We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

One Day in Phnom Penh

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

95%
Found this guide helpful

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia once known as the Pearl of Asia, is a fast-growing and fast-changing city situated on the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. It is the economic center, and as you explore the city, you will pass endless options for eating out and see high-rise buildings that are non-existent in any other part of Cambodia, as well as markets, hotels, museums, and rivers. This itinerary will help you navigate Phnom Penh to ensure you don't miss the most significant historical, cultural, and modern-day places to visit.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveler
  • Like a Local

11 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

11 Places

Russian Market

Flea & Street Markets

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

History Museums

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center

Historic Sites

The Olympic Stadium

Arenas & Stadiums

Royal Palace

Castles, Historic Sites

Experience Cambodian Living Arts

Performances

Aeon Mall

Shopping Malls

Wat Phnom

Sacred & Religious Sites

PhoceaMekong Cruises

Boat Tours, Eco Tours, Private Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours

Sher-e-Punjab

Restaurants

Heart of Darkness

Bars & Clubs

Mel C's City Tips

  • There are many great social enterprise restaurants that provide life skills training and education for young Cambodians. Save a meal or a few to eat at these great establishments.
  • The safest way to get around the city is by tuk-tuk (motorized taxi). It's best to keep a map with you and get directions to your destination, as some drivers may not know exactly where your destination is.
  • Tipping is not expected in Cambodia, but if you received great service and food, it doesn't hurt to give a bit extra, as the salaries for service staff are low.
  • Save
    Russian Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    Start your day early in the morning at the Russian Market. While you won't actually find Russian items here, the market got its name from the many waves of Russian inmigration in the 1980s. This is your one-stop-shop for souvenirs, including tiny Buddhas, recycled purses, antiques, food, DVDs, knock-off clothes, and anything else you may want or didn't know you wanted.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try a fruit shake or iced coffee with condensed milk from the food stalls for a refreshing drink.
    • It's ok to get lost in the market among the endless stalls. Just keep a map of Phnom Penh with you so that you know what street intersection you are on.
    • You can bargain hard here, as the prices are marked up for all the tourists that pass through.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    • Holiday 09/14/2018
    • Shopping 09/14/2018
    • Russian Market
    Address:
    Corner of Street 163 and Street 444
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Other:
  • Save
    Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    Everyone must take time to visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn more about the genocide of 1975-1979 under Pol Pot. An estimated two million Cambodians were killed during this period, which was almost a third of the population at the time. This former high school was converted into a prison (called S-21), where an estimated 30,000 people were tortured, interrogated, and killed. At the end of your tour, you will encounter two of the only seven survivors of the prison, who have spent many days telling their stories and answering questions from visitors. It will help you get a better understanding of the war's negative impacts on the country, which have caused many social problems in Cambodia into the present day.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • You can pay a donation for an English guide at the museum, which will make the visit much more informative.
    • You can take a tuk-tuk, and this museum isn't far from the Russian Market.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Disturbing but a must see 09/18/2018
    • Humbling experience 09/17/2018
    • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
    Address:
    113 Street
    Corner of Street 113 & St 350
    Phnom Penh 12304
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 93 388 988
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    During the war, about 17,000 who were tortured and interrogated in the S-21 prison were transported about 11 kilometers to the killing fields in Choeung Ek. This now peaceful and natural area honors the victims and stores the remains of 8,985 people. You can learn about the stories of the survivors and more about the history with a great audio tour.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • There is a memorial ceremony held here every year on May 9.
    • The ride from the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is about 30 minutes long.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see to understand the country 09/17/2018
    • Chowing Ek Genocidal Center 09/17/2018
    • Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
    Phone:
    +855 23 305 371
    Other:
  • Save
    The Olympic Stadium
    Arenas & Stadiums
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    The Olympic Stadium, or National Sports Complex, was completed in 1964 by Cambodia's most famous architect Vann Molyvann. Contrary to its name, the Olympic Games were never hosted at the stadium. In 1966, the stadium hosted dignitaries, state occasions, and was the home of Cambodia's national athletics teams during the GANEFO (Games of the New Emerging Forces), which ironically was established and ran against the doctrine of the International Olympic Committee. People now come here for various sports including boxing, gymnastics, volleyball, aerobics and swimming. If you visit after lunch, you can take a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool in the afternoon, usually the hottest time of the day.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you are at the stadium in the early morning or late afternoon, join the hundreds of locals doing Cambodian aerobics for a minimal price. It's fun and great exercise!
    • You can come and watch local football matches here if you are in town over the weekend.
    • Come with your own fan and a hat if you don't want to pay an extra fee for a shaded seat during a match. There is no entrance fee to come into the stadium itself.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    • Walked around today 09/18/2018
    • A dinausor from the past...nice to see 07/25/2018
    • The Olympic Stadium
    Address:
    Monireth Boulevard
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 86 734 905
  • Save
    Royal Palace
    Castles, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    After finishing around the Russian Market area, you can head back toward the riverside and visit the famous Royal Palace. It is a complex of buildings built in the 1860s, and has been the residence of Cambodia's Kings until today, except for the period during the Khmer Rouge reign in the 1970s. The complex is a good example of Cambodian architecture, and the different sections of the area contain the defensive wall, throne hall, Silver Pagoda, and Khemarin Palace (the official residence of the king).

