Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, also known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, is the capital of Cambodia, known for being the most charming city built during the French Colonisation period. Known for its rich historical architectu (Read More)re built by the Khmer Empire and its distressing recent history, Phnom Penh offers great tourist attractions, including temples, the Royal Palace, archaeological museums, large markets and a vibrant nightlife.

Here is the list of 20 Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

1. National Museum of Cambodia

National Museum of Cambodia
4.3 /5

The National Museum of Cambodia is located in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the largest and the central museum of the country, consisting of more than 15,000 collections depicting various periods in Cambodia's history. If you are interested in history, you will enjoy getting to know the past with these massive collections. It is a highly recommended attraction for tourists while traveling in Phnom Penh.

Timings : 7:30 AM-11:00 AM 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Time Required : 2 to 3 hours
Entry Fee : 10 USD

2. The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is just a few blocks from the National Museum in Sisowath Quay. The area spanning 174,840 square metres consists of lush royal gardens and other complexly built structures. The complex is divided into four main compounds. The Silver Pagoda lies adjacent to the Royal Palace, a significant highlight of the spot, along with the Throne Hall in the central compound, the Moonlight Pavilion in the West and the Khemarin Palace in the North. However, the most remarkable sight at the Royal Palace is the Emerald Buddha, adorned with Baccarat Crystals and another Buddha statue behind it made by using 90kg of gold embellished with 9,584 diamonds.

Monday to Thursday and Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM
Fridays from 8 AM to 6 PM
Sundays from 8 AM to 5:30 PM
Entrance Fee: 26562 RIEL (USD 6.50) for individual tours and 40865 RIEL (USD 10) for guided tours
Address: Samdech Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Special Attractions: The famous Silver Pagoda constructed in wood, inlaid with 5,329 solid silver tiles.

3. Phnom Penh Night Market

Phnom Penh Night Market

The Night Market is located on the riverfront close to downtown Phnom Penh. This local night market, open only during the weekends, is a famous attraction for Cambodians and tourists who come to enjoy a cold night by the riverfront, tasting local street food and beer, to shop for cheap clothes, souvenirs and local jewellery. For tourists visiting Phnom Penh, exploring the local night market is a way of experiencing a Cambodian way of local life more than a destination for shopping.

Timings: 5 PM to 11 PM on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
Address: Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

4. Wat Saravan

Wat Saravan

Minutes away from the National Museum and Royal Palace of Cambodia, Wat Saravan is an ornate temple embellished with statues, sculptures and murals of Lord Buddha. Also known as Saravon Techno Pagoda, it flaunts impeccable Khmer-style architecture and a golden spire amidst a trendy neighbourhood. The temple is said to house over 3,400 ancient religious and political manuscripts comprising the country’s largest library.

Entry Fee: Free

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5. Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is a large Buddhist temple located on the only hill in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the tallest religious structure in the town and is quite popular among the locals who come here to pray for good luck and success in their lives. Offering magnificent views of the city and surrounded by a lovely garden, Wat Phnom hill temple is a top attraction of Phnom Penh that shouldn't be missed by tourists travelling in the city.

Timings: 7 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry Fee: 1 USD

6. The Russian Market

The Russian Market

A noteworthy street market in Phnom Penh is the Russian Market. This is the hippest market in town and one of the largest in Phnom Penh. Stalls selling wooden handicrafts, antiquities, miniature Buddhas, fruits and veggies, jewellery, etc occupy this market. And of course, you’ll see plenty of knock-off products with various brand tags. The market is also famous for Khmer iced coffee, elephant pants, grilled bananas and bargaining.

Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM

7. Koh Dach (Silk Island)

Koh Dach (Silk Island)

Koh Dach is an island located on the banks of the Mekong river at Kandal in Kon Dach Commune, close to the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The archipelago, known as Silk Island, is popular among tourists for the clean, white sand beaches and the handicrafts produced here by the locals. It is worth planning a day trip to Koh Dach island while exploring Phnom Penh for a relaxing beach holiday.

8. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields)

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields)

Choeung Ek Genocidal centre is located outside the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Infamously known as the Killing Fields, this is a mass grave site built to commemorate the death of thousands of civilians during the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1978. It is one of the disturbing places to visit in Phnom Penh that showcases the mass murders of people, who were held as prisoners in S-21 prison. Tourists can get to know the entire dark history of this period on tours where they can see thousands of skulls and bones.

Timings: 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: 6 USD

9. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
4.6 /5

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is located close to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. It is a former secret prison well-known as S-21 established during the Khmer Rouge, where thousands of innocent Cambodian civilians were accused of crimes to be imprisoned and tortured. Many of these were executed in the nearby killing fields. Today, the prison has been converted into a museum that showcases the Genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge officials, including Pol Pot. It is not a pleasant attraction but worth a visit for the tourists travelling in Phnom Penh to understand the country's dark history.

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: 5 USD. Audio guides cost an additional 3 USD. 6 USD extra for tour guides.

10. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center(PTWRC) is a wildlife centre located south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is the largest zoo in the country, consisting of over 1200 animals of more than 100 species and is among the top attractions. More than 2 million tourists visit Phnom Tamao every year. If you want to experience Cambodian wildlife in their natural habitats, this is a highly recommended tourist attraction while travelling in Phnom Penh.

