Hué was once the capital of Vietnam for about 143 years. This incredible city is found in the center of Vietnam and is definitely worth a visit. As a big part of Vietnamese history, Hué has a lot to offer – especially when it comes to historical buildings and sites. It is a perfect place to visit for a better understanding of Vietnamese history and culture. Historical sightseeing in Hué is simply something that you cannot miss when in Vietnam. Therefore, we have gathered everything you need to know for historical sightseeing in Hué. Below you will find our 3 favorite sites to visit, as well as all the useful information you need for your visit to the historical sites in Hué.
Hué Imperial City
The Imperial City of Hué is found right on the bank of the Perfume River. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, this amazing place served as the administrative capital of Southern Vietnam. Since then, the complex has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside you will find both the Imperial Citadel, the Forbidden City, and the surrounding areas of the Imperial city, which is where the kings once lived. Over the years this site has undergone many renovations, but luckily the stunning architecture is still to be seen. Making the Imperial City of Hué a perfect place to learn about Vietnamese history, while admiring some absolutely stunning architectural features.
Khai Dihn Tomb
Hué is surrounded by many tombs of former kings and royalty in Vietnam. One of our favorite ones was the Khai Dinh Tomb. This tomb belongs to the twelfth Emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, Khai Dinh. This site took about 11 years to build and the architecture is a mix of Eastern and Western. This, supposedly, reflects the sumptuousness of the King during his lifetime and reign in Vietnam. Because of this architectural mix, it is possible to find various styles from both the Gothic, Buddhism, Indian, and Romanesque throughout the tomb. A visit to the extraordinary Khai Dinh Tomb is simply a must-do when in Hué.
Minh Mang Tomb
The tomb of Minh Mang is another place you cannot miss when going on historical sightseeing in Hué. This incredible site is considered one of the most remarkable monuments of the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam. Here you will find a balance between nature and architecture that is not found in many other places. Every part of the complex is thought off and works in conjunction. Thereby reflecting an emperor who sought balance during his reign. Throughout the tomb, you will also find that it still retains some traditional and ancient Confucian values. The front of the tomb is guarded by 3 main gates. The middle one was only intended for Minh Mang to go through. When he died his body was therefore carried through this door, whereas others had to go through the other 2 remaining doors. A visit to this stunning place will give you a sense of calm in this soothing atmosphere amongst nature.
Everything you need to know for a visit to the Hué Monuments
As with so many other attractions and sites, there are some things you might find useful before adventuring on historical sightseeing in Hué. Therefore, we have gathered everything you will need to know to spend some time exploring the historical sites in Hué.
Getting to the sites
Getting to each of the sites of your historical sightseeing in Hué is actually quite easy. If you are staying in Hué city, you are able to walk towards the Imperial City. Whereas the tombs of Khai Dinh and Minh Mang require means of transportation. We would recommend you rent a motorbike for a day – the roads around Hué are in a good condition making it comfortable riding a motorbike. If this isn’t for you it is also possible to take a taxi, but that might end up being more expensive.
Tip: Rent a driver or motorbike for 1 day and visit the Tombs of Hué.
The opening hours of each of the sites vary. Both Khai Dinh Tomb and Minh Mang Tombs are open to the public every day from 7:00 to 17:00. The opening hours of the Imperial City on the other hand depend on the season. In the summer the complex is open from 6:30 to 17:30 every day, whereas in the winter season the opening hours are from 7:00 to 17:00 every day.
When it comes to entrance fees it is possible to buy a combo ticket. With this ticket, you are able to visit the Imperial City of Hué, the Tomb of Minh Mang, and the Tomb of Khai Dinh for a much better price. The price of this combo ticket is 420.000 VND for an adult and 80.000 VND for a child. The rate for children is applied for 7 to 12 years old with the height from 0.8 meters to 1.3 meters. The combo ticket for the attractions in Hué is valid for 2 days and can be bought at the first of the sites you end up visiting.
If you do not want to buy a combo ticket, the prices for each of the historical sites in Hué are as follows:
|Type of ticket||Tomb of Minh Mang||Tomb of Khai Dinh||The Imperial City of Hué|
|Adult||100.000 VND||100.000 VND||150.000 VND|
|Child||20.000 VND||20.000 VND||30.000 VND|
Time spent sightseeing in Hué
How much time you spend sightseeing in Hué depends a lot on how you manage your time, and whether you want to visit all of the attractions. We would recommend you set aside 2 full days to explore the historical sites of Hué. Day 1 can be used for wandering the tombs of Khai Dinh and Minh Mang. For each of the tombs, you should set aside about 2 hours to explore the complexes. On day 2 you can visit the Imperial City of Hué. Here you set aside at least half a day to explore all the architectural features within the complex. Therefore, 2 full days is the perfect way of sightseeing in Hué.
As with so many other attractions in Vietnam you have to respect the culture. This means that your shoulders and knees must be covered to enter the historical sites of Hué. Comfortable shoes might also be a good idea as each of the places require a lot of walking and steps.
Best time to go sightseeing in Hué
The best time to go sightseeing in Hué is as early as possible. That way you get a good head start to the day and might even skip some of the bigger crowds. Another very positive thing about going as early as possible is getting out of the sun in the afternoon, when it can be brutally hot.