Hue: The Best Things to Do in the Imperial City of Vietnam

Aktualisiert am: 21/01/2024

There I was in Huế after an extremely interesting train ride. Well. I have to say one thing up front: I only stayed in Huế for one day. And this despite the fact that Huế appeared in various travel guides I had devoured as a stop worth seeing on the tourist trail from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Somehow I had expected more or at least something different, so I explored the citadel and my hotel district and then decided to continue my journey the very next day. I didn’t want to get any further involved with Huế. Shame on me. Getting to know the country and its people, immersing myself in the life of the locals off the beaten track, really getting to grips with a destination and so on. I threw all good intentions overboard. The realization came: Sometimes you just can’t do a place. That’s the way it is.

hue sights citadel
Hue sights Citadel
Hue Sights
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Hey, I’m Tatiana, a German-Brazilian living in Berlin & the author behind The Happy Jetlagger. I’ve been writing about my travels since 2014. In addition to my job as a flight attendant, this blog is my passion project!

The Forbidden City in Hue

The citadel as the main attraction seemed rather… well. Maybe I’m not interested enough in history after all. However, Huế didn’t make any effort to change that with its citadel. Although the entrance fee of 150,000 dong (approx. €6.20) is very high by Vietnamese standards, visitors can expect very little. Well, the reconstruction after the destruction during the Vietnam War, which probably only really picked up speed a few years ago, is still taking place in many corners – but little is explained, there are no or only a few signs (and if there are, then in Vietnamese), so that without a specially hired tour guide or a guide you bring with you, you learn nothing about the complex and stumble aimlessly through the grounds.

Hue Sights Forbidden City Red Doors
Magnificent: Some buildings in the Forbidden City have been restored in recent years.

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In the Forbidden City: Impressions & Pictures

In the main building, I finally found a television in a corner that was playing a small simulation of what the complex looked like in imperial Vietnam on an endless loop – that was something. Unfortunately, the midday sun also took its toll on me – there are few shady spots and the sun was burning down on my head. Good thing I like hot temperatures. But it was still enough for a few nice impressions.

Hue Vietnam Citadel Palace

Dressing up in the Forbidden City: Costume Rental & Photo Sessions

Those who enjoy costume games can also have their picture taken in one of the buildings in an imperial outfit with a throne and all kinds of majestic paraphernalia:

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Information & entrance fees

Citadel and Forbidden City, Huế, Vietnam
UNESCO World Heritage Site
in hot weather better avoid the midday!

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