Hue, the former national capital city, is definitely one of the coolest places in Vietnam that I've been to, and it should be on your bucket list and Vietnam itinerary, too.

With many emperors having reigned over Hue and Vietnam, there is a rich history of imperialism that shines throughout the whole city. The big showpiece in regards to that is the impressive Imperial City, right in the middle of Hue.

Naturally, there are plenty of different neighborhoods and areas, each with its own unique charm, making it really difficult to decide where to stay in Hue. That's why I'm sharing my experience from my recent visit to help you pick the right spot for you.

Best areas to stay in Hue, Vietnam

South Hue

Hue is divided into the north and south by the beautiful Perfume River.

The south side of the river is where all the action happens in Hue. It's bustling with hotels, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect place to explore. If you're looking for a centrally located spot, Vinh Ninh is a great choice for first-time visitors. And if you're on a budget, Vy Da is the place to be with its affordable hotels and restaurants.

And don't worry, party animals, I've got you covered, too. Head over to Phu Hoi for a vibrant nightlife with plenty of delicious street food options.

North Hue

The north side is where you'll find the Imperial City (Citadel) and two of my favorite areas: Thuan Thanh and Huong Long. Thuan Thanh is the area that's home to the Citadel and is honestly one of the coolest neighborhoods, with its museums, markets, and plenty of street food stalls.

On the other hand, Huong Long is a bit further away from the city center, making it perfect for families or anyone who wants to avoid crowds while still being close enough to the city center.

1. Where to stay in Hue for the first time: Vinh Ninh

where to stay in hue - Vinh Ninh

If you're visiting for the first time, I highly recommend staying in Vinh Ninh. It's a beautiful neighborhood with ancient murals, museums, and great hotels, and it's right in the heart of Hue.

This makes it super convenient to explore all the other neighborhoods and tourist attractions in Hue.

You'll also be located right by the Perfume River, which is great for some late-night strolls, and within walking distance of the Imperial City, which will definitely be the highlight of your stay in Hue!

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Sightseeing

  • Central location

Things to see & do in Vinh Ninh

While you're in the area, you should definitely check out some of the museums that I really enjoyed during my stay. Firstly, there's the Le Ba Dang Art Museum, which exhibits a wide range of art, from sculptures to watercolors, by the world-famous Vietnamese artist Le Ba Dang.

And for a more historical experience, you'll love the Ho Chi Minh Museum, which showcases everything about the life of the world-famous Vietnamese leader.

Another amazing experience was hopping on a sunset cruise aboard a dragon boat along the iconic Perfume River. Witnessing the breathtaking sunset, tinting Hue and its surroundings in shades of orange, was simply magical. It's great to relax and enjoy the fresh countryside air of Hue while observing the local life by the river.

Best hotels to stay in Vinh Ninh

($$$) Azerai La Residence Hue

Azerai La Residence Hue

Azerai La Residence Hue is the best and most luxurious hotel in all of Hue. Situated on the banks of the Perfume River facing the Imperial City, this 5-star gem offers some of the most breathtaking views in town. The spacious rooms are individually designed with stunning Art Deco furniture and delightful spacious terraces.

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($$) Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel

Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel

A more affordable yet still luxurious option, Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel is a great choice for a wonderful stay in Vinh Ninh. With its modern and contemporary design style, this 5-star hotel offers all the comfort you could ask for. The spacious rooms come with balconies, allowing you to enjoy beautiful views of the city and river. And of course, you will also receive a complimentary breakfast buffet in the mornings.

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($) Thanh Lich Royal Boutique

Thanh Lich Royal Boutique

If you're on a budget, Thanh Lich Royal Boutique Hotel is the perfect option for you. It's right in the centre of Vinh Ninh and within walking distance of all the main sights. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated while also providing all the amenities of a luxury hotel.

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2. Where to stay in Hue for couples & budget travelers: Vy Da

Hue accommodation

Vy Da is such an amazing area where you'll find a bunch of bars, restaurants, and even some nightclubs. Whether you're up for a cozy dinner and drinks with your partner or an epic night out, Vy Da won't let you down.

The best part is that this area is super affordable in most regards and conveniently located within walking distance of all the popular tourist attractions. Perfect for travelers on a budget!

Plus, this place is a hotspot for young people and backpackers, so it's always buzzing with life.

Best area for:

  • Young couples

  • Nightlife

  • Foodies

  • Backpackers

Things to see & do in Vy Da

The food and bar scene in the area is amazing, with a wide variety of dishes to try. One of my favorite sushi places is Shinosushi. Eating here is a real treat, with neon lights flashing all over the front of the restaurant. You might not expect it, but they serve some of the best sushi in town at incredibly affordable prices.

If you're up for some adventure, renting a scooter or catching a taxi to Hue Beach can be a fantastic activity, especially after a long night.

