Eco-friendly travel guide to Hue advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Hue, Vietnam.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$5 - $335
- Budget per day: US$35 - $335
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Hue city is located at the center of Vietnam and is well known for its rich culture and history. You will get to see many different historical places and architectural wonders in this city. The tourism industry is a very big part of this city as every year a lot of tourists visit. Here are some of the things you need to remember when visiting the city as an eco-friendly traveler.
- Choose green hotels over other accommodation options and if you cannot find a green hotel of your choice then opt for an apartment or hostel. This is because most of the five star hotels and resorts create tonnes of waste every day including 79,000 tonnes of food waste (9% total food waste from the sector) and they do not adhere to sustainable business practices. If you choose to stay in an apartment you can work on your carbon footprint and decide on things like using no plastic, minimum waste etc. This will not only help with reducing your carbon footprint but massively help help with improving the environment.
- Eat Local food and buy the food from street food stalls or small restaurants. This is because most of the big restaurant chains or fast food conglomerates are guilty of producing so much waste and directly contributing the problem of pollution and climate change due to their harmful business models. Not only do the small business owners need the help of tourists to run their business and provide for their family but they also have ethical practices for example most of them do not use plastic.
- Use local transportation or electronic vehicles to keep the city pollution-free and save a lot of money at the same time.
- Shop local. In order to support local craftsmen and artisans always shop local. During your trip to the city, you will come across small shops and food stalls in almost every lane of the city. If you want to have an unforgettable experience in the city, then buy goods and handicrafts from these shops. This will not only help you to save a lot of money but you will be supporting a lot of local people who are dependent on their small businesses to earn a livelihood
Air Quality and Pollution
According to many sources, the air quality in Hue city stays good all around the year. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of this city is around 25-60. You might find the weather bad some days along with the quality of air. Although most of the days the air quality is good, you can take some precautions to avoid any serious health problems like breathing or asthma.
Respect the Culture
Hue city is very well known for being the historical center of the country. The rich history of this city attracts tourists from all over the world. You will be able to see some of the best historical places along with different stories. You can ask them questions about their unique and enriching culture but do not be disrespectful and do not look down upon their traditions and beliefs. If you do not engage in any harmful activity, you will not have any issue with the locals. All they ask from foreigners is mutual respect.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Hue has so much to offer and there are so many places that you can visit. Some of the ones that should definitely be on your list are:
- Imperial City - This is a stunning walled enclosure and is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you are fond of architecture especially traditional, old school stuff then this should be on top of your list.
- Thien Mu Pagoda - It is a seven-storied Buddhist temple and is of great importance for the locals. Constructed in 1844, each of its storey is dedicated to buddhas that appeared in human form called the Manushi Buddhas. It is a very interesting and insightful place to visit even if you are not inclined towards being religious.
- Mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh - One of the best historical tombs where you can know the significance of Emperor Khai Dinh. Try it out, and it is guaranteed that you will have a lot of fun-filled activities.
- Thai Hoa Palace - It is a palace build during the 19th century which tells you how the famous dynasties were built. Take a notepad with you and right some important facts whichever you collect from this place.
- Thuy Tien Lake - Believe it or not, but it is a famous lake which signifies you the real meaning of scenic beauty. Visit here during the day time and capture the most precious moments of your life.
- The Mieu - This is the most popular temple which entices the majority of the city tourists. The evening prayers are awesome, and you will get a lovely feeling.
- Vong Canh - The topmost hill from where you would get a lovely view of the rivers. People call this place a bore because they think that here nothing is interesting. But you have to visit there yourself and then decide what it is.
- Phu Cam Church - A catholic holy church where you can visit during any of the famous seasons. Though the crowd is huge during Christmas during the normal time, you would love the atmosphere of this place.
- An Dinh Palace - This palace was built in the year 1900 and is even popular today. The purpose behind it is that some of the historical artifacts and collections give this place a nice wonder.
- Thai Binh Pavilion - You cannot believe that in this palace, you would get to know about different Vietnamese wars. Make a note of this place and mark it as a very important and essential one.
Now when it comes to exploring Hue, then you have to think out of these ten places. If you are really interested in doing it, then visit some of the city parks and museums.
- Công Viên Tôn Đức Thắng - A beautiful park with lush green gardens and beautiful flowers all over the place. It has a very calm and peaceful environment.
- Le Loi - One of the most famous and frequented parks of the city that has so much to offer. From picnic spots to boat rides to historical architecture, this is nothing short of a treasure trove.
