Things to do in Phnom Penh

Take time to explore

Many travelers wonder how to make the most of their time in Phnom Penh before embarking on their journey to Angkor Wat. This bustling city, home to two million people and the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, offers a wealth of attractions and activities.

Choosing the right area to stay in is crucial to tailor your experience. Some prefer the energetic vibes of Riverside, while others opt for the calm ambiance of BKK 1, which offers a plethora of entertainment and culinary options. To help you make the most of your visit, here is our list of the top 10 recommended things to do in Phnom Penh to add to your itinerary


Top 10 things to do in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is one of the cities that has many things waiting for you to discover. Here are the top 10 things to do in Phnom Penh that you don’t want to miss out on.


Royal Palace

The Royal Palace
The Kingdom of Cambodia boasts a magnificent waterfront along the grandeur of the Royal Palace. Beyond being the official residence of the king, it stands as a remarkable attraction where visitors can immerse themselves in the splendor of Khmer culture.

Among the renowned sites within the Royal Palace complex, the Silver Pagoda shines as a true gem. This sacred structure houses Cambodia’s national treasures, including the emerald Buddha, adorned with gold and precious jewels, and the captivating gold Maitreya Buddha.

The Silver Pagoda itself is a spectacle, adorned with thousands of intricately inlaid silver tiles and graced with stunning Italian-inspired facades. It’s a testament to the rich history and artistry that defines Cambodia’s heritage.


National Museum and Sosoro Museum

Phnom Penh National Museum

The largest and most comprehensive museum in Cambodia, the National Museum, stands proudly behind the Royal Palace. This cultural institution is not only the sole archaeological museum in the country but also a treasure trove of Cambodian history. Its vast collection spans the realms of Khmer art, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic artifacts, encompassing a timeline that stretches from prehistoric eras to the grandeur of the Khmer Empire.

The museum’s roots trace back to its construction between 1917 and 1924, and it underwent a significant renovation in 1968. For those eager to delve even deeper into Cambodia’s history, a visit to the Sosoro Museum is highly recommended. Here, you can witness the transition from traditional barter systems to the introduction of currency, symbolized by the evolution of the Cambodian Riel.


Wat Ounalom Monestary and Wat Langka

Wat Langka

Explore the rich history of Phnom Penh through a visit to Wat Ounalom, one of the city’s oldest pagodas, established in 1443. This historic site comprises an impressive array of 44 buildings, including Chetdai, an Angkorian-era stupa that houses a revered relic – a strand of Buddha’s brow hair. Wat Ounalom is renowned for its collection of four exquisite bronze Buddha statues, all in a seated position.

A visit to Wat Ounalom is a profound journey into the spiritual teachings, philosophies, and historical significance of Buddhism. As the oldest and most esteemed among Cambodia’s five pagodas, it holds a special place in the heart of Phnom Penh’s cultural heritage.

Wat Langka Situated near the iconic Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, this pagoda holds a significant place among the five established by Ponhea Yat back in 1442. Originally conceived as a Buddhist text library and a hub for Cambodian and Sri Lankan monks to congregate, this temple exudes a vibrant spirit.

What sets it apart from other Buddhist temples in Cambodia is the remarkably well-preserved condition of its stupas, a testament to its historical and cultural significance


Sunset Boat Cruise

Sunset Boat Cruise

Prepare to be dazzled by the mesmerizing boat tour along the enchanting Tonle Sap River during the evening hours. As you approach the river, a captivating tapestry of architectural history unfolds before your eyes, spanning from the past to the present. Take in the majestic view of the Royal Palace, gracing the waterfront with its timeless elegance.

Many of these boat tours offer not only spectacular sights but also an opportunity to indulge in superb Khmer and international cuisine, an array of beverages, and live music, ensuring that your cruise becomes an unforgettable and delightful experience


Ride The Cyclo

Ride The Cyclo

Embarking on a cyclo ride in Phnom Penh is an authentic and distinctive way to explore the city, particularly along the picturesque Riverside area. This experience offers a one-of-a-kind chance to uncover the city’s historic treasures, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in their timeless charm and rich traditions, all while savoring the leisurely pace of a cyclo ride.


Visit Central Market

Phnom Penh Central Market

The Central Market stands not only as a must-visit attraction but also as a captivating Art Deco icon in the heart of Phnom Penh. Here, you’ll encounter a vibrant marketplace offering a diverse selection of souvenirs, local delicacies, fresh fruits, and an array of other enticing items.


Independence Monument

Independence Monument

The Independence Monument, erected in 1958, serves as a symbol of Cambodia’s hard-fought independence. This striking monument takes the form of a lotus-shaped stupa and is accompanied by the Statue of Sihanouk Norodom, a tribute to Sihanouk’s pivotal role in securing the nation’s liberation.


Phnom Penh Night Market

Phnom Penh Night Market

Discover an unforgettable Riverside experience just steps away from the Royal Palace. Immerse Yourself in local culture by savoring authentic cuisine, live music performances on a big stage, and exquisite exotic delicacies for the adventurous foodie. As the night unfolds, relish the refreshing open-air ambiance while indulging in delectable dishes or desserts. Seated comfortably on traditional floor mats.


Langka Lane and Bassac Lane

Bassac District

Explore the best-kept culinary secret at Street Village 5, Commune BKK 1. Nestled just a few steps from Novotel Phnom Penh BKK 1, Street Village 5 is a hidden gastronomic treasure trove. Venture down what appears to be a dead-end alleyway and prepare to be pleasantly surprised by a world of local and international culinary delights waiting to be savored.

Beyond the culinary delights, you’ll also discover a charming small art gallery, offering an additional layer of enjoyment to enhance your time at this hidden gem.

The renowned Bassac quarter, commonly referred to as Bassac Lane, stands out as Phnom Penh’s trendiest nightlife district. What was once a cluster of unassuming backstreet bars has now transformed into a vibrant hub, with each establishment boasting its unique and captivating theme.


Phnom Penh Farmer’s Market

Phnom Penh Farmer's Market

Every first Sunday of the month, a community market comes to life, welcoming visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here, you can find a delightful array of offerings, including organic produce, culinary delights, arts and crafts, clothing, and a variety of local services, all contributing to and supporting the vibrant local community.

restaurants in Phnom Penh

In addition to the captivating activities and attractions in and around Novotel Phnom Penh BKK 1, we also offer the delightful Makila Restaurant, where you can savor the flavors of Basque cuisine. Visit our Kaixo Bar for a refreshing beverage, or indulge in relaxation and rejuvenation on our fifth-floor wellness haven, complete with a swimming pool, serene relaxation area, well-equipped fitness center, and the serene Bodia Spa.

When planning your visit to Phnom Penh, you might be contemplating whether to stay within walking distance of the Royal Palace, culinary hotspots, and entertainment areas or opt for a more comfortable location catering to both tourists and business travelers. The decision becomes particularly remarkable when you intend to explore historical sites and immerse yourself in the local community.

For those seeking the perfect balance, choosing a strategic location at the heart of Phnom Penh, in the vibrant BKK 1 area, is the ideal choice. This central location provides easy access to all your desired destinations. Secure your stay at Novotel Phnom Penh BKK 1 now, and let’s embark on an unforgettable journey through Phnom Penh together.