An Dinh Palace: The Residence of Vietnam’s Last King

An Dinh palace is the last imperial palace in Hue. Outside of the Imperial citadel, it has a mixed style between Vietnamese and French architectural elements. That’s why it’s different from palaces inside the Imperial city and Forbidden purpple city. Not all about the architecture, history lovers have a chance to know about the life of the last king and the last queen of Vietnam, and see works of art that are unseen everywhere. Sadly, it’s not used properly after the dynasty falls. By that, both exterior and interior of An Dinh palace were degraded. For a very long time, it doesn’t open to the public, and no doubt that it disappears in the travel plan of so many people. Information about it is poor also. Nowadays, an excellent renovation project brings its glory back, giving visitors an opportunity to visit a precious local heritage.  

This article reveals everything travelers need to know about An Dinh palace in Hue. If staying overnight, we suggest sightseeing it in the 2nd day. Unless, it’s possible to include it into the 1-day itinerary. 

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History of An Dinh Palace

Originally, An Dinh palace was the private residence of Nguyen Phuc Buu Dao prince, built in 1902. 14 years later (1916), this prince succeeded Thanh Thai king and became ‘Khai Dinh king’, the 12nd emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Definitely, then he moved to the Forbidden city to reside (until his death). The next year, he requested to upgrade this residence and brought it a lovely architecture mixed between Vietnamese and French styles. In 1919, it’s completed, and its name still remained. 

In 1913, Nguyen Phuc Vinh Thuy prince – the only son of Khai Dinh king was borned. When he was 9 years old, An Dinh palace was given from his father to him. His family actually lived here until the coronation ceremony in 1926 (previously his father’s death). Of course, after crowned, he moved to the Forbidden city – the seat of power. He became ‘Bao Dai king’ and ruled the country until 1945 (World war 2). 

After 1945, Bao Dai king and his family members returned to live in An Dinh palace. In 1954, the first president of the Republic of Vietnam – Ngo Dinh Diem confiscated it. In 1975 (when the fall of Saigon occurred), Tu Cung queen (the mother of Bao Dai king) gave it to the Socialist republic of Vietnam.

From 1975 to 2001, An Dinh palace was used as a collective living quarter. After that, households had to go and it’s renovated and protected as a heritage. Actually, this palace wasn’t included in the Complex of Hue monuments Unesco world heritage site.

Visiting An Dinh Palace 

An Dinh palace opens from 7 am to 5 pm everyday, including Vietnam’s national holidays. 

In the front of the palace, there is An Cuu river. For locals, its water is clear in rainy days and cloudy in non-rainy days (opposite to normal rules). Emperors could travel by boat to An Dinh palace from the Royal palace via this canal (and the Perfume river).

The gate, the pavillion and the façade of An Dinh palace express an exchange between Vietnamese and French architectural languages. In the pavillion, that is a real-size statue of Khai Dinh king casted in 1920 by bronze. In 1960, it’s moved to the Khai Dinh tomb, and recently, it’s back to the palace. The front of palace absolutely has an elegant, rich style and decoration with yellow and white as main colors. At the balcony or veranda, visitors can have a good picture. 

The ground floor of An Dinh palace has a collection of paintings in the middle room. They were painted in 1917 to depict the tombs of Gia Long emperor, Minh Mang emperor, Thieu Tri emperor and Dong Khanh emperor. In 2003, German experts restored these art works after being damaged. In the right and left rooms, old photos and well-preserved artifacts inform visitors history of the construction itself and other colonial buildings in Hue. 

Going upstairs, visitors will see beautiful wall paintings and exhibitions of photos and artifacts which show the real life of Bao Dai king, Nam Phuong queen. They’re the last emperor and the last queen of Vietnam. They got married in 1931 when the king was 21 years old and the queen was 20 years old. Fact that the queen is the first Catholic lady who married with a Vietnamese emperor. She had 5 children with him, including 2 boys and 3 girls. Both are influenced by French culture.

Behind the palace, there are gardens with fish ponds, willow trees and flowers. Before 1947, a theatre ever existed to serve the entertainments for the owners and their guests. The ruins are still seen today. Actually, the entrance gate of An Dinh palace is behind these gardens (Nguyen Hue street). Due to convenience, the back gate becomes the front gate today.

An Dinh Palace Entrance Fee and Ticket

The entrance fee of An Dinh palace is 50,000 VND for adults and children above 12 years old. It’s free of charge for visitors under 12 years old. If buy a combo of An Dinh palace and the Museum of royal antiquities, adult visitors will pay 80,000 VND, and other ages are free. 

Tickets are sold in An Dinh palace entrance (Phan Dinh Phung street) and online at the webpage of the Hue monuments conservation center.

How to Get to An Dinh Palace

Where is An Dinh Palace?

An Dinh palace is in Hue city centre. Its address is 97 Phan Dinh Phung street, Phu Nhuan ward. In the front, there is An Cuu river (canal) and Nguyen Hue street is in the back. 


Travelers definitely can walk to An Dinh palace if staying in Hue city centre. From the Backpacker area (the Night walking streets area) where many tourists stay overnight, the distance to the palace is only 2 km. From the Hue train station, it’s 2,5 km.  

By Car and Taxi

Because An Dinh palace is within city downtown, so to get there, travelers can take a taxi without difficulty. The fare is around 1 USD for one kilometer, and cash in Vietnamese dong is needed to pay. From the Backpacker area, the drive is only 10 minutes lng and from the Hue railway station, it takes passengers less than 15 minutes. 

We advise to book a private car if you want to use it for many hours or to go to multiple places. In the morning, you can visit the Imperial city, Thien Mu pagoda, Dong Ba market and An Dinh palace for a while, and then try local foods for lunch. In the afternoon, the Abandoned waterpark and a couple of imperial tombs will be stunning. Contact us by whatsapp number +84968009827 or to ask for more details and book. 

By Motorcycle and Bicycle

Like cars, it’s convenient to get to An Dinh palace by motorcycle. Travelers can hire one from the hotel with a price of 100,000-200,000 VND (no gasoline included). There are two roads to choose from: Hung Vuong Rd and Phan Dinh Phung Rd, so it’s needed to find the quickest way to see these streets. Parking is by the ticket office, and it’s free of charge. 

After An Dinh palace, travelers can explore other must-see attractions of Hue such as the Forbidden city, Thien Mu pagoda, Dong Ba market, Tu Duc tomb, Khai Dinh tomb, the Abandoned waterpark, Minh Mang tomb. Petrol stations are all over the city, so no worries about how to fill the empty gasoline tank during the day. 

If not confident in driving in Vietnam or want to travel by a local rider (or motorbike tour), contact us by whatsapp number +84968009827 or to assist.

Places to Visit near An Dinh Palace

House 145 Phan Dinh Phung

His 2-storied house is bought by Tu Cung queen, the mother of Bao Dai king when Ngo Dinh Diem (president of the Republic of Vietnam) confiscated An Dinh palace. The former owner is another wife of Khai Dinh king. Tu Cung queen lived here from 1955 to 1980. Today, her house is designated as a memorial. 

The Redemptorist Church of Hue

This church can be the biggest church in the city. It’s visited by Nam Phuong queen so many times because she is a Catholic. It has a grand architecture, and of course, is very busy in the Christmas each year.  

An Cuu Market

Just 250 meters away from An Dinh palace, this traditional market shows a huge variety of local products used for cooking, decoration, household chores and more. Visitors can buy something to bring home here, and the experience is nearly similar to Dong Ba market.

An Dinh Palace on Google Maps

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