Phnom Penh is an exciting, bustling and relatively inexpensive interesting travel destination. It offers an incredible and tragic history, a vibrant culture, modern music scene, and a vast array of stunning and unforgettable sights.

But with so many areas to choose from, figuring out the best place to stay in Phnom Penh can be overwhelming.

That’s why we put together this in-depth guide to Phnom Penh’s best neighbourhoods.

This article breaks down the five best areas to stay in Phnom Penh and organizes them by interest so you’ll know exactly where to stay based on what you want to do.

So whether you’re looking to sightsee, party, or entertain your kids, this guide has all the information you need – and MORE – to book the perfect accommodation for your Phnom Penh vacation.

Get ready – here are our top picks for where to stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Phnom Penh

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN PHNOM PENH

Riverfront District

The Riverfront District is the best neighbourhood in Phnom Penh to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time. This vibrant riverfront area is home to an excellent selection of restaurants, shops and bars that will entertain travellers of all ages, interests and budgets.

Places to visit:
  • Be amazed by Wat Ounolom, an impressive Buddhist temple.
  • Browse the stalls at the Kandal Market.
  • Go for a stroll through lovely Riverside Park.

Where to Stay in Phnom Penh

Looking for a specific place to stay? From hotels, Airbnbs, and budget backpacker hostels, there are heaps of choices for accommodation in Phnom Penh!

These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Phnom Penh.

Best Hostel in Phnom Penh: Onederz Phnom Penh

This riverside property is our favourite hostel in Phnom Penh. It is ideally located and is within walking distance of famous tourist attractions and landmarks. This hostel consists of dorm-style and private rooms with comfortable beds, personal reading lights and plug sockets.

Best Airbnb in Phnom Penh: Super stylish studio

This studio is so chic, you will want to spend the day inside. Designed in an industrial, minimalistic style, the studio is a great place for everyone that visits the city for the first time. All hotspots are in walking distance, and you’ll have numerous cafes and restaurants around you.

Best Hotel in Phnom Penh: DE NINTH Boutique Hotel & Spa

This is our favourite hotel in Phnom Penh because it offers modern and stylish rooms at the heart of the city. Rooms are outfitted with cable/satellite channels, refrigerators, free wifi and minibars. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant.

Phnom Penh Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN PHNOM PENH
Riverfront District, Phnom Penh
FIRST TIME IN PHNOM PENH

Riverfront District

The Riverfront District is the best neighbourhood in Phnom Penh to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time. This vibrant riverfront area is home to an excellent selection of restaurants, shops and bars that will entertain travellers of all ages, interests and budgets.

ON A BUDGET
Sangkat Voat Phnum, Phnom Penh
ON A BUDGET

Sangkat Voat Phnum

Sangkat Voat Phnum is a small neighbourhood set north of the Riverfront District. This centrally located neighbourhood is home to a good selection of famous attractions and landmarks.

NIGHTLIFE
BKK1, Phnom Penh
NIGHTLIFE

BKK1

BKK1 is a vibrant and lively neighbourhood in central Phnom Penh. It is known as the city’s expat hub and is where you’ll find many embassies and foreign houses, as well as UN and NGO headquarters, international schools and universities.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Tonle Bassac

The Tonle Bassac neighbourhood is one of the best places in Phnom Penh to stay. Located near the BKK1 and Riverside neighbourhood, Tonle Bassac sits off the beaten tourist path.

FOR FAMILIES
Toule Kouk, Phnom Penh
FOR FAMILIES

Toul Kouk

Toul Kouk is located outside of the city centre. Not long ago it was an underdeveloped suburb with little to offer travellers. Today, thanks to a recent revamp and revitalization, it is one of the most desirable locations in the city with restaurants, cafes and boutiques.

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city in Cambodia. It sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and was once known as the Pearl of Asia because of its stunning architecture and inviting charm.

Although Phnom Penh can be a bit rough to visit, it’s a beautiful location of Cambodia worthy of your time. This Phnom Penh neighbourhood guide will explore the best places to stay based on what you want to do.

The Riverside District is one of the best areas to stay in Phnom Penh because it is within walking distance of so many famous tourist attractions and historic landmarks.

Set north of here is Sangkat Voat Phnum. This is our top pick for where to stay in Phnom Penh for one night because it has so many good value accommodation options and it’s right next to the city centre.

Travel south from here and you’ll arrive in Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1). This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Phnom Penh for nightlife because it has excellent bars, thriving clubs, and offers some of the most delicious street food in the city.

