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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
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 NZ$89 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 NZ$53 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 NZ$336 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

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

NZ$23
Per adult
72% of travellers recommend
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

NZ$243
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Phnom Penh Evening Food & Beer Tour by Tuk Tuk
Image for Phnom Penh Evening Food & Beer Tour by Tuk Tuk

Phnom Penh Evening Food & Beer Tour by Tuk Tuk

NZ$91
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour
Image for Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour

Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda & Independence Monument Tour

NZ$83
Per adult
7 Days Private Tour Phnom Penh, Battambang & Siem Reap
Image for 7 Days Private Tour Phnom Penh, Battambang & Siem Reap

7 Days Private Tour Phnom Penh, Battambang & Siem Reap

NZ$1,892
Per adult
Phnom Penh International Airport Pick Up service
Image for Phnom Penh International Airport Pick Up service

Phnom Penh International Airport Pick Up service

NZ$23
Per adult

Reviews of Phnom Penh

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
33
5 - Excellent 30%
4 - Good
51
4 - Good 46.36363636363637%
3 - Okay
20
3 - Okay 18.181818181818183%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 4.545454545454546%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.9090909090909091%

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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Independence Monument featuring a monument and motorcycle riding

Boeung Keng Kang

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