10 Best Things To Do In Phnom Penh Cambodia

Although many visitors skip Phnom Penh on their trips to Cambodia, the capital city of Cambodia is worth a visit. Phnom Penh is an excellent destination to learn more about Cambodian culture, cuisine, and local lives.

In this article, I’ll share the best things to do in Phnom Penh Cambodia, along with tips to have the best trip there.

 

 

1. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)

For travelers seeking the darker side of Cambodian history, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Prison S21) is a place to be. 

In 1975, Pol Pot occupied Tuol Svay Prey High School and turned this place into Security Prison 21, also known as S21, the most feared prison all over the country.

Between 1975 and 1978, the Khmer Rouge regime executed and killed 17,000 lives here.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Cambodia

How to get there: I recommend joining the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour to the historical sites to save costs. Alternatively, you can hire a tuk-tuk for a day and explore the city. 

  • Address: St.113, Beoung Keng Kang III, Chamkarmorn, 12304 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Ticket price: $5 (entrance ticket) + $3 (audio guide)
  • Website: https://tuolsleng.gov.kh/en/museum/

 

2. Visit Choeung Ek Killing Field

After a trip from Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (S21), I recommend visiting Cheung Ek Killing Field next.

Located about 15 km from the capital Phnom Penh and only 30 minutes by tuk-tuk, Cheung Ek is one of the thousands of killing fields around Cambodia where the Khmer Rouge practiced genocide during the late 1970s.

Between 1975-1978, over 20,000 men, women, and children who were tortured at S21 prison were transported to this extermination field.

Choeung Ek Museum

Tips: You should rent the audio when purchasing the tickets. Without the audio, there won’t be many details to learn. 

Warning: This site can be extremely distressing if you’re not emotionally prepared. I felt scared and sad during the visit. 

  • Opening hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Ticket price: $6 (entrance ticket)

 

3. Enjoy traditional Cambodian dance

Take a glimpse into Cambodian culture with the performances at the National Museum of Cambodia.

Cambodian Living Arts Earth and Sky Dance is an amazing way to support local artists and see how Cambodian are improving the way of living through various folk and ritual dances. 

As the theatre is quite small, you should get at least a Seat B with more comfortable seats.

things to do in Phnom Penh Cambodian dance

 

4. Cycle past local villages

Looking to escape the bustling city of Phnom Penh? How about joining a cycling tour to the Silk Island?

Here, you will learn about the daily lives of the locals, and enjoy delicious regional Khmer dishes. 

Don’t worry if you’re an inexperienced cyclist. The guide will help you!

Information:

  • Time: 7:30am
  • Meetup location: Grasshopper Shop Phnom Penh

 

5. Explore French colonial buildings

In the French Quarter, you can see several delightful colonial buildings, including the grand train station, main post office, the National Library, and Raffles Hotel Le Royal.

Many French buildings survive today and the area is worth exploring, on foot or by tuk-tuk, to get a taste of Cambodian historic monuments.

If you’d like to learn more about its colorful past, I recommend joining Phnom Penh heritage tour. The tour guide will show you the buildings and explain the stories behind them.

Phnom Penh in the past

 

6. Try beer tasting

Indulge yourself in the delicious flavors of Cambodian craft beer during this fun beer tasting experience at Kingdom Breweries.

Here, you’ll get to learn about different brews, see the facilities, and even find out how beer is made. Then, get a seat at the bar and sample the beer. 

beer tasting Phnom Penh Cambodia

 

7. Watch the sunset in Phnom Penh

Sitting on a boat and watching the sunset will be a memorable experience on your trip to Phnom Penh.

Depending on the price, visitors will choose the itinerary to suit their budget.

You can choose the boats of Phocea Mekong Cruises or Memorable Cambodia Cruise, both of which have departure platforms at Sisovath Quay.

sunset in Phnom Penh Cambodia

 

8. See the Palace

The Palace is located on Samdach Sothearos Blvd, near the West Sisowath Quay.

As soon as I entered, I was impressed by the magnificent design and fancy motifs. The ticket to visit the Royal Palace for foreigners is $ 10 per person.

Except for the Khemarin Palace where the current King lives, you can visit other areas including the famous Silver Pagoda.

 

9. Go shopping at the Russian Market

The Russian market is an ideal shopping place for those who love antiques, silk clothes, silver jewelry, and old banknotes collected from previous regimes.

Also, you can easily find electronic products such as DVDs and CDs and handicrafts.

  • Opening hours: 7 am until 5 pm.

Russian market Phnom Penh Cambodia

 

10. Dine at Phnom Penh night market

The Phsa Reatrey night market is a fun stop at night in Phnom Penh. Night Market was established in a relatively large campus, located adjacent to the new Western Quarter.

There is a large stage in the middle, which is a place for performing arts. The front and sides of the stage are stalls adjacent to each other, selling all kinds of clothes, souvenirs, shoes, etc.

Behind the stage is a dining area with affordable prices. Streetfood at the night market includes many famous Cambodian dishes such as dried noodles, fried noodles, grilled pork and rice (Bai Sach Chrouk), Bread (Num Pang), and skewers. 

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