A Guide to Hue Festival, Vietnam's Cultural Bonanza

Vu Pham Van /
Vu Pham Van / | © Culture Trip

The 10th annual Hue Festival is currently underway, starting on April 27 and closing on May 2. It is a cultural spectacle celebrating Hue’s legacy as Vietnam’s imperial capital and the site of Vietnam’s last ruling dynasty. The festival features elaborate performances at historical sites around the city, as well as banquets, art displays, fashion shows and outdoor gatherings. Here is a guide to Vietnam’s 2018 Hue Festival.

2018 theme and performances

The theme for this year’s festival is the celebration of its impressive five UNESCO World Heritage Listings. The recognized heritages include Hue monuments, Hue Royal court music, Nguyen Dynasty woodblocks, Nguyen Dynasty imperial archives, and Royal Literature on Hue Royal architecture.

Hue Festival Opening Ceremony at Noon Gate Square

This year’s opening performance on April 27 presented the UNESCO heritage theme through music and dance, and is the same location where the closing ceremonies will occur on May 2 at 8pm.

Performers in detailed costumes at the 2018 Hue Festival

More than 800 talented Vietnamese artists are involved in this year’s festival, as well as over 400 traditional and contemporary artists from various countries around the world. Artists hailing from Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka and many other nations will perform on stage to share their culture with festival attendees. Keep your eye out for anticipated performances by Berywam, a French acapella group, and Pambil, a Colombian drumming troupe.

A woman performs at 2018 Hue Festival
Performers from around the world share their culture with attendees in Hue, 2018

There are several big performances scheduled if you’re looking to catch some of Vietnam’s best musical talent. Trinh Cong Son’s Music Concert at Phu Van Lau Park on April 28, Hue’s Love Song Concert at the Provincial Culture and Information Center on April 29, and especially the National Competition of Ritual Singing (April 26-28) at the same location are all shows you won’t want to miss.

Vu Pham Van /

Street art and activities

Aside from the scheduled performances, numerous outdoor art exhibits, installations, street performances and markets adorn Hue’s streets. If you’re interested in exploring, rent a bicycle and take a short scenic ride to check out various exhibits and events taking place in Hue’s surrounding villages. Nearby areas will have several open-air markets with local staple foods, colourful crafts, artworks and more. There will also be boat races along the river, human chess competitions, and even a hot air balloon show!

A walk through a market during Hue Festival

The streets in and around the city will host street performances and outdoor art exhibits. Keep your eye out for lion dance performances and stilt-walkers from Belgium. At night, Hue’s Perfume River will be the place to take in more artistic performances.

Hue Festival’s Hot air balloon show
Performers in elaborate costumes
Impressive art installations seen in Hue, 2018

Hue landmarks

The Hue Citadel and An Dinh Palace, both ancient landmarks cementing Hue’s significant status as the location of Vietnam’s imperial city and last ruling dynasty, are where numerous performances and gatherings will take place during the festival. The citadel is beautifully illuminated with colourful lights come nightfall.

Vu Pham Van /

You can find a detailed list of ticket agents around Hue here and a full list of performances here. Attending this popular festival is sure to astonish you with dazzling artistic talent from around the world, while also giving you the opportunity to sample Hue’s delicious cuisine. The festival is also a great chance to admire how far the city has evolved from the site of the last members of the Nguyen dynasty to a rising star in Vietnamese tourism. Check it out before the festival closes on May 2, or you’ll have to wait another year to witness this cultural extravaganza!

Vu Pham Van /
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.