2 Days in Phnom Penh Itinerary: Essential Guide

Phnom Penh is a city that buzzes with energy, swaying between chaos and profound historical roots. I can almost hear your thoughts – “How many days is enough for Phnom Penh?”, “Can you really explore Phnom Penh in 2 days?”.

The answer is YES! Granted, it’ll be a bit rushed, but you can have a quick glimpse of this city.

So, whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time visitor, this 2 days in Phnom Penh itinerary is your ticket to uncovering the city’s best-kept secrets and iconic landmarks.

How many days should I spend in Phnom Penh?

It all boils down to what you want to see and do. If you’re keen to hit the major highlights, a quick 2 days in Phnom Penh can do the trick.

But, if you want to dive deeper into Phnom Penh’s nooks and crannies, you’d better set aside up to a week. The city has so much more to offer beyond the well-trodden paths.

Royal Palace is best places to visit in Phnom Penh in 2 days.

2 Days in Phnom Penh Itinerary Overview

Here is a quick overview of places to visit in Phnom Penh in 2 days.

Day 1:

Day 2:

  • Independence Monument
  • Royal Palace with Silver Pagoda
  • National Museum of Cambodia
  • Wat Phnom
  • Phnom Penh food tour

Before getting into the details of things to do in Phnom Penh for 2 days, let’s get to the good stuff: budgeting, timing your trip, where to stay, and getting around Phnom Penh.

How much should I budget per day in Phnom Penh?

One of the fabulous things about Phnom Penh (and Cambodia in general) is that your dollar can stretch a long way.

Let’s break down some average costs:

  • Street food meal: Around $1 – $3. Those skewers are calling your name!
  • Restaurant meal: Anywhere from $5 – $15. This range includes everything from local eateries to swankier spots.
  • Tuktuk ride: Expect to spend around $1 – $3 per short ride, but always remember to haggle a little!
  • Attractions entry fees: Both S21 and Killing Fields have a $6 entry fee, which includes an audio guide.
  • Local Sim Card: About $3 – $5. Stay connected without breaking the bank!
  • Souvenirs: You could spend anywhere between $1 and $50, depending on your bargaining skills and the kind of treasure you’re after.

All in all, you can comfortably explore, feast, and delve into the local culture with around $25 – $35 in your pocket for the day. Of course, if you’re feeling extra lavish, the sky is the limit!

Best Time to Visit Phnom Penh

The best time to visit Phnom Penh is during the dry season, from November to April. You’ll get plenty of sunshine and temperatures hovering between 24°C – 32°C.

December and January are the busiest tourist months, so if you’re not a fan of crowds, try to sneak in a trip in November or February.

Best Places to Stay in Phnom Penh

Whether you’re a budget traveler or someone who loves to sleep in luxury, Phnom Penh has you covered.

For those of you who enjoy the finer things in life, check out the Raffles Hotel Le Royal or Rosewood Phnom Penh.

Mid-budget explorers will love The Pavilion or The Plantation.

And if you’re traveling on a shoestring, Mad Monkey Hostel or One Stop Hostel will be right up your alley.

Location-wise, the Riverside and BKK1 (Boeung Keng Kang) are super handy as they’re close to major attractions, tasty food, and vibrant nightlife.

How to Get Around Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh’s traffic is wild, but but don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.

The easiest way to get around Phnom Penh is by tuk-tuks, available almost everywhere. Remember to negotiate the fare before hopping in.

For a more convenient option, try ride-hailing apps like Grab or PassApp.

Bicycles and motorbikes are also popular choices, but I’d recommend them only if you’re confident about navigating the city’s frenetic traffic.

Getting around Phnom Penh by tuktuk, Cambodia.

Day 1 in Phnom Penh Itinerary

8 am: Kickstart with Cambodian Breakfast

Get your day rolling with a scrumptious Cambodian breakfast.

You’ll find myriad of street food vendors around your stay offering delights like Bai Sach Chrouk – it’s a simple yet delicious dish of pork and rice, served typically with pickled vegetables.

9 am: Journey through Cambodia’s Dark Past At S21

Our next stop is S21, also known as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It’s a stark reminder of the atrocities that occurred during the Khmer Rouge era.

I’d recommend renting an audio guide or hiring a guide – their first-hand accounts and in-depth knowledge will provide a profound understanding of this heart-wrenching chapter of history.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh itinerary Cambodia.

Take your time to read the stories, look at the pictures, and listen to the survivors’ testimonials. It’s a grim visit, but essential to comprehend Cambodia’s past and its impact on today’s society.

12 pm: Lunch at Russian Market

Let’s head to the Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tom Poung). This place is a gastronomic wonderland.

Look for Nom Banh Chok, a traditional Khmer dish consisting of rice noodles with green curry gravy, or Lort Cha, a stir-fried short fat noodle.

Plus, don’t forget to explore the market for souvenirs and handicrafts.

Russian market in 2 days in Phnom Penh itinerary Cambodia.

2 pm: Visit Killing Fields

Post-lunch, head to the outskirts of Phnom Penh, to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields.

This visit complements the morning tour of S21, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime.

Killing Field Cambodia tree.

5 pm: Time to Refresh and Recharge

After a heavy afternoon, return to your accommodation and take a breather. Trust me, you’ll need it.

Maybe indulge in a traditional Khmer massage. It’s a unique blend of stretching and pressure points that rejuvenates you like nothing else.

7 pm: Explore Phnom Penh Night market

As the evening descends, the city comes alive in the Phnom Penh Night Market. It’s a bustling place full of color, noise, and most importantly, food!

