[Ultimate] Phnom Penh Travel Guide: Hotels, Climate, Transportation, and More

Here’s a question you may ask yourself when you have a holiday: “Should I go to Phnom Penh, Cambodia?”

And here is your answer: YES.

You are most definitely going to enjoy one of the best days of your live experiencing first-hand the wonderful culture of one of Southeast Asia’s most wonderful countries.

Here is everything you need to know before packing.

Cost and Length of Your Flight (cheap prices included)

There is no way for me to know exactly from where and when you are flying to Phnom Penh, but I can give an estimate depending on your continent. If you are flying from North America, Europe, or the Middle East, I will tell you what you should know.

Flying from the North America

Flights from Canada and the United States heading toward Phnom Penh, Cambodia are not that expensive, but certainly not cheap either. The usual American and Canadian companies, like American Airlines and Air Canada, average about $900 for the ticket, but cheaper companies such as China Airlines offer a lower price of $600. Such a flight is said to be 23 hours long.

Flying from Europe

Your flight from your Europe is more likely to be as long as 18 hours. Flights from European capitals, such as Paris, France and London, U.K., cost around $800. Air France, British Airways, and Austrian Airlines charge about $1000. However, during the cheapest months, China Southern charge only an average of $600 per adult.

Flying from the Middle East

Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates control most of the flights departing from the Middle East going anywhere, which means they also operate most of the flights going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Their prices average from $600 up to $1000, while the flight is around 12 hours long.

It should be noted that all the prices ( both above and below) are averages that can change depending on the company, the time period and the location. Please check Skyscanner for more information about your flight to Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh International Airport

Cambodia’s largest airport is also its capital’s. Phnom Penh International is located 10 kilometers west of Phnom Penh, which makes transportation from and to the airport pretty easy. There are two terminals; one for international flights, and the other for domestic ones.

To and From the Airport

I am pretty sure you did not travel all the way to Phnom Penh to stay inside of the airport. You definitely need to get to your destination, a hotel probably. Here are the possible ways to get there.

Taxi:

Phnom Penh taxis can be found both inside and outside of the airport’s terminal. However, they are not metered. From the airport to Wat Phnom or the Riverside will cost $9, while everywhere else is $12. The trip to City Center will take 25 to 50 minutes depending on traffic.

Read more about taxis within Phnom Penh down below.

Tuk-tuk:

Tuk-tuks are not allowed inside the airport, so you will be hustled by many drivers trying to convince you to go with them outside. If you are willing to take the ride, they all stand outside of the airport, and they cost around $5 or $6. It all depends on your destination and your bargaining skills. It may take a little longer than a taxi ride, but you enjoy more of the city in a Tuk-tuk.

Interested in using them to get around the city? Read below.

Motor:

Riding on the back of a motor is the least comfortable but a lot cheaper as they cost only $2. You can find them outside of the airport. Please make sure that your bags are always in your sights, so as not to lose them or they may get stolen.

Bus:

Lately, Phnom Penh introduced the bus service, with 20 stops all around the city including the airport. The ticket is pretty cheap, as it only cost 1500 riel ($0.37), so travelers are better off having change, most preferably in riel. The bus stop can be seen outside the gate on the right. It is said that there is a bus every 15 minutes.The bus service is there from 5am to 8:30pm.

Phnom Penh Climate

Before packing, you should know when to visit Cambodia. Planning your holidays hoping for it to be sunny and coming to find just rain is definitely not what you want. Therefore, make sure you choose carefully when to visit. Here are the hottest and wettest months in Phnom Penh.

Rain Period:

It rains regularly during the months of June-November. Although it rains about 20 days a month, the showers are pretty short with an average of two hours, usually in the afternoons. There have been small and large floodings in Phnom Penh during these last few years, so you should be very careful not to stay out when it rains for too long.

Hot/Warm Season:

Phnom Penh is warm all year round. However, it may be hotter than what you can handle. The hottest months are March and April, as the temperature might reach 40°C. Most visitors at this time of the year hang around the pools since the heat is too much. However, due to the lack of rain during this season, most people find it more suitable to visit Phnom Penh.

Best Time to Visit:

The months December through February are the coolest of the year. It is the perfect time to explore the beautiful sights of Cambodia, as the temperature ranges between 21°C and 32°C, sometimes below 20°C during the night. Thanks to the cool weather, tourists occupy Cambodia during these three months, which makes everything a little bit more expensive, and the places a bit crowded.

Cheap Transportation Around Phnom Penh

To get around Phnom Penh, there are a lot of means, starting by walking to your destination. This allows you to spend more time enjoying the sights, the streets, and interact with more locals than any other means of transportation. However, your destination may not be that close. So, you may want to get some wheels.

Tuk-tuks: Cheap & Safe

Photo credit: mikecogh via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

The most used way of getting around in Cambodia’s capital is by Tuk-tuk. There is no fixed price for any journey, so you are better off bargaining the fare before you get inside. It is also better to hire the tuk-tuk driver for half or the whole day instead of the journey. Of course, do that only if you are spending the day sightseeing.

Taxis: New & Comfortable

Photo credit: mikecogh via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

Safer than a tuk-tuk, though they cost just a bit more, taxis are becoming more and more popular in Phnom Penh. You can find them in the streets as you are walking, or you can call them in advance. Once again, there is no fixed price and your bargaining skills must be sharp. Taxi drivers will try to hustle you, but don’t be intimidated.

