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.
Tours to Imperial City
Hue City Full-Day Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $31
Duration: 8 hours
Hue Flavor Street Food Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $50
Duration: 4 hours
Imperial City reviews
The whole experience was great. Super impressive with the buildings and history. However, the amount of rubbish we saw around the palace was very disappointing. Some places looked liked they haven't.... more »
I travelled all the way from Hoi An to see the imperial city and it was quite underwhelming. I really thought it was going to be a lot better than what it was. Don’t get wrong, it’s really nice to..... 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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