Hue Beach is just a 20-minute ride from Hue Town, and it's not too crowded with international tourists. It's a perfect spot to relax and soak up some vitamin D away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy Hue city center.

Best hotels to stay in Vy Da

($$$) La Paix Hue

La Paix Hue

La Paix Hue is a cool shared living arrangement where you'll be sharing a common area with a few other people, but you'll have your own double room. It's like a hostel but without the dorms. The facilities are all brand new, and the whole place has a sleek and minimalist design. Plus, the Wi-Fi is awesome, making it a perfect spot for digital nomads.

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($$) Charming Riverside Hotel

Charming Riverside Hotel

Charming Riverside Hotel is another great option and one of my personal favorites, especially when it comes to value for money. Located right by the Perfume River, you'll get stunning views of the river from this hotel. Plus, the modern rooms are comfortable and equipped with all the amenities you need for a pleasant stay.

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($) Robin House

Robin House

If you're on the hunt for something that won't break the bank, then you should check out Robin House. This homestay offers modern and spacious rooms in a central location, all at a fair and affordable price. Plus, tucked away in the back streets, it's a super quiet and relaxing stay.

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3. Where to say in Hue for the coolest neighborhood: Thuan Thanh

Hue Imperial City

Thuan Thanh is definitely the coolest neighborhood in Hue! Why? Because it's home to the incredible Imperial City. Visiting the Imperial City is an absolute must when you come to Hue. And if you're lucky, you might even get a hotel room with a view of this majestic place.

However, Thuan Thanh has so much more to offer beyond the Imperial City. You'll find a variety of bustling markets, like the popular Dong Ba Market, and a wide selection of restaurants, ranging from modern to traditional eateries.

When I visited, I absolutely fell in love with the whole atmosphere of this place. Thuan Thanh truly captures the authentic local life of Hue, with street food stalls at every corner, quirky shops, and a diverse mix of people.

Best area for:

  • Sightseeing

  • Authentic atmosphere

  • First-timers

Things to see & do in Thuan Thanh

My top pick for things to do in Thuan Thanh is definitely visiting the Imperial City. I call it the ‘time machine' of Hue as it transports you back into the history of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty.

Walking around the ancient ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is such a unique experience.

After you've had your fill of the Imperial City, head over to the famous Dong Ba Market. It's the largest traditional market in Hue and is absolutely brimming with life.

From fresh produce to clothes to souvenirs, you can find anything and everything here. Don't miss out on trying some local snacks from the food stalls scattered across the market.

Banh Khoai, a crispy pancake stuffed with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts, is absolutely incredible. They are basically Vietnamese tacos and were my favorite snack when I visited Vietnam.

Best hotels to stay in Thuan Tanh

($$$) Spatel d'Annam – Imperial Boutique Spa & Hotel

Spatel d'Annam - Imperial Boutique Spa & Hotel

Spatel d'Annam is an absolute dream for luxury travelers, conveniently located in the heart of Thuan Thanh. This incredible 5-star hotel has everything you could ever want, from a stunning outdoor pool to delicious cuisine. You will also have a free bike rental.

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($$) Maison Vu Tri Vien

Maison Vu Tri Vien

If you're looking for something more affordable, then Maison Vu Tri Vien is an excellent choice. Centrally located, the small hotel offers cozy rooms with air conditioning and a complimentary breakfast.

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($) Asean Garden Homestay Hue

Asean Garden Homestay Hue

Asean Garden Homestay Hue is a great option for budget travelers and backpackers. The rooms are basic but comfortable. Plus, the location is excellent, just a short walk from the Imperial City. 

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4. Where to stay in Hue for families & a quiet atmosphere: Huong Long

Hue Perfume River

Huong Long is located on the banks of the Perfume River, a little outside of the busy city center. It is a perfect spot for families and those who are looking for some peace and quiet.

Here, you'll find fewer markets, restaurants, and bars, but in exchange, you'll get picturesque rice fields and plenty of green spaces to enjoy.

Moreover, if you're up for some sightseeing, shopping, or grabbing dinner and drinks in the city center, don't worry. A taxi ride to the city center will just take around 10 minutes and is usually super cheap too.

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Relaxation

  • Avoid the crowds

Things to see & do in Huong Long

If you're looking for a fun family activity, you should definitely check out Bach Ma National Park.

It's perfect for some adventurous trekking in the lush forest and exploring breathtaking waterfalls like the Quyen Waterfall. To make things easier, you can book a guided tour that usually lasts around 8 hours and includes a delicious lunch as well.

Another awesome recommendation, and one of my personal favorites, is joining a cooking class. Take a Hue Cooking Class and have a fantastic group class with incredibly friendly chefs. They'll even take you to a local market to buy ingredients together before helping you cook a traditional meal. They have vegetarian options available, too!

