top of page

Visit the Imperial Tombs in Hue, Vietnam

The Imperial Tombs of Hue are an essential place to see in the city. My recommendation is that you first visit the Citadel of Hue and then the tombs. Here are the 7 imperial tombs located in an impressive complex.

That the tombs are found in Hue is no coincidence. Hue was the capital of the Kingdom of Vietnam during many of the years of Nguyen influence, so they built these tombs as giant mausoleums.


The seven imperial tombs are located along the Perfume River. Between them there are between 2 and 20 kilometers from the city center. I recommend you spend half a day visiting them. The most comfortable way is to hire a taxi driver to take you to visit them and wait for you to see them one by one. While you're at it, take the opportunity to ask the taxi driver to take you to discover the old abandoned water park in Hue. Only some locals know where the “secret” path is to gain access, since entry is prohibited. I tell you everything here: Discover the abandoned Actantic Park of Hue.

The 7 imperial tombs are:

  • Minh Mang's

  • Your Duc's

  • Khai Dinh's

  • Gia Long

  • Thieu Tri

  • duc duc

  • Dong Khan

All imperial tombs have things in common:

  • Something curious that all the tombs share is that each of them has a space for its own temple.

  • In the area where the tombs are located there is a ceremonial patio where you can see many statues guarding the tombs.

  • Imperial tombs are usually long with lotus flowers.

  • The site also has many pavilions and temples.

  • The Estela Pavilion is a must-see for its great historical value. Inside is a biography of the learned emperor in question.

  • To visit the 7 tombs you will have to climb many steps and there are no elevators or escalators.


The Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang

Minh Mang Imperial Tomb is the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. He was the first to start this tradition of imperial tombs. It has a Chinese style, surrounded by lakes, vegetation and several statues. In addition, the complex has more than 40 monuments including temples, pavilions, statues... It takes a long time to visit it since it is the largest of all, around 1 hour.

To access the temple you will enter through the Dai Hong Mon Gate. In reality, it has 3 doors, although the central one was only opened once to pass through the remains of Emperor Minh Mang.

In the courtyard there are several statues of soldiers and war animals such as elephants. To get to the sarcophagus you will have to continue climbing stairs, but it is worth it. Note the stone railing that is full of sculpted dragons.

The Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc

This is one of the tombs most valued by the Vietnamese. It is surrounded by nature and is the only one that was used by the emperor as a summer and retirement palace before his death. It belongs to Emperor Tu Duc, although his remains are not actually found here. Today, the emperor's remains remain unknown.

In the same area you will find the tombs of Empress Le Thien Anh, the tomb of Emperor Kien Phuc and Tu Duc's adopted nephew.

The Imperial Tomb of Khai Dinh

This is one of the most visited tombs, and no wonder. It took 11 years to build. It is not very big, but it is very elaborate. The tomb is located at the foot of Chau Chu Mountain. The tomb is 117 meters long and 48.5 meters wide.

The tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh is built on top of a platform with 37 steps. It is one of the ugliest tombs, practically made of concrete. What stands out the most is the enormous dragon on its railing. In the ceremonial courtyard there are many statues of soldiers in two rows. To get to the tomb you must continue climbing steps, do not give up.

The Imperial Tomb of Thieu Tri

Emperor Thieu Tri stood out for being an emperor who liked to go his own way a lot without the service and servants being present in his daily life, at all times. This tomb was built in a very short time, in just ten months and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993.

The Imperial Tomb of Gia Long

The Gia Long imperial tomb was the first to be built for the Nguyen Emperor. It is the tomb that is in the worst condition and has not had a renovation for many years. Even in the tomb you can see traces of the war on it.

This emperor was not very loved by the people and in Vietnam he was known as “The Snake that Killed the Chicken.” This phrase refers to the fact that during his reign in Vietnam, there was a lot of hunger.

The Imperial Tomb of Dong Khanh

This is the smallest tomb of the entire complex. It was built to honor the memory of Father Dong Khanh, but he died suddenly, at only 25 years old, when he had only been reigning for 3 years. As it was already built, they used it to be a royal tomb. In total, there are about 20 buildings in the entire tomb complex including temples, pavilions and statues.

The Imperial Tomb of Du Duc

This is the most modern imperial tomb, where Emperor Du Duc is located. This emperor only reigned for 3 days, a record!

The tomb itself is beautiful, but the complex is not as spectacular or large as the previous ones and they thought that since he only reigned for three days, there was no need to dedicate much more to it.



I hope you enjoy your trip to Vietnam very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog so you don't miss the next destinations, curiosities, travel tips and inspiration for your trips.

A hug and see you soon!


bottom of page