What To Do With One Day in Hue, Vietnam

imperial city hue vietnam

Hue is a city located on the banks of Perfume River in Central Vietnam. Many tourists often overlook this city, but it’s surprisingly filled with historical significance. You should be visit, especially if you’re a history buff. Hue was Vietnam’s capital from 1802-1945 during the Nguyen Dynasty. Therefore, you can explore many centuries-old citadels, tombs, and pagodas.

There is much to do and see in Hue! We didn’t get to visit as many attractions, because of the bad weather. However, this is what we did in one day!

Where to Stay in Hue

We stayed at Nice Hue Hotel during our time and had a great experience. The staff are really kind and helpful. They helped us book a driver and also organized a bus to our next destination. Furthermore, they took time and to give us tips on where to eat! The room itself was spacious and clean. The hotel is connected to “Nice Coffee” next door, which is a great place to work. Try their delicious Vietnamese Coffee!

How to Get to Hue

Firstly, read my blog post here about how to get to Huế and an overview of our train experience. We took a train from Ninh Binh. (Read my guide to Ninh Binh here.)

vietnam railways train first class

How to Get Around Hue

The best way to get around Hue is by motorbike. You can easily rent one for approximately 100,000 VND/day from any rental bike company in town. We visited during rainy season and had fairly heavy rainfall while we were there. Due to slipping off our bike in Ninh Binh, we decided to hire a driver for the day. This cost us 500,000 VND through our hotel.

What to Do in One Day

Imperial City

Hours: 8am – 5:30pm
Entrance Fee:
 150,000 VND/per person

imperial city hue

The Imperial City is a massive, walled complex in Central Hue. It historically served as a place for the dynasty rulers and emperors. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It holds hundreds of ruins, monuments, royal tombs, pagodas, and etc. Furthermore, you can also visit the “Forbidden Purple City,” which used to be the royal family’s residence. Much of it was destroyed during the Vietnam War, but what remains of it today is stunning. You’ll experience stunning architecture and wonderfully restored halls. There restoration process is still ongoing, but it’s definitely worth a visit!

imperial city hue
imperial city hue
imperial city hue
imperial city hue
imperial city hue

Visit Ho Thuy Tien – Abandoned Waterpark

This abandoned water park located on top of Thuy Tien Lake is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating places you’ll see during your Hue visit. It was mysteriously closed to the public in 2006 and was never completed. Today, it’s a huge playground for adventurists! You’ll find swimming pools, abandoned water slides, and eerie stairwells. The coolest feature is a 3-story dragon that sits on a large glass dome. Climb up the stairs past the graffiti-coloured walls for a beautiful view of the lake!

abandoned waterpark hue

How To Get There

It’s easy to get to this waterpark. Enter “Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park” into Google Maps and you’ll find it! When you get to the entrance, you’ll enter a large muddy field with two paths. Take the path on the LEFT, NOT the right. We hiked more than 1 kilometer through muddy terrain while it was raining! Plus, it wasn’t even a proper trail! Furthermore, we weren’t wearing proper shoes. This is a fun, hidden gem to explore!

abandoned waterpark hue vietnam
abandoned waterpark hue vietnam
abandoned waterpark hue vietnam
abandoned waterpark hue vietnam
abandoned waterpark hue vietnam
abandoned waterpark hue vietnam

This is what the path looks like if you take the wrong trail.

What to Eat

Bánh Mì Đông Ba

This is certainly the best Bánh Mì that we ate in all of Vietnam and it only costs 10,000 VND!

Address: 43 Ngô Quyền, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam


Eat Bún bò Huế. This is a popular Vietnam soup dish containing rice vermicelli and beef. Bún bò Huế originated in Hue.

Other Places Worth Visiting

Thien Mu Pagoda – Also known as the “Pagoda of the Celestial Lady,”  it’s the tallest religious structure in Vietnam. It stands 7 stories tall.

Dong Ba Market – A large market that sells your usual souvenirs, food, clothing jewellery and etc.

Tombs of the Emperors – There are 7 royal tombs in Hue. Each holds its own unique and historical significance.

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