Hue is a very good stopover in central Vietnam with lots of historical monuments, beaches and interesting landscape. About 85 km south of Hue you can visit the famous and wonderful Hai Van Pass. Hue is connected to the imperial Nguyen Dynasty, who ruled from 1802 to 1945. Hue is visited by lots of travelers from all over the world. Travel distance from Hanoi to Hue is about 700 km by land.
The best way to get from Hanoi to Hue is to use a direct flight. But for low-cost travelers, the best way is to use a train or bus from Hanoi. You can use a sleeper train and take a rest.
1. Train from Hanoi to Hue
Traveling by train in Vietnam is an interesting experience. It takes about 14 hours and you can buy food on the train. The types of seats include the hard seat, the soft seat, hard bed (6 beds) and the sort bed (4 beds), called a "cabin". Each cabin is designed with the air-conditioner and comfortable seats. The train cabins are allowed to carry baggage not to exceed the weight limitation of 20 kg for adults and 10 kg for children. The baggage needs to be wrapped neatly and reliably.
There are 6 trains every day of Vietnam Railways from Hanoi to Hue. The one-way train ticket costs about 450 000 – 800 000 VND ($16-40). Luxury tourist trains like Livitrans Express or Violette train cost $70-80. Hanoi station has two gates. The main gate is located at 120 Le Duan Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. This gate is usually for South-bound trains. The Station B is located at Tran Quy Cap Street, Hoan Kiem District which is usually for North-bound trains as Sapa. Both of stations have the waiting hall for passengers. Hue station is located at 02, Bui Thi Xuan Street, Hue city, about 1 km from the city center.
Inside the luxurious train Livitrans Express
You can also book online on the Vietnamese railway website. After choosing your seat, date and time, you will have to go to the nearest train station with the e-mail confirmation in order to pay for your ticket by cash (unless you have a Vietnamese credit card to proceed with payment online, foreign cards are not accepted). Other online websites are amt.12go.asia or baolau.vn. Both are very nice and clear websites which allow you to use all the main global credit cards. Prices are fair, same as on the Vietnamese one, you will only have to pay a processing fee (around 2$). You will receive your e-tickets straight to your e-mail, and you will have to show it when you board the train. The most simply way is just heading to the train station and buying the ticket that suits you. Most of the employees can speak English good enough to understand your requests.
* For trains operated by Vietnam Railways:
– Passengers under 6 years old do not need to buy train ticket if they seat with their parents, or else benefit from 25% discount on all fares when they book a separate ticket.
– Passengers from 6 to 9 years old need to buy a train ticket but benefit from 25% discount in all fares.
– Passengers with 10 years old or over are not eligible for children discount, need to book train ticket as adults.
2. Bus from Hanoi to Hue
There are also buses run from Hanoi to Hue such as Hung Thanh, The Sinh Tourist, Hoang Long, Camel Travel and so on. It takes about 15 hours and bus ticket price is about 300 000 – 450 000 VND ($13-18). Hung Thanh and Hoang Long are well-known and reliable bus companies with comfortable and modern buses. Remember to arrive at the station at least 1 hour before departure time.
Although catching the local bus is an incredibly cheap way of getting around the province, it's by far the slowest and most complicated way to travel – conductors rarely speak English, the buses can be crowded, stops are frequent.
3. Flight from Hanoi to Hue
There are about 6 direct flights every day from Hanoi to Hue from Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and JetStar Pacific airlines. Flight time is only about 1 hour and direct flight costs about 850 000 – 2 500 000 VND ($35-100). The best way to find a great deal on airfare is to search multiple sites. Airlines can adjust prices for tickets from Hanoi to Hue based on the day and time that you decide to book your flight. According to the collected data from all airlines, it is found that Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are often the best days to book flights.
Noi Bai International Airport is 40 km away from Hanoi Center. Passengers can take a taxi inside airport like Noi Bai taxi (Yellow), Mai Linh taxi (Green). You spent about 45 - 60 minutes by taxi and about 360.000 VNĐ ($18) to get the airport. Hue Airport is located at Phu Bai ward, Huong Thuy town, Thua Thien Hue province. It's 15 km from Hue airport to Hue city center.