Best hotels to stay in Huong Long

($$$) Ancient Hue Garden Houses

Ancient Hue Garden Houses

Ancient Hue Garden Houses is a luxurious but quaint hotel, perfect for families. The rooms are stylish and spacious, while the garden area is magical. Kids will love it here, plus there's an outdoor pool as well.

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($$) Golden Star Villa Hue

Golden Star Villa Hue

Golden Star Villa Hue is another excellent choice for families. It's a little more affordable compared to Ancient He Garden Houses, but it still offers great quality and comfort. The villa has a beautiful garden with an outdoor pool and offers apartment-style and family-style rooms.

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($) Tam Tinh Vien Homestay

Tam Tinh Vien Homestay

Tam Tinh Vien Homestay is a great budget hotel in the area. The rooms are basic but good enough for a comfortable stay. The best thing is that they offer yoga sessions every morning and can also arrange bike rentals or day trips for you.

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5. Where to stay in Hue for great nightlife & foodies: Phu Hoi

where to stay in Hue for foodies

If you want to be in the center of the action when it comes to bars, clubs, and restaurants, then Phu Hoi is the place to be.

This lively area is bursting with fantastic places to eat, drink, and dance the night away. I almost didn't want to leave because of all the amazing restaurants and cafes. 

Since Phu Hoi is a popular tourist destination, you'll also find many cool and unique shopping opportunities and all types of accommodation options to suit every budget.

Best area for: 

  • Nightlife 

  • Dining out 

  • Shopping 

Things to see & do in Phu Hoi

For one of the best coffees in Hue, you definitely want to head to T. Roaster Cafe. It's a super minimalist and modern cafe that offers a wide variety of perfectly barista-made coffees. Plus, it's a great spot to hang out, use their Wi-Fi, and get some work done.

My personal highlight when it comes to dinners and drinks in Hue was Madam Thu. This place is an absolute gem and one of the most popular restaurants in town for a good reason. They serve fantastic cocktails, refreshing cold beers, and delicious traditional dishes.

I recommend trying their 10-piece taster menu so you can sample as many different dishes as possible. Just a friendly tip: make sure to make a reservation or show up early in the night as it tends to get busy!

Best hotels to stay in Phu Hoi

($$$) Imperial Hotel Hue

Imperial Hotel Hue

Imperial Hotel Hue is a luxurious 5-star hotel that truly lives up to its reputation. It is situated in the heart of Phu Hoi, close to all the action but tucked away in a quiet area. Plus, it offers an incredible rooftop pool and spa services, allowing you to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

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($$) Saigon Morin Hotel

Saigon Morin Hotel

Saigon Morin Hotel is a great mid-range option. This colonial-style hotel features a swimming pool, three different restaurants, and spacious rooms equipped with air conditioning and flat-screen TVs.

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($) Hotel La Perle

Hotel La Perle

Hotel La Perle is an absolutely fantastic budget hotel situated right in the heart of Phu Hoi! The best part is that Hotel La Perle is eco-friendly, utilizing solar energy in the bustling city of Hue. The rooms are super cozy, and their very own restaurant serves up some seriously delicious local dishes.

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Where to stay in Hue – Frequently Asked Questions

📍 What is the best area in Hue?

The best area in Hue for your first time is Vinh Ninh or Thuan Thanh if you like to be in the middle of the Imperial City. If you're after a more relaxed atmosphere and want to explore nature, then Huong Long is the perfect spot. If you'd love to be close to all the action and enjoy the nightlife, shopping, and dining out, then Phu Hoi will likely be your top choice.

⭐ Is Hue worth visiting?

Absolutely! Hue is a colorful city filled with history and culture. Whether you're looking for outdoor activities, sightseeing, shopping, nightlife, or some of Vietnam's best food, here you'll find it.

❓ Should I stay in Hue or Ho Chi Minh City?

I would definitely recommend visiting both! Both cities offer very different experiences. Hue is much smaller and has a charming Old Town in the middle, giving it a cozy small-town feel. It can get a bit hectic here, but nothing compared to the bustling energy of Ho Chi Minh City. Speaking of which, Ho Chi Minh City is much bigger and will give you a full-on big city feeling.

✈️ How do I get to Hue?

There are a few different ways to get to Hue! The most common option is to fly into Phu Bai International Airport, with daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. If you prefer a more scenic route, you can also hop on a train or catch a bus from Da Nang.

Where to stay in Hue – Final Words

Hue is a super cozy alternative to the bigger cities in Vietnam, like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There's so much to do, from exploring famous attractions and historical sites (which can literally take days!) to trying all the amazing food and taking day trips to national parks. 

Moreover, you'll get a lot for your money with great luxury hotel options that are still affordable. After reading my guide, figuring out where to stay in Hue is hopefully a lot easier now. Enjoy your travels!

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