Where to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Options for All Budgets!

Wat Phnom View – Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s sprawling capital, is an intriguing city to explore. Spend just a couple of days ticking off the main sights and you’ll leave with no desire to return to the land of high-rise buildings and inevitable traffic jams. But stay a little longer, explore a little more, and the city’s charm begins to shine through its gritty, pollution-stained surface. 

To get the most out of staying in the capital, you need to know where to base yourself. We’ve rounded up the best areas in Phnom Penh for all kinds of visitors and budgets, including hand-picked accommodation options for each! So whether you want to be near excellent nightlife, fantastic restaurants or have a cracking view of the Tonlé Sap River, we’ve got you covered!

The Wheels of Time Keep On Turning

Since COVID-19 plunged the world of travel into disarray, a lot has changed in Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, we’ve seen the closure of legendary backpacker hostels and luxury hotel offerings. But a new travel landscape has risen from the ashes. This guide, put together using our own on-the-ground experience, plus that of our Facebook community of avid travellers, strives to give you the most up-to-date info out there. If you have a correction or update for this guide, please leave a comment below. Thanks for being a valued member of our community!


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Where to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Guide for Travellers

Best Places to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Quick Answers!

  • Best Place to Stay for First-timers – Doun Penh
  • Best Place to Stay for Luxury – Tonlé Bassac 
  • Best Place to Stay for a Local Experience – Toul Tumpoung 
  • Best Place to Stay for Nightlife – Doun Penh 
  • Best Place to Stay for Extended Stays – Boeng King Kang 

Top 4 Areas to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The best places to stay in Phnom Penh are all relatively close to each other, extending from Wat Phnom, south past the Russian Market, and from the river, west to the Olympic Stadium. As long as you’re within these boundaries, you’ll be well set up to make the most of your time in the city. 

Even though our favourite areas in Phnom Penh are close together, they all offer something a little different. Let us help you choose the right area for you below!

A Note on Boeng Kak Lake 

Old school backpackers – prepare to shed a tear for the once-jumping area of Boeng Kak Lake. What used to be the traveller hub in Phnom Penh is now little more than a wasteland and the centre of an ongoing legal dispute. Boeng Kak Lake has been filled in as part of Phnom Penh’s land reclamation initiatives, resulting in widespread flooding, forced business closures and the displacement of thousands of locals.

1. Doun Penh

Doun Penh, sometimes referred to as the riverfront district, runs from Wat Phnom down to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda along the Tonlé Sap River. It’s a lively place to stay with a vast range of restaurants and bars to suit all budgets and tastes. Night markets and street food vendors add to the array of food options and there are plenty of convenience stores, money changers and tour operators in the area. 

The perfect place for first-time visitors to Phnom Penh, Doun Penh is within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions. If you need to go a little further afield, tuk-tuks are on every corner and PassApp, the most popular Uber alternative in Cambodia, works very well. Just be aware that traffic gets manic in the evenings, so leave yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going! 

Phnom Penh at night riverside
At night, Phnom Penh’s riverfront comes alive!

During the day, Sisowath Quay – the long riverside stretch – is deserted but as soon as the sun goes down, people arrive in their droves. Whether it’s to work out, play games or sit and socialise, the quay becomes the hub of local life. Take a stroll and enjoy Phnom Penh at its most authentic! 

It’s worth noting that Doun Penh is home to one of Phnom Penh’s largest red-light districts. You’ll know when you’re in the area thanks to the abundance of Cambodian ladies outside seedy bars with names like Girls, Girls Girls, and Pour Hub… These roads are generally as safe as anywhere in the city but can feel more intimidating thanks to the seedy imagery and general clientele of said bars. Still, as with anywhere in Phnom Penh, avoid flashing your valuables and keep a tight grip on your bag.

👉 Read More: Phnom Penh Safety Guide

Pour Hub Phnom Penh
That’s one classy looking joint…
Budget
Onederz Phnom Penh

With budget-friendly dorms and excellent value private rooms, Onederz is hotel quality at hostel prices. The rooftop bar serves a range of food and drink, making it the perfect place to settle in and watch the sunset!

“During my time in Phnom Penh, I stayed at Onederz after seeing a recommendation in the SEA Backpacker Facebook group. The staff bent over backwards to assist me, helping with onward travel, luggage storage and travel advice. There was also a great community of travellers here – I won’t stay anywhere else in PP from now on.”

Sheree Hooker, Editor at South East Asia Backpacker
Premium
TRIBE

Offering everything you’d expect, this sleek and sophisticated hotel in Doun Penh is perfect for travellers wanting a premium product without a premium price tag. Two onsite restaurants, a cracking roof terrace and astounding views all around, make TRIBE a special place to bed down!

Luxury
Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh

For a truly luxurious stay in Phnom Penh, look no further than Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Housed in an old colonial building, this Raffles offering strikes all the right notes. Don’t miss the excellent cocktails, served with a smile in Elephant Bar!

2. Boung Keng Kang

Also known as BKK, Boung Keng Kang is split into three parts – BKK1, BKK2 and (you guessed it) BKK3. 

