The Imperial City is a walled palace within the citadel of the city of Huế which is the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The building was built in 1362 and took around 200 years to complete. The locals consider this builder as a symbol of wealth and power as boars carried the materials from Hoi An.
The grounds of the Imperial City are protected by fortified ramparts 2 kilometers by 2 kilometers, and ringed by a moat. The water in the moat is routed from the Perfume River through a series of sluice gates. This enclosure is the citadel (Kinh thành).
Inside the citadel is the Imperial City (Hoàng thành), with a perimeter wall some 2.5 kilometers in length. Within the Imperial City is the Purple Forbidden City (Tử cấm thành), a term similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Access to the innermost enclosure was restricted to the imperial family.
Imperial City is one of the famous destinations in Hue, Vietname because of its traditional look and it symbolizes power as told by the locals. Like many countries in Asia, Vietnam is also once ruled by powerful families and emperors. Here are some things you can do while you are in the Imperial City.
Visit the Imperial Citadel
There's a part of the citadel that is known as "Forbidden Purple City", which was reserved only for the most important people in Vietnam.
Go to some Imperial Tombs
Try visiting the tomb complex of Tu Duc which was built between 1864 and 1867 while the emperor was still alive.
Try the "Royal Banquet" Dinner
If you really want to experience the traditional feel of the Imperial City, you should try to book an evening royal banquet. You will be able to try to dress up like a Vietnamese royalty while dining on a traditional royal dishes.
Go to Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda is the symbol to the city of Hue. Once you take a look at it you will be left speechless because of its striking look and lovely grounds. You will also be able to see young monks in training.
Public buses from all the bigger cities connect to the main bus stations (Bến Xe Phía Nam for the south and Bến Xe Phía Bắc for the north). Most open tour buses include Hue in their itinerary, connecting to Hoi An or Da Nang to the south (4-6 hours) and Hanoi to the north (13-16 hours). The overnight Hanoi route is popular with locals, but beware of motion sickness among them.
If you are traveling to the city of Hue from outside Vietnam, you can always take the plane. You can book your flight to Hue's International Airport or most commonly known as Phu Bai Airport. From the airport, you can take a cab to Imperial City. The airport is 15 kilometers away from the city center and should cost no more than 250,000 VND by taxi (30 minute ride).
Train from Hanoi to Hue
A second-class sleeper from Hanoi to Hue on the SE1 cost 710.000. A first class bunk costs around 900.000 dong. They will most probably try to sell you this option, which gives you more privacy and comfort. There are food and drink carts on the train, selling dumplings, instant noodles, coke, beer and coffee at reasonable prices. Tickets can be bought at the station. From the train station, you can take a motrbike to take you to Imperial City.
Address: Huế, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam
Phone: +84 234 3501 143
Monday : 8am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday : 8am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday : 8am - 5:30 pm
Thursday : 8am - 10 pm
Friday : 8am - 5:30 pm
Saturday : 8am - 5:30 pm
Sunday : 8am - 5:30 pm