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Phnom PenhCambodia

Phnom Penh’s harrowing past has not diminished its modern-day vibrancy, characterised by busy markets, ancient temples and preserved memorials.

Uncover the charms of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and learn about its tumultuous history. Stroll through lively streets and admire the beauty and strength of the city, which has survived great turmoil in recent decades. Phnom Penh was colonised by the French in the 19th century, then taken over by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. The Khmer Rouge established a genocidal regime under Pol Pot that lasted four years. Learn about the tragedies that befell the city and how it is bouncing back.

Despite its modern incarnation as the economic and political capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh has preserved a number of ancient temples and colonial buildings. Navigate busy markets and traffic dominated by scooters to get between landmarks. Visit the Buddhist temple Wat Phnom and learn how the city received its name. Admire the impressive Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and stroll around the site, which features pristine gardens, silver floors and Buddhas decorated with precious stones. Other temples worth a visit include Wat Sarawan or Wat Ounalom.

Stroll the art deco Central Market and browse locally made clothing and jewellery. Walk along the promenade of Sisowath Quay at sunset and stop for a drink at one of the bars. Discover the region’s history at the National Museum of Cambodia. This expansive institution holds relics and statues from the Angkorian dynasty.

Tour the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly the infamous S-21 Prison, to learn about the Khmer Rouge regime. Pay your respects to those who suffered here in crowded cells. If you have a strong constitution, tour the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek where prisoners were executed and buried. See a Buddhist monument nearby that contains victims’ skulls.

Fly into Phnom Penh International Airport, just a 20-minute drive from the centre of town. It is best to visit in the dry season between November and February. Come to Phnom Penh to marvel at its ancient and colonial sites and see how this resilient city has overcome its troubled past.

Top hotels in Phnom Penh

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex
NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex
5 out of 5
NagaWorld, Samdech Techo Hun Sen Park, Phnom Penh
NZ$101
per night
9 Apr. - 10 Apr.

Located in Chamkar Mon, this luxury resort is within a 15-minute walk of Riverside and Independence Monument. Silver Pagoda and AEON Mall are also within 1 mi ...

3.8/5Good! (1,270 reviews)

"Perfect. Plenty of services room excellent good location"…"

Reviewed on 30 Mar. 2020

NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex
Hotel Emion Phnom Penh
Hotel Emion Phnom Penh
4 out of 5
No.192, Sisowath Quay, Sangkat Chaktomuk, Khan Doun Penh, Phnom Penh, Kandal
NZ$155
per night
18 Apr. - 19 Apr.

Located in Daun Penh, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Riverside, Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace. Independence Monument and AEON Mall are also within ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (148 reviews)

"Excellent! Morning breakfast location is fantastic, good food and kind staff."…"

Reviewed on 15 Mar. 2020

Hotel Emion Phnom Penh
Palace Gate Hotel & Residence
Palace Gate Hotel & Residence
4 out of 5
10B, St. 264, Sangkat Chaktomok, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
NZ$116
per night
9 Apr. - 10 Apr.

Located in Phnom Penh City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Riverside and Independence Monument. Royal Palace and National Museum of Cambodia ...

4.4/5Excellent! (203 reviews)

"Excellent staff. Large Rooms. Very attractive decor and always clean. Wonderful location with outstanding views."…"

Reviewed on 24 Mar. 2020

Palace Gate Hotel & Residence

Popular activities in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace
Image for Royal Palace

Royal Palace

4/5(37 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(62 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(35 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. 

Top activities in Phnom Penh

Bus Tour to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum & Khmer Rouge Killing Fields
Image for Bus Tour to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum & Khmer Rouge Killing Fields

Bus Tour to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum & Khmer Rouge Killing Fields

72% of travellers recommend
NZ$24
Per adult
Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour
Image for Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour

Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour

NZ$85
Per adult
Copper Metal Bracelet Workshop in Siem Reap
Image for Copper Metal Bracelet Workshop in Siem Reap

Copper Metal Bracelet Workshop in Siem Reap

100% of travellers recommend
NZ$42
Per adult
Plaza Premium Lounge at Phnom Penh International Airport
Image for Plaza Premium Lounge at Phnom Penh International Airport

Plaza Premium Lounge at Phnom Penh International Airport

100% of travellers recommend
NZ$50
Per adult
One Day Private Guide History & Killing Fields Phnom Penh
Image for One Day Private Guide History & Killing Fields Phnom Penh

One Day Private Guide History & Killing Fields Phnom Penh

94% of travellers recommend
NZ$118
Per adult
Half-Day Wat Phnom & Choeung Ek Killing Fields Tour
Image for Half-Day Wat Phnom & Choeung Ek Killing Fields Tour

Half-Day Wat Phnom & Choeung Ek Killing Fields Tour

NZ$90
Per adult

Reviews of Phnom Penh

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
32
5 - Excellent 29.357798165137616%
4 - Good
51
4 - Good 46.788990825688074%
3 - Okay
20
3 - Okay 18.34862385321101%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 4.587155963302752%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.9174311926605505%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 Feb. 2020

Could do with more restaurant, make sure you go to Friends Restaurant, excellent

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

17 Feb. 2020

Fantastic markets (we went to Russian Market and the Night Market). Checkout 'Friends n' Stuff' for interesting locally made souvenirs that won't break the bank.

2/5 - Disappointing

Kim

9 Feb. 2020

Too crowded, no food path for pedestrians most of the time you have to walk on the road and motorists didn’t obey the traffic rulers

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

6 Feb. 2020

Too many tuk-tuks, bikes,dangerous to walk,many scams.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

21 Jan. 2020

Hotels are over priced. Dirty streets and chaotic traffic

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

21 Jan. 2020

Central Market is not as good as Russian Market. Tuk Tuk drivers will Initially quote high so know the usual cost of the trip so you know if they are taking you for a fool. New zoo is excellent. The garbage thrown anywhere is disgusting - Filthy

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