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A journey from Hanoi to Hue opens the door to Vietnam’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. If you are taking a trip to Vietnam, you will most likely start in Hanoi. Pulsating with energy, the capital of Vietnam showcases the country's rich heritage through the chaotic yet charming streets of the Old Quarter, vibrant markets, ancient temples, and colonial-era architecture. Continue your journey toward Hue after you have explored Hanoi. The tranquil ambiance of Hue invites you to step back in time to Vietnam's imperial past. In this guide on a trip from Hanoi to Hue, we'll cover transportation options, costs, and quick tips.

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Ways to Get to Hue from Hanoi

The distance between Hanoi and Hue is approximately 670 kilometers. You can take a train or a bus, rent a two-wheeler, or hop on a plane to Hue. The journey takes about 12-13 hours by train or road, while a flight only takes about an hour, making it the best way to travel from Hanoi to Hue.

By Train

Train passes through greenery around the Lang Co Beach in Hue.
If you want to get straight to the Lang Co Beach in Hue from Hanoi, then you need to board the train that goes from Hanoi to Da Nang and get off at the Lang Co train station.

Trains are a popular mode of transportation between Hanoi and Hue. They are safe and comfortable, and you can enjoy the majestic mountains and tranquil countryside scenery on your journey.

Pro tips:

  • Opt for a luxury train like Livitrans, Lotus Trains, or Viollet Express for a more comfortable travel experience.
  • Consider booking directly with Vietnam Railways if you're on a budget, as third-party websites might not offer cheaper hard/soft seater tickets due to low demand. You can also explore ticket booking services like Baolau to choose your preferred berth in advance.
  • Choose a soft sleeper for comfort and safety, accommodating four passengers compared to the six in a hard sleeper.
  • Arrive at the train station 30 minutes before departure to complete essential procedures like ticket checking, information registration, and luggage inspection.

By Flight

Aerial view of the landscapes in Vietnam from an aircraft.
Be sure to book a window seat when flying from Hanoi to Hue to get the most magnificent aerial views of the terraced land and costal areas between the two cities.

The Hanoi to Hue flight is the fastest and most comfortable option, albeit slightly pricier. Seven direct flights depart to Hue daily, operated by different airlines, including VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines. Both Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and Phu Bai Airport in Hue are easily accessible, with options like taxi, Grab Car, or hotel-arranged transfers.

Pro tips:

  • Book your ticket 2-3 months before departure to take advantage of offers.
  • Before your trip, check the weather forecast to pack appropriate clothing and prepare for any weather-related disruptions.
  • Arrive at the airport well before your departure time to allow for any unexpected delays and complete the check-in and security processes.

By Bus

Suitcase in front of a parked bus that goes from Hanoi to Hue.
Join like minded travelers on a group tour that takes you from Hanoi to Hue on a sleeper bus.

If you want to save money, taking a bus to Hue from Hanoi is the most economical choice. Expect a journey lasting approximately 12 to 13 hours, depending on stops and traffic. Booking an overnight trip can make the trip more comfortable, allowing you to sleep for most of the way.

Pro tips:

  • It's a good idea to check out various buses available and book your tickets from a reliable site like Baolau or 12Go Asia, where you can read reviews.
  • Pack light to accommodate potentially limited bus storage space, bringing only the necessities for convenience.
  • Keep a close eye on your belongings during stops and transfers, utilizing a money belt or neck pouch to safeguard important items.

By Two-wheeler

Hundreds of vehicles stuck in traffic in Hanoi.
It is a good idea to travel in a two-wheeler even before you hea out from Hanoi to Hue since the capital city has major traffic jams often and traveling in a two-wheeler is much more convenient in those times.

A road trip from Hanoi to Hue on a two-wheeler allows you to travel at your leisure. The most straightforward way to reach Hue from Hanoi is to take the National Highway. You can visit the renowned Hai Van Pass and its breathtaking coastal vistas along the route. The driving time typically ranges from 12 to 14 hours, depending on road conditions and number of stops.

Pro tips:

  • Follow traffic laws diligently to ensure safety during your trip. Know that road conditions in Vietnam may differ significantly from those in your home country.
  • Always wear helmets and other protective clothing for a safe trip.
  • Ensure your bike's oil, engine, brakes, and electrics are all in working shape before renting one.
Mode Time Cost Why Choose This?
Flight About 1 hour USD 40 to USD 80 Fastest
Train 12 hours 30 minutes USD 25 to USD 60 Comfortable
Bus 12 to 14 hours Starting from USD 14 Cheapest
Two-wheeler 12 to 14 hours USD 10 to USD 15

Freedom to visit other locations on the way

*Note: The prices mentioned are as of 2024 and are subject to change.

Hanoi to Hue Itinerary

Huc Bridge that leads to the Den Ngoc Son Confucious Temple.
Cross the Huc Bridge over Ho Hoan Kiem Lake to reach the Den Ngoc Son Confucious Temple that showcases Chinese culture in Hue.
Thien Mu Pagoda of Hue on a bright day.
Head to the seven-storied Thien Mu Pagoda of Hue accompanies by a local guide and find out about its legend.

 A three- to four-day Hanoi to Hue itinerary ensures you see all the main attractions of the two destinations. Start your adventure in Hanoi. Experience the Old Quarter's charm, stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, go to Jade Island, and visit the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. Visit the ancient Temple of Literature and sample regional food at nearby restaurants, where you can enjoy favorites like pho and banh mi.

Leave behind Hanoi and travel to Hue. Start your Hue tour by immersing yourself in the local culture at Dong Ba Market. Explore the vibrant stalls, sample street food, and witness daily life. Head to the Imperial City, a Unesco World Heritage Site and the most massive structure in the history of modern Vietnam. Explore the ancient citadel, admire the intricate architecture, and learn about Vietnam's imperial history.

Next, take a leisurely walk along the Perfume River. Enjoy the scenic views and cross the iconic Trang Tien Bridge. Spend some quiet moments at Thien Mu Pagoda, appreciating its tranquility and spiritual significance. Explore the Tomb of Minh Mang, one of Hue's most impressive royal tombs. Admire the lush gardens, intricate architecture, and peaceful ambiance. And don’t forget to try traditional Hue dishes like Banh Beo, Banh Khoai, and Nem Lui.

If you want to plan a trip from Hanoi to Hue from scratch, fill out our customized Vietnam trip form so our local experts can craft you the perfect itinerary. For more information, read our Vietnam guide and article on the best time to visit Vietnam.

Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on April 19, 2024

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