Things to do in
Phnom Penh

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Our most recommended things to do in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh: S-21 Prison and Killing Fields Half-Day Tour

1. Phnom Penh: S-21 Prison and Killing Fields Half-Day Tour

At 8:00 AM, depart from your hotel and drive to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, located about 16 kms south of Phnom Penh. Here,you will experience a very moving and confronting experience. The Killing Fields were the final resting place for over 17,000 men, women, children and infants between 1975 and 1978. It is estimated the Khmer Rouge Regime took the lives of between 2 and 4 million Cambodians during their destructive and devastating time in control between 1975 and 1979. Your guide will provide you with a detailed tour of the fields. Continue to Tuol Sleng Museum. In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It rapidly became the largest center of detention and torture in the country. Prisoners were repeatedly tortured and coerced into naming family members and close associates, who were in turn arrested, brought to S21, tortured and eventually killed. Spend time discovering the harrowing truths of the prison. At 12:00 PM, your tour comes to an end and your guide will transfer you back to your hotel.

Phnom Penh: Killing Field & Village Quad Bike Tour

2. Phnom Penh: Killing Field & Village Quad Bike Tour

This tour of 4 hours will allow you to explore the brutality of the Khmer Rouge with a professional tour guide. The Choeung Ek killing field is a former orchard and one of the mass grave sites found after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. After visiting Choeung Ek, you will ride your quad bike to an authentic Cambodian village, where most people still live in the traditional manner established by their forefathers hundreds of years ago.  On the way to and from the village, you will witness the beauty of Cambodia's countryside, including rice fields on the side of the road.

From Phnom Penh: Silk Island Cruise on the Mekong River

3. From Phnom Penh: Silk Island Cruise on the Mekong River

Take a cruise along the Mekong River and learn about the ancient silk production of the area. This is a cruise oozing in all things luxurious and relaxing, on the 12th largest river in the world. The Mekong and its surroundings boast a unique biodiversity, second only to the Amazon, and as you sail along you can appreciate it all with a commentary from your English-speaking guide. Sip cocktails, fresh juices, or beer. You will be treated to a delicious BBQ meal at lunchtime. The cruise lasts for around 6 hours and includes a stop-off at the silk weaving houses at Prek Boeung Kong Pagoda and the Koh Dach beach. Learn how silk is made from the very beginning with the silk worm, to the end product. In the afternoon cool-off with a spot of supervised bathing in the Mekong River–life doesn’t get much better than this!

Best of Phnom Penh: Half-Day Private City Tour

4. Best of Phnom Penh: Half-Day Private City Tour

At 8:00 AM, start your tour of the charming capital with a visit to the city’s namesake, Wat Phnom. The pagoda was built to house Buddhist relics washed ashore by the river. After, you will visit the Royal Palace built in 1866 by King Norodom. See the different structures of this pagoda-style compound and stroll in its beautiful garden. Visit the Silver Pagoda named because of it’s floor that is comprised of 5,000 silver tiles. A gold Buddha encrusted with 9,584 diamonds and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha are also housed here. Continue to the nearby National Museum. Built in 1917, it is an exceptional example of traditional architecture and is exclusively devoted to preserving and displaying Khmer art and sculptures. Hundreds of pieces are housed here including both pre-and post-Angkorian pieces. At 12:00 PM, your tour will come to an end and your guide will transfer you back to your hotel.

Phnom Penh's Killing Fields: 4-Hour Guided Tour

5. Phnom Penh's Killing Fields: 4-Hour Guided Tour

The peaceful stretch of green fields at Choeung Ek hide the horrors that occurred at the site in the 1970s. Located 17 kilometers from Phnom Penh, Choeung Ek was made famous in the movie called The Killing Fields. On this 4-hour guided tour you’ll visit the memorial built in memory of the more than 17,000 victims who were killed at Choeung Ek by the Khmer Rouge. The remnants inside the memorial and the mass graves that dot the area are reminders of the suffering of the victims. This journey into Cambodia’s past will provide you with a background on the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime. It will also give you an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation.

Private Taxi Transfer Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

6. Private Taxi Transfer Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Start your transfer conveniently form the comfort of your accomodation located in Siem Reap. Here, you will meet your friendly, English-speaking guide before setting off to your chosen destination.  During your comfortable, air-conditioned journey, you will get to enjoy the landscape of Cambodia and witness the locals going about their daily lives. In the city center, take the opportunity to stop for a break and take in the sights and sounds of the city. This door to doo service will take you to the location in Phnom Penh that you desire, hassle-free and in comfort and style. Choose between two types of vehicles: the Lexus RX300 or the Mercedes Istana minivan, whichever best suits you and your party's needs.

