If you are a history buff or like to learn more about the recent history in Vietnam, Hue is the place you want to be. Pronounced ‘hway’, Hue is an ancient city was once the capital of Vietnam for 150 years.
The city was the centre of the bloodiest battle and massacre during the Vietnam War. During the Battle of Hue, the Americans destroyed 80% of the city. When you visit Hue, you will see how the city is trying to restore the Royal Palace and other famous temples.
Hue is a culinary powerhouse. From chefs preparing food for the royal parties during the Nguyen dynasty to the local chefs who know the local ingredients well, the myriad of food in Hue is exceptional. The cultural traditions of food preparation continue to thrive in modern-day Hue where food plays an important role in local culture and lifestyle.
To be quite honest, if there is only one region you must visit in Vietnam, you must visit the central region. Both Hue and Hoi An are amazing places, and they both captured my heart and filled my belly with delicious food.
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What you need to know before travelling solo to Hue Vietnam
Before you take a solo trip to Hue, take a look at some of these travel tips first:
- Hue is safe for female solo travellers.
- The best way to see Hue is to rent a scooter if you want to see all the sights around Hue. Traffic is not as crazy as Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.
- Plan your solo trip to Hue with the following festivals and events:
- Hue Festival (April/May/June every 2 years) – experience cultural events, games and see performances throughout the week of this biannual celebration.
- Wandering Souls Day (early September) – visit Buddhist shrines to see monks pray and perform ceremonies.
How to get to Hue Vietnam
Many domestic and international flights arrive at Da Nang airport, which is about 95km south of Hue Vietnam.
On my last trip, I decided to hire a private car. The driver from Da Nang Private Car met me at the airport and drove to Hue in a comfortable vehicle. On the way, we stopped at various sites like Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach and I even had a fantastic seafood lunch at a lakeside restaurant called Hải sản Bé Thân.
The car service is easy to book, a deposit is not required, and cost about $50USD. It is a more expensive option than other forms of transportation (especially for a solo traveller), but it allows you to travel on your own time and schedule.
Map: 1-day Hue Itinerary
Below is a map of Hue Vietnam. Red pins are all the must-see attractions and are part of my Hue 1-day itinerary while the blue pins are other things to do in Hue if you have more time and green pins are places to see outside of Hue.
And I organized all these attractions into an efficient itinerary. All you have to do is follow the numbered pins and read the description for each attraction.
What to do in Hue in one day
1. Hue Historic Citadel
Most people will come to Hue and visit the Royal Palace. As a Unesco World Heritage Site, the walled palace showcases the late feudal urban planning in East Asia. The central structure was used as an administrative centre for southern Vietnam during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Within the complex, it also houses the Imperial Residence, the Imperial City, and the Forbidden Purple City and related royal palaces. Even though the Royal Palace suffered from the effects of three wars, the city of Hue puts a lot of effort into the restoration and preservation of these important historical sites.
2. Thua Thiên Hue History Museum (Hue War Museum)
3. Dong Ba Market
Try a bowl of bún bò huế here. As Anthony Bourdain calls it “the greatest soup in the world.”
4. Van Mieu (Temple of Literature)
5. Try local food at Quán Hạnh
Food in Hue plays an important role in local culture and lifestyle. When you are in Hue, have dinner at Quán Hạnh. It is an exceptional restaurant that has all the unique Vietnamese dishes that you can only find in Hue.
At Quán Hạnh, try bánh bèo, bánh khoai, nem lui, and bánh loc goi and drink huda (local beer). Ordering is easy as there are photos on the menu. The staff here is very helpful.
Here is a list of traditional Vietnamese food to look for on the menu:
- Bánh bèo – tiny rice flour pancakes with shrimp and pork skin
- Bún bò huế – Vietnamese soup with rice vermicelli and beef
- Bánh canh – crab and tapioca noodle soup
- Bánh khoai – pan-fried crepe with shrimp and pork
- Nem lui – lemongrass pork skewers
- Bánh loc goi – tapioca dough stuffed with shrimp and pork
- Bánh nam – steamed rice savoury cake with fried ground shrimp and pork wrapped in banana leaves
- Bánh ép – thin tapioca pancake with a side of pork, pate, dried beef, or egg
- Cơm hến – clam rice
- Bun hen – rice vermicelli noodles with baby clams
- Bánh tráng trứng – rice cracker pizza
- Trai va salad – salad with Hue’s fig, hoisin sauce, or salty fermented shrimp paste
6. Night Market along Perfume River
Other places to visit near Hue Vietnam
There are many ways to go from Hue to Hoi An and vice versa. It is a matter of personal preference and budget. Like I mentioned already, I chose a car service the last time I went to Hoi An and it was the perfect (but expensive) transportation for me.
Hai Van Pass
Related Post – Everything you need to know about Hai Van Pass
Where to stay in Hue Vietnam as a solo traveller
Most of the accommodation is in Hue City, just east of Perfume River. If you stay in this area, exploring the Royal Palace, Dong Ba Market and other central attractions can be done on foot.
- Alba Spa Hotel ($) – I really liked the colour palette of the room, price and location of this hotel. If you want to stay overnight in Hue, this is the best budget hotel in Hue.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
Thank you for reading my Hue itinerary post
You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Vietnam:
- 3 weeks Vietnam solo travel itinerary
- Hanoi Solo Travel: 2 days in Hanoi
- Trekking in Sapa as a solo traveller
- Day trip to Ninh Binh from Hanoi
- Halong Bay 2 night cruise for solo travellers
- Hoi An 3 day itinerary
- Things to do in Mui Ne Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City 3 day itinerary