What to See and do in Hue Imperial City | 1 Day Scenic Drive from Danang

The Imperial City of Hue

If you have been to Vietnam, you would have likely heard of places like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and the lush padi fields of Sapa.

But have you heard about the Imperial City of Hue ( Huế in Vietnamese) located a few hours from Danang, which houses the most magnificent Citadel in Vietnam and all of southeast Asia?

Imperial City of Hue
Imperial City of Hue

Well, then you are in for a treat, coz we are gonna bring you on a photo journey to Hue, where we made a day trip visit during our time living in Danang.

What to Do in Hue Imperial City

The imperial city of Hue is located a couple of hours from the coastal city of Danang, and its a popular place to visit if you are looking for a short getaway from Danang. Alternatively, many travellers who are coming up from Hoi Chi Minh and coming by train through Hoi An to Hanoi, will definitely get to stop at this pitstop if preferred.

So here’s sharing our version of the trip where we drove to Hue from Danang.

The Scenic Coastal Route to Hue

The route to Hue was stunning! We got the opportunity to do an incredibly scenic drive along the coast from Danang all the way to Hue. Mind you, it’s better to start early from Danang, especially if you are riding a bike, coz it will take at least 3 hours to get to Hue from Danang assuming you do not stop for photos or to grab a bite.

Scenic Coastal Route to Hue
Scenic Coastal Route to Hue | Vietnam Beach and Hills

Hue Vietnam Beach and Hills

However, despite it taking at least 3 full hours and you can actually get a butt ache before you reach Hue, the view on the way is spectacular and so worth it. Blue ocean view, waves crashing against the beach, the green hills and forests of Danang against a blue clear sky.

LITTLE TIP: Make sure you have your shades and face mask prepared before this journey!


We had the view of Danang behind us and we speed on forward, spotting the railway tracks along the same route as us.

Lookout Points to Stop and Refresh

Along the way, we stopped at shops to grab a nice Vietnamese coffee and fresh cold coconut, before continuing on our way. There are many little rest stops you can stop to enjoy the view, grab a cold drink or meal and be on your way.

The route also sees quite a lot of trucks delivering pigs from one location to the other. There are stop points on the way where you see fountains where the vehicle stops and sprays water sprinklers on the pigs so that they can cool down in the crazy heat.

Do you like to do a bit more adventurous and outdoorsy activities in Vietnam, why not visit Cat Ba Island?

Arriving in Hue City

We finally arrived in Hue and found a great place to enjoy a nice avocado fruit shake and local Vietnamese baguette. We were lucky coz just when we parked our vehicle and settle in, it started raining and pouring.

Hue Weather checks and forecast

Important note to all, the weather in Vietnam can vary month on month. If you are visiting in the Monsoon season which are the June-Sep, you might expect showers in this part of Vietnam.

So come prepared – bring your ponchos/ umbrellas and slippers to walk about the premise.

What to see in Hue

Full Citadel Day Tour

Make a visit to the highlight of Hue – the Citadel. It will take you a good 1.5-2 hours at least to take a tour of the whole premise and explore their many segments/ gardens. It is located next to the Huong River (also called Perfume River), and the traffic around the citadel only goes in 1 direction, which is an interesting point to note. (So if you miss your turn to the carpark like us, we have to go another 1 big round for 10 minutes to get back to the same side)

What to do in Hue | Hue Attractions

If you are driving, you will definitely be crossing the bridge and enter into the citadel through this magnificent entrance. Remember to prepare your Gopro or camera ready as it takes a lot of effort to come back to this road given it is a 1 way and the citadel is quite a maze to get around.

hue vietnam things to do

Given it just rained when we entered, we had beautiful puddles of water everywhere to take lovely reflection photos. The sky was quite cloudy and buildings all damp from the rain, but the premise was still very stunning and majestic without too much crowd.


This may not be as magnificent as the Forbidden City in Beijing China, but it was still a stunning masterpiece, with its faded colours, intricated details and symbols.


Some of the passage ways were really photo-worthy. Unlike Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, this place allows for many photo moments without having too many people around and photo bombing your photos.

Take a moment to enjoy more peace and the surroundings. The architecture is truly magnificent.


Fun fact, there is also a cafe/ ‘roof top’ bar in the citadel, where you can catch a view of the surrounding areas. I am not sure how to access it, as we were told the citadel closes by nightfall.

If you love Vietnam, perhaps you would want to explore the neighbouring countries like Laos and Thailand?

Admissions and Costs

Admission Pricing to enter the Citadel costs about VND 150,000 (about US$6+), which is very reasonable in our opinion compared to some of the other attractions in Vietnam like the Hands of God bridge, which costs at least US$40.

All in all, we truly enjoyed our time visiting Hue province tremendously. It was getting dark when we departed after our pizza/ crepe lunch, but we did have a great ride back, as the sky was lit up with thousands of stars and we didn’t have that many people on the road while we were heading back to Danang.

All in all, if you are looking for a great culture day out, Hue is an incredible place to visit for a good culture fix:)

Before going on your next travel adventure, consider booking Affordable Travel Insurance from US$14 onwards for that peace of mind! 🙂

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