ancient vietnam architecture

6 Things to Do in Huế, Vietnam

Traveling to Vietnam? There are other cities to visit aside from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Since Vietnam is a pretty big country stretching from China down to Cambodia, different cities and provinces offer you diverse experiences, ranging from food to sceneries, and so much more. This article will give you 6 Things to Do in Huế, Vietnam. 

vietnamese flag and pagoda
6 Things to Do in Huế, Vietnam

You might have heard of China’s Forbidden City before, a place built for China’s most important people. BUT did you know that Vietnam has it’s very own Forbidden City too? It is actually located in one of its lesser known cities, Huế, which is situated somewhere in the middle of the country.

It’s not only filled with historical sites and pagodas but is also the former capital of Vietnam. Majority of the things you can do here are history-related so if you are a history buff, or probably an architecture enthusiast, Huế is definitely for you.

6 Things to Do in Huế, Vietnam

1. The Citadel

  • Also known as Vietnam’s Forbidden City, the Citadel is Huế’s major attraction.
  • It was the residence of  the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802-1945.
  • In 1993, it became one of Vietnam’s 7 UNESCO Heritage sites.
ancient architecture in vietnam
The Citadel, Huế, Vietnam

yellow lantern and red wall

all red oriental architecture

2. Pagodas and Temples

  • Huế is home to almost 300 pagodas.
  • They are scattered throughout the city but some of them have entrance fees.
  • You can choose to rent a motorbike and head to the temples by yourself or take the Perfume River Tour for a care-free trip. Not a morning person? There are also night tours you can consider.

View this post on Instagram

Thien Mu Pagoda, a 7-storey pagoda, sits atop a hill, overlooking the Perfume River. This beauty is only 1 of almost 300 more, scattered althroughout the city of Huế. ••• ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📍 Huế, Vietnam 🇻🇳 ••• ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ianandmar #awesupply #athomeintheworld #letsgoeverywhere #discover #explore #passionpassport #travelawesome #neverstoptravelling #wanderlust #travelinspiration #travelstoke #letsgoeverywhere #doyoutravel #travelgram #exploringtheglobe #globe_travel #beautifuldestinations #lonelyplanet #traveladdict #traveldeeper #bestvacations #wonderful_places #amazingplaces #beautifulplaces #timeoutsociety #travel #vietnam #architecture #huế

A post shared by ianandmar • travel couple (@ianandmar) on

3. Quoc Hoc High School

  • This school is the first and oldest school in Vietnam.
  • It was built by the French during the French colonial era which means classes at that time, included French.
  • Now known as Huế National High School, it is considered as one of the most prestigious schools in the city.
  • The school is not your typical tourist attraction but is worth a visit. Take note of the suggested visiting hours here.
french building in vietnam
one of the buildings of Quoc Hoc School
school gate in Vietnam
facade of Quoc Hoc school

4. Dong Ba Market

  • Locals and tourists alike head to Dong Ba to find anything and everything under the sun.
  • Locals don’t speak English but they understand the language of bargaining.
  • Bring your camera in case you want to take shots of the daily lives of locals in the market.
vietnamese lady crossing a busy street in vietnam
entrance to Dong Ba Market

5. Thanh Toan Tile Roofed Bridge

  • A Vietnamese lady, Mrs. Tran, built Thanh Toan Bridge in 1776.
  • An altar was built in the middle of the bridge to commemorate her.
  • Tile roofing was uncommon at the time which made this bridge a model of other bridges, including Hoi An’s famous Japanese Bridge.

old bridge
Thanh Toan Tile-roofed Bridge, Huế

6. Cooking and Cycling Class

  • To get a glimpse of the countryside, join a cooking and cycling class.
  • Discover interesting sights and peek into the life of locals through food and flavours.
  • Check out how our tour went here.
naked chef
we joined a local cooking class in Huế

cooking ingredients flat lay

vietnamese food

cinnamon ginger tea



More photos in our Facebook page.

Don’t know where to stay? Check out this guide to find Vietnam hostels as cheap as USD 2! What do you think? Planning a visit to Huế anytime soon?

Spread the love
  • 16
  • 16

20 Replies to “6 Things to Do in Huế, Vietnam

  1. The citadel would be incredible to see. I too had no idea that there were multiple forbidden cities. The pagodas of Southeast Asia are definitely on my list of must see when I eventually visit. I think it would,be very interesting as well to visit a local market in another country.

  2. Thank you for your informative and interesting article. I’m gonna have a trip to this city and I just can’t wait to experience all those things.
    By the way, I’ve found a very nice travel guide website about Vietnam destinations, hope it could help you:

    1. Oh, thanks Samantha. Will definitely look into it cos I’m planning to come and visit Vietnam again. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. I hear a lot about the peaceful and antiquated of Hue and I planned to go to Hue in May. I wonder if I can purchase the train ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Hue in America? I want to prepare it as best as possible because I and my family haven’t held any vacation since 2016. Tks you.
    Anyway, I found another article that is quite useful, too.

    1. It is always best to purchase tickets from actual shops in Vietnam because you don’t know if the online sites are legit. When you arrive in Ho Chi Minh, head to Pham Ngu Lao to look for train tickets. travel agencies selling tickets are side by side, you can easily compare prices there too to avoid being scammed. 🙂

  4. I really loved Hue and I think it’s pretty underrated in terms of Vietnam travel. Glad you guys enjoyed it too. I didn’t know about the Quoc Hoc high school though- so gutted to have missed that. An excuse for a second visit, perhaps…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *