Top Historical Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

We are madly in love with Indochina.

As development gradually takes its course, this region managed to reverently preserve its rich cultural heritage - making any travel experience here both eye-opening and humbling. We returned to Cambodia for the second time, after having travelled to Siem Reap two years ago to explore the majestic temples and ancient relics left behind by the Khmer Empire.

Phnom Penh is noticeably more dynamic when compared to Siem Reap. Buildings are taller, more cars occupy the roads, while the famed NagaWorld sits loftily in the heart of the capital. From the very moment you set foot here, you have been extended the invitation to immerse in the bustling metropolis' offbeat adventures.

Fortunately, the historical landmarks in this city are plentiful and undeterred by modernisation. Listed below are the top 6 historical places to visit in Phnom Penh for those seeking to learn about this exotic country and how it has come to be.

Read also: Top 12 Temples to Visit in Siem Reap

Table of Content
Top Historical Places to Visit in Phnom Penh
Top Historical Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

Top Historical Places to Visit in Phnom Penh

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

A former Killing Field, Choeung Ek is a mass grave for victims killed during the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. Located 17 kilometers south of Phnom Penh, the site contains 8,895 bodies - most of them were of former politicians imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge regime. Today, it serves as a memorial and is marked by a notable Buddhist stupa filled with over 5,000 human skulls. Fragments of bones and items of clothing are visible in the pits.

Entrance fee: US$5 (Inclusive of an audio guide in 15 languages)

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Killing Fields of Choeung Ek is a must-visit historical attraction in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace of Cambodia

The Royal Palace serves as the residence of the King of Cambodia since its construction in 1866. It showcases exemplary Khmer architecture with minor French influences. The complex is also home to important monuments and features such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the throne hall, stupas, towering spires and mural paintings.

Entrance fee: US$10 (Inclusive of the entry to Silver Pagoda)

Royal Palace Phnom Penh
Royal Palace of Cambodia in Phnom Penh

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng is a museum in Phnom Penh which chronicles the Cambodian genocide. It is a former high school which was converted into the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime. Translated to be the "Hill of the Poisonous Trees", Tuol Sleng was just one out of at least 150 execution centers that was used to execute more than 1.7 million people.

Entrance fee: US$5

What to See in Phnom Penh
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh

Silver Pagoda

Officially known as Wat Ubosoth Ratanaram or Temple of the Emerald-Crystal Buddha, the Silver Pagoda is located at the south side of the Royal Palace. It was built using the Grand Palace in Bangkok as a model and it houses a sacred emerald green crystal Buddha. The surrounding wall is painted with murals of the Reamker (of the Ramayana) which was completed in year 1904.

Entrance fee: US$3

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Phnom Penh
Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh

Wat Ounalom

Located on the Sisowath Quay, Wat Ounalom is the center of Cambodian Buddhism and it is the most important wat in Phnom Penh. Built in 1443, the stupa on its main complex is believed to contain an eyebrow hair of Buddha and an inscription in Pali.

Entrance fee: Free

What to see and do in Phnom Penh
Wat Ounalom in Phnom Penh

National Museum of Cambodia

The National Museum of Cambodia the largest museum of cultural history and the leading archaeological museum in the country. Its contains a collection of over 14,000 items, including Khmer sculptures, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects.

Entrance fee: $10 (Foreigners above 18 years old)

Most Popular Attractions in Phnom Penh
National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Which of the destination listed above is your favorite historical destination in Phnom Penh? Let us know in the comment section below! Plan your trip to Cambodia using our travel guide for a memorable experience.

Don't forget to share your travel & dining moments with us on Instagram by tagging @rollinggrace or #RollingGrace. Happy travelling!


  1. All of the historical places you have listed are definitely eye-catching but the one that attracted me the most was the genocide museum with the pictures of the pool souls...OMG!

  2. banyak juga tempat bersejarah menarik di cambodia. tak pernah sampai lagi ke sana. hopefully one day boleh jejak kaki kat sini..

  3. I have visited Siem Reap and I was totally taken in by the majestic views of the temples and the ancient relics they have there. I have planned to visit Phnom
    Phen this year it seems not going to be a reality

  4. never been to cambodia and its definitely a place i love to visit. done bookmark for future reference. thanks sharing

  5. Haven't get a chance to visit either Siem Reap and Phnom Phen, eventhough Cambodia is one of the place I want to visit 🥰 Boleh refer this itinerary la if we go there nanti

  6. Sis tak pernah pergi lagi sini tapi anak sudah.. memang cantik semua gambar yang di amik..
    Takpe banyak ni masuk list, hope dapatlah travel lagi macam dulu...

  7. Cantiknya Silver Pagoda dengan National Museum dekat Phnom Penh ni! Unik betul design bumbung diorang!

  8. Menariknya tengok post ni. Walaupun posting lama 2017, tapi yelah macam mengimbau zaman-zaman bertravel sana sini. Harap kita dapat start travel balik soon

  9. Thank you for introducing beautiful places ! Excited to read more! Northpole!!!

  10. I've only been to Siem Reap. Would love to visit Phnom Penh next. I'm saving this for future reference.

  11. After reading your post Phnom Penh is on my list! I love visiting musuems and get to the know the country by their history.


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