Once the capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen Dynasty and the site of the heaviest battle of the Vietnam War, Hue lets you journey back in time.

Hue (“hweh”) shines a light on what life was like during the Nguyen Dynasty and how the Tet Offensive changed Vietnam’s fate half a century ago. In the city centre, explore the remnants of the Imperial Citadel and cycle to the stacked Thien Mụ pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Take a guided motorbike or bus tour to see emperor Tu Duc’s tomb or visit the demilitarised zone in the countryside and former US base at Khe Sanh.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hue

Why is Hue so historically important?

Hue was home to the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam. This made it the nation's most important city up until the turbulent events of World War II. The city sustained heavy bombing during the Vietnam War, however, many of its most important sites remain standing today. These incredible structures have earned UNESCO World Heritage status and many tourists make the journey to see them - the centrepiece being the sprawling site of the Hue Citadel area.

What is imperial cuisine?

It has been said that the Nguyen lords settled in Hue because of its excellent produce. With food being such a priority, it's no surprise that this city became a beacon for Vietnamese cuisine. Many of the country's modern day dishes originated in Hue, however, it is most well known for what is known as its "imperial cuisine". These dishes are every bit as ostentatious as the name suggests, so be sure to dress up for the occasion. When you visit a restaurant serving imperial cuisine, expect to be seated in an ornate setting, surrounded by sumptuous fabrics and traditional furnishings. But wait for it - the real wow moment is when the dishes come out. Often arranged into the shape of a bird or dragon, the painstaking presentation is second only to its delicious flavours.

What's the best way to experience Hue's UNESCO World Heritage sites?

There are a large number of sites that make up what UNESCO has dubbed the "Complex of Hue Monuments". Of these, Hue Imperial City (The Citadel) should certainly be at the top of your list. The site itself covers quite a large area, with many temples, pavilions, shops and museums. Be sure to allow yourself a few hours to get around it all. If you're short on time, a guided tour will help you get the most out of your visit. Surrounded by verdant forest, the striking architecture of the Tomb of Minh Mang ought to be your next stop. The Imperial Tomb of Dong Khanh and Thien Mu Pagoda are equally unmissable.