Huế, Vietnam (pronounced hway) is more of a stop along the way rather than a final destination. Located in central Vietnam, a couple of hours north of Da Nang, most people pass through while traveling the route from north to south (or vice versa) between Da Nang, Dong Hoi and Hanoi.
Huế is easily accessible by bus, train or car. I arrived in Huế from Hoi An in a private car service that cost $45 for three people that I booked a few days before in Hoi An at a local tour agency.
Book your train tickets to/from Huế here: https://www.baolau.com
Huế is a fairly small city and many of the hotels and restaurants are located pretty close to each other. I stayed at the Alba Spa Hotel. There are metered taxi’s throughout the city that are very inexpensive. Because it was so hot while I was there I ended up taking taxis distances I normally would have just walked.
Huế is a hugely historical city with lots of sights to see. You can easily spend several days there exploring. This is what I saw during my two day visit.
The Imperial City (Citadel)
Huế was once the capital of Vietnam and today the most popular attraction in Huế is visiting the Imperial City or Citadel. You can visit the restored remains of what’s left of the Imperial City. Although it is walkable, in the warmer months I recommend taking one of the mini carts around the complex to avoid some of the heat. I also recommend going as soon as it opens in the morning during summer months.
Dong Ba Market
If you haven’t spent time in many Southeast Asian markets I recommend visiting the Dong Ba Market, the largest central market in the region selling everything you can imagine.
An Dinh Palace
I love beautiful buildings. Within walking distance of downtown along the water this is a beautiful palace once the residence of many former members of the royal family.
Bun Bo Huế
Huế’s most famous dish, Bun Bo Huế is a spicy beef and noodle soup. It’s available most everywhere. Another favorite of mine is Nem lui, grilled pork skewers you wrap up with greens and rice paper.
After the Imperial Palace, the most popular attractions are visiting the numerous emperors tombs located all around the city. I only made it to the Dong Khanh Tomb but there are many different ones around the city from various periods and in various styles. Tự Đức Tomb is one of the biggest and most famous ones.
The Thien Mu Pagoda and the Vinh Moc Tunnels are two other notable sights in Huế that I didn’t have time to visit. If you are looking for some sun and relaxation you can take a taxi out to the beaches on the coast. And if you are looking for a taste of Huế check out the Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode dedicated entirely to the city.