How to spend 1 day in Phnom Penh? In recent years, Cambodia has become a well-known destination for tourists. This country attracts visitors not only for the culture and customs of the inhabitants but also for the beauty of the landscape. Phnom Penh is one of the must-see cities that you cannot miss during your tour to Cambodia. If you want to have the best trip on 1 day to Phnom Penh, here are suggested itineraries for you.

Best Time To Travel To Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh has a tropical climate. In winter, there is much less rainfall in Phnom Penh than than it does in summer. In Cambodia, the meteorological year is divided into two seasons:

Beautiful Phnom Penh at night

Beautiful Phnom Penh at night

  • From December to April: This time is the dry season when the monsoon winds flow to the Northeast.
  • From May to November: The Southwestern monsoon arrives, bringing with it wet weather and high levels of humidity.

We recommend that you spend 1 day in Phnom Penh between January and December so that you will appreciate the dry and cool weather.

How To Get To Phnom Penh?

Phnom Penh is not a welcoming city for pedestrians. Most of the locals, expatriates, and tourists choose to travel by motorbike, tuk-tuk or taxi on 1 day in Phnom Penh.

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You will find the tuk-tuk everywhere and the fare never costs more than $ 2 per trip in the city. You can also rent a tuk-tuk for the whole day. For example, if you want to visit some popular places of the city like Killing Fields, Shooting Range or Tonle Bati at a realistic and very affordable price (from 20 to 30 USD) then you should rent a tuk-tuk.


On your 1 day in Phnom Penh, you will find not many taxis. Cabs are still very rare in the capital of Cambodia and you usually only see them on the way to the airport.

What To Do in Phnom Penh?

Admiring Historical and Religious Monuments

National Museum of Phnom Penh

The Phnom Penh National Museum

The Phnom Penh National Museum

This tourist site attracts visitors for its originality. Its construction is a mix of French and Cambodian architecture as it was built in the capital of Phnom Penh in the early twentieth century and had three years under French colonial rule. Tourists can not only discover religious beliefs over time but also admire more than 5,000 Cambodian antiques and works of art on 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Royal Palace of Phnom Penh

Royal Palace - Cambodia

Royal Palace – Cambodia

The castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the capital of Cambodia. Its full name in Khmer is “Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk”. The complex is divided into three, the Silver Pagoda is to the Northeast, the Khemarin Palace is to the Southeast and the Central part, which contains the throne room.

Wat Phnom Temple

This is a Buddhist temple located North of the capital of Cambodia. If you are passionate about the history of Southeast Asia countries, you cannot miss Wat Phnom. Wat Phnom is now a popular temple for local and foreign tourists. The pagoda is both famous for its greatness and immense spiritual value to Buddhist pilgrims. It is also the oldest temple of the capital.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

This place is a former high school used as a security prison by the Khmer Rouge regime from their access to power in 1975, until their fall in 1979. Recognized as the most visited sites by local and foreign tourists in Cambodia, this museum is located in the center of Phnom Penh city. You should spend time discovering this site which marked the history of Cambodia and testifies to the barbarism of the Khmer Rouge on your 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Wat Ounalom

Ounalom Wat

Ounalom Wat

The attraction is located on Sothearos Boulevard, about 200 meters to the North of the Royal Palace. This temple was built in the 15th century. The site is the main focus of Buddhism in Cambodia and an impressive building reflecting the typical architecture of Cambodia. During your 1 day in Phnom Penh, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Buddhism as well as its philosophies and its spiritual teachings.

Silver Pagoda

Inside the complex of the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda. The formal name of the Silver Pagoda is “Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot”. This pagoda consists of several buildings (including a library), statues (such as the King’s statue on horseback), and many beautiful landscape gardens.

Fields of the extermination of Choeung Ek of Phnom Penh

Located 17 km to the Southwest of Phnom-Penh, Choeung Ek is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. Between 1975 and 1979, Choeung Ek was a field of execution and a graveyard for prisoners of the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot. The atmosphere here is very quiet and peaceful and you will get immersed in discovering several vestiges that still remain its sad and horrifying history.

Shopping in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Night Market

This destination is also known as “Phsar Thmei”, which means “new market”. It is the fifth largest market in the world. Here, there are wide corridors that offer several stands and stalls. The central dome has its furniture with stalls of luxury goods and fantasies that will blow your mind on your 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Old Phsar Chas Market

A colorful corner of Old Phsar Chas Market

A colorful corner of Old Phsar Chas Market

The place without a doubt is the cleanest market in Cambodia. There are a lot of quality articles: Sbaik Thom, leather puppets, old celadons or Phnom Kulen potteries. You can also find a lot of paintings together with some very pretty wood carvings, sandstone, … This market is probably the only one in Cambodia to stay open as long as there are customers on 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Enjoying the nightlife in Phnom Penh

Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the Phnom Penh Night Market, or Phsar Reatrey, offers panoramic views of the river, in addition to its variety of product line. The market first opened in November 2007 and has attracted a large number of tourists since their trip to Cambodia.

Best Foods To Try for 1 Day in Phnom Penh

Amok – Fish with coconut milk

Fishamok - the popular dish of Phnom Penh

Fishamok – the popular dish of Phnom Penh

Amok Trei is a very popular dish in Cambodia. It consists of fish or chicken, according to your preferences, accompanied by coconut milk and many spices, all cooked in a banana leaf.

Lok Lak – Fried Beef

As great classic of Khmer cuisine, lok lak is a dish made from fried beef. Although there are many ways to prepare it, the meat is usually marinated in a special sauce before being cooked in a wok. This dish is then served with rice.

Chicken curry with Khmer

Not as spicy as the Thai-style curry chicken, which uses chili powder as the main ingredient; this Khmer dish with the flavor of coconut milk is well appreciated by many visitors. We can replace chicken with beef or fish, served with eggplant, beans, potatoes, fresh coconut milk, lemongrass, and kroeung. You can enjoy this dish with bread.

Nom banh chok – Khmer vermicelli soup

This dish is a typical local breakfast that you can find it be sold by Cambodian girls on the street on your 1 day in Phnom Penh. The soup consists of vermicelli, green curry made from fish, mint leaves, lemongrass; which is decorated in banana leaves, adding some slices of cucumber and other green vegetables.

Kdam chaa – Skipped Crab

Tasty Kdam Chaa Crab

Tasty Kdam Chaa Crab

Kdam chaa is a delicious crab with green pepper. It is a specialty of coastal towns such as the famous seaside resort Sihanoukville or Kep. Thanks to its light sweetness and sophisticated spiciness, the Kdam Chaa is a must-try food on your 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Lap Khmer – Beef salad with lemon juice

This dish is very popular and familiar, including sliced ​​beef soaked in boiling water or cooked with lemon juice. Then, adding onions, garlic, fish sauce, basil, mint, beans, and pepper to create a sweet-salty taste and a little spicy that will stay long-lasting in your memories on your 1 day in Phnom Penh.

Hopefully, our suggested itineraries meet your expectations. Customize your Cambodia tour so that we can help create your unforgettable trip on 1 day in Phnom Penh!

Read more:

Best places to visit in Cambodia in rainy season

Best places to visit in Cambodia in dry season

Essential travel guides for first-time travelers to Cambodia 2019

Top 7 destinations in Vietnam and Cambodia for your summer holiday 2019

5 days in Cambodia


Start planning your tailor-made Vietnam tour by contacting one of our specialists…

Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.


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