hue desires to indulge in the flavors of local specialties, from Bun Bo Hue (Hue-style beef noodle soup), Com Hen (clam rice), to mouth-watering desserts such as lotus seed sweet soup, imperial-style sweet soup or enjoying a cup of lotus tea with sesame candy.

Overall, Hue offers a blend of nature, history, culture, and cuisine that entices every visitor with its distinctive charm and endless exploration opportunities.

Hue in a nutshell

(Nguồn Internet)

II. When is the best time to visit Hue?

As Hue is situated in the transitional region between the North and South of Vietnam, its weather is a combination of both regions, which makes it less harsh and fairly mild. The rainy season in Hue starts from May and lasts until November, which is also the peak time for storms and floods, so it is important to check the weather before planning your trip. Although Hue does not have a distinct winter season like the northern provinces, temperatures can be quite cool and may drop below 10 degrees Celsius.

Based on many experiences from independent travelers, the best time to visit Hue is during the transitional periods between spring-summer and autumn-winter.

April to May: This is a time of mild and pleasant weather, suitable for all kinds of activities. Moreover, every two years, the Hue Festival is held at the end of April to celebrate the cultural heritage and promote tourism. If you visit Hue during this festival, your trip will be an unforgettable experience. Be sure to check out the Festival Hue travel guide from Traveloka if you’re traveling during this time!

Hue’s flower season: Not inferior to Hanoi’s 12 flower seasons, Hue boasts many beautiful flowers blooming all year round. March and April are the season of wildflowers; summer is when the flamboyant trees bloom near Trang Tien Bridge; and from May to August, lotus flowers blossom in the Imperial Citadel… All of these contribute to the dreamlike beauty of the ancient capital city.

III. Means of transportation when traveling to Hue

* Means of transportation to Hue

1. By airplane

Traveling to Hue by airplane is an ideal choice for those who want to save time, spend more time exploring and discovering the beauty of the ancient capital. Especially, if you choose to travel by airplane, you will have the opportunity to admire the ancient capital from above with its quiet and serene beauty.

2. By train

If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery throughout the journey to visit the ancient capital, traveling by train is the ideal means of transportation for you. The railway from Hanoi or Saigon to Hue passes through many beautiful destinations of the country, but it takes quite a lot of time. Traveling by train from Hanoi to Hue takes about 14 hours with a cost ranging from over 400,000 to over 1,000,000 VND/way, while from Saigon to Hue, it takes more than 18 hours with a cost ranging from 500,000 to over 1,200,000 VND/trip.

3. By motorbike

Traveling from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City by motorbike, backpackers can visit numerous famous landmarks. Motorbikes are also the cheapest option for tourists who are not too financially well-off but still want a memorable experience.

However, traveling by motorbike is also a challenging journey that requires a lot of time and energy. On average, the travel time by motorbike from Hanoi to Hue is about 7 days and 10 days from Ho Chi Minh City, including rest time and visiting other destinations.

4. By private car

If you go straight to Hue by car, the journey from Hanoi takes about 15 hours and from Ho Chi Minh City takes over 20 hours, including rest time. However, like traveling by motorbike, the journey by self-driving a car to Hue is quite challenging, especially for inexperienced drivers on long-distance trips.

5. By bus

Sleeper buses with full amenities are one of the means of transportation that many tourists choose to visit Hue. The price is also very reasonable, the segment from Hanoi to Hue costs about 250,000 VND/person, while from Saigon it costs about 500,000 VND/person, and the travel time is equal to or faster than traveling by train.

Travel to Hue : Guide & Tips

(Nguồn: Internet)

* Hue’s Transportation Options

  1. Motorbikes

Most tourists opt for motorbikes to get around Hue as they are convenient and affordable. Whether traveling with family or friends, motorbikes provide the most comfortable and flexible means of transportation, allowing you to explore Hue’s sights and sounds at your own pace. You can rent motorbikes at your hotel, homestay, or from rental services on Nguyen Cong Tru, Chu Van An, and Le Loi streets. Prices vary depending on the type of bike rented, but expect to pay around 120,000 to 150,000 VND per day for manual bikes, and between 130,000 to 300,000 VND per day for automatic bikes.

2. Bicycles

Bicycle rentals are also available at various rental services in Hue, with prices ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 VND per day. Rental services are often concentrated in the western districts, such as Nguyen Cong Tru and Vo Thi Sau streets, or on major roads like Le Loi and Hung Vuong. The easiest way to rent a bike is to contact your hotel or homestay.

3. Cars

You can choose to rent a car with a driver or self-drive if you have a license and prefer to explore on your own. Renting a car is suitable for larger groups or if you have a lot of luggage, or when the weather is unfavorable such as heavy rain or scorching heat. If you rent a car with a driver, prices range from 400,000 to 3,000,000 VND per half day or full day, depending on the type of car and your itinerary. Self-driving cars are more flexible and cost between 400,000 and over 1,000,000 VND per day.

