Top attractions in Phnom Penh
9 things to do in Phnom Penh
So you've decided to see for yourself how many cultures came together to form this modern day Cambodian city! Marvel at the royal lifestyle of Cambodian monarchs and afterwards have a French style aperitif by the banks of the river with a baguette in hand. There's something for everyone in Phnom Penh.
1. Royal Palace
Occupied by the Kings of Cambodia since the 19th century, the Royal Palace is made up of many grandiose buildings. The gilded throne hall is one of the most impressive. After you tour the grounds, visit the nearby Mekong River.
2. Silver Pagoda
The statues of Buddha at the Silver Pagoda are jewel encrusted and quite remarkable. You'll want to check out the pagoda as you visit the Royal Palace, as the temple is in the south side of the complex.
3. Choeung Ek
You may know Choeung Ek as the site of the mass killings during the Khmer Rouge regime. The memorial has the remains of those who were murdered on display in a Buddhist stupa. Choeung Ek is an important but intense part of the history of Phnom Penh.
4. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Preserving the history of the Cambodian Genocide, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a memorial to the 20,000 prisoners who were killed in captivity.
5. Independence Monument
Inaugurated to celebrate Cambodian Independence from French Colonial rule, the Independence Monument was built by Cambodian architect, Vann Molyvann. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the park located in the center of the structure.
6. Wat Oualom
The Wat Oualom is one of the most important temples in Phnom Pehn. Visit the wat as you make your way through the Royal Palace complex, it's a short distance nearby.
7. Sisowath Quay
Listen to some birdsong as you walk the Sisowath Quay--the boardwalk of the river Tonle Sap. A scenic path along the water's edge, the quay offers a great daytime or evening sightseeing opportunity, as you can see many of Phnom Penh's best attractions along the way.
8. National Museum of Cambodia
Discover the illustrious history of Cambodia at the National Museum of Cambodia. Explore exhibitions that delve into the past of the former French colony through interactive exhibits, archaeological finds, and more.
9. Cambodia Vietnam Friendship Monument
This Soviet style monument was built in the 1970s after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. As a display of friendship between Cambodia and Vietnam, the structure is in a popular park ideal for picnicking on street food eats.
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
- Cambodian Riel (KHR)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+07:00)
- Country Code
- 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
Booked online a few hours before pick up time, but the confirmation came through immediately. We were picked up in a tuk tuk by our friendly guide, Sameth. There were only 4 of us on boat, which made the trip personable. Food was choice of chicken wings or skewers, and a fruit platter. Luckily, no one was a vegetarian. We were on boat for 2 hours. Guide was informative. My partner used the washroom, and said it was not clean, ok for a guy, but didn't think I would have been able to use. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable. We were given choice to be dropped back to hotel or stay and enjoy the entertainment close to Quay.
It ended up being a personal tour. I was driven by Tuk Tuk to sights such as Wat Phnom, an Golden Temples. Visiting the Killing Fields, and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, while somewhat difficult to grasp, are important sights to see in Phnom Penh. I had a great time on the tour, the driver was fantastic. Just experiencing the city in that way was incredible. Thanks!
Met at airport On flight from Siem Reap, even with flight being early. All good and was a good choice as taxi choice was restricted at domestic arrivals (as most people are met). Good communication before transfer as my flight had also been retimed by Cambodia Airlines and this was allowed for with no more charges
We really enjoyed our guide on this tour. He was extremely knowledgeable and filled in many holes in our understanding of what happened during the genocide as well as surrounding the politics. I would highly recommend this tour of the Killing Fields.
Our guide, Genda, spoke very good English and was very helpful to us in understanding the timeline and events. She was terrific and we would strongly endorse her for any English speaking group.