Hue in central Vietnam is a treat for history buffs. Explore the Imperial City, cruise down Perfume River, or sample an Imperial Banquet. As the former national capital and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue is the best place to get to know Vietnam’s last imperial family.
When travelling the 670km distance from Hanoi to Hue, you have 3 options: you can take a flight (3 hours), a train (13 hours) or a bus (13 hours). Prices range from $15.50 to $27.
We prefer to fly from Hanoi to Hue because it saves you a lot of time compared to the train or bus. Travel time is only 1h 30min and tickets start at $27. If you book in advance, a flight can even be cheaper than a sleeper train.
Although a bit expensive, sleeper trains are still pretty convenient andalso saves you one night on accommodation. Think hard though because a train ride takes almost 13 hours.
Taking the bus is thecheapest option at $15.50 but it can get uncomfortable after 13 hours. Still, this is something to consider if you are on a tight budget.
The flight from Hanoi to Hue takes only 1 hour and 10 minutes. Since both cities have an airport, it doesn’t take much extra time to travel to the airport.
Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Hanh Air and Vietnam Airlines are the 4 airlines operating on this route.
Vietjet Air is the most sustainable choice of all these companies. They also offer the cheapest flights starting at 630,000 VND ($27) when you book in advance. Note that tickets are more expensive in the high season or close to the travel date. When booking only a few days before your trip, expect to pay around 2,000,000 VND ($87).
Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai)
From Hanoi center to the airport takes about 1 hour and costs 40,000 VND ($1.80) with the shuttle bus. See Hanoi Airport for more details.
Hue Airport (Phu Bai)
Phu Bai Airport is 15km south of Hue and takes only 30min from the city center. Expect to pay around 250,000 VND ($11) for a taxi or 50,000 VND ($2.20) for a shuttle bus. You can find the shuttle buses when you walk out of the airport.
The railway station in Hue is a 10-min taxi ride or 30-min walk to Hue city center. When you decide to travel by train, we recommend taking one of the two night trains below. Indicated prices are for a 6-berth cabin.
There are also several day trains leaving from Hanoi to Hue, but we don’t see the point of spending more than 12 hours of your valuable day time on a train.
Looking for more luxury?
Although the trains mentioned above are not bad, you can get a lot more luxury when you book with Lotus Express. More expensive options don’t always offer a lot of extra value, but this company really receives exceptional reviews.
Expect very clean conditions, very comfortable bed, excellent wifi and great staff. In short, it’s a little luxury hotel room on a train!
Hong Thien Ruby Hotel offers great value if you don't want to spent too much on an accommodation. Excellent breakfast, good location and friendly staff. What do you need more? Single beds incl. breakfast from $16 and double rooms from $24.
Another hotel that offers great value for money is Hotel La Perle. This eco-friendly hotel is located in the same area and also offers an outstanding breakfast plus fresh fruit all day long! Double rooms start from $24.
Want to treat yourself? The experience you get a Cherish Hue Hotel would cost you over $100 in a Western country, but here it won't cost you more than $42! The staff is super professional and a breakfast buffet like this is hard to find anywhere else! The hotel also has a spa where you get a 30% discount as a guest and you can get a massage or other treatment for very reasonable prices.
The online activity platform Klook offers many tours in Hue at great prices. I used it now for a couple of times and had great experiences. And the prices are often even lower than when you book with a local travel agent!
And most important, by booking the activity in advance, you avoid the problem of fully booked tours.