Motors: Cheapest, Fastest, Most Risky

Photo credit: oldandsolo via Visual Hunt / CC BY

It is possible to hire a motorcycle driver if you are traveling on your own. They are faster within the city and are most likely to speak English. Trip fares cost between $0.50 and $1, but expect a bit more during the night.

You can read more about how to get around in Phnom Penh here, here, and here.

Hotels in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

You are now at the taxi stand and you are going to tell him your destination. Of course, the first thing to do is head to your reserved hotel room. If you are traveling alone or with a group of friends and family, if you are looking for luxury or budget-friendly hotel rooms, I have some good news for you down below.

Luxury Hotels: Class and Business

Luxury hotels around Phnom Penh are usually the best for sightseeing. They are near the heart of the city in a walking distance from Phnom Penh’s most attractions. They offer poolsides, restaurants, spa and massage treatments, and much more. Luxury hotels’ average price is $250. Some of the best hotels are: Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra ($240), Raffles Hotel Le Royal ($230), InterContinental Phnom Penh ($260).

Best Deals: Rooms for 4 ADULTS

Best deal hotels in Phnom Penh are there for those who are looking for the most affordable luxury.They offer pretty nice rooms, most of the time family-friendly with a free breakfast included in the price. These deals average a $60 per night, with hotels such as: The Star Villa ($70), The Pavilion Hotel ($80), Rambutan Resort ($65).

Budget Hotels: CHEAP & COMFORTABLE

Not everyone traveling to Cambodia is there for the luxury. If you are a backpack traveler and not going to Phnom Penh to spend your money on hotel rooms, you are probably looking for cheap hotels with the highest level of comfort. Some hotels offer rooms with an average price of $25, and their ratings among travelers are high. Such reputable hotels are Sovanphum Guesthouse ($20), You Eng Hotel ($15), or Paragon Hotel ($25).

TOP 5 Things to Do & See in Phnom Penh

It is time to enjoy the beautiful Phnom Penh. There are a lot of historical, cultural and impressive attraction around the city; although most of them are in its center. Here are some places to visit, tours and activities you have to do before going back home.

Take Pictures next to the Independence Monument

Photo credit: Ant‫‬hony via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND

Built in 1958, the iconic landmark representing Cambodia’s independence from the French colonization is right in the heart of the city. The moment is built in an intersection of Norodom and Sihanouk Boulevards. You should probably visit it at night as it is lit with red, blue and white colors. There’s a popular park next to the monument, as well as the Royal Palace a few minutes away.

Inspire Yourself At Cheung Ek Killing Fields

Understandably, this place is literally bone-chilling. Representing the unforgettable and deeply painful part of Cambodia’s history, the fields hold over 15,000 civilians dead skulls as a memorial of the genocide that occurred during the ruling of Khmer Rouge regime.These mass graves were only discovered after the regime’s leader fled the country, which pushed the country to build a Buddhist memorial for all the victims.

Discover Cambodia at its National Museum

Photo credit: Clay Gilliland via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Cambodia’s National Museum is located next to the Royal Palace and is open every day from 8am to 5pm. Inaugurated in 1920, the museum is responsible for collecting, preserving, and showcasing Cambodia’s national treasure as part of their history and culture. The museum’s collection is one of stone, metal, wood, and ceramic.

Attend Cambodian Arts Traditional Dance Show

Cambodian Living Arts, a non-profit organization, hosts and performs on the ground of the National Museum eight classical and folk dances that represent all group minorities of Cambodia. The show opens most days of the week, depending on which month, but the show always starts at 7pm. Tickets to the show cost $15. Book yours here.

Enjoy the Phnom Penh Nightlife

If you enjoy the late nights, you definitely need to spend at least one at a bar in Phnom Penh. Pootoon is one of the best nightclubs out there. It is open all week, each night a different theme and music style. International DJs come play in special events. If you happen to attend one of those nights, you will pay an entrance fee. But it is for sure guaranteed to enjoy your night.

TOP 3 Best Shopping Options in Phnom Penh

Before leaving Cambodia’s capital, you need to spend some money in shops and malls. You need souvenirs and clothes, and a lot of accessories locally made, or international brands. Here are a few places you should definitely go shopping at.

Central Market: Bargain for Your Jewelry

Photo credit: dalbera via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

This market is an architectural masterpiece for visitors, even those who are not there to buy anything. However, if you have sharp bargaining skills, this is where you can test them. A lot of tourists come to buy jewelry, gemstones, clothes, souvenirs, and a lot more. You may want to read a bit more about it before you go there.

Night Market: BUYING & DANCING

Photo credit: Iwan Gabovitch via Visualhunt / CC BY

If you want to enjoy a good weekend night with live music and dancing, and get some shopping done, Phnom Penh’s Night Market is your place to go. A lot of locals put their handmade goods on sale for both tourists and locals, and all that in the open air.

Old Market (Phsar Chas): The Most Popular Among Locals

Photo credit: benklocek via Visualhunt / CC BY

This market has been around since the French were there. It gives a sense of authenticity as everything sold there is local. The market is located near the Freedom Park, and it remains open until sunset. Some shops on the south side of the market may be open well after 8pm and they mostly sell souvenirs for tourists.

Time to Go back Home

After such a wonderful experience in the beauty of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, you may have a hard time going back home. However, you will definitely want to come back there.

When you decide to do so, visit us again. We may have updates for you.

You have other questions? Let us know and we’ll answer them.

Have a GREAT trip.

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