Hanoi to Hue | Pros and Cons of Traveling by Flight, Train, Sleeper Bus

Travel from Hanoi to Hue and discover Vietnam's imperial past. Explore ancient citadels, royal tombs, and enjoy the serene beauty of the Perfume River.

Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam, and Hue, home to the impressive Imperial City which is a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site, are both must-see destinations for tourists visiting Vietnam. A journey from Hanoi to Hue is not simply a straightforward one; it is a journey from modernization to traditional times. 

In this article, we'll give a brief overview of the three ways to get from Hanoi to Hue so you can decide which way would bring you the most experience in visiting the peaceful capital of Hue. 

A Glimpse of Route from Hanoi to Hue

Hanoi and Hue are separated by a considerable distance of approximately 700km. This distance is significant due to the geographical positioning of the two cities. While Hanoi is situated in the northern part of Vietnam, Hue is located in the central region of the country.

Given this distance, there are various convenient transportation choices available for traveling between these two cities, including plane, train, and sleeper bus. If one opts for the train or sleeper bus, the journey typically lasts about 12 to 13 hours, while taking a flight takes much shorter, around 1 hour.

Hue Vietnam

Hue is the acient captipal city of Vietnam. 

Pros and Cons of 3 Popular Ways to Get Hue from Hanoi

Traveling by Train

Traveling from Hanoi to Hue by train provides a popular and cost-effective option.

The travel time by train from Hanoi to Hue is relatively lengthy, typically lasting around 12 to 14 hours. One-way ticket prices on this route differ based on the travel class and train type, with fares ranging approximately between USD 20 and USD 60.


  • Scenic Journey. As the train traverses through the Vietnamese countryside, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of lush green landscapes, rice paddies, rolling hills, and charming rural villages. The train route takes you along the scenic coastline, offering glimpses of beautiful beaches and coastal scenery. It's a truly immersive experience that allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of Vietnam along the way;
  • Train services experience. Foreigners traveling by train in Vietnam typically have a positive experience with the train services. The railway system in Vietnam is well-developed, and trains generally offer comfortable and reliable transportation;
  • Social experience. Train travel frequently presents chances for conversation with local passengers, fostering a social environment and the possibility of forming new relationships.


  • Longer travel time. Trains typically take longer to reach Hue compared to other modes of transportation, causing inconvenience;
  • Overnight schedule. Since most train journeys occur overnight, passengers may miss out on the opportunity to witness the stunning coastal views along the way.

To embark on a train journey from Hanoi to Hue, you can adhere to the reference instructions:

  • Plan your journey and book tickets. Start by researching the train schedules, ticket prices, and available classes for the Hanoi to Hue route. Determine your preferred travel date and time, as well as the class of service that suits your needs and budget. You can purchase tickets online through the Vietnam Railways website or authorized travel agencies;
  • Book sleeper class ticket. Sleeper class offers comfort, privacy, and beds for sleeping during the journey, which is more suitable for a long journey from Hanoi to Hue. Bedding is usually provided, and there may be additional amenities such as power outlets. On the other hand, seats will bring less comfort, limited privacy, and the challenge of finding a comfortable position for sleeping or resting during the journey;
  • Board the train. Arrive at the train station at least 30 minutes before departure. Find your train and car number as stated on your ticket. Train attendants or station staff can assist you if needed. Have your ticket and identification ready for the train staff;
  • During the journey. Once on board, find your assigned seat or berth. Store large luggage in designated areas or overhead racks. Follow instructions from train staff and respect other passengers' comfort. Trains typically offer basic amenities including restrooms, food and beverage services, and sometimes even Wi-Fi. However, the level of amenities may vary depending on the class you choose. When traveling by train, it's worth noting that food is available on board, but the prices may be slightly higher compared to outside vendors. To manage your meals during the journey, you have a few options. You can consider buying food before boarding the train. This allows you to choose from a wider range of options and potentially save some money. Alternatively, you can purchase food on board the train, where they often provide hot water for instant noodles and coffee. Finally, at each station where the train drops off passengers, you can also buy food from these stops. This allows you to try local specialties and experience the culinary offerings of different regions;
  • Arrival in Hue. Upon arrival at Hue Railway Station, gather your belongings and disembark from the train. To reach your accommodation or explore the city, you can consider various options, including taxis, motorbike taxis, or ride-hailing services.

travel from hanoi to hue by train

Traveling from Hanoi to Hue by train 

Traveling by Sleeper Buses

An alternative mode of transportation for traveling from Hanoi to Hue is by opting for a sleeper bus. The typical duration of the journey by sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue is approximately 12 to 14 hours, subject to traffic and road conditions.

The approximate cost for a one-way ticket for sleeper buses from Hanoi to Hue ranges from USD 15 to USD 30. Ticket prices can vary based on factors such as the bus operator, the level of comfort offered, and any additional services provided. 


  • Cultural experience. Sleeper buses provide an opportunity to observe the local culture, customs, and way of life. Certain bus operators may even incorporate cultural stops or visits to fascinating sites along the journey, allowing for a more immersive experience and deeper connection with the local culture;
  • Cost-effective. When compared to other forms of transportation, sleeper buses are frequently more economical, which makes them a desirable choice for tourists on a tight budget.


  • Limited legroom. Sleeper bus space designs are typically tailored to accommodate Vietnamese travelers, which may not be as suitable for foreigners. 
  • Night travel. Bus travel usually occurs at night so passengers may miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Vietnamese countryside.

To travel by sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue, you can follow these instructions:

  • Research sleeper bus operators. Start by researching reputable sleeper bus operators that provide services from Hanoi to Hue. Look for companies with good safety records, comfort levels, and positive customer reviews.

  • Book your ticket. Once you've selected a reliable sleeper bus operator, book your ticket in advance. You can do this online through their website or visit their ticket office in person. 

  • Check the Departure Point. Find out the exact location where the sleeper bus departs from in Hanoi. It is typically a designated bus station or a specific pick-up point. Double-check the departure time and arrive at the designated location in advance to avoid any last-minute rush. Moreover, be aware that sleeper buses typically have restrictions on allowing pets on board and may also prohibit bringing food with strong odors. Please check the specific policies of the sleeper bus you plan to travel with regarding these restrictions.

  • During the journey. Once on board, settle into your sleeper berth. The bus will provide a comfortable and private sleeping space equipped with a reclining seat, pillow, and blanket. Respect the comfort and privacy of other passengers and follow any instructions provided by the bus staff.

  • Rest stops. The sleeper bus will make occasional rest stops for passengers to use the restroom, stretch their legs, and purchase snacks or refreshments. Some rest stops also provide warm meals such as Pho, Banh mi, Noodles, etc so that you can enjoy Vietnam’s cuisine. Use these breaks wisely and be mindful of the departure time to ensure you don't miss the bus.

  • Arrival in Hue. Upon arrival at the designated bus station in Hue, gather your belongings, and disembark from the bus.

Sleeper bus

Sleeper bus is a popular transportation to travel to Hue from Hanoi

Direct Flights from Hanoi to Hue

Choosing air travel from Hanoi to Hue provides the fastest means of reaching your destination, with a flight duration of around one hour. Departing from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, flights land at Hue's Phu Bai International Airport, covering a flight distance of just 570km.

Ticket prices for flights between Hanoi and Hue can vary based on factors such as the class of service and any additional services provided. The approximate cost for a one-way ticket typically ranges from USD 50 to USD 100.


  • Speed and convenience. Flying from Hanoi to Hue is indeed the fastest and most convenient option, offering a comfortable travel experience. By choosing air travel, you can avoid the challenges of long-distance journeys and enjoy a smoother trip;
  • Comfort. Airplanes typically offer comfortable seating, ample legroom, and modern amenities, ensuring a pleasant journey;
  • Scenic journey. During the short flight, passengers may have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the Vietnamese landscape, adding to the overall travel experience.


  • Inconvenient commutes. Travelers may find it inconvenient when commuting from Hanoi city center to Noi Bai Airport (40km) and from Phu Bai Airport to Hue city center (15km);
  • Higher cost. Air travel is generally more expensive compared to other modes of transportation.

Nevertheless, the higher price of air travel is often justified by the additional time it allows for exploring, experiencing, and creating cherished memories in the picturesque city of Hue.

To travel by plane from Hanoi to Hue, you can follow these instructions:

  • Booking your ticket. Begin by researching available flights from Hanoi to Hue. As the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines operates numerous flights between Hanoi and Hue, offering a range of departure times throughout the day. Moreover, with our experience and expertise in the aviation industry, we aim to provide a comfortable and reliable travel experience for passengers. Please visit Vietnam Airlines' official website or app, a reputable travel booking platform to search for available flights from Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport to Hue's Phu Bai International Airport;
  • Check-in process. On the day of your flight, arrive at Noi Bai International Airport well in advance. Once you've completed check-in, you will receive your boarding pass.
  • In-flight experience. Once onboard the aircraft, locate your assigned seat as indicated on your boarding pass. Follow the instructions of the flight attendants regarding stowing your carry-on baggage and fastening your seatbelt. During the flight, enjoy the services and amenities provided by Vietnam Airlines;
  • Arrival in Hue. Upon arrival at Phu Bai International Airport in Hue, you can arrange transportation to your desired destination in Hue, such as taxis, ride-sharing services, or pre-arranged transfers.

Vietnam Airlines

Direct flights from Hanoi to Hue take approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

In conclusion, air travel has gained immense popularity due to its numerous advantages. Apart from saving time, flying offers a comfortable environment with a range of services that enhance the overall travel experience. Furthermore, the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the landscape adds to the pleasure of the journey.

At Vietnam Airlines, we are dedicated to continuously improving the travel experience for our valued passengers. Our attentive and professional flight crew at Vietnam Airlines eagerly look forward to warmly welcoming you on board and providing exceptional service during your upcoming trips.

Take action now and book your flight with us