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Forbidden City in Hue: Explore an iconic symbol of Vietnam's royalty

23/01/2024 8.102

Forbidden City in Hue is a historic imperial palace complex in Vietnam, showcasing exquisite architecture and cultural significance. It offers a captivating journey into the country's rich royal heritage.

Forbidden City Hue

In the heart of Hue, an enchanting destination awaits those ready to explore Vietnam travel – the illustrious Forbidden City in Hue. Steeped in regal grandeur and cultural significance, this timeless palace complex stands as a testament to Vietnam's rich heritage. This timeless palace complex in Hue offers a window into the nation's past, beckoning travelers to uncover its rich historical tapestry while immersing themselves in the city's captivating ambiance.

1. Forbidden City in Hue: Location, opening hours, ticket fees

Forbidden City in Hue is the last and innermost enclosed space within the Hue Historic Citadel. Embraced by Hue Imperial City, the Forbidden City is located in the heart of Hue, along the northern bank of the Perfume River. 

  • Address: 23/8 Street, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province 
  • Opening hours: 
    • In the summer: 6:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    • In the winter: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Ticket fees:
    • Adults: 200,000 VND
    • Children (aged 7 to 12): 40,000 VND
    • Children under 7: Free
Forbidden City Hue

2. Things to know about the history of Forbidden City in Hue

The Forbidden City in Hue, also known as the "Purple Forbidden City," holds a fascinating history steeped in imperial grandeur. Constructed in the early 19th century during the Nguyen Dynasty, it served as the royal residence and administrative center for the rulers of Vietnam.

Inspired by Beijing's Forbidden City, the complex boasts stunning traditional Vietnamese architectural elements blended with distinct imperial designs. The city housed the private quarters of the royal family and court officials, symbolizing the pinnacle of power and exclusivity.

Forbidden City Hue

However, the Forbidden City's history also bears witness to turbulent times. It suffered damage during the French colonial period and was further ravaged during the Vietnam War. Despite these challenges, ongoing restoration efforts aim to preserve its cultural significance and offer visitors a glimpse into the history of Vietnam’s feudal times.

>>> To make the most of your vacation in Hue, check out this Hue Map

3. Highlights of the architectural structure of Forbidden City in Hue

The architecture of the Forbidden City in Hue, Vietnam is a captivating blend of traditional Vietnamese design and imperial aesthetics. Inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing, this complex showcases the distinctive architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty.

The layout of the Forbidden City Vietnam follows a symmetrical axis, with meticulous attention to detail in its arrangement of gates, halls, and courtyards. The complex is divided into various sections, each serving specific functions within the royal court. 

Forbidden City Hue

Prominent architectural features include ornate Forbidden City gates adorned with intricate carvings, vibrant ceramic decorations, and stunning rooflines that curve gracefully upwards. The use of vermilion paint, a symbol of royalty, further accentuates the majestic aura of the buildings.

Throughout Forbidden City in Hue, visitors can marvel at the vermilion-hued structures, intricate carvings, and vibrant ceramic ornaments, all of which contribute to the complex's regal ambiance. While time and conflicts have left their mark, ongoing restoration efforts strive to preserve these architectural gems, allowing visitors to walk in the footsteps of emperors and immerse themselves in the architectural splendor of Vietnam's imperial past.

>>> Read more: TOP 17 things to do in Hue to make your visit unforgettable

4. An ultimate guide for your visit to Forbidden City in Hue

4.1. What to see in Forbidden Purple City in Hue?

Sadly, there is currently not much to see in Hue Imperial City's tour to the Forbidden City. Numerous structures within the Hue's Forbidden City once served distinct purposes, but these edifices met their demise during wars. Among them, the Can Chanh Palace, a daily workplace for the Emperor; the Can Thanh Palace, the royal residence; and the Khon Thai Palace, home to Hoang Quy Phi, all fell victim to destruction. 

Forbidden City Hue

Additional constructions in Forbidden City in Hue catered to various needs of the king and his family, including reading houses, quarters for minor wives and concubines, and functional spaces like Thuong Thien Duong for dining and Duyet Thi Duong for royal performances. Regrettably, these structures no longer stand, with only two, the restored Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theatre and the Thai Binh Lau Royal Library, surviving as poignant reminders of the past.

  • Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theater: A venue for traditional performances and entertainment, adorned with ornate decorations.
  • Thai Binh Lau Royal Library: The name "Thai Binh Lau" translates to "Pavilion of Heavenly Peace," reflecting its role as a center of intellectual and cultural pursuits for the imperial court.
Forbidden City Hue

4.2. How to get to Forbidden Purple City in Hue?

To travel from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Forbidden City in Hue, you can choose between domestic flights, long-distance buses, or trains. 

  • Flights: You can take a domestic flight from either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Bai International Airport in Hue. 
  • Trains: The train journey offers scenic views and a comfortable travel experience. 
  • Buses: Buses are a cost-effective option, but the journey can be quite long. 

The Forbidden Purple City in Hue, Vietnam is centrally located within the city, making it accessible and convenient for visitors to reach and explore. From Hue airport or the Hue hotel you are staying in, you can easily take a taxi, hire a cyclo (a type of bicycle taxi), or opt for a rented bicycle to get there. 

Forbidden City Hue

4.3. What should you wear to Hue's Forbidden City?

Since Hue experiences both rainy and dry seasons, it is important to check the weather forecast before visiting Forbidden City in Hue.

During the hot and humid months from May to September, consider wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes to stay cool. Do not forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun when visiting tourist attractions in Hue, Vietnam.

From October to April, which is the rainy season, pack an umbrella or a raincoat, and choose footwear that is comfortable and can withstand wet conditions. A light jacket or layers might be suitable for cooler temperatures during this period.

Forbidden City Hue

Remember that you will be exploring historical and sacred grounds, so avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate attire out of respect for the cultural context. By dressing appropriately for both the weather and the site's significance, you will ensure a comfortable and respectful visit to Hue's Forbidden City.

>>> Read more: The best Hue Weather guide for first-time visitors to the ancient capital

Travelers can also explore beyond Hue's Forbidden City to discover an array of captivating Hue attractions. Perfume River, Trang Tien Bridge, Tu Duc Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb, Tomb of King Thieu Tri, Mausoleum Of Emperor Minh Mang, Thai Hoa Palace, An Dinh Palace, Thien Mu Pagoda, Dieu De Pagoda, Tu Hieu Pagoda, Lang Co Beach, and Dong Ba Market are the worth-visiting places to visit in Hue that you should add to your Hue itinerary. 

Forbidden City Hue

You can create an unforgettable journey by seamlessly weaving together the captivating destinations of Hue, the enchanting beauty of Hoi An, and the modern allure of Da Nang

To elevate your experience from Hue to Hoi An and Da Nang, consider indulging in a luxurious stay at Vinpearl accommodations, including Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, where exquisite accommodations and breathtaking surroundings come together to create an unforgettable escape. 

For moments of relaxation and excitement, immerse yourself in the charms of VinWonders Nam Hoi An, a captivating theme park that promises to add a touch of magic to your exploration of these remarkable Vietnamese cities.

Forbidden City Hue


Forbidden City Hue

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An to pamper yourself in luxury during your Vietnam visit!

Intricately woven with history and adorned with architectural marvels, Forbidden City in Hue stands as a timeless testament to Vietnam's imperial legacy. Its hallowed halls and exquisite courtyards unveil a bygone era, inviting modern-day travelers to relive the opulence and grandeur of the Nguyen Dynasty. A visit to this cherished site promises not just a glimpse into the past but a profound connection to the rich cultural tapestry that continues to thrive in the heart of Hue.

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