4. Cyclos

A cyclo ride is an inexpensive way to explore the ancient city. Prices vary depending on the route, but expect to pay around 50,000 to 60,000 VND per trip. Cyclos in Hue are operated by both professional associations and freelance operators, so it’s important to be mindful of their attire. If you choose to hire a freelance operator, be sure to negotiate the price beforehand to avoid any potential issues.

5. Electric Cars

For a cost of between 30,000 to 300,000 VND depending on the type of vehicle and route, you can explore various destinations inside and around the Imperial City.

6. Buses

Exploring Hue by bus is an interesting experience, but it can be time-consuming and tiring as buses only stop at designated bus stops and not directly at tourist sites. If you have plenty of time and want to save costs, taking the bus is the most economical option, with fares ranging from 7,000 to 20,000 VND per one-way ticket.

7. Boats

A boat ride on the Perfume River is a relaxing way to see the sights of Hue. You can book boat tours at any travel agency in Hue, with prices ranging from 150,000 to 300,000 VND per person depending on the duration of the tour and type of boat.

IV. What and where to eat delicious food in Hue?

1. Com hen – a delicious dish with Hue’s signature flavor

When it comes to delicious food in Hue, one cannot forget about com hen. This dish is a perfect combination of Hue royal cuisine and traditional cuisine, creating a unique and exotic flavor. The ingredients used to make com hen are simple, but they create a very fragrant and delicious taste. The dish harmonizes the yin and yang, both in color and taste. The rice has a pungent ginger flavor, with the aroma of herbs, spiciness of chili, sweetness of clams, and the nutty flavor of peanuts.

2. Bun bo Hue

Bun bo Hue is undoubtedly one of the most famous and delicious breakfast dishes in Vietnam, and it can be found throughout the country. The broth of bun bo Hue is rich in the fragrance of lemongrass, combined with the aroma of beef, and the scent of simmered bones.

3. Che Hue

It’s no exaggeration to call Hue the capital of all kinds of desserts, and che hem (street-style dessert) is one of Hue’s specialties. Just a few steps away, you will find a dessert shop or street vendor. Therefore, che has become a specialty dish in Hue that you cannot miss when visiting.




Che Hue

(Nguồn: Internet)

4. Banh uot thit nuong

Banh uot is made from rice flour mixed with a portion of cassava flour to create a soft, smooth, and pliable white cake. Banh uot is usually eaten with grilled meat, so it is called banh uot thit nuong. It is served with fresh herbs and fish sauce, making it a must-try dish when you come to Hue.

5. Banh beo chen

Banh beo Hue is poured into small porcelain cups and steamed. When customers order, the cakes are placed on a plate, usually about ten pieces. Each cake is topped with a colorful array of dried shrimp, green onion oil, and fried shallots. When eating, just add a spoonful of chili fish sauce, and you will feel all the essence of Hue’s cuisine in one bite.

6. Nem lui

One of Hue’s delicious dishes that makes many people go crazy is nem lui. The meat is marinated with rich flavors, wrapped around lemongrass to enhance the aroma, then grilled with moderate fire until evenly golden. Nem lui is best served with fragrant herbs, sour star fruit, bean sprouts, thinly sliced green banana, raw garlic, and especially the elaborate dipping sauce made from pork liver and cinnamon.

7.Banh khoai

Banh khoai Hue is a type of cake that looks similar to banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe) with shrimp and pork filling, making it easy to mistake the two. The first difference of banh khoai lies in the addition of duck eggs to the batter, creating a yellow color and a distinct aroma different from the turmeric of banh xeo. When fried, banh khoai is poured from the mold, making it rounder and thicker.

8.Tre Hue

At first glance, many tourists may mistake Tre Hue for Nem Cha Hue because these two Hue specialties are “related” to each other, but their recipes are different, so you need to ask carefully before buying. Tre Hue has a sweet, pungent smell and slightly sour taste. There are two types of Tre Hue, including pork and beef.

9.Tom chua Hue

Tom chua is a simple Hue delicacy that you hardly find in other provinces. The shrimp itself has a cool, sweet taste, but when mixed with spicy and pungent spices, it not only retains the coolness of shrimp but also creates a harmonious and attractive flavor when served with other side dishes.

10. Va tron

In Hue, when someone invites you to eat “va,” they mean they want you to have fun and enjoy eating. Therefore, in Hue, va fruit is often used as a snack or an appetizer. You must try va fruit when you are in Hue because it is a unique delicacy that can only be found in Hue.

11.Banh bot loc

Banh bot loc is the most famous Hue cake. Hue’s banh loc has two types: banh loc tran (naked banh loc) and banh loc goi la chuoi (banh loc wrapped in banana leaves), both having a delicious aroma and served with the typical spicy-sweet fish sauce. When you eat banh bot loc, you can feel the sweetness of river shrimp blended with the greasy taste of pork belly wrapped in the chewy and firm cake layer.

V. Tourist attractions in Hue

1.The Imperial City of Hue

Address: Phu Hau, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue

Located on the picturesque bank of the Perfume River, the Imperial City of Hue is a cultural heritage site recognized as a world cultural heritage site. The Imperial City of Hue consists of the Citadel and the Forbidden City, enclosed by the Imperial Enclosure.

2. Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda is the most famous pagoda in Hue, so it is not surprising that it has been the inspiration for many great literary works. The pagoda is located on Ha Khe Hill in Huong Long Ward, next to the Perfume River, so you can take a boat on the Perfume River and then visit the pagoda.

3. Suoi Mo – Hue Relaxation Spot

Address: Nam Dong district, Thua Thien Hue province.
This is an excellent destination for tourists in Hue. The most impressive feature of this place is the three towering waterfalls, pouring down white water, rushing into the clear water lake, surrounded by the reflection of trees, marking the end point of the water flow. When you come here, you can immerse yourself in nature, mountains, and forests, leaving behind all the noise and fatigue of city life. You can forget about the hustle and bustle, fatigue of work and study and blend into the scenery here.

4. Tomb of Tu Duc

Located in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong village, Cu Chanh commune, the Tomb of Tu Duc (also known as Khiem Lang) is perhaps the most beautiful tomb among the tombs of Nguyen Dynasty’s emperors due to the harmony between the natural scenery of “mountains and rivers in the same sentiment” and the vast and wide architectural space. Surrounded by lush green trees and located near a large lake, Tu Duc’s tomb appears ancient and complex, blending in the romantic and peaceful nature.

Other tombs that you can visit: Gia Long Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb, Thieu Tri Tomb, Dong Khanh Tomb, Duc Duc Tomb, and Khai Dinh Tomb.

5.Lang Co Beach

Located in the southern area of Hue city, Lang Co Beach attracts tourists with its beautiful and pristine landscape. This famous tourist destination in Hue is approximately 70km north of the city center. When visiting Lang Co Beach, you can not only enjoy a refreshing swim and beautiful scenery, but also savor fresh and delicious seafood. In addition, you can combine your trip with visits to other famous tourist destinations near Lang Co, such as Lap An Lagoon and Bach Ma National Park.

Lang Co Beach

(Nguồn Internet)

6. Thien Mu Pagoda

Situated on Ha Khe Hill, overlooking the Perfume River, Thien Mu Pagoda emerges in a dreamy and romantic natural space, inspiring many works of poetry and music.

From afar, the towering Phuoc Duyen Tower stands out like a symbol that anyone remembers when setting foot in this ancient city. At Thien Mu Pagoda, listening to the echo of the temple bells amidst the poetic natural scenery will make you feel lighter and more relaxed from the hustle and bustle of life.

7. Hue Imperial City – Hue’s Must-Visit Destination

Address: Beside the Perfume River

The Imperial City of Hue is one of the relics belonging to the Complex of Hue Monuments, recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and preserving many unique marks of the feudal court culture of the Nguyen Dynasty hundreds of years ago. The Imperial City of Hue is a unique and ancient architectural work that you definitely cannot miss when visiting the ancient capital of Hue!

8. Hue Walking Street

Hue Walking Street has become a new and popular destination for night-time entertainment in Hue in recent times. It has only been in operation for about a year now. Previously, there was Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street, but the atmosphere was quite dull and there were not many entertainment activities.

VI. Where to stay when visiting Hue

Some good hotels and homestays in Hue:

HOTEL Friendly Hotel
Address: 10 Nguyen Cong Tru, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 0234 3834666

HOTEL The Scarlett Boutique Hotel
Address: 17/1 Ben Nghe, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 0234 3930 666

HOTEL Hotel La Perle
Address: No. 24, Alley 42 Nguyen Cong Tru, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 0234 3816 678

HOTEL Hong Thien Ruby Hotel
Address: 35/12 Chu Van An, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 0234 3837 399

HOTEL Beaulieu Boutique Hotel
Address: 15 Pham Ngu Lao, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 090 198 14 44

HOMESTAY Lucky Homestay
Address: 46 Tran Cao Van, To 9, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 096 699 57 32

HOMESTAY Hue Sweethouse Homestay
Address: 6/34 Pham Hong Thai, Vinh Ninh, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 0121 566 9199

HOMESTAY Sala Homestay Hue
Address: 6/7 Chu Van An, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 096 564 22 22

HOMESTAY Happy Homestay
Address: 20/26 Vo Thi Sau, Phu Hoi, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 090 548 92 57

HOMESTAY Green Home Homestay
Address: 2 Alley 10, La Son Phu Tu, Tay Loc, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue
Phone: 091 683 97 50

VII. Travel tips for Hue

Here are some small tips for you to have a complete trip to Hue:

Choose a good time to visit Hue
Prepare personal items such as sunscreen, hat, medicine, shoes, etc.
Hue’s weather at night is usually cold, so bring a thin coat to keep warm
Hue’s food is usually quite cheap, so enjoy the local specialties here
Pay attention to the expiration date when buying tickets to visit the ancient capital of Hue
Buy fresh produce at Dong Ba Market in the morning, while dry goods are best bought in the afternoon
Dress politely when visiting tombs.

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