- Bach Ma - This park is a national treasure and one of the top natural attractions. Its a mountainous area and is home to different species of flora and fauna. The view from this national park is just breathtaking.
Unfortunately, the city of Hue does not have any beaches. As an alternative, you can try visiting some of the historical landmarks and museums and strolling the local parks.
- Nam Giao Esplanade - This is an imperial alter which is built as a dedication to heaven and earth. The complex was visited by the monarchs of the Nguyen dynasty for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven.
- Ho Chi Minh Museum- The finest museum where you would get a fair knowledge of the Vietnamese king Ho Chi Minh. Try this place and know some braveries and conquests of the king in detail.
- Huế Museum of Royal Fine Arts - This is a museum dedicated to the imperial past of the city. It has a great collection and is a must visit for all the history buffs.
No matter which city you visit, the foods are always the best experiences to gather in your lifetime. Like most of the other places, Hue also has some traditional dishes that you can try to understand the food culture of locals. From vegetarian restaurants to street foods, you will be able to get many different types of food in the city. Do not forget to try the foods from local stalls as it will help the locals very much.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Traditional restaurants are always the first choice of tourists because of the authentic local and traditional foods. Special foods of the city like Nem Lui, Bun Bo Hue, Bang Loc Goi, Com Hen, and others are served in these traditional restaurants, which you will not get in any other place. While you are visiting the city, make sure to try out these traditional local restaurants to get the best local mouth-watering foods.
- Ancient Hue Restaurant
- La Parfum Restaurant
- Elegant Restaurant
- Les Jardins De La Carambole
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegetarian restaurants are liked by a lot of tourists as many of them are veg or prefer to have veg while traveling to keep them healthy. If you are one of them, then you do not have to worry much about this city. There are plenty of vegetarian restaurants in the city that offer both traditional and international veg foods. Some of the places that are popular among locals and tourists are given below.
- QUAN CHAY THANH LIEU
- San May Hue
- Ba Minh Vegetarian Restaurant
Without testing some of the local Vietnamese street food, your trip to Hue city is not complete. You will get many different types of foods in the city in the small food stalls or cafes. Make sure to try some of the best street foods in the city including Banh Mi, Sweet Potato shakes, Bun Thit Nuong, Banh Knot, Grilled corns & baked sweet potatoes, and many more. You will get most of these foods on your way in small stalls.
Drinking is a very common concern for most of the tourists. From water to alcohol, you need to know about everything before stepping into the city. Just like the food, you will get some of the best Vietnamese local drinks, local beers, and other special drinks to refresh while visiting different places. You can also visit the nightlife of the city, which is known for offering a wide range of drinks to travelers.
The tap water in Hue city is drinkable and many local people drink it. But you need to filter the water for extra safety of your health. One of the best ways for you to drink the tap water is to boil it before drinking. You can also buy the bottled water but the tap water is safe to drink after it is filtered. The average quality of the water in this city is 68%.
If you are very concerned about your health and only want to eat organic foods and vegetables, then you do not have to worry much in Hue. There are many restaurants around this city that offer the best organic dishes. It might cost a bit more than the average food price, but they are very healthy for your everyday travel and keep you charged up. Here are some of the best places to try organic foods.
- Organic Coffee
- San May Hue
- Nook Eatery
It is no doubt the best breweries are available in the bars and pubs of nightlife. The crowd of foreigners along with a different type of drinks makes it very special. However, there are also some breweries that you can get in the daylight to get hydrated or fresh up. Some of the famous breweries that serve a special menu include.
- The Cha Craft Beer
- Hue Brewery
- Imperial Craft Bia
There is no shortage of activities in this city for travelers. From roaming around the historical places to taking part in yoga classes to calm your mind, everything is available. If you want to do some of the outdoor activities like hiking or trekking, then you have the options available in different places in the city. You will be able to get close to nature and spend your day as you want.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is a very good way to escape the chaos in the city and calm your mind for a moment. It also helps to restore body energy, which is much needed to finish exploring all the beautiful places in this city. As the locals are also concerned about their mental and physical health, you will find many yoga and retreats in the city. You can make an appointment or book these services using online platforms to save time.
Accommodation might be one of the most important things in your travel because whenever you are not exploring the city, you will be in that shelter. So, you need to choose very carefully and pick one depending on your budget and staying time. No matter which accommodation you want for your stay, Hue city has all of them because of the high number of tourists. Make sure to take the accommodation at the center of the city for easy transportation.
As an eco-friendly traveler, green hotels are the best option for you in your Hue journey. They are both comfortable and eco-friendly, you will get almost all the features in these hotels that the one offers including air-conditioned rooms, free wi-fi, free parking, food, and others. But these hotels use different methods and technologies to keep pollution at bay. Here are some of the best green hotels for your stay:
- Banyan tree Lang Co
- Hotel La Perle Hue
- Angsana Lang Co
Hostels and Guest Houses
When you are planning to stay for a while, taking a green hotel room might get too expensive. It is best to book the hostels and guest houses around the city for your stay. Plenty of popular guesthouses and hostels are here that are specifically made for tourists. Here are some of the popular ones where you can enjoy your stay:
- Ibiza Hostel
- Vietnam Backpacker Hostel
- Sunny Fine Guest House
If you are planning to stay for more than a month, then the best option for you is to rent an apartment in this city. It will save a lot of money and help you to stay in the city like locals. Generally, the price of rented apartments is a lot less than the hotel rooms but it also depends on the features and other benefits. Here are some of the best apartments that tourists choose to spend their stay in:
- Monkey House
- Eureka Eco
- Le Domaine de Cocodo
One of the best options that you can choose to save money and stay for a long period in the city is Couchsurfing. But you will need to keep an eye out the online platforms and other places to get a host. There are hosts in the city who are more than interested to help out a traveler but online services are the only way to reach them. So, if you are planning for Couchsurfing, make sure to book in advance to prevent any type of hassle.
There is a very low number of travelers out there who will say that camping is not fun. Camping is the ultimate experience that will take you close to the nature and jungles of the city. There are many camping places in the city along with different features that tourists love to visit and spend the day. Here are some of the best camping locations that you can pick for your stay and get a lifetime experience.
- Hai Van Pass
- Bach Ma Village
How to Get There
The transportations is different in various countries, which makes it based on where you are traveling. But in general, the flight is the most chosen way to get to Hue city. However, there are many other different ways that you can use to get into the city. They might take a lot of time to reach the city, but all of them have different benefits, which attract travelers towards them.
As mentioned above, air is the fastest and most chosen way to get in the city from different countries or cities in Vietnam. You will be able to get many flights from different places as the city is well connected to various cities and countries. Make sure to book your tickets early to get them at a low price and confirm your seats. The nearest airport to Hue is Phu Bai Airport, which is smaller than the normal airports.
The bus is always the best option to travel from city to city as it helps you to move comfortably with minimum fare. You will get buses from all the different cities in Vietnam to reach Hue. As the city is well connected with other cities in the country by road, the journey will be smooth. The best thing about getting to the city by bus is you will be able to see some of the best sceneries on your way.
If you want to travel to Hue from another country, then the best option apart from a flight is catching a train. Trains take far more time to reach the city than flights or other ways of transportation but it is one of the most liked modes of transportation by travelers. The train journey is described by travelers as a unique experience that is not available in flight. You can catch any train from different cities in Vietnam to reach Hue Railway Station.
Hitchhiking is the cheapest way of traveling to Hue city. You can expect a high response from the Vietnamese locals, they will help you to reach the destination without any doubt. However, you need to be on the highway to increase your chances of getting a lift. The hitchhiking from Mai Chau to Hue is known to be very popular in this city. There are also many other places where you can start your hitchhiking to reach this city.
Other ways are available to get into Hue, but they are not often used by travelers. However, you can use cars, bikes, any other type of vehicle to reach the city. If you are from neighboring cities, then you will get in Hue in no time with less traffic. However, if you are traveling from a far distance, then you might need to prepare well and have a lot of time on your hand.
Although moving around the city depends on personal choice, there are many things that you need to know before choosing any of the options. Most of the people prefer walking in the city to explore all the historical stories and witness the local lifestyle. But if you do not have much time on your hands, then you can also take the help of other transportations that will help you to know very much about the city and explore every corner.
As mentioned above, walking might be the best option to explore a city. You will be able to get in anywhere and take shortcuts as pedestrians are allowed everywhere. Along with that, walking through the lanes will help you to know the culture and traditions of the locals up close. From old shops to markets, you can explore all the areas by walking, which is not available in other transportation modes.
