Located about 3 hours by train in the North of Da Nang, Hue Ancient Capital is known for some of the most impressive monuments in the former grand imperial capital of the country. Once an exclusive residence of the royal family and their servants, nowadays the massive UNESCO Heritage site is one of the top historical destinations of the country famed for its rich architecture, picturesque landscapes, and Imperial-style cuisine. Experience listening to traditional music (Ca Tru) while taking a boat through Huong river, waiting the old citadel glowing in the dark. Travel back in time from Da Nang to Hue and adore these most visited sights of Hue on a one-day itinerary below.

Explore Hue with an ultimate one-day itinerary

Imperial Citadel Palace – Complex of Monuments

Start the day with a quick visit to the Imperial Citadel Palace – a complex of Hue Monument and walled palace within the citadel of the city of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The monument complex can only be entered from Ngo Mon Gate – the principal entrance to the Imperial Encloser from where the Emperor would address his officials and people.

Some of the most important monuments to explore within the complex are the Thai Hoa Palace, the Forbidden Purple City and Truong Sanh Residence. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to go through these main sites. Explore the whole complex would take a lot of time as there are many hidden monuments even the locals have yet to discover.

Entrance at the Forbidden city of Hue

Thien Mu pagoda or Pagoda of the Celestial Lady

After lunch, continue your itinerary by visiting Thien Mu Pagoda – an important symbol of the city of Hue, overlooking the Perfume River. Thien Mu means “elderly celestial woman”, and refers to an old legend about the founding of the pagoda. Brimming with opportunities for great photos.

From the river bank, you can rent a local boat to visit nearby old houses known for their distinct gardens (a.k.a Nha vuon).


Tombs of the Emperor

Spend the late afternoon visiting at least one tomb of the emperor. As Khai Dinh tomb is quite far away from the city, you can spend a late afternoon visiting Minh Mang or Tu Dung tomb.


Imperial City by night

The imperial citadel palace of Hue has recently launched a night program , offering 50% discounts for those who have already visited the complex during the day.


Day trips from Hue

Hoi An

The worldwide famous UNESCO town of Hoi An is just 4 hours away by bus from Hue. This well-preserved ancient town connected with beautiful canals, an interesting mixture of architectural styles and cultures, and a wide diversity of art and craft shops. Read Hoi An Travel Guide and prepare for your trip to this town.


My Son Sanctuary

An abandoned complex of Hindu temples’ ruins, is a famous religious site of Vietnam, located just about 3 hours away by car from Hue.


Da Nang

One of the fastest growing cities and the third largest city in Vietnam is just 2 hours and 3 minutes away from Hue, by either train or bus. Da Nang’s natural breath-taking natural landscapes, modern skyscrapers and dynamic lifestyle attract not only visitors but also expats coming to the city to settle.


How to get to Hue

Flight: Phu Bai International Airport is about 15 kilometers away from Hue, connecting this UNESCO heritage city with other major destinations of Vietnam.

Train: One of the best ways and common way to travel to Hue from big cities such as  Ho Chi Minh ,  Da Nang  or  Hanoi  is by train. You get to avoid the rocky paths unavoidable when travelling by bus, and at the same time enjoy the stunning natural landscape surrounding the trails.

The train route from Da Nang to Hue goes through one of the most famous and scenic mountain passes of Vietnam – Hai Van Pass.