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: 5 USD. Extra cost for guided tours, feeding and other activities.

11. Independence Monument

Independence Monument

Locally known as Vimean Ekareach, the Independence Monument is a quintessential landmark at the heart of Phnom Penh City Centre, standing 37 meters tall. The structure is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa signifying the union of the religious and the secular. The monument stands as a strong symbol of Cambodia’s liberation from the French. Hence, during national festivals like Independence Day and Constitution Day, celebrations are done here with great grandeur. For a real visual treat, visit the monument at night when the surroundings, as well as the structure, are illuminated by blue, red, and white floodlights.

12. Bassac Lane

Bassac Lane

Situated in the leafy Tonle Bassac, once a sleepy residential lane, Bassac Lane is now sophisticated drinking, shopping and dining destination with over 25 boutique bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants. This small hidden walking lane is filled with after-dark hotspots for beer, cocktails and mouth-watering Cambodian delicacies, including Seibur Bar, Hub Street Cocktails, and Hangar 44. Visit Backstreet Bar, Uniga, and Bassac Social Club for live music gigs and entertainment.

13. Aeon Mall

Aeon Mall

Aeon Mall is a vibrant air-conditioned shopping plaza in Phnom Penh with familiar global brands. Located on Sothearos Street, Cambodia’s first general merchandise mall spanning 68,000 square metres. Over a thousand people visit this glitzy mall daily in search of high-end clothing and apparel, homeware, souvenirs, jewellery, flowers, books, furniture and more. Aeon Mall also has an international food court, bowling alley, gymnasium and movie theatre.

Timings: (Daily) 9 AM to 10 PM

14. Wat Botum

Wat Botum

One of Phnom Penh’s five oldest pagodas with ancient origins, Wat Botum, or Temple of Lotus Blossoms, is a Khmer Buddhist pagoda built by King Ponhea Yat in the 15th century. Located beside Wat Botum Park, this colourful temple boasts photogenic saffron-coloured robes flapping in the wind, important relics, and paintings. In addition, numerous politicians and eminent Cambodian personalities are buried in the temple’s cemetery.

Timings: Daily - 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

15. Sisowath Quay

Sisowath Quay

Sisowath Quay is a famous boulevard located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This street, lined with many shops selling souvenirs, restaurants, cafes and bars, is a popular hangout place for the locals and a tourist attraction, which gets crowded during the weekends and holidays. The promenade lies in front of the Mekong river and is also famous for water sports enjoyed by travellers visiting Phnom Penh.

16. Wat Langka

Wat Langka

Wat Langka is one of the five pagodas founded by Ponhea Yat in 1442, which was established as a library of the Buddhist scriptures. A meeting hall for the locals and monks, it was later used as a storehouse during the Khmer Rouge regime. This radiant shrine is well maintained, unlike most Cambodian Buddhist temples, and the entree is free of charge. Tourists can also stay at Villa Langka to wake up to a peaceful morning surrounded by the pleasant chirping of birds. Every Sunday at 8:30 AM, tourists can participate in the meditation sessions organized by Wat Langka, supervised in English by the monks. Wat Langka is just 2 minutes away from Independence Monument.

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
Entry Fee : Free entry

17. Wat Moha Montrey

Wat Moha Montrey

Maha Montrey means "Grand Minister" in the local Khmer tongue. Built-in 1970, Wat Maha Montrey is a Buddhist temple on Sihanouk Boulevard, named in honour of King Monivong's War Minister. It was used by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979 as storage for rice and corn and later rejuvenated with a 35-metre-tall tower, golden roof, and intricately carved pillars. The temple is Phnom Penh's tallest religious structure.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM, Daily
Entry Fee: Free

18. Cambodian Living Arts

Cambodian Living Arts

Cambodian Living Arts is an institute performing cultural shows in the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This private institute is a famous attraction among the tourists visiting the capital city for its vibrant, impressive dance performances that depict Cambodian heritage and culture narrated by a combination of storytelling with traditional art, dance and music. It is highly recommended to visit the centre while travelling in Phnom Penh.

Dance Show - 7 PM to 8 PM every day
Dance workshop - 3 PM to 4:30 PM weekly once
Entry Fee: 15 to 25 USD per person for the Dance show, 50 to 75 USD per person for the Dance workshop

19. Psar Thmei (Central Market)

Psar Thmei (Central Market)
4.2 /5

Psar Thmei, or the Central Market, was first opened in 1937 and is located under a dome and four extending ‘legs’(hallways) of the structure. It’s an Art Deco building in Cambodia with a bright splash of yellow on the outside. It has countless stalls ranging from gold and silverware to electronic goods to food stalls. It’s a prominent market in Phnom Penh and is usually pretty busy with locals and tourists shopping for goods.

Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM

20. Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom is a prominent temple located in front of the Tonle Sap River in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The pagoda is the headquarters of the Cambodian Mohanikay order of Buddhism and is home to the head monk in the country. It is one of the top attractions in Siem Reap for tourists for its central, scenic location next to the river and being the centre of Buddhism in Cambodia.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee : Free entry

This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer

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