3 Days Travel Itinerary for Sightseeing

Phnom Penh is the national capital of Cambodia. It has been the capital since French occupation of Cambodia. During the colonial years, it was known as the pearl of Asia as it was one of the most incredible cities built by the French in Asian region. There are still some beautiful French built places to visit in Phnom Penh. The city was previously known as Krong Chaktomuk Serimongkul, which means the City of Brahma’s Faces. The name is derived from Hindu mythology as it holds great significance in the region. Many of the things to see in Phnom Penh are pertaining to Indian culture and hinduism. This connection with India is reflected in the culture and language as well. Many of the best things to do in Phnom Penh pertaining to art, festivals and traditions would seem quite similar to those in India.

The city’s current name means Penh’s Hill, named after Lady Penh. According to the folklore, Lady Penh was a wealthy widow living in the region. She once came across a tree floating in river Tonle Sap. There were 4 statues of lord Buddha made from bronze and 1 statue of Lord Vishnu made from stone inside the tree. The Lady then raised a hill to build a Buddha temple and a Vishnu temple in the region. These are among the most popular Phnom Penh tourist attractions known as Phnom Wat or the Hill Temple. The city was also given her name to honor her actions. Besides the Phnom Wat, there are numerous buddhists and hindu temples for Phnom Penh sightseeing. Majority of these are located along the banks of the rivers.

The city also has a dark past. When you visit Phnom Penh, do pay respects to the victims of a cruel regime which claimed lives of more than 2 million people at Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. If you are looking to plan your itinerary for Phnom Penh travel, do check out the plan presented in the following section. It will help you plan your trip around Phnom Penh attractions. Though there is much more to enjoy in the city than temples and museums. Besides Phnom Penh tourist spots, the city is also enjoyed for its many experiences like Khmer Massages, Traditional Dance Performances, Local Art, Street Food, Silk Shopping and more. Do enjoy a sunset boat ride and a tour in tuk tuk rickshaw. These make for memorable experiences among activities in Phnom Penh.

The Best Tourist Places to visit in Phnom Penh in 3 Days (A Complete 3 Days Travel Itinerary)

This section covers the best things to do in Phnom Penh in three days. The tourist attractions featured in this list are in close proximity to one another and draw out a path which can be explored without much hassle. You will be able to enjoy several experiences and tourist places in Phnom Penh as you walk the path outlined by this itinerary.

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Day 1

1. Wat Phnom

This Beautiful Buddhist temple was erected by Lady Penh. The temple has a beautiful story around its origin and is most visited by tourists for its architecture and religious significance. You will need about an hour to explore the temple.

Wat Phnom

2. Koh Dach Island (Silk Island)

Also known as the silk island, the island is actually a large village. You can learn all about the craft of making silk and silk items at this place. The place also offers some of the most interesting activities in Phnom Penh concerning silk items. It is also a great Phnom Penh tourist attraction for shopping. You will need 2 hours for this place.

Koh Dach Island (Silk Island)

3. Central Market

Central Market usually holds the top spot among places to visit in Phnom Penh for shopping. It is among the largest of its kind markets in Asia. You will need 1 or 2 hours to explore this market depending on how eager you are to shop.

Central Market

4. Al Serkal Mosque

This is the largest mosque in the country. Al Serkal Mosque was completed in 2014. It is a modern structure with striking features and beautiful white glow. You can take 30 to 45 minutes to explore this Phnom Penh attraction.

Al Serkal Mosque

5. Phnom Penh Night Market

The night market is a hustling and bustling street with variety of food and shopping options available. It has a completely different character to it as compared to the central market. You can take about 30 minutes to an hour to explore the best things to do in Phnom Penh at night here.

Phnom Penh Night Market

Day 2

1. Wat Ounalom Pagoda

The Pagoda is known for its intricate carving both outside and inside the temple. You would encounter several monks at this temple. You can interact with them freely as long as you are respectful towards them. You will need about an hour to explore some of the things to see in Phnom Penh in Wat Ounalom Pagoda.

Wat Ounalom Pagoda

2. National Museum of Cambodia

This museum embodies the history of the region. It is the largest museum in the country. You can see historical, cultural and artistic exhibits in the museum. It will take you 2 to 3 hours to explore the museum.

National Museum of Cambodia

3. The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is among the top places for Phnom Penh sightseeing. The entire palace is incredibly beautiful. There are shrines, art collections, royal courts, royal exhibits and more to explore in the Palace. You can easily spend 3 hours or more at the palace as there are so many major Phnom Penh attractions within the Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace

4. Silver Pagoda

The Pagoda is actually a part of the Royal Palace, sitting on the southern end of the complex. This particular temple is visited in Phnom Penh for numerous statues of Buddha made from precious gems and metals. You will need about an hour for this temple.

Silver Pagoda

Day 3

1. Independence Monument

The iconic monument signifies independence of Cambodia from French rule. You don’t need more than 15 minutes for this Phnom Penh attraction as it is accessible. You can only see it from across the street.

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Independence Monument

2. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

The museum showcases exhibits from the dark Khmer Regime which led to deaths of over 2 million people. You will need about 2 hours to learn about the various aspects of the museum.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

3. The Russian Market

This is again one of the best places to visit in Phnom Penh for shopping. You can buy several souvenirs and try out amazing street food. You can keep aside an hour to enjoy this market.

The Russian Market

4. Wat Langka

This is one of the oldest temples in the city and one of the biggest Phnom Penh tourist attractions. The temple was built in year 1442 by monks from Sri Lanka, hence the name. You need about 30 minutes to an hour for this temple.

