A listed World Heritage Site, Imperial City (aka the Purple Forbidden City) stands as a testimony to the power and wealth of the last imperial Vietnamese dynasty. Situated on a riverbank, the complex features the remains of an imperial palace, Buddhist temples and pagodas, tombs of Nguyen Kings, courtyards, and gardens. It is encircled by a moat and two rows of fortification walls. Over the years following the demise of Vietnamese monarchy, the site was significantly ruined by cyclones and termites. However, it suffered the severest damage during the Vietnam War--look for the holes in the stone walls made by bullets and grenades. The highlights include a flag tower and 10 lavishly ornamented gates. Using our world travel planner, Hue attractions like Imperial City can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Imperial City Tours
Hue City Full-Day Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $39
Duration: 1 day
Hue Heritage Day Trip from Da Nang BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $60
Duration: 10 hours
Half-Day City Tour of Hue by Cyclo BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $25
Duration: 4 hours
Imperial City Reviews
I really liked it, I went late in the afternoon and I think it was less busy and the sun was going down what made it special, nice colors. You probably need 2h at least to visit, the place is huge! more »
We had discovered recent war history in Cambodia and Ho Chin Minh City . We adored the history of trade in the merchants houses along the river in Hoi An . But we knew little of Vietnam’s imperial pas... more »
Superb example of previous cultures and regimes at this stop. Great citadel/fort, and many temples, pagoda and gardens. Thien Mu pagoda on the banks of the Perfume River a must see. Plenty of nearby shops, cafes and restaurants as well as all the usual tourist trappings await you. A great day out. Recommended.
The entrance fee is 150k dong and they will probably not let you come back once you left because the machine at the entrance eats your ticket. The city is ENORMOUS and it takes hours to completely explore the area. It consists of segments separated by high walls, the segments being dedicated to different functions and family members. There is a feeling of peace and serenity despite crowds of tourists visiting (try to avoid Friday though, that's when it's most popular). Some areas still haven't been completely renovated which only makes you appreciate all the work they've put in since the war ended. Overall, I recommend the visit if you have the time and patience to spend around 2-4h.
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