Tonle Bassac is a small neighbourhood east of BKK1 and is without a doubt one of the coolest places to stay in Phnom Penh. Home to cafes, bistros, boutiques and more, this is the best neighbourhood in Phnom Penh to stay in if you like to shop, eat or want to be where the cool kids are.

And finally, Toul Kouk is located north of the city centre. It is the best neighbourhood to stay in Phnom Penh with kids because it has great restaurants, shops and activities.

it is a city bursting with activities to fill your itinerary with. Give it a chance! Pick an awesome area to stay in Phnom Penh and have an amazing trip!

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Phnom Penh’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we break down the best places to stay in Phnom Penh in much more detail. Each neighbourhood offers something a little different from the last so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the area that’s right for you!

#1 Riverfront District – Where to Stay in Phnom Penh for Your First Time

The Riverfront District is the best neighbourhood in Phnom Penh to stay in if you’re a first-time visitor to Cambodia. This vibrant riverfront area is home to an excellent selection of restaurants, shops and bars that will entertain travellers of all ages, interests and budgets.

This area is also home to popular and renowned landmarks and attractions, including Wat Ounolom, the National Museum and the Central Market.

So whether you want to sightsee, explore, or kick back with a cool cocktail, the Riverfront District has everything a first-time visitor could possibly want – and so much more!

Riverfront District, Phnom Penh

Things to See and Do in Riverfront District

– Be amazed by Wat Ounolom, an impressive Buddhist temple.

– Browse the stalls at the Kandal Market.

– Delve deep into the rich and tragic history of Cambodia at the National Museum.

– Explore the amazing Royal Palace and its lush grounds, which includes the Silver Pagoda.

– Feast on tasty Tex-Mex at Cam’s Burrito.

– Go for a stroll through lovely Riverside Park.

– Sip a glass of wine and snack on French fare at Le Bouchon Wine Bar.

– Snack, shop and marvel at the décor of the Central Market.

– Try deep friend creatures and critters at the Creepy crawly stand.

Best Hostel in Riverfront District: The Big Easy Phnom Penh

This brand new hostel is conveniently located in the Riverside District, the best neighbourhood to stay in Phnom Penh for first-time visitors. It offers easy access to popular tourist attractions, bars, shops and cafes. Dorms are outfitted with large pod beds with modern amenities, curtains and reading lights.

Best Airbnb in Riverfront District: Super stylish studio

This studio is so chic, you will want to spend the day inside. Designed in an industrial, minimalistic style, the studio is a great place for everyone that visits the city for the first time. All hotspots are in walking distance, and you’ll have numerous cafes and restaurants around you.

Best Hotel in Riverfront District: Vacation Boutique Hotel

Vacation Boutique Hotel is a comfortable and cosy three-star hotel in the Riverside District, one of Phnom Penh’s best neighbourhoods. It is a short walk from the Royal Palace and other great historical landmarks. This hotel boasts amazing amenities, comfortable rooms and guests can enjoy a tasty breakfast.

Best Hotel in Riverfront District: Blue Lime Phnom Penh

A great location and spacious rooms all at an amazing price – its no wonder this is one of the best places to stay in Phnom Penh. This three-star hotel is close to eateries, shops and bars. It has modern and well-equipped rooms, plus there’s a pool, coffee bar and restaurant on-site!

#2 Sangkat Voat Phnum – Where to Stay in Phnom Penh on a Budget

Sangkat Voat Phnum is a small neighbourhood set north of the Riverfront District.

This centrally located neighbourhood is home to a good selection of famous attractions and landmarks. Within the district, you’ll find the incredible Wat Phnom as well as lush Memorial Park, the Giant Clock of Phnom Penh and the delicious and busy Night Market.

Sangkat Voat Phnum is also the best neighbourhood in Phnom Penh to stay in if you’re backpacking Cambodia on a budget because it has such a great selection of good value accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, there’s something here for every style of traveller.

Sangkat Voat Phnum, Phnom Penh
source: Lenar Musin (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Sangkat Voat Phnum

– Eat delicious Italian dishes at Oskar Bistro.

– Enjoy afternoon tea at the legendary Elephant Bar.

– Excite your senses at Village Road Duck Cambodia.

– Explore the peaceful grounds of Wat Phnom.

– Indulge in delicious pub fare at Larry’s Bar & Grill.

– Sip a coffee at Brown Coffee Riverside.

– Snack and sample your way around Phnom Penh’s Night Market.

– Start your day with Bai sach chrouk, or pork and rice from Breakfast, a street-side eatery.

– Visit the Statue of King Sisowath.

