13 Breathtaking Instagram-Worthy Places in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in Phnom Penh, Cambodia? A year ago, I was sent to Phnom Penh for a short period of 3 months for work, so aside from work, more adventures arise.  Besides the friendly locals and delicious food, Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is known for its rich history and culture. Here are some of the beautiful places that I’ve stumbled upon during my solo-wandering during weekends!

1. Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

The Royal Palace serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia, built in 1866 with Khmer architectural style.  It is the most iconic landmarks and attraction spots in Phnom Penh. The outdoor grounds of the palace is free for anyone to take photos or roam around (but beware of the huge flocks of pigeons that might just swoop towards you).  If you would like to enter the Royal Palace to visit the offices, rooms and furniture, you may purchase a ticket at USD 10 at the ticket counter, which allows you to visit the Royal Palace complex and the adjoining Silver Pagoda. Do take note that you have to be in proper attire to be let into the Palace compound. You have to be in a sleeved top and bottoms below the knee.

Address: Samdach Sothearos Blvd (3), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Entrance Fee: USD 10

2. Royal Palace Gates, Phnom Penh

If you are not keen to visit the Palace compounds, walk along the Royal Palace gates to get some hipster shots.

Address: Samdach Sothearos Blvd (3), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Entrance Fee: Free to public

3. Central Market, Phnom Penh

Perhaps the most bustling market in Phnom Penh where you can catch a glimpse of the locals’ lives. Shaped like a dome with four arms branching out, it houses numerous stalls selling things ranging from souvenirs, to gold and silver jewelry, electronics, clothes, household products, fruits and vegetables, and local snacks and dishes. Allocate at least 2 hours to carefully comb the different wings and enjoy some authentic Khmer snacks at the food section.

Address: Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm

Entrance Fee: Free to public

4. Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh

Sisowath Quay is the largest freshwater lake (3km) that is at the intersection of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. It is located right across the Royal Palace, and is often used for watching boat races during Water Festival. Walk along the quay in the evening to enjoy the breeze and unwind at one of the many restaurants and bars. Spot your country’s flag lined along the quay too!

Address: Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Entrance Fee: Free to public

5. On a Tuk Tuk 

The most common (but not always the cheapest) mode of transport in Tuk Tuk for foreigners is the Tuk Tuk. They are everywhere on the streets and roads. Google for the distance between your  location and destination, so that you can negotiate better with the driver before you climb onto the Tuk Tuk. A rough estimate of a 5 minutes drive should be around USD 2.

6. Independence Monument, phnom penh

The Independence Monument is yet another iconic landmark of Phnom Penh not to be missed. It was build in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. As it is located in the centre of Phnom Penh, it acts as a roundabout for vehicles and is more easily photographed from your vehicle or from afar.

Address: Preah Sihanouk Blvd (274), Phnom Penh

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Entrance Fee: Free to public

7. Skybar at Lumiere, Phnom Penh

Located at the rooftop of Lumiere Hotel, the all-day dining restaurant and sky bar consists of both indoor and al fresco area for travelers to unwind after a long day of exploring. What I love about it is that it has floor-to-ceiling windows and you can catch sunset over cocktails.

Address: 55 Samdech Mongkol Iem St. (228), Rooftop Level 14, Lumiere Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 6am – 10.30am, 5pm – 12am (Sun – Wed) / 5pm – 2am (Thurs – Sat)

8. Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk Memorial Park, Phnom Penh

Just a street away from the Independence monument is this memorial park featuring the statue of Norodom Sihanouk, the “father king” of Cambodia.

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

9. National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

The National Museum of Cambodia is the best place to visit if you are into history, culture and arts. Explore the Khmer history through the audio guide as you walk through the exhibitions of statues, art works, and artefacts. Capture the iconic red-tiled architecture in the garden at the centre of the museum as well.

Address: Preah Ang Eng St. (13), Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Entrance fee: USD 10 with an audio guide (multi-language)

10. Catching Sunrise at Lumiere Hotel’s Rooftop

What I love doing the most when I travel is catching sunrise and what’s best is when you can capture this amazing unblocked view of the sunrise from the comforts of your hotel. This was captured from level 15 of Lumiere Hotel, the hotel which I was staying in.

Address: 55 Samdech Mongkol Iem St. (228), Level 15, Lumiere Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: Only accessible to hotel guests

11. Venture out to Kandal Province

Have a drive out into the Kandal province surrounding Phnom Penh to catch a glimpse of non-city life!

12. Rooftop Jacuzzi at Lumiere hotel

This is Phnom Penh’s first rooftop Jacuzzi and it overlooks the Phnom Penh city unblocked! You can enjoy the panoramic  view while bubbling in the hot tub! It is only accessible to Lumiere Hotel‘s guests.

Address: 55 Samdech Mongkol Iem St. (228), Level 15, Lumiere Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Opening Hours: Only accessible to hotel guests

13. Koh Pich (Diamond Island) Amusement Park

Watch Diamond Island come to life at night after all the colourful lights are switched on. This is definitely a children heaven, and also a food heaven for adults.

Opening Hours: 6pm onwards

Entrance fee: Free to public

Finding hidden gems in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

While many traveler usually flock to Siem Reap for the Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh has lots of beautiful spots and attractions to discover as well. If you love visiting cafes, these are 10 cafes in Phnom Penh that you wouldn’t want to miss as well. If you prefer local street food, here are some must-try authentic local Cambodian  food. Do keep a look out for these places during your next visit to Phnom Penh, and do share more gems in Phnom Penh with me if I have missed out on any!


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