Snack on some Mee Cha (fried noodles) or Sach Ko Ang (grilled beef skewers). Then stroll around the stalls offering clothes, accessories, and crafts.

8 pm: A Riverside Retreat

Once you’ve had your fill of the night market, head towards the riverside for a tranquil walk.

The contrast between the market’s hustle-bustle and the river’s calm serenity is indeed striking.

As you stroll, take in the view of the shimmering cityscape reflected on the Tonle Sap River.

9 pm: Sip and Savor

Finally, round off your day with a chilled drink. Elephant Bar and Le Moon Rooftop are great bars to stop by.

Day 2 in Phnom Penh Itinerary

8 am: Start Your Day with Independence Monument

After your breakfast, head to the iconic Independence Monument. This towering stupa-like structure, erected in 1958, celebrates Cambodia’s freedom from French rule.

Independence Monument is one of the best places to visit in 2 days in Phnom Penh itinerary.

8:30 am: Marvel at the Grandeur of the Royal Palace

Next up, visit the Royal Palace, an unmistakable highlight of Phnom Penh.

The king’s official residence is brims with dazzling golden temples and well-kept gardens.

Don’t miss the Throne Hall with its gleaming gold spire and the open-air Moonlight Pavilion, where traditional Khmer dances come alive.

Just remember to dress respectfully – this means covering your shoulders and knees.

Phnom Penh Royal Palace is one of the best things to do in 2 days in Phnom Penh itinerary.

9:30 am: Visit the Silver Pagoda

Tucked within the palace complex, the stunning Silver Pagoda is another beautiful place to visit in Phnom Penh. Known for its floor decked with thousands of silver tiles, this Buddhist temple is a gem.

Inside, you’ll find the emerald green Buddha and a life-size Buddha statue fashioned entirely from gold. Quite a visual treat, right?

Silver Pagoda is one of the best place to visit in 2 days in Phnom Penh itinerary.

10 am: Step into History at the National Museum of Cambodia

Right across from the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia beckons. Here, you can learn more about Cambodia’s rich tapestry of history.

From the ancient Khmer Empire to Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, there’s so much to explore. Plus, the museum building, reminiscent of Khmer temple architecture, is a sight in itself.

12 pm: Lunch time

After visiting the museum, you can have a quick lunch.

1 pm: Unravel the Legend of Wat Phnom

Ever wondered how Phnom Penh got its name? Well, the answer lies in Wat Phnom, a hilltop temple with an intriguing legend. It’s said that Lady Penh found four Buddha statues inside a tree and built this temple around them – hence, “Penh’s Hill.”

Navigate your way up to the pagoda, and don’t forget to check out the original Buddha statues. But watch out for those cheeky monkeys!

Afternoon: Savor the Flavors of Phnom Penh with a Food Tour

You’ve tasted a bit of Cambodian cuisine on your first day in Phnom Penh, but there’s so much more to relish.

This is where Phnom Penh Food Tours come in handy. With a local guide, you’ll get to discover hidden culinary gems and indulge in Cambodian dishes. You’re in for a gastronomic adventure!

Evening: Tour Kingdom Breweries

Who says Cambodia and beer don’t mix? Round off your day at Kingdom Breweries, home to some of the city’s finest craft beers.

Apart from sipping on some refreshing pilsner, IPA, or perhaps a Mango IPA, you can also explore the brewery and understand their brewing process. After all, nothing quite wraps up a day of sightseeing like a cold beer!

craft beer.

Tips for Visiting Phnom Penh

Finally, some local tips to enhance your Phnom Penh experience:

  1. Dress Respectfully: Cambodia is a predominantly Buddhist country, and it’s important to dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or religious sites. Always carry a scarf or sarong to cover your shoulders and knees.
  2. Stay Hydrated: The Cambodian heat can be intense, especially if you’re not used to it. Always carry a water bottle, wear a hat, and use sunscreen.
  3. Safety First: While Phnom Penh is generally safe, pickpocketing and bag-snatching can occur, especially in crowded places. Always keep an eye on your belongings.
  4. Try the Local Food: Don’t shy away from street food! It’s delicious and gives you an authentic taste of Cambodia. However, stick to busy stalls (high turnover means fresher food) and make sure the food is cooked in front of you.
  5. Respect the History: The Khmer Rouge history is still very raw for many Cambodians. Always be respectful when discussing it.

Is Phnom Penh safe to visit?

Like any other city in the world, Phnom Penh asks you to stay street smart. You should keep a watchful eye on your belongings, as there’s a lot snatching going on.

How much should I tip in Phnom Penh?

Tipping isn’t mandatory in Cambodia, but a little kindness goes a long way. Especially in the service industry, a tip can brighten someone’s day. 10% is a good tip in restaurants. As for your friendly tuk-tuk driver or guide, they’ll appreciate a small token of gratitude too!

What are the must-see landmarks in Phnom Penh?

Phnom Penh has many interesting places to visit. The Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the Independence Monument are high up on the list. And don’t miss out on the National Museum of Cambodia or Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the country’s history.

Are there any unique local experiences in Phnom Penh?

Try a traditional Khmer cooking class, take a boat ride along the Mekong River, or experience a local food tour. The traditional Apsara dance performance is also interesting to see.

What’s the nightlife scene like in Phnom Penh?

The riverfront area is a good start, with plenty of bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the Night Market for some late-night shopping. And if you’re a craft beer enthusiast, a brewery tour is a fun evening adventure.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *