The Hue Imperial City is a historical and cultural site that was once the seat of power of the Nguyen dynasty, the last royal family of Vietnam. The complex consists of a citadel, an imperial city, a forbidden purple city, and various palaces, temples, gardens, and monuments. The site is located along the Perfume River in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945.
If you want to visit the Hue Imperial City, you need to buy a ticket at the main entrance gate, which costs 200,000 VND (about 9 USD) per person. The ticket includes access to most of the attractions within the complex, except for some royal tombs that require separate tickets. The site is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, except for some holidays.
To get to the Hue Imperial City, you can take a taxi, a bus, a bike, or a cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) from anywhere in Hue city. The distance from the city center to the site is about 3 km (1.9 miles). You can also take a boat ride along the Perfume River and enjoy the scenic views of the city and the countryside.
Some tips for visiting the Hue Imperial City are:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you will have to walk a lot and climb some stairs.
- Bring a hat, sunscreen, and water, as it can get very hot and sunny during the day.
- Hire a guide or rent an audio guide if you want to learn more about the history and culture of the site.
- Respect the rules and prohibitions of the site, such as not touching or climbing on the structures, not littering, and not making loud noises.
- Explore the different attractions within the site, such as:
- The Meridian Gate, which is the main entrance gate and has five arches and three pavilions on top.
- The Thai Hoa Palace, which is where the emperor held official ceremonies and receptions.
- The Forbidden Purple City, which is where the emperor and his family lived and worked.
- The Hien Lam Pavilion, which is a three-story octagonal structure that honors the Nguyen emperors.
- The Nine Dynastic Urns, which are large bronze urns that represent the nine Nguyen emperors.
- The Mieu Temple, which is where the ancestors of the Nguyen dynasty were worshipped.