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The Royal Palace is a much more informative and meaningful visit if you hire a guide to explain the history and significance, rather than wandering around on your own.
    • Wear clothes that cover your elbows and pants that cover the knees.
    • The area is very busy on Sundays, as many Khmer people come to pay their respects.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    • Royal Palace 09/17/2018
    • Royal Palace 09/15/2018
    • Royal Palace
    Address:
    Sothearos
    between Street 240 & 184
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 12 721 915
    Other:
  • Save
    Experience Cambodian Living Arts
    Performances
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    Attend an entertaining cultural performance organized by the Cambodia Living Arts non-profit organization. You'll see a spectacular show with historical story lines that change regularly, composed of artists who have developed their own talent and showcase traditional costumes and dances. The organization's founder Arn Chorn-Pond survived as a child laborer during the Khmer Rouge regime and escaped death by performing propaganda music. He established this organization to revive the arts, which were almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, to provide artists with a living, and to develop their talents through teaching and workshops.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You can reserve a ticket on the website for the type of show you want to see, including shadow puppets, theater, or musical performances.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 6 Concerts & Shows in Phnom Penh
    • Great experience 09/18/2018
    • Incredible performance by very talented artists. Wheelchair accessible! 09/17/2018
    • Experience Cambodian Living Arts
    Address:
    13 Street
    National Museum of Cambodia, Sangkat Chey Chumneas, Khan Daun Penh
    Phnom Penh 12000
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 17 998 570
    Price range:
    $15 - $15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Aeon Mall
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    If you want to see a very modern side of Cambodia, come to Aeon Mall, where you'll find a variety of higher-end fashion shops, restaurants, cinema, bowling, and even a skating rink. Many of the customers are local Cambodians working in business. You'll forget that you're in Cambodia.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • It's best to come in the afternoon or evening to either escape the heat or watch a movie at night.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    • I think it's the best 09/08/2018
    • Amazing new shopping centre 09/02/2018
    • Aeon Mall
    Address:
    #132, Street Samdach Sothearos, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmon
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 10 717 885
    Other:
  • Save
    Wat Phnom
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    Wat Phnom is Phnom Penh's most famous temple on Norodom Boulevard, sitting on a 27-meter high hill. The first thing you'll be struck by is the large flower clock at the base of the Wat. The original clock came from France and was installed the 1960s. In 2000, it was replaced by a new version that was a gift from China, to mark the friendship between the two countries. The first pagoda on this site was built in 1373 to house the four statues of Buddha that were deposited from the Mekong River. It's a beautiful site to visit in the late afternoon just before sunset, and you'll find many local people making offerings for good luck and receiving blessings.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees to be respectful.
    • All foreigners pay one to a few dollars (depending which guard you get) to go up to the top.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #28 of 144 things to do in Phnom Penh
    • Small sightseeing spot surrounded by massage shops 09/17/2018
    • One of the highlights of Phnom Penh 09/17/2018
    • Wat Phnom
    Address:
    Street 96
    Norodom Blvd
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Save
    PhoceaMekong Cruises
    Boat Tours, Eco Tours, Private Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    End your day in Phnom Penh with a beautiful sunset cruise and dinner along the majestic Mekong River. This is a wonderful way to get away from the noise and traffic of the city center and enjoy the peaceful boat ride with delicious food, including BBQ and spring rolls. The staff are very friendly, informative, and hospitable, and you will no doubt enjoy their company during your 2.5-hour boat ride.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Come with an empty stomach as you can take second and third helpings during your dinner.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 26 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Phnom Penh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Enjoyable Excursion 05/07/2018
    • Mekong River sunset dinner cruise 03/27/2018
    • PhoceaMekong Cruises
    Address:
    Sisowath Quay
    Titanic Tourism port
    Phnom Penh 12000
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 77 303 266
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 8:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Sher-e-Punjab
    Restaurants (Indian, Asian, Balti, Fusion)
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    For the international foodies, come to Sher-e-Punjab, close to the riverside, for a heavenly blend of spices and ingredients. The restaurant consistently provides quality Punjabi food, including a huge list of curries, dahl, and naan bread. This is a great place for dinner to share food with your travel buddies.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Try a "lassi," a traditional Indian yogurt-based drink that can contain spices and fruit.
    • The garlic and paneer naan breads (traditional Indian flatbreads) are excellent, best eaten with your curries of choice.
    • You can request your preferred level of spice; otherwise you won't be able to enjoy the curry if it's too spicy for your taste.
    • Try item #95, "Tawa Paneer" curry.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #50 of 1,024 restaurants in Phnom Penh
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Small restaurant super food 09/17/2018
    • Super again 09/17/2018
    • Sher-e-Punjab
    Address:
    130 16 St
    Pasar Kandal khan dumpenh Phnom Penhn
    Phnom Penh 12000
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 23 216 360
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Heart of Darkness
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    Mel C Says:

    You can continue to enjoy Phnom Penh's nightlife at one of the city's most popular clubs. There is no entry fee, the music is spinning pop and electro house from local and western DJs every night, drinks are cheap, and it is also gay friendly.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • LGBT
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • You can pre-drink to save money; the alcohol at the local stores is even cheaper than at the bar happy hours.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 107 Nightlife in Phnom Penh
    • Nice small place 09/11/2018
    • a classic during the nigh 06/27/2018
    • Heart of Darkness
    Address:
    26 Street 51
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia
    Phone:
    +855 77 837 777
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo