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Hoi An and Hue are both well-known cities located in central Vietnam. Hoi An is a small city with a population of over 150,000 and the old town is a UNESCO site. While Hue is a city with a population of over 455,000 people and is home to the Imperial City of Huế which was designated as a UNESCO site in 1993. These two cities have a very different atmosphere and vibe from each other, with a lot to do in each city.

Hoi An is a more relaxed beach town vibe where you can visit UNESCO sites, go to the beach, visit the temples, go shopping, enjoy the local food, and much more. Whereas Hue is a place for more to learn about the history with all the tombs and the forbidden citadel and of course the Vietnam war.

In this post, we will compare Hoi An or Hue in Vietnam. Let’s get started!

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Hoi An Or Hue

Hoi An and Hue are both good places to visit especially if you want to relax by the beach or just go exploring. They both have a very different vibe from each other and they offer very different things to do in each other. The two cities are around 125 km apart from each other. It takes between 3 to 4 hours by train or bus.

No matter which one you choose to stay in, you are a 3 to 4-hour bus trip away from the other one, so it’s really a matter of what you want to focus on during your trip.

Which One Has Better Beaches?

Hoi An is known for being a relaxed beach town where Hue is not known for the beach but there are some amazing beaches in the area. Beaches in both cities are popular with tourists and locals.

As a result, it is busy in the late afternoon. And there is a good range of restaurants and bars all waiting to serve up some pretty good local food.

Beaches In Hue

Hue is not really a beach town but there are some amazing beaches in the area. With Thuan An Beach been the closest, being around 12 km from Hue.

Here a list of some of the beaches in Hue Vietnam.

  • Lang Co Beach (20 km)
  • Thuan An Beach (12 km)
  • Canh Duong Beach (20 km)
  • Vinh Thanh Beach (30 km)

Beaches In Hoi An

Hoi An’s beaches are more of a chilled with An Bang beach been the most popular beach in Hoi An and because of this is, it is also the busiest.

Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An Vietnam
Cua Dai Beach

Here a list of some of the beaches in Hoi An Vietnam.

  • Cua Dai Beach
  • An Bang

What Is The Nightlife Like?

Generally, Vietnam is not known for its nightlife particularly with bars closing early. There are stay places that do stay open until 4 am. Making it decent for travelers looking to party.

Let’s compare the nightlife between Hoi An and Hue.

Hoi An’s Nightlife

Hoi An’s nightlife is more of a relaxed hippie vibe. In recent years it has become home to some trendy cafés, bars, and live music bars. Nearly all this happens within old Town and Riverside.

Hoi An's Nightlife
Hoi An’s Nightlife

In reality, Hoi An is not a party town, it is a place for a few drinks and enjoy the local food on offer. In saying that there is a good range of bars but these will start to close from 11 pm onwards.

It is a great place to go bar hopping from the Hoi An Sports Bar and Mango Mango bar to Fender Bar which closes at 4 am.

Hue Nightlife

The nightlife in Hue is not the most exciting but are plenty of local pubs which are set along the backpacker streets of Pham Ngu Lao, Le Loi, and Nguyen Cong Tru.

If you are looking for a few quiet drinks, meeting other backpackers and locals then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be loads of fun

What Is The Accommodation Like?

Choosing the right accommodation is important particularly in Vietnam. Both Hoi An and Hue offer a lot of options from cheap hostels to fancy accommodation but all you need is one of a good standard.

Staying In Hue

Hue has a lot of hostels, hotels, and small hotels with pools, city views, and bars. The city does not have as much accommodation as Hoi An but the standard is as good if not better.

The hostel prices start from $5, with the really good standard hotels in good locations, starting prices $9 or $12.

Staying In Hoi An

Hoi An was a lot more hotels and hostels to choose from than Hue. Again there are luxury hotels and budget hotels and hostels. The nearer to the old town the better.

The hostel prices start from $5 but these tend not to be near the old town. With a really good standard hotel in a good location, prices start from $9 or $12 upwards.

What To Do See In Hue And Hoi An?

Hue and Hoi An are both blessed with amazing architecture like the Hue citadel, the King tombs, or the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Both have a long and rich history with the siege Hue or battle of Hue been one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Here are only some of the things to do in each city.

Things To Do In Hoi An

Hoi An is a more relaxed city with the old town and markets to explore as well as visiting the beach.

Hoi An Temple
Hoi An Temples

Here is our list of things to do in Hoi An Vietnam.

  • Explore the old town.
  • See Quan Cong temple.
  • Get a tailor-made suit.
  • Japanese Covered Bridge.
  • Enjoy the monthly full moon lantern festival.
  • Visit the beach.
  • Enjoy food in the old town.

Read more about things to do in Hoi An here.

Things To Do In Hue

Hue maybe a riverfront town but it has a lot of ancient architecture and museums and awesome places to explore around the city and places nearby.

Imperial city in Hue
Imperial Citadel

Here is our list of things to do in Hue Vietnam.

  • Visit Tu Hieu Pagoda.
  • See the Imperial Citadel.
  • Visit the tomb of the ancient emperors.
  • Explore Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Try the Huda brewery tour.

Read more detail about things to do in Hue here.

Wrapping Up

Finally, which city to choose really depends on one’s personal preference, and interests. For people interested in cultural things to do such as museums, history, ancient temples and ruins, buildings, and the Vietnam war, then it is Hue.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more relaxed vibe and interest in the foodie culture with good nightlife, golden beaches and enjoy walking around small towns and exploring the local culture, then Hoi An is for you.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the Hoi An or Hue, which one should I visit has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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