Located where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, Phnom Penh City Centre lies at the heart of the Cambodian capital. It’s home to some of the city’s most important architectural landmarks, which reflect both Khmer and French rule, as well as bustling markets, leafy parks and globally inspired restaurants.
Things to do in Phnom Penh City Centre
In the heart of Phnom Penh City Centre is the Independence Monument, a 20-metre-high tower constructed in 1958 when Cambodia gained its independence from France. It’s a short stroll from Wat Botum, an elaborate 15th-century temple complex where several prominent Cambodians are buried. As you wander through its parklands, admire the ornate pagodas and pavilions reflected in the pond.
One of Phnom Penh City Centre’s most important landmarks is the Royal Palace, a magnificent collection of Khmer-style buildings that serve as the King of Cambodia’s residence. Highlights include the gilded tower of the Throne Hall and the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, which houses a 17th-century statue decorated with more than 9,000 diamonds.
Standing directly north of the Royal Palace is the National Museum of Cambodia, where you’ll find one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art and artefacts. See Hindu sculptures dating back to the 10th century and bronze bells from the Angkor period, as well as prehistoric artefacts discovered throughout the country. The National Museum occupies a series of temple-inspired buildings that centre around a beautifully landscaped courtyard.
Getting around Phnom Penh City Centre
Phnom Penh International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre and long-distance trains connect to the Phnom Penh Royal railway station from cities across Cambodia. Buses travel throughout Phnom Penh City Centre and tuk-tuks are readily available for getting around. Many of Phnom Penh City Centre’s attractions are accessible on foot.