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Phnom Penh lures visitors with its ancient relics and temples, deep and turbulant history and modern day energy.

Phnom Penh’s complicated and brutal history makes it a fascinating place to visit. Wander the streets and witness a city that is slowly bouncing back from decades of turmoil. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia and later the headquarters of the French colonial administration. In 1975 it was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and subject to years of brutal rule, before the Vietnamese toppled the regime in 1979.

Today it is the economic and political capital of Cambodia and is home to some of its most spectacular temples and harrowing museums. You’ll see bustling street markets, wild traffic, and buildings from throughout its history. Check out Wat Phnom to see the temple that gave the city its name. For a look at some of its more impressive structures, visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Wander through immaculately-maintained gardens, among gold and crystal Buddha statues, and over silver floors.

To see more ancient temples, visit Wat Sarawan or Wat Ounalom. Brush up on your local history with some time at the National Museum of Cambodia. There are statues and artifacts from the Angkorian era and beyond. Anyone looking to understand the country’s troubled recent past should head to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Inside the school Pol Pot converted into the infamous S-21 Prison, you’ll see moving exhibits and what remains of the cramped cells.

Take a trip out to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek to learn more. There are pits where murdered prisoners were buried, as well as a Buddhist stupa packed with victims’ skulls.

Back in the city, take a trip to the art deco Central Market. Shop for everything from clothes and jewellry to flowers. For a nice evening stroll, head to Sisowath Quay. There are some good restaurants, decent cafés, and a few bars.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh

Central Market featuring markets and flowers as well as an individual female

Phnom Penh City Centre

3.5/5Good!(139 area reviews)

Phnom Penh City Centre is a destination visitors seek out for its great bars, fascinating museums and beautiful river views. You might also want to check out attractions like Central Market or National Museum of Cambodia while you're exploring the neighbourhood.

Phnom Penh City Centre
Wat Ounalom showing heritage elements and a temple or place of worship

Daun Penh

4/5Very Good!(38 area reviews)

The fantastic nightlife and stunning river views are just a few highlights of Daun Penh. Make a stop by National Museum of Cambodia or Central Market while you're exploring the area.

Daun Penh
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Chamkar Mon

4/5Very Good!(51 area reviews)

Casinos, cocktail bars and spas are some highlights of Chamkar Mon. Make a stop by Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or AEON Mall while you're exploring.

Chamkar Mon
Mean Chey, Kien Svay, Kandal, Cambodia

Mean Chey

Travellers like the shopping in Mean Chey, and Riverside is a top attraction you might want to visit.

Mean Chey
Prampir Makara, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Prampir Makara

Prampir Makara is noteworthy for its restaurants, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Olympic Stadium and Orussey Market.

Prampir Makara
Ruessei Kaev, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Ruessei Kaev

4.5/5Wonderful!(4 area reviews)

While visiting Ruessei Kaev, you might make a stop by sights like Riverside and AEON Mall Sen Sok City.

Ruessei Kaev

Top hotels in Phnom Penh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Lyve Inc Hotel & Residence
Lyve Inc Hotel & Residence
3.5 out of 5
Building No. 37A, Street 118, Sangkat Mittapheap, Khan 7 Makara, Phnom Penh
The price is Rs4,113 per night

Located in Phnom Penh City Centre, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Central Market, Wat Phnom and Riverside. Phnom Penh Night Market and National Museum of ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (34 reviews)

"I have stayed three or four times, and it is always nice except I didn't like the $50 cash deposit seems ridiculous when they already have my credit card and I have a long-standing repore."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jul 2020

Lyve Inc Hotel & Residence
Angkor International Hotel
Angkor International Hotel
3 out of 5
50, Street 148, Sangkat Phsar Kandal I, Phnom Penh
The price is Rs1,214 per night

Located in Phnom Penh City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Kandal Market and Riverside. National Museum of Cambodia and Phnom Penh Night Market are also ...

3.7/5Good! (200 reviews)

"Room only had 3 single beds not 1 double and one single as booked."…"

Reviewed on 4 Dec 2019

Angkor International Hotel
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
5 out of 5
26 Old August Site, Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh
The price is Rs17,234 per night

This family-friendly Phnom Penh hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of AEON Mall and Riverside. Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument and ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (176 reviews)
Great Haven

"Exceptional hotel, with exceptional service. The breakfast buffet alone makes this place worth a stay. Everyone was especially accommodating given that we were stranded by COVID-related flight interruptions. We can't wait to return when everything calms down."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2020

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Popular places to visit in Phnom Penh

Riverside
Image for Riverside

Riverside

4/5(83 reviews)

You can find the perfect gifts to bring home when you visit Riverside, a popular shopping spot in Phnom Penh. Wander the area's riverfront or simply enjoy one of its lively bars.

Royal Palace
Image for Royal Palace

Royal Palace

4.5/5(67 reviews)

Befitting the home of Cambodia’s royalty, the glittering golden roofline of this palace dominates Phnom Penh’s skyline.

Central Market
Image for Central Market

Central Market

4/5(72 reviews)

Whether you’re looking for fresh food or a new watch, you can buy just about anything imaginable within the walls of Phnom Penh’s famous cross-shaped market. 

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Image for Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

4.5/5(59 reviews)

This former prison outside Phnom Penh brings to light the brutality of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and honors the 17,000 people who lost their lives here. 

Tuol Tom Pong Market
Image for Tuol Tom Pong Market

Tuol Tom Pong Market

3.5/5(18 reviews)

You can browse for souvenirs with a trip to Tuol Tom Pong Market, a favourite shopping spot in Phnom Penh. Wander the area's riverfront or simply enjoy one of its lively bars.

National Museum of Cambodia
Image for National Museum of Cambodia

National Museum of Cambodia

4/5(27 reviews)

Browse the exhibits at National Museum of Cambodia, a favourite museum in Phnom Penh. Discover the area's lively bars and its fascinating museums.

Cities near Phnom Penh

Independence Monument which includes a monument and motorbike riding

Boeung Keng Kang