Wat Langka

5. Cambo Cruise

The cruise takes you on a ride along Mekong River on aboard a traditional Cambodian boat. You can either take a lunch cruise or a sunset cruise. It is a good hour long cultural experience complete with food, beverages, activities and entertainment.

Cambo Cruise

If you are enjoying Phnom Penh travel from more than 3 days, you can check other tourist attractions and activities listed below. We have gathered almost all the best things to do in Phnom Penh and divided them by categories. You can discover that as you read below.

Things to do in Phnom Penh

Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

  1. Royal Palace
  2. Wat Phnom
  3. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
  4. Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot
  5. National Museum of Cambodia
  6. Choeung Ek Genocidal Center
  7. Independence Museum
  8. Wat Ounlom Monastery
  9. Cambodia Vietnam Monument
  10. Botumvatey Pagoda
  11. Wat Langka
  12. Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk
  13. Al Serkal Mosque
  14. Moha Montrei Pagoda
  15. Wat Koh Pagoda
  16. Samdach Hun Sen Park
  17. National Library
  18. Preah Ang Dornkeu Shrine
  19. Koh Krobey Pagoda
  20. Museum Phnom Penh
  21. Samdech Chuon Nath Statue
  22. Stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha
  23. Wat Champouh Kaek
  24. Svay Pope Pagoda
  25. Mongkol Serei Kien Khleang Pagoda
  26. Wat Sowann Thamareach
  27. Cathedral Church
  28. Pavillon Napoleon

Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Phnom Penh

  1. Koh Chen River
  2. Phnom Baset
  3. Stung Prek Thnot
  4. Tonle Sap River
  5. Tamao Mountain

Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Phnom Penh

  1. Phnom Penh Safari
  2. Botum Pagoda Park
  3. Royal Cambodia Golf Club
  4. Fantastic Water World
  5. Sovannaphum Arts Association & Art Gallery
  6. Diamond Island Park
  7. Garden City Water Park
  8. Royal Palace Park
  9. Preah Thineanang Dheva Vinnichay
  10. Koh Dach Beach Resort
  11. Grand Phnom Penh Water Park
  12. Khmer Massage
  13. Apsara Dance Show

Shopping in Phnom Penh

  1. Central Market
  2. Aeon Shopping Mall
  3. Russian Market
  4. Phsar Chas Market
  5. Orussei Market
  6. Phnom Penh Night Market
  7. Street 240
  8. Kandal Market
  9. Sorya Center Point Mall
  10. Olympic Market
  11. Central Mall
  12. City Mall

Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventure in Phnom Penh

  1. Tuk tuk rickshaw tour
  2. Sunset River Cruise
  3. Kickboxing Match
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Sightseeing in Phnom Penh

  1. Koh Pich
  2. Preah Sisowath Quay
  3. Silk Island Village
  4. Koh Oknha Tei
  5. Riverside Park

Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Phnom Penh

  1. Artillery
  2. Pork and Rice Man
  3. Boat Noodle Restaurant
  4. Malis
  5. Chiang Mai
  6. Topaz
  7. Friends
  8. Backyard Cafe
  9. Frizz
  10. Eleven One Kitchen
  11. Le Deli Bistro Gourmet
  12. The Sushi Bar
  13. Lemongrass
  14. Irina
  15. Lucky Burger
  16. Angkor India
  17. Piccola Italia Da Luigi
  18. Mexicano
  19. Romdeng
  20. Sesame Noodle Bar
  21. Taj Mahal
  22. Freebird Bar & Grill
  23. Warung Bali

How to Reach Phnom Penh?

By Air

The city’s eponymous international airport is the fastest route for Phnom Penh travel. It is the largest airport in the country as well. You can get direct flights to visit Phnom Penh from Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore and many other cities. Once you reach the airport, you can either take a bus or a cab to reach the places to visit in Phnom Penh. Buses charge a fixed ticket regardless of how near or far you plan to travel. It is quite cheap to get around for all the best things to do in Phnom Penh with buses. The cabs are expensive compared to the bus, but it’s not too expensive either. The cabs do overcharge at the airport. The charges in the city are fair and moderate.

By Road

You can easily get a bus to visit Phnom Penh from almost every major town and city in Cambodia. There are also several international buses for Phnom Penh travel from Bangkok, Ho Chi Min City, Pakse, and Vientiane. Do check the timings of the buses and expect delays in the journey. The road conditions are not excellent and there are unexpected traffic blocks along the way. So plan your journey for things to see in Phnom Penh accordingly.

You can catch a train for Phnom Penh travel from Poipet and Sihanoukville. The trains are quite cheap. The arrangements are also quite comfortable. You will also pass by a few Phnom Penh tourist attractions before you reach the city’s train station.

If you are traveling by road for Phnom Penh sightseeing, you should look for routes 4,5,1 or 2. Each of these connects you directly to the city. Routes 1 and 5 run along the banks of Tonle Sap river and offer a beautiful view for a road trip to visit Phnom Penh attractions.

By Water

You can use water route to visit Phnom Penh from Siem Reap. There are ferries and speedboats available for Phnom Penh travel. The journey can take anywhere between 4 to 8 hours depending on which boat you choose. You will also come across a few Phnom Penh tourist spots during the journey. Some of the boats also provide on board snacks and lunch, giving you a proper tour with a guide. It is one of the most popular activities in Phnom Penh for Cambodian locals.

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