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Hue Historic Citadel

Hue Historic Citadel: Bearing many notable features of an ancient capital

29/05/2023 1500 views

Step back in time at Hue Historic Citadel, a UNESCO Heritage Site and a mesmerizing tourist attraction! Whether you are a history enthusiast or an adventure seeker, the citadel offers a remarkable cultural immersion for all.

Hue Historic Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hue Historic Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Source: Collected)

Hue Historic Citadel, located in Central Vietnam, is a stunning destination that offers a unique glimpse into the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. This imperial fortress served as the capital city of Vietnam for over a century, and is one of the most well-preserved old citadels in Vietnam.

1. Where is Hue Historic Citadel? How to get there?

  • Address: 23/8 Street, Thuan Hoa Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province

Hue Historic Citadel is located on the romantic banks of Perfume River. It is one of the historic sites belonging to the Hue Citadel complex that dates back to the Nguyen Dynasty. As a UNESCO Heritage Site, it is a testament to Vietnam’s imperial legacy and is perfect for anyone seeking for places to visit in Hue.

There are several ways to get to the Citadel of Hue:

  • By air: The nearest airport is Phu Bai International Airport, located about 15 kilometers away from the city center. 
  • By train: Hue has a train station with daily trains connecting it to other major cities in Vietnam. 
  • By bus: Hue is also well-connected by bus to other cities in Vietnam. 

Once you arrive in Hue, you can easily reach Hue Historic Citadel by taxi, motorbike taxi, or bicycle. It is located in the heart of the city, at the intersection of Nguyen Tri Phuong and Dien Bien Phu Streets.

Hue Historic Citadel is located near Perfume River, providing a picturesque setting

Hue Historic Citadel is located near Perfume River, providing a picturesque setting (Source: Collected)

2. Hue Citadel opening hours and ticket fee

The Citadel Hue entrance fee varies depending on the visitor’s age:

  • Adults: 120,000 VND
  • Children: 30,000 VND
  • Foreign tourists: 150,000 VND

The Hue Citadel opening hours are as follows:

  • Summer: 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Winter: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The ticket fees to Hue Citadel may be subject to change, depending on various factors such as the time of year, events, tour packages, and promotions. 

The entrance fee is affordable and provides access to all the main attractions within the complex

The entrance fee is affordable and provides access to all the main attractions within the complex (Source: Collected)

3. Learn about the long history of Hue Historic Citadel

Built in the early 19th century, Hue Historic Citadel served as the political, cultural, and religious center of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnam. It was constructed under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and expanded by subsequent emperors. The citadel was designed to reflect the harmony between nature and architecture, incorporating elements of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Throughout its history, Hue Historic Citadel witnessed significant events, including royal ceremonies, political meetings, and even battles. Tragically, the citadel suffered extensive damage during the war, but ongoing restoration efforts have preserved its historical significance.

Today, visitors can explore the restored sections of the citadel and gain insights into Vietnam’s imperial past. Walking through its grand gates and courtyards, you can marvel at the intricate architecture, ornate decorations, and beautiful gardens.

4. Top 7 prominent attractions in Hue Historic Citadel

Hue Historic Citadel is divided into two main areas: the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. The Imperial City consists of several impressive structures, including Ngo Mon Gate and Thai Hoa Palace. 

The Forbidden Purple City was a private area reserved for the emperors and royal families, consisting of Dai Cung Mon Gate, Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses, and other structures.

4.1. Ngo Mon Gate

Ngo Mon Gate is a spectacular entrance to Hue Historic Citadel. It was built in the early 19th century, during the reign of Emperor Gia Long, as a symbol of his power and prestige. The gate is an impressive and imposing structure that has played an important role in Vietnamese history. 

The gate is the main entrance to the Imperial City and is situated on the south side of the complex. It features two towers and a large central passageway. The passageway was reserved exclusively for the emperor and his retinue, while the side passageways were used by commoners.

Ngo Mon Gate is also surrounded by a large moat that adds to its grandeur and provides a stunning reflection of the structure. It is an iconic symbol of the Nguyen Dynasty and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Hue.

Ngo Mon Gate is the main entrance to the Imperial City within Hue Historic Citadel

Ngo Mon Gate is the main entrance to the Imperial City within Hue Historic Citadel (Source: Collected)

4.2. Thai Hoa Palace

Thai Hoa Palace is another magnificent structure in Hue Historic Citadel. Situated in the Imperial City, it was used for significant royal ceremonies and receptions. 

The palace features a spacious central hall with a high roof supported by 80 columns. The walls are decorated with intricate murals that depict historical events and legends of Vietnam.

Thai Hoa Palace showcases the advanced architectural and engineering techniques used by the Nguyen Dynasty. As a masterpiece of Vietnamese architecture, it was also designed to withstand earthquakes.

Thai Hoa Palace was the main audience hall where the emperor conducted ceremonies

Thai Hoa Palace was the main audience hall where the emperor conducted ceremonies (Source: Collected)

4.3. Dai Cung Mon Gate

Dai Cung Mon gate is an impressive wooden structure located in Hue Historic Citadel. It served as the main entrance to the Forbidden Purple City, the private residence of the imperial family during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Built over two centuries ago, the gate’s design showcases traditional Vietnamese architecture, featuring intricate carvings and decorations in red and gold colors. The steep and narrow staircase leading to the upper level of Dai Cung Mon gate acted as a security measure to deter unwanted entry into the Forbidden Purple City.

Despite its age, Dai Cung Mon gate has withstood the trials of time and remains an essential part of Vietnam’s cultural heritage. It is a prime example of the advanced engineering and construction techniques used during the Nguyen Dynasty.

4.4. Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses

If you are coming to Hue Historic Citadel, make sure to explore Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses – the living quarters of high-ranking officials of the Nguyen Dynasty. The houses served as residences for the emperor’s concubines and their attendants. They are mirror images of each other and were built on both sides of a central courtyard.

The houses stand on a raised platform and feature intricate carvings and decorations. The walls are decorated with beautiful murals, depicting the daily scenes in the imperial court. Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses are beautiful examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses were the living quarters for members of the royal court

Ta Vu and Huu Vu Houses were the living quarters for members of the royal court (Source: Collected)

4.5. Can Chanh Palace

Can Chanh Palace in Hue Imperial City is perfect for those interested in Vietnam’s rich history and culture. It was used as the residence for the Queen Mother and her attendants, characterized by its elegant design.

The palace features a blend of traditional Vietnamese architecture and French colonial influences. It houses a number of rooms, including a gallery showcasing important artifacts and historical documents. The unique blend of Eastern and Western elements is a testament to the country’s ability to adapt and evolve over time.

4.6. Thai Binh Pavillion

Located in the central area of Hue Historic Citadel, Thai Binh Pavilion was the emperor’s place to read and rest. It was designed to be a peaceful retreat for the emperor, as well as a venue for important royal ceremonies and events of the Nguyen Dynasty.

“Thai Binh” means “tranquility” in Vietnamese, and the pavilion certainly lives up to this name. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the surrounding gardens as they explore the pavilion’s many rooms and courtyards.

Visitors can see the emperor’s throne and other decorative objects and artifacts from the Nguyen Dynasty. Inside, the palace also features beautiful paintings, showing the daily life of the royal family and their court.

Thai Binh Pavilion offers visitors a serene escape in Hue Historic Citadel

Thai Binh Pavilion offers visitors a serene escape in Hue Historic Citadel (Source: Collected)

4.7. Dien Tho Palace

Dien Tho Palace, located in the heart of Hue Historic Citadel, is a significant piece of Vietnamese history that has been preserved for centuries. It served as the living quarters of the Queen Mother and other royal family members of the Nguyen Dynasty.

The palace boasts a unique architectural style, blending traditional Vietnamese and European designs. One of the palace’s most notable features is its beautiful garden, which was designed to provide a peaceful sanctuary for the royal family members.

Dien Tho Palace is an excellent place to learn about Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the palace’s history, or stroll around the palace grounds and admire the beautiful architecture and peaceful surroundings.

5. The best time to visit Hue Historic Citadel Vietnam

The best time to visit Hue Historic Citadel is the dry season from March to August, when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Visitors can explore the Citadel of Hue by cyclo, a traditional Vietnamese tricycle. A slow-paced ride allows you to take in the beauty of the citadel’s stunning architecture and lush gardens.

Visitors can explore the various sections of the citadel on foot or by cyclo, a type of three-wheeled bicycle taxi

Visitors can explore the various sections of the citadel on foot or by cyclo, a type of three-wheeled bicycle taxi (Source: Collected)

Another must-try activity is visiting Hue Historic Citadel at night when the buildings are beautifully lit up. It will be an enchanting experience, as the entire complex is bathed in a warm, inviting glow that brings out the beauty of the architectural designs.

If you happen to visit the citadel during the Hue Festival, you can participate in many festive activities, including a reenactment of coronation and a traditional costume show.

After exploring Hue, it is worth taking the time to explore nearby destinations like Hoi An and Da Nang. Both of them are popular tourist destinations located on the central coast of Vietnam, each offering unique experiences. 

Hoi An is known for its charming old town with colorful lanterns, historic houses, and delicious local cuisine. Da Nang, on the other hand, is a modern coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, and impressive bridges. 

Hoi An is a charming UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved historic architecture

Hoi An is a charming UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved historic architecture (Source: Collected)

In Hoi An, don’t miss out on attractions like Tan Ky Old House and Tra Que Vegetable Village. In Da Nang, set aside some time to visit the Marble Mountains and Dragon Bridge.

Notably, if you are looking for a fun-filled day with family and friends, check out VinWonders Nam Hoi An, a world-class amusement park featuring thrilling rides and interactive exhibits. It provides a range of recreational options that cater to visitors of all ages, making it a perfect family-friendly destination.

VinWonders Nam Hoi An

VinWonders Nam Hoi An features a variety of entertainment options for visitors of all ages

VinWonders Nam Hoi An features a variety of entertainment options for visitors of all ages

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After a long day of exploring, visitors can find comfort and relaxation at Vinpearl Hoi An and Vinpearl Da Nang. Vinpearl offers luxurious accommodations and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Here, guests can enjoy world-class amenities and top-notch services during their stay in Vietnam.

Vinpearl Da Nang boasts a range of world-class facilities and impeccable services

Vinpearl Da Nang boasts a range of world-class facilities and impeccable services

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Hoi An, Vinpearl Da Nang to have a comfortable and relaxing stay!

Hue Historic Citadel is a remarkable destination to explore Vietnam’s rich historical and cultural legacy. With its stunning monuments, museums, and gardens, visitors can experience the grandeur of the country’s imperial past. It is the ideal site for anyone interested in history or seeking an unforgettable adventure.

>>> Book tickets of VinWonders Nam Hoi An for a thrilling vacation in Vietnam!

>>> Book voucher, combo, tour to Hoi An, Nam Hoi An to grab the best deals!

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