Imperial City in Hue


  • Location: Central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River
  • Opening hours: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm (Thursday: 8am - 10 pm)
  • Entrance ticket: 150,000 VND


Hue Imperial City


Located on the edge of the perfume river of Hue city in central vietnam, Hue imperial city (Vietnamese: Hoàng thành) is the royal palace of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam as well as the former imperial capital of Vietnam. It is regarded as the largest and most complete ancient architectural complex and represents the highest achievement of ancient architectural art in Vietnam. Hue imperial city was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1993.


History of Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City has a history of more than 200 years. The Hue Imperial City was built in 1802 and was the capital of Vietnam after the reunification by Emperor Gia Long. It took decades to complete the existing scale. Thousands of workers were ordered to build 10 kilometers long walled citadel and ringing moats. In the 27 years from 1805 to 1832, the Imperial City of Hue was finally completed under the reign of Minh Mang, making it the most massive structure being built in the history of modern Vietnam. It was the capital city of the Nguyen Dynasty for 140 years date back from 1805 until 1945.


The Tet Offensive (a major military campaign during the American-Vietnam War) in 1968 caused serious damage to the Hue Imperial City. Of the 160 buildings, only 10 major structures remained after the battle. In 1993, the Imperial City was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as part of the “Hue Heritage Complex”. The remained Buildings were restored and ended in 2015, which is the latest and largest recovery project to date in Vietnam.


Layout of Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City represents the highest achievement of ancient Vietnamese architectural art. The whole citadel is generally facing south, and the architectural style is basically modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, with total land area of 520 hectare. It is a good place to go if you want to learn about Vietnamese history under Nguyen dynasty.


The outer citadel surrounding the Imperial City, also known as the Kinh thành, is a French-style architectural style. The citadel is square with a perimeter of 9,950 meters and is surrounded by a moat. The moat is 22.8 meters wide and 4 meters deep. All the enclosures were made of brick, 8 meters high and 20 meters thick, with 10 gates of 16 meters high. The Citadel served to protect the important palaces inside.


The interior of the capital is called the Imperial City (Hoàng thành), surrounded by a wall of about 2.5 kilometers. The interior of the Imperial City is known as The Forbidden City or Tử cấm thành, which is the place where the emperor, empress and princes of the Nguyen dynasty lived and worked. The innermost wall is restricted to members of the royal family. There are also palace-style temples dedicated to the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty, such as Thái Miếu, Triệu Miếu, Thế Miếu and so on. All typical Oriental traditional architecture, including magnificent palaces, mausoleums and museums, are neatly arranged to form a very interesting sight in the heart of Vietnam.


How to Get to Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City

Hue Imperial City is a great place to visit and to spend some time in. It's easy to get to by bus or taxi from the centre of Hue. Visitors can be found Hue Imperial City easily. If you have plenty of time, you can also take a tricycle or ride a bicycle or motorcycle to get there.


Best Time to Visit Hue Imperial City

Visitors can be travel Hue Imperial City the whole year round. But the best time to visit Hue Imperial City is from November to April. At this time, the temperature is not high and the rainfall is small, which is suitable for sightseeing.


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