Young Pioneer Tours

Ultimate Hue Travel Guide 2024

Formerly the Imperial City of Vietnam, as well as being host to the North – South Border, Hue is undoubtedly an important place for travelers. We present the Hue Travel Guide.

If you have traveled much in Vietnam you will have at least come across Hue, even if you have not been here. Famous as one of the first places to open to the capitalists after Doi Moi it boasts not just imperial palaces, but more contemporary sites related to the division of the country and the Vietnam War. Interestingly it is also seen as having the best cuisine in Vietnam, itself no mean feat in a country so famous for its food.

Brief Hue City

Being located in right centre of Vietnam has ensured that Hue has played an integral part in the history of both ancient and modern Vietnamese state.

It became capital of Imperial Vietnam in the early 1800’s and remained so, nominally at least even when the French took over. At this point it was capital of the protectorate of Annam, while the Empire nominally existed.

This would remain the case until 1948 when the communists declared a republic, although last emperor Bao Dai would survive until before the State of Vietnam (south Vietnam) became the Republic of Vietnam.

After this it would prove integral to both sides of the new dividing line as home to the DMZ, as well as the now infamous Viet Cong infiltration tunnels.

Hue Travel Guide – Today

Today Hue is a fairly bustling city that after Saigon was one of the first to embrace tourism in the early to mid 90’s. Nowadays this means it is a city that as well as having its regular “Vietnamese” side also has a huge tourist area.

Said area encompasses a large walking street, western restaurants, rooftop bars and lots of tour services to nearby cities and attractions. That is though not to say that you cannot get off the beaten track here, although you will need to try harder than in other places.

Hue Travel Guide to what to do in Hue

The most important sites here historically are the Imperial City, which has some similarities to both Forbidden City in Beijing, as well as Sihanouk’s Royal Place in Phnom Penh. With the later it shares not just similar age, but also a heavy French influence.

This is also similar with other sites related to the royal family, such as the mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh, the scenic to last emperor of Vietnam. These can largely be covered in a day, depending on your interest in these things.

From a Pioneer point of view the day trip to the DMZ, former border and Viet Cong tunnels are what get us hot and bothered, with these also part of our Vietnam Unification Tour.

Eating, drinking and sleeping in Hue

Of course no Hue Travel Guide would be complete without covering eating, drink king and sleeping in Hue (in that order).

Food wise this is an absolute gem, with the tourist element meaning lot of western friendly restaurants, but the imperial element meaning that Hue is quite a culinary centre in its own right.

And should you wish to go local then there are a few great options such as Madame Thu, or simply going out and exploring the Hue Street Food scene.

And for nighttime jollies? Well could we really recommend anywhere other than The DMZ Bar? If that name sounds familiar it is because YPT once owned their very own place of the same name. As for the Hue DMZ it has been going since 1994, has great food and drinks and is somewhat an institution.

Aside from that tourists here ensure there are at least a few places open until late, although Hue is also no downtown Saigon and you will notice the streets getting fairly quiet from midnight.

Hue Travel Guide – Getting in and out

The most popular well priced and accessible way to get in and out of Hue is by the Reunification Express train service. If one times this right then taking the train from Da Nang to Hue offers amazing views, and takes just 3 hours.

Being on this line means it is also reachable in air time from both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, as well as Vinh slightly to the north. Bus wise you can also get to Hoi An, as well as other places along the Vietnamese coast. There is also an airport here, with prices in Vietnam tending to be fairly reasonable by global standards.

We visit Hue on our many group tours to Vietnam, as well as offering it as part of a bespoke package.

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