Phnom Penh Private Tour: Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, S-21

7. Phnom Penh Private Tour: Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, S-21

Explore the troubled, but fascinating history of Cambodia on a 6-hour sightseeing tour in Phnom Penh, and visit some of the city’s most beautiful pagodas and palaces, as well as the infamous genocide museum of Tuol Sleng. Following a hotel pick-up, your guide will take you to the Royal Palace, built in 1866 by the French after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong. Located on the western banks of the Tonle Sap River and Mekong River, the palace complex features stunning Khmer architecture, divided into 4 main compounds. The grounds of the Palace are also home to the Silver Pagoda, which received its name because its floor is made of 5,329 silver tiles. Learn about the Khmer kings, resident at all times, with the exception of the period when the Khmer Rouge took control in 1975. See gold and jeweled Buddha statues in the Silver Pagoda, and the Angkor Wat style Bell Tower. Then, learn about the turbulent years of the Khmer Rouge at the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum. Located in a former high school that was used as the notorious Security Prison 21, the Genocide Museum traces the story of the Killing Fields and the torture and executions that took place from 1975-79. See exhibits that tell the stories of some of the estimated 20,000 prisoners that were killed. Return to the city center for a drop off at your hotel, or a riverside café or bar if you want to take in the sunset.

Phnom Penh: 1-Hour Mekong River Sunset Cruise

8. Phnom Penh: 1-Hour Mekong River Sunset Cruise

You will start the tour with a hotel pick-up in the afternoon before transferring to the boat pier. Climb aboard the boat for a trip on the Mekong River, where you can enjoy a joint sunset cruise on the Mekong and Tonlesap rivers. Enjoy a nice sunset view of the colonial sights in Phnom Penh, the beautiful developing capital city of Cambodia. The riverfront offers views of some of the city’s most interesting sights including the Royal Palace, Chaktomuk Hall, and dozens of pubs, galleries, cafes, restaurants, and shops along Sisowath Quay. Relax and enjoy the sunset with free-flowing drinks (draft beer, soft) before being transferred back to your hotel.

Tonle Sap Cruise & Road Tour between Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

9. Tonle Sap Cruise & Road Tour between Phnom Penh & Siem Reap

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap to start your full-day cruise along the Tonle Sap River and experience the beauty of the landscape from a different perspective.  Journey by luxury cruiser designed to navigate the challenging waterway with ease. Get a welcome drink on boarding and enjoy a buffet lunch and soft drinks, served on board as you sail. Benefit from the unique double hull that allows the boat to travel closer to the riverbanks and explore the narrow waterways along the way. Travel the rest of the journey in the luxury of a private air-conditioned minivan, and take in the stunning scenery as you drive through pristine countryside and the traditional rural villages surrounding Tonle Sap Lake. Experience the unique river and rural life on land.

Phnom Penh: Mekong River Sunset Cruise with BBQ Buffet

10. Phnom Penh: Mekong River Sunset Cruise with BBQ Buffet

Climb aboard a boat that once belonged to a prince of the Cambodian Royal Family and escape the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh city center on an intimate boat cruise along the Tonlé Sap and Mekong rivers. Avail of the features of the boat that can accommodate up to 30 people and has been refurbished to offer comfort and style on every journey. This boat can navigate areas that other river boats cannot reach. Pass the opulent Royal Palace, located at the meeting of the 2 rivers and marvel at the typical floating villages that contrast with the colonial buildings of the city center. Get panoramic views from the top decks and enjoy a buffet meal of finger food and unlimited drinks, including cold beers and champagne.

Frequently asked questions about Phnom Penh

What top attractions are a must-see in Phnom Penh?

Planning Your Visit

  • What to eat in Phnom Penh?

    The street vendors in Cambodia are legendary. Catch a wok in motion and have some fresh vegetables and pork with noodles. And for dessert, have some sweet sliced mango. You'll also find some French staples like baguette and paté, culinary traditions leftover from the colonial times.

  • How to get around Phnom Penh?

    Go on a motorbike taxi and ride around in style, but be sure to bargain the price down first. Otherwise, you can also take a bicycle around, a local bus, or a taxi.

Good to know

  • Language
    Khmer
  • Currency
    Cambodian Riel (KHR)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+07:00)
  • Country Code
    +855
  • Best time to visit
    The best time to visit Phnom Penh is in the dry season from October to May. Meanwhile, 75 percent of the annual precipitation falls throughout the rest of year.

Other Sightseeing Options in Phnom Penh

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What people are saying about Phnom Penh

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 616 reviews

Incredibly knowledgeable guide. Very friendly and while a sad day, he was a friendly face. Would recommend. 10/10

Pickup was very seamless, efficient, and pleasant! It was an overall excellent experience.

Great time with an awesome guide. Very knowledgeable and personable.

The driver got me home on time. We did not have any problems.

Had my name on a sign and provided safe transport to hotel.