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Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh)
Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh)

Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh)

Thuan Thanh

The basics

The Forbidden Purple City is typically visited as part of a walking tour of the Imperial City. Explore the complex of palaces, temples, and pavilions with a guide to help bring the ruins —which are in various stages of restoration—to life and learn more about the importance of the Nguyen Dynasty and their legacy. Most tours enter through the grand Ngo Mon Gate and take in highlights including the Forbidden Purple City; Dien Tho Palace, the former home of the emperors’ mothers; the colorful façade of To Mieu Temple; the Royal Treasury and Reading Room; and the Hien Lam Pavilion, home to the Nine Dynastic Urns.

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Things to know before you go

  • A visit to the Forbidden Purple City is a must for history buffs and first-time visitors to Hue.
  • Admission to the Forbidden City is included with a ticket to the Imperial City.
  • The Imperial City is spread out over a large area, so plan at least two hours to visit and wear comfortable shoes. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water as the ruins provide little shade.
  • Navigating the ruins with a wheelchair or stroller can be tricky, so it’s worth visiting with a guide who understands your access requirements.
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How to get there

The Forbidden Purple City lies at the center of the Imperial City in Hue. The Imperial City, surrounded by a moat, can be entered through the Ngo Mon Gate at the south end. It’s easily reached on foot from most central sites and hotels, and is just a short stroll from the riverfront and the Truong Tien Bridge. Alternatively, hop in a taxi or rickshaw.

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When to get there

The Forbidden City is open daily. Make an early start to avoid the biggest crowds and explore the site before the hottest part of the day. It’s worth timing your visit to watch one of the performances at the Royal Theater, within the Imperial City. Traditional Vietnamese music and dance shows are held eight times daily.

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Hue’s Historic Sites

Traces of Hue’s rich royal heritage can still be found dotted around the modern city. After exploring the Imperial City, visit the royal tombs of the Nguyen Emperors—most notable are the Tomb of Tu Duc, the Tomb of Minh Mang, and the Tomb of Khai Dinh. Other sites not to miss include the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most renowned Buddhist temples, located along the banks of the Perfume River; and the 19th-century Tu Hieu Pagoda.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh)?
A:
Attractions near Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Hue?
A:
As well as visiting the Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: