Hue became the nation`s capital in 1802. The city remained Vietnam`s capital until 1945, when Bao Dai, the last of the Nguyen emperors, abdicated. Although time and warfare have taken their toll,  the local residents act as if Hue still is and Hue`s atmosphere of regal serenity remains intact. In general, the architecture of Hue has harmonious, balanced and sober beauty, to which are added the charm of green garden, lotus ponds...Its imposing buildings do not produce the usual coldness and impression of overwhelming power for the common people.

Hue is also famous for its old pagodas and for historic houses with beautiful gardens. The garden is a constant theme in the space surrounding all types of Hue structures - houses, pagodas, palaces, tombs, and villages. In fact, as a whole, Hue is considered a "garden city".  UNESCO has called Hue `an adorable architectural poem` due to its harmonized combination of nature and human inspiration. Being a World Heritage, Hue has received assistance from UNESCO to preserve its cultural vestiges.

The very successful international arts event, Festival Hue, brought Hue to the attention of the world when it was first held in 2000 and again every two years time. Festival Hue looks like becoming a firm fixture in the arts world calendar in the future.

Imperial Palace

Construction of the Imperial City stated in 1805 and was completed in 1832. The city was built on the northern bank of the Perfume river, in accordance with Eastern traditional designs with 3 layers of ramparts. The outermost boundary (Royal citadel) has a perimeter of 9,950 m and ten gates. Imperial Enclosure is the second rampart with a perimeter of 2,450 m. It is accessible through four gates: Ngo Mon, Hoa Binh, Hien Nhon and Chuong Duc  to the south, north, east and west respectively. Ngo Mon Gate served as the main entrance to the Imperial City. The relics remain almost intact.

The third and innermost fort of the royal complex is the Forbidden Purple city, having a perimeter of 1,225m and is accessible through seven gates. It formerly was strictly reserved for the private use of the kings and their families. The Forbidden Purple city is almost isolated from the outside world.

Tu Duc Mausoleum

Considered as the most beautiful mausoleum. Built between 1864 and 1867, his burial place includes 50 monuments and is surrounded by a 1500 meter wall. Being built for use both before and after death, this is a complex of pavilion, Courtyard, palace, reading chamber, theatre, temple and tombs....In the stone stele here, King Tu Duc did drafted certain  inscriptions in which, he freely admitted that he had made mistakes during his reign. 7 km far from the city, surrounded by a brick wall, this is one of the most romantic and splendid masterpieces.

Minh Mang Mausoleum

12 km far from the city centre, on the left branch of the Perfume river, Mausoleum of Minh Mang King - the most powerful king of Nguyen Dynasty - was built in the middle of a pine forest. The construction has been one of the most poetic and peaceful places of Hue due to its harmoniously blends in the natural surroundings: The palace, the pavilions, River, hill and lake...

Khai Dinh Mausoleum

The tomb was built between 1920 - 1931, the most newly built among those of Hue. Unlike construction material used for the other tombs, Khai Dinh tomb was built with modern materials such as  reinforced concrete and porcelain. The peculiar feature of the tomb is its decoration made out of colorful bits of broken porcelain and glass embedded on the walls, columns and ceiling. Khai Dinh Tomb is one of the rare architectures showing out European influence in Hue.

Perfume River

The Perfume River is beautiful sight from its source, and winds among mountains, forest trees, plants, etc. bringing with it fragrances of tropical flora. The river runs slowly through the verdant and shady villages, mingling with the odors of flowers of Hue... The river with the shimmer blue limpid color is like a pearl in the sun. Hue boats rowing up and down with remote, meditative and deep folk melodies at deep night. It is an eternal pleasure for many generations of tourists who go boating to behold the poetic landscape, to listen to the folk melodies of Hue in tranquil nights.

The views on both sides of the river with the citadel, town, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples, etc. and their reflections in the waters make the already loveable river even more poetic and musical. Many people think that Hue city has peaceful, gentle and tranquil landscapes mostly thanks to the Perfume River. This river brings to the city a meditative poetic characteristics and the harmonious limpidity exhaling from a land of age-old culture.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu pagoda is one of the most beautiful and ancient  architectural structures for worship in Hue. The pagoda is situated right in the left bank of Perfume river , 04 km from Hue.

The pagoda, built in the 14th century, is connected to a legend with a fairy lady and was therefore named Thien Mu (fairy lady from Heaven). The most striking feature of the pagodas is its Phuoc Duyen Tower which has become unofficial symbol of Hue. Beside the main sanctuary, one of the artifacts kept in the pagoda is the motorcar which transported the Monk Thich Quang Duc to the site of his self-immolation in 1963, Saigon. Monk Thich Quang Duc did publicly burned himself to death to protect the policies of the then president Ngo Dinh Diem.