Before the capital moved to Hanoi, Hue city had been the metropolis of the old Vietnam. Today, there are so many historical sites, especially the facilities under the Nguyen Dynasty. Moreover, Hue people still keep the feudal lifestyle in some ways. Let’s get ready to explore the old capital of Vietnam with top 5 things to do in Hue city.

When to visit Hue city?

Hue is the city of Thua Thien – Hue province. It is located in the central region of Vietnam. Therefore, there are usually storms from August to December. The best time to visit Hue city is in April and May. It is when the weather starts changing from spring to summer. Moreover, it is not too hot but cool with sunshine. Thus, you could be able to complete a list of things to do in Hue. Additionally, if you come to Hue in April, you will have the chance to experience the most famous Festival Hue with tons of interesting activities. If you come in May, you might see the breathtaking scenery of phoenix flowers on the Perfume riverside.

Hue Citadel at night is sparkling and charming that they say it is #1 of things to do in Hue

Hue Citadel in the light looks so charming and mysterious – Image: @littleman_hj.

Top 5 things to do in Hue city

Due to being a prosperous metropolis under the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue has so many unique destinations and activities that the locals still keep it well until now. Here is a list of top 5 things to do in Hue to enjoy a truly local lifestyle.

Visit Hue Citadel is the first checklist of top things to do in Hue

Ticket: 150,000 VND/person.

As the metropolis of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue Citadel is the top of things to do in Hue. It has been a capital of the country for 143 years under the Nguyen Dynasty. Nowadays, it is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

the ancient and unique architecture inside Hue Citadel makes it become top of things to do in Hue

Inside Hue Citadel – Image: @miquelalfaro.

Hue Citadel spreads over 520 hectares. There are two main areas in which one is for mandarin and civilian, another is for Royal family. This is also the place where the last King of the Nguyen Dynasty read abdication statement and finished the feudal period in Vietnam.

In Hue Citadel, there are some places that you should not miss. The first one is King palace, Ngo Mon Gate, and flag tower.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Under the Nguyen Dynasty, Buddhism in Vietnam developed strongly. Therefore, in the list of top things to do in Hue, there must be old pagodas. One of the most famous and holy pagodas in Hue is Thien Mu. This pagoda has a great location on the Perfume riverside. It is a symbol of the city. Until now, the pagoda still remains the ritual of ringing the bell. Every day at 15:30 and 19:30, the monks ring 108 times on the bell. Its sound echoes along the Perfume river and becomes a holy sound to the local people.

thien mu pagoda is another in top list things to do in hue

Thien Mu Pagoda is famous as its unique architecture, great location, and holiness – Image: @_songgiaan_.

Thien Mu Pagoda was built in by the first King of Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Hoang. Today, the pagoda still remains mostly its architecture even though there were many wars destroy this land.

Perfume River and Trang Tien Bridge

Perfume River is a famous name when tourists search for things to do in Hue when visiting this city. The river starts from the east of Truong Son mountain which is in the west of Thua Thien – Hue province. Perfume river flows from the west to the east of the city. Then it flows to the East Sea. It is a peaceful river which has gone with the city for thousands of years. And it is also a witness of important events of city history.

trang tien bridge is over perfume river. they both are famous destinations in the list of things to do in hue

Trang Tien Bridge is over Perfume River – Image: @brian.0106.

Over the Perfume River, the most famous bridge is Trang Tien. It was built for a hundred years ago by French in the Vietnam – France war. Time by time, it, together with Perfume River, is a strong witness of up and down events in the city development.

Dong Ba market

Dong Ba market before was named Dong Hoa. However, there was a Queen name Hoa. Thus, as the local culture, there must be no place has the same name as Queen. Therefore, they changed Dong Hoa into Dong Ba. There were also other places in Hue that time had to change their names as well.

Dong Ba market is the biggest and the most famous market in hue thus it must be listed in top things to do in hue city

Dong Ba Market is the biggest and most famous market in Hue city which attracts hundreds of tourists visiting every day – Image: @jim.cao.

Due to the reason that Dong Ba is the biggest market in the city, this is a must-go place in your list of things to do in Hue. In the market, tourists can be easy to find so many unique local products such as fresh or dried foods, souvenirs, or clothes. Additionally, they also provide tourists with the stuff that was used in the Royal family under the Nguyen Dynasty.

Imperial tombs in Hue

Ticket: 40,000 – 100,000 VND/person depends on which imperial tomb you want to visit.

The Nguyen Dynasty is the longest one in Vietnam history, and it was located in Hue city. Thus, there are seven King Imperial tombs among 13 king periods. Each of the imperial tombs has its own unique architecture inspired by the Asian culture. Thus, top things to do in Hue could not miss out these imperial tombs. The most popular ones are Tu Duc, Khai Dinh, Minh Mang, and Gia Long imperial tombs.

nguyen dynasty left so many valuable cultural places to be listed as top things to do in hue

Khai Dinh Imperial Tombs – Image: @itsvivek4u.


Besides the amazing cuisine, Hue city is very famous by culturally historical sites. The Nguyen Dynasty has lasted for 143 years in this city. Thus, they left a big cultural value that still remains until today. Hope with the list of top things to do in Hue will help you out in exploring this Vietnam old capital.

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