Phnom Penh is often only a whistle stop for many travelers who just stop by on their way to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. In my opinion it shouldn’t be overseen though as it has so much to offer. 

What to Do in Phnom Penh

To really understand Cambodia as a country, its culture and people I really recommend learning a bit about Cambodia’s tragic past and the genocide during the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 70’s. 

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, a former school, used to be one of the most brutal re-education camps in Cambodia, where thousands of people got killed and tortured. Most prisoners were then bought to the Killing Fields just outside of Phnom Penh. 

A more cheerful sight is the Royal Palace, which is a stark contrast to Phnom Penh’s dusty streets with its manicured gardens and golden buildings. It is a beautiful complex with lots of impressive Khmer architecture to explore. 

Best Neighborhoods to Explore in Phnom Penh

My favourite neighbourhood for exploring is the riverfront, which is lovely for a stroll, but also great to grab a bite to eat, enjoy a cold drink and visit some local markets, such as the old market in the old French quarter. 

Where to Eat in Phnom Penh

Street food can be found everywhere in Phnom Penh, as vendors have mobile kitchens attached to their motorbikes and so are able to prepare food anywhere they stop. It is delicious and really cheap where a meal often only costs $1. 

If you are thirsty make sure to try delicious Khmer ice coffee, fresh sugarcane juice with lime or fresh coconut juice, all available from mobile drink carts for roughly $0.50.