Hue is one of the most historic cities in Vietnam, and a must-visit if you are seeing the highlights of Vietnam. The Imperial City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Complex of Hué Monuments.
If Hue was in Europe, then you would be right to assume that the most popular area to stay would be in the area outside the historic citadel. Instead, the most popular place to stay is on the other side of the river.
This Where To Stay Guide gives an overview of the areas in Hue that are most useful to tourists, as well as mentioning some of the most notable hotels in the city.
Hotels and other locations mentioned in this article are pinned on this map of Hue.
[Map of where to stay in Hue.]
The city side of Hue (sometimes referred to as the new city even though it isn’t really new) is the city centre of Hue. It’s where most of the hotels and restaurants are, and it is easy to cross the river to see the Hue Citadel
Hue is administratively divided into wards, with Phú Hội and Vĩnh Ninh being the two wards that face the riverfront. This distinction will mean nothing to the casual visitor, so the main thing to know is to stay in the area between the river and Dong Da/Le Quy Don. You will be able to walk within this area of Hue.
Most of the activity is in Phu Hoi ward at the northern corner of the city area.
Search for hotels in Hue.
There is a backpacker street on Pham Ngu Lau, which is coincidently the same street name of the backpacker street in Ho Chi Minh City. The street is named after a national hero and not a notable Vietnamese backpacker. Like its HCMC namesake, there are plenty of bars and some party hostels here.
Pham Ngu Lau, Chu Van An, and Vo Thi Sau become pedestrian streets on weekend nights, so it is quite festive with night markets and people walking about.
[Hue walking streets.]
It’s not all backpackers on Pham Ngu Lau as there is also the 4-star Moonlight Hotel Hue. This hotel is remarkable for its size when compared to the skinny houses in this area.
[Moonlight Hotel Hue.]
Hong Thien 1 Hotel is a budget hotel in an alley off Chu Van An. This small hotel somehow manages to fit a pool at the back of the building.
[Read my review of the Hong Thien 1 Hotel.]
Orchid Hotel Hue is a mid-range hotel on Chu Van An.
A much quieter backpacker area is at 34 Nguyen Tri Phuong. This is an alley with guesthouses and traveller cafes, but with without the noisy bars.
[34 Nguyen Tri Phuong guesthouse alley.]
I stayed at the Sunny A Hotel in this alley.
[Read my review of the Sunny A Hotel]
The Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa is a 4-star hotel on the bank of the Perfume River.
[Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa.]
Also on the riverfront is the 4-star Century Riverside Hue Hotel.
[Century Riverside Hue Hotel.]
While the Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa and Century Riverside Hue Hotel are not the best rated in their class, they have the advantage of being the only absolute riverfront hotels on the city side of the river.
The most prominent hotel on the riverfront road is the Saigon Morin Hotel. This historic hotel was built by the French businessman Monsieur Morin in 1901, and one of its previous names was The Grand Hotel de Hue. The hotel now gets it name as part of the Saigon Tourist Group. The hotel is next to the landmark Truong Tien Bridge.
[Saigon Morin Hotel.]
For 5-star luxury hotels, the Azerai La Residence Hue is an exceptional hotel that was listed by Time Magazine as one of the World’s Greatest Places To Stay in 2019. It was also listed by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the 10 best hotels in Southeast Asia in 2022.
[Azerai La Residence Hue.]
[Leafy residential area of Le Thanh Ton St near the citadel.]
If you are looking on the map and see the outline of the Hue Citadel, you might think that most of the action is here. The Hue Citadel is the star attraction of Hue, though there are not many places to stay in this area. Every time I visit Hue I wonder why the old area of Hue isn’t more popular to stay. I have also though about if Hue could be the next Chiang Mai.
The area around the citadel is mostly residential, so there are a smattering of homestays in this area. There are not as many shops and other amenities for a short-term visitor, so keep that in mind if you are thinking of staying in a homestay.
The most notable hotel near the citadel is the Spatel d’Annam – Imperial Boutique Spa & Hotel. This 4-star boutique hotel is next to the inner moat that surrounds the citadel.
How to get to Hue
There are numerous minivans that travel between Hue and Da Nang, and long distance buses serve Hanoi and Ho Chi MInh City, and every city in between.
Hue is served by Phu Bai International Airport. It’s not called Hue Airport, but the booking sites and airlines refer to it as Hue. Despite the name it is mainly used for domestic flights.