Of the three, BKK1 is the most popular with travellers to Phnom Penh. The area offers a quieter stay than Doun Penh, while still being centrally located and within easy walking distance of the city’s attractions. There are plenty of cafés, coworking spaces plus bars and restaurants here but with less budget-focused amenities than Doun Penh. 

BKK2 and 3 are on the rise in Phnom Penh as the popularity of their neighbour and namesake has created a boom in the area. Plenty of short and long-term accommodation options are springing up in the area. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot for an extended stay in Phnom Penh!

Photos of 'enemies of the state' at Tuol Sleng S21 Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
S21 is in BKK3!

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is located in BKK3 and while it’s not cheery, a visit to the old school-cum-prison is a must-do while in Phnom Penh. 

Budget
Nangkol Village Phnom Penh

Exceptionally priced private rooms and good-quality dorms make Nangkol Village stand out in BKK1. With a 24-hour front desk, swimming pool, excellent bar and currency exchange, Nangkol is more like a sociable hotel than a hostel!

Premium
The ONRA Hotel

With a rooftop pool and bar commanding excellent views over Phnom Penh, ONRA Hotel is a fantastic four-star offering in Phnom Penh. There’s an onsite fitness suite for those missing their usual workouts and the restaurant specialises in American, Brazilian and Cambodian cuisine! 

Luxury
Duong Chan Hotel

Duong Chan oozes luxury from the moment you walk into reception. The staff are among the friendliest in Phnom Penh and the rooms leave little to be desired. Often available with fantastic discounts, Duong Chan Hotel delivers affordable luxury to travellers in Phnom Penh. 

3. Tonlé Bassac

Found below Doun Penh, at the mouth of the Bassac River, Tonlé Bassac is the place to go if you’re looking for a more luxurious stay. There are a bunch of great restaurants, beautiful hotels and classy condos to satiate the bougie traveller in us all! 

Tonlé Bassac is the perfect place to visit a rooftop bar, grab a cocktail and watch the sunset before dressing up and heading out for dinner. 

Don’t let the price tag of top-notch hotels put you off, NagaWorld often has last-minute deals, meaning you can get a five-star room for $50-100USD per night! 

Premium
Botum Palace Hotel

Clean and comfortable, the Botum Palace Hotel is located on a quiet side street in Tonlé Bassac. The rooms are simple but comfortable while the dining area’s maximalist design creates a wonderful place to enjoy your food. Considering the quality of this four-star hotel, the price is excellent! 

Luxury
NagaWorld

The NagaWorld Entertainment Complex won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but if you’re looking for the most budget-friendly five-star stay in Phnom Penh, you’ve found it! The views are astounding, the service is great and there is plenty on offer to keep you entertained during your stay!

Luxury
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

For a more understated but classier five-star option, choose Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. An excellent spot for business travellers, couples and families, you’ll want for nothing at Sofitel. There are at least five onsite eateries as well as a sports and fitness centre – book an extra couple of days, so you can enjoy all the facilities!

4. Tuol Tumpoung 

Below BKK 2&3, Tuol Tumpoung is most famous for housing Phnom Penh’s Russian Market, where you can pick up anything from floor furniture to fake Converse. Outside the market, factory outlet stores sell genuine branded goods that have come out of local factories with slight defects, at rock-bottom prices. These defects are often small errors in printing or stitching which means the goods can’t be exported. 

Other than the market, Tuol Tumpoung offers a more local vibe than the other areas we’ve discussed. There are plenty of affordable eateries as well as ubiquitous street food options. Accommodation is more limited but still easy to find online! 

Budget
Villa Martial Arts Gym and Guesthouse

Offering some of the cheapest dorm beds in Phnom Penh, Villa Martial Arts delivers a simple stay for those seeking it. But if you want more from your time in Phnom Penh, the hostel runs daily Kun Khmer and workout sessions too. Ask about their stay and train package if you’re interested! 

Premium
Queen Mansion

This modern and spacious hotel offers everything from double rooms through to suites and entire apartments. No matter whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple or as part of a larger group, you’ll find accommodation that meets your needs here!

Luxury
La Chronique Hotel

This opulent-looking hotel showcases minimalist decor at its finest. With small touches throwing back to a bygone colonial era, La Chronique is one of the classiest places you’ll find in Tuol Tumpoung!

The buzzing metropolis of Phnom Penh can take some getting used to, especially if you’ve arrived from elsewhere in Cambodia, but once you’re over the initial shock, its charm and authenticity are striking. 

Choosing the right place to stay in Phnom Penh will help you get the most out of this wonderful Southeast Asian capital!

Tim Ashdown | Gear Specialist

After a life-changing motorcycle accident, Tim decided life was too short to stay cooped up in his home county of Norfolk, UK. Since then, he has travelled Southeast Asia, walked the Camino de Santiago and backpacked South America. His first book, From Paralysis to Santiago, chronicles his struggle to recover from the motorcycle accident and will be released later this year.

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