– Wander through Memorial Park and see the Giant Clock of Phnom Penh.

Best Hostel in Sangkat Voat Phnum: Onederz Phnom Penh

This riverside property is our favourite hostel in Phnom Penh. It is ideally located and is within walking distance of famous tourist attractions and landmarks. This hostel consists of dorm-style and private rooms with comfortable beds, personal reading lights and plug sockets.

Best Airbnb in Sangkat Voat Phnum: Entire budget apartment 

Not often do you get a whole apartment to yourself when travelling on a budget. Today is your lucky day. This Airbnb is affordable and in a great location at the same time. Attractions are in walking distance, you’ll have AC in your bedroom and all the amenities you might need.

Best Hotel in Sangkat Voat Phnum: De Art Hotel

De Art Hotel is one of the best places in Phnom Penh to stay if you’re on a budget. It offers comfortable, spacious and modern rooms at an affordable price, all in the heart of the city. There’s also a shuttle service and laundry facilities for guests.

Best Hotel in Sangkat Voat Phnum: Riverview Cambodia Boutique Hotel

This charming boutique hotel is situated just a stone’s throw from Phnom Penh’s most famous attractions. It is also close to a vast array of bars, restaurants and shops. This art deco hotel offers safe, cosy and large rooms with A/C and refrigerators. There are also many excellent amenities onsite.

#3 BKK1 – Where to Stay in Phnom Penh for Nightlife

BKK1 is a vibrant and lively neighbourhood in central Phnom Penh. It is known as the city’s expat hub and is where you’ll find many embassies and foreign houses, as well as UN and NGO headquarters, international schools and universities.

This busy and buzzing ‘hood is also the best area in Phnom Penh to stay in for nightlife. Tucked throughout this district of Phnom Penh thriving streets are a great variety of amazing bars, clubs, restaurants and pubs that offer fun nights out to visitors and locals.

There’s also plenty of hip and modern restaurants, cosy cafes and steamy street stalls where you can excite your senses and satisfy your appetite.

BKK1, Phnom Penh
source: Chris Howey (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in BKK1

– Eat tasty European dishes at Farm to Table.

– Enjoy great drinks and a chill atmosphere at Liquid Bar.

– Excite your sense with a flavourful snack from one of BKK1’s famous Nompang carts.

– Grab drinks and watch sports at SCORE Sports Bar & Grill.

– Indulge in a night of rustic cocktails at BattBong.

– Sink your teeth into a delicious meal at iBurger.

– Sip cocktails on the rooftop bar at the Top Banana Guesthouse.

– Sit back, relax and listen to live music at Zeppelin Café.

– Spend a fantastic night eating and drinking at Duplex.

– Visit the Independence Monument.

Best Hostel in BKK1: Envoy Hostel Phnom Penh

The Envoy Hostel is nestled at the heart of BKK1, the best area in Phnom Penh to stay in for nightlife. It is close to great bars, pubs and restaurants, and is a quick walk to the Independence Monument. Designed by travellers for travellers, this hostel is well-equipped with comfortable beds and modern amenities.

Best Airbnb in BKK1: Brandnew apartment

This Airbnb is very stylish and brand new. You’re right on the busiest street in the city, which is great for exploring the crazy nightlife of Phnom Penh. Everything inside the apartment is high in quality and very clean according to previous guests – you will love this place!

Best Hotel in BKK1: DE NINTH Boutique Hotel & Spa

This is our favourite hotel in Phnom Penh because it offers modern and stylish rooms at the heart of the city. Rooms are outfitted with cable/satellite channels, refrigerators, free wifi and minibars. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant.

Best Hotel in BKK1: Best May Hotel

Best May Hotel is an excellent Phnom Penh accommodation option because it has such a great location. Set in BKK1, this hotel is within walking distance of many bars, pubs, restaurants and shops. It has 26 recently refurbished rooms and provides delicious food and free wifi to guests.

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#4 Tonle Bassac – Coolest Place to Stay in Phnom Penh

The Tonle Bassac neighbourhood is one of the best places in Phnom Penh to stay. Located near the BKK1 and Riverside neighbourhood, Tonle Bassac sits off the beaten tourist path. It doesn’t have a lot of tourist sights, which means it offers visitors a more local feel, attitude and atmosphere.

What Tonle Bassac lacks in monuments it certainly makes up in food!

This is far and away one of the best neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh for eating and dining. It has everything from elegant restaurants to street-side stall, all which serve mouthwatering dishes from throughout Cambodia and around the world.

A stay in Tonle Bassac will have you licking your lips and loving every delicious minute of it!

Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh

Things to See and Do in Tonle Bassac

– Choose from a wide selection of premium rums at the Samai Distillery.

– Excite your sense with Cambodian fare at Boat Noodle.

– Feast on spicy, savoury and flavourful dishes at Malis.

– Grab drinks at hip and trendy Cloud.

– Kickstart your day with an awesome meal at Java Creative Café.

– Sample local craft brews or sip a glass of wine at Botanico Wine & Beer Garden.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth with a light, fluffy and delicate treat from the Donut Lady.

– See the Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

– Sip excellent cocktails at Red Bar.

Best Hostel in Tonle Bassac: Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

This lively and social hostel is located in nearby BKK1. It is just a short walk from the bars, restaurants, shops and attractions of Tonle Bassac. This hotel has a swimming pool, a rooftop bar, and a delicious on-site restaurant. Dorms are comfortable, spacious and equipped with oversized mattresses.

Best Airbnb in Tonle Bassac: Private room in condo

This place is all about views! Stand in your living room and look over the entire city. The Airbnb in a condo is super modern and very comfy. It’s very well equipped, and you can enjoy daily room cleaning and the inclusive breakfast every morning. Main attractions are just moments away too.

Best Hotel in Tonle Bassac: YK Art House

YK Art House is conveniently located in Tonle Bassac, one of the coolest places to stay in Phnom Penh. It has a variety of facilities, including a library, on-site restaurant and airport shuttle. Rooms are modern, spacious and well-equipped with A/C and wireless internet.

Best Hotel in Tonle Bassac: Teav Bassac Boutique Hotel & Spa

Rest, relax and luxuriate at this premium Phnom Penh accommodation. Set in the city centre, this four-star hotel offers easy access to popular tourist attractions, landmarks, bars and shops. It has 19 bright rooms with essential amenities. And, breakfast is available each morning.

#5 Toul Kouk – Where to Stay in Phnom Penh for Families

Toul Kouk is located outside of the city centre. Not long ago it was an underdeveloped suburb with little to offer travellers. Today, thanks to a recent revamp and revitalization, it is one of the most desirable locations in the city with restaurants, cafes and boutiques.

It is also home to TK Avenue, an outdoor shopping mall that has everything from toys and clothes to a supermarket and entertainment outlets.

Because of all this, Toul Kouk is our best recommendation for where to stay in Phnom Penh with kids.

Toule Kouk, Phnom Penh

Things to See and Do in Toul Kouk

– Eat, drink and enjoy a night of billiards and pool at Sarika Pool & Pizza Bar.

– Excite your sense at One More, an amazing Cambodia restaurant.

– Feast on fresh and delicious Japanese dishes at Sashimi Sushi.

– Grab a slice at The Pizza Company.

– Indulge in delectable treats and fantastic eats from Joma Bakery Café.

– Shop, snack and sample your way through one of Toul Kouk’s buzzing and bustling markets.

– Start your day with a delicious cup of coffee from Brown Roastery.

– Tease your taste buds with amazing flavours at Raksmey BBQ.

Best Apartments in Toul Kouk: Aime House & Niisaii Apartment

This three-star property is one of our top picks for where to stay in Phnom Penh with kids. It offers comfortable and recently refurbished apartments that include A/C and modern features. There’s also free wifi and a ticket service on-site.

Best Airbnb in Toul Kouk: Family home in safe area

Located in the safest neighbourhood of the city, you and your family will love this Airbnb. Sleeping up to 6 people, it’s even big enough to have some friends with you too. The home is equipped with great amenities, and previous guests said that it’s absolutely clean. If you’re looking for a bit activity during the day, there’s a park close by which is great for walks.

Best Hotel in Toul Kouk: Sen Han Hotel

Sen Han Hotel is an excellent four-star property in Toul Kouk, our best recommendation for where to stay in Phnom Penh for families. This property has a rooftop terrace, a swimming pool and a sauna. It also offers large and clean rooms with all the essentials.

Best Apartments in Toul Kouk: City View Apartment Phnom Penh

Stunning views and a cosy setting – what more could you want from this Phnom Penh property. Set at the centre of the city, this property has comfortable rooms all within walking distance of popular tourist attractions and famous landmarks. There’s also a swimming pool and free wifi.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is an exciting and underrated capital city. It has a rich history, vibrant culture and one of the best food scenes in Asia. Add to that it’s amazing landmarks and vivacious nightlife and Phnom Penh is definitely a city worth your travel time and dollars.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Phnom Penh based on your interests, needs, and budget. If you’re still not 