It is a major mistake for many travellers to spare only 1 day or 2 for Hue. Known as the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hue is charming in every step you take. 3 days is ideal if you wish to see Hue the real way.
Day 1: The first morning in Hue should be treated slowly with a walk around Hue Citadel and the Imperial City. The visit can easily take your whole morning and exhaust you enough to enjoy a hearty lunch. There are many local stalsl to try out near Dong Ba market.
You can ride a bicycle or hire a moto-taxi, after your filling nap, to Thien Mu pagoda along the delicte Perfume River. The serenity of the pagoda is best depleted in the afternoon, on the way back, with the dusk view of and from Trang Tien Bridge being wholeheartedly breathtaking.
Day 2: This might be a full-of-activities day based on the weather. You can rent a bicycle and travel to the further parts beyond Hue downtown. Move on Le Loi road until you reach Dien Bien Phu street. At the end of Dien Bien Phu street is a myriad of Hue must-see beauty such as Nam Giao Esplanade, Tu Hieu pagoda, tomb of Tu Duc, tomb of Dong Khanh, Tomb of Thieu Tri, tomb of Minh Mang, each of wich is attached with a medieval story and an art style. The bike trip is likely to take your whole day so be prepared for water and lunch pack. If you are not into the idea of biking, you can rent a motorbike or go with cyclo option.
When the night is coming out, do not miss out on the boat trip along the Perfume River, where you can enjoy the Royal food and listen to Royal music played live. Relax yourself to the calmness of Hue and reflect how the King used to live with this meal and music.
Day 3: Being not as crowded as Hoi An or Nha Trang, Thuan An beach is about 13km away from Hue downtown. The calm ocean offers an excellent place for swimming. There are also seafood restaurants near the beach area at affordable fare and fresh cuisines.
The rest of the day, you can spend time walking around the downtown area; enjoy Banh nam, Banh loc and other Hue specialties at Hang Me restaurant or bike to Thanh Toan village, tring on the delicacy of rural Hue. Your 3 days in Hue can be amazingly accomplished with a mug of Che Hue- the famous sweet dessert/local dish that cannot be found anywhere else in Vietnam.