Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Vietnam  /  Thua Thien - Hue Province  /  Hue  /  Imperial City

Imperial City, Hue

#1 of 30 in Historic Sites in Hue
Must see · World heritage site · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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.
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10,903 reviews
  • A great location to spend time in and wander back into the past. Grounds are very big and the further you get back the more the discoveries. Would recommend - choose a cool day to visit !  more »
  • The Citadel is a must-see on a first visit to Hue. Although just a small number of buildings have been restored, work appears to be underway on several more. I wish there was a way they could do more....  more »
  • The Imperial City of Hue. Fantastic capital city of Imperial Vietnam surrounded by wall (length 2.49 mi) and an additional water moat. Due to dangerous times and the possibility of wars, it was a square fortress. Important public buildings, temples and palaces were located there. Unfortunately, The Imperial City of Hue was quite seriously destroyed during the Vietnam War. The current government step by step restores its former splendour. The Perfume River flows through the Hue City. The Perfume River received this name because in the past there were a lot of beautiful gardens there. Especially during autumn time flowers in the river smelled very nice. For this reason, the river received a beautiful name. The city has its historical splendour. It is obvious. Visiting and exploring the city takes a long time. Basic amenities for visitors in 2019 ware poor. Especially poor toilets required a lot to be desired.
  • The imperial city has been lovingly restored with an awe inspiring level of craftsmanship. Many of the buildings were destroyed in the Vietnam (American) war, but some of the prominent locations have been beautifully restored and some furniture and antiquities have been preserved for all to see. The imperial city is definitely worth a visit when in Hue.

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