Phnom Penh – Things to See & Do

Visiting Phnom Penh for a few days?  Here is our list of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Grand Palace in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace

Sothearos Boulevard | map

Weekday opening times: 07:30 - 11:00 & 14:30 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 07:30 - 11:00 & 14:30 - 17:00

The palace was built by King Norodom in 1866 as a venue for ceremony and state occasions and survived the Pol Pot and Communist regimes relatively untouched. During the mid 90’s much of the Palace was restored to its former glory and it continues to be the home of the Cambodian Royal family.

Many of the buildings, including the Throne Hall and the Chan Chaya Pavilion (built for the performance of classical Cambodian dance) are open daily to the public and very much worth visiting.  Entry fee $3.00 per person, plus $2 per camera & $5 per video camera.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Grand Palace in Phnom Penh

Silver Pagoda

Royal Palace Grounds | map

| website |

Weekday opening times: 07:30 - 11:00 & 14:30 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 07:30 - 11:00 & 14:30 - 17:00

The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat – ‘The Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is located next to the Royal Palace.  It became known as the ‘Silver Pagoda’ after solid silver floor tiles were installed.  Royal ceremonies are still performed in the Silver Pagoda.  The building is renowned for a priceless collection of historical objects including the ‘Emerald Buddha’ – a life-sized Buddha made of 90 kg of gold and 9,584 diamonds – the largest of which is an astonishing 25 karats.  Admission included in the Royal Palace ticket price.

A dress code applies to both Palace and Pagoda.  No shorts, no tank tops / exposed shoulders, no hats and no backpacks.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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National Museum Phnom Penh

National Museum

Samdech Sothearos Boulevard | map

| website |

Weekday opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

Home to a collection of more than 5,000 Khmer art sculptures, ancient pottery and works of art dating from 4th century to the 10th century as well as many more recent artefacts including royal barges.  Street 178 & Street 13 – just to the north of the Royal Palace.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Toul Sleng Museum Phnom Penh

Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

Corner of Street 113 and Street 350 | map

Weekday opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

Before 1975, Toul Sleng was just an ordinary high school.  The Khmer Rouge transformed the building in a prison and interrogation facility known as ‘S-21’. Prisoners were tortured over a period of many months before being sent to the Choeung Ka killing fields.

17,000 people were known to have been ‘processed’ through S-21 of which only seven survived.

The building is now a museum and memorial to those who suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.  A disturbing but essential part of any visit to Phnom Penh.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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The Killing Fields

Choeung Ek Memorial (“The Killing Fields”)

25 min by car | map

Weekday opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 08:00 - 17:00

The ultra-Communist Khmer Rouge, headed by Pol Pot, controlled Cambodia between 1975 – 1979.  During this period, an estimated 2.5 million Cambodians were killed or died from disease and malnutrition.  Brutal executions took place in ‘killling fields’ across the country.

Choeung Ek is one such killing field where more than 17,000 men, women, children and even babies were murdered, most of whom had first suffered torture at Toul Sleng Prision.  A visit to Choeung Ek is an experience that you will not forget.  15km southwest of Phnom Penh.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Central Market Phnom Penh

Central Market

Junction of Street 136 and Street 53 | map

Weekday opening times: 05:00 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 05:00 - 17:00

Home to a maze of stalls and shops selling cheap clothing, jewellery, flowers, souvenirs, electronic good and more.  Worth visiting to see the distinctive art deco-styled four-winged building built in 1937. 

Features: cafe, shop (咖啡馆, 铺子) | Updated: 10-03-2013

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Night Market

Preah Mohaksat Treiyani Kossamak | map

Weekday opening times: 17:00 - 24:00 Fri

Weekend opening times: 17:00 - 24:00

The riverfront Night Market is almost exclusively a retail experience for tourists and is dominated by stalls offering a wide variety of good quality Cambodian arts, crafts and souvenirs.  Compared with night markets elsewhere, this market is relaxed, and a visit is a pleasant experience.  Located between 106 and 108 Streets on the riverside.  Operates Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 5pm to around midnight.

Features: restaurant, shop (餐厅, 铺子) | Updated: 10-03-2013

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Olympic Stadium Phnom Penh

Olympic Stadium

Samdach Preah Sihanouk Boulevard | map

One of the most prominent buildings in the city is the rather optimistically named ‘Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium’.  The stadium, built in 1964, is home to the Cambodian national football team, although it is also used for other sports such as volleyball and basketball.  Located on Sihanouk Boulevard. 

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Junction of Street 47 and Street 90 | map

As per a legend, the first pagoda was housed statues of Buddha deposited here by the Mekong River and then discovered by Lady Penh in 1373.  The current temple was built in 1926 and restored in 1998.  There is also large stupa containing the ashes of King Ponhea Yat.  Entrance fee $1.  You will probably be ready to leave after about 30 minutes. Elephant rides also available.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Russian Market

Boulvar Mao Tse Toung and 143 Street | map

Weekday opening times: 07:00 - 17:00

Weekend opening times: 07:00 - 17:00

The Russian Market dates back to when most foreigners to the city were from Russia. Today, it is another shopping paradise for bargain-hunting tourists.

| Updated: 10-03-2013

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Art Street (Street 178)

178 Street | map

Weekday opening times: Most open to 20:00

Weekend opening times: until 20:00

Home to a large number of art boutiques and galleries offering both traditional and contemporary art.  The Reyum Gallery hosts some of the most important exhibitions that Phnom Penh.  Most shops are open daily until 8pm.

Features: cafe, restaurant, shop (咖啡馆, 餐厅, 铺子) | Updated: 10-03-2013

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