Bicycle services are very common for tourists in this city, you will find them at many different rates based on features. Some hotels also provide bicycle service to the customers as their extra services. So, you can also check your hotel to see if the service is available or not. Exploring the city on a cycle is a great idea if you want to witness the best attractions while taking care of your health and being mindful of your carbon footprint
As an eco-friendly traveler, electronic vehicles are the best option for you to get around the city without polluting. You can rent the vehicle on rent or with drivers from different services. However, when traveling in the city using electronic vehicles, make sure to have some time on your hand, and be patient. Traffic and signals can make you late to reach your destination. If there is no traffic, then you will be able to reach your destination very fast.
Public buses are similar but come with less fare and a far better experience. You will be able to get very close to the local people and witness their lifestyle in the public buses. The fares are very cheap and these buses are well connected with every part of the city, which will help you to visit the famous attractions very fast. You will find many bus terminals, hubs, and stops in the city and frequent buses.
Tram, Train and Subway
Trains are always available in the city from Hue Railway Station, you can catch these trains to get to anywhere you want in the city. The fare is cheap and the journey is very comfortable for travelers. Also, the trains are well connected to different famous attractions or the biggest places in the city. You might have to wait a bit for the train but not for a long time.
As an eco-friendly tourist, you need to choose sustainable shopping from Hue city. There are many different shops and markets in the city that will help you to get eco-friendly and recycled items. You can explore the market to find some of the best sustainable items. But these shops are scattered through different parts of the city. Here are some of the markets that you need to visit for sustainable shopping.
- Gia Huy Silk Hue
- New Space Art Foundation Hue
- Tay Loc Market
Food markets are one of the best places to witness the cultures and local foods. You will find some of the best and local foods in these markets. From organic to non-veg foods, everything is available here. You will also get many ingredients for cooking that will help you to know more about Vietnamese foods. Some of the best food markets in Hue city are given below.
- Dong Ba Market
- Banh Canh Di Hanh
- Tung Fong Restaurant
Visit the nearest flea markets to buy some of the best and historic items in the city. Flea markets are always the best choice for travelers as you can get some of the best items at a low price from here. From second-hand items to recycled eco-friendly items, you will get everything from these local shops and markets. Here are some names and details are given below that will help you with your shopping.
- Cho Phu Bai
- An Cuu Market
- Dong Ba market
Second Hand Stores
Travelers are now a lot more interested in buying second-hand items instead of the new ones. It helps to prevent waste and maximize the use of material along with helping the environment. You will get very good quality items from these shops from bags to clothes everything is available at a cheaper price. Many locals are also adopting the idea to make the environment better and reduce waste. Here are some of the second-hand stores that you will find in the city.
- Shop Banh Hoang Dung
- Tuyet Cu Meo
- Nha Co Kim
Eco-fashion is one of the most crucial things that play a major role in keeping the environment pollution free. Instead of throwing away used clothes these shops collect and modify them and make them like new ones. There are some shops that use eco-friendly materials to create sustainable things. As an eco-traveler, you can buy these fashions to look good and help nature to stay clean.
Recycling is a process that helps to reduce the waste quantity. More waste means more landfills or pollution in many places, but waste can be recycled to make different things. The items are pretty much usable and come with a low price too. You will be able to find many shops in the city that sell recycled goods to the customers. From fashion accessories to clothes, everything is available in these shops. Recycling them helps the city very much to reduce waste and use it instead of dumping somewhere.
Government and officials in this city have taken different initiatives to recycle the waste as much as possible and use it to make different things. In the last few years, it has been one of the top priorities of the city. The city is doing very well in waste management along with addressing plastic waste successfully. The city is trying to take more steps to recycle wastes and make the city clean. Compared to industrial waste, plastic waste is still more and they are trying to reduce it as much as possible.
Work and Study Abroad
Hue holds some of the best degrees and courses for international students that they can study at a reasonable price. There are many courses available in this city that attract students from all over Vietnam and other countries. While they are in Vietnam, they have the option to do part-time jobs that will help to earn some pocket money to live in the city. There are many job options available that help the foreign workers to earn in the city.
Hue welcomes students from different countries and offers partnerships to many universities for exchange students. Hue has many universities that offer exchange student programs for foreign students all over the country.
Au Pair is a very good option for you if you want to stay in the city for a long time.It helps you to earn some money in the city while you get to live with local people and help them out. There are many services available in the city that can help you to get the best host of your choice.
The easiest way to contribute to a city is by volunteering. You can volunteer in many different things to keep the city clean or help out the locals. It will help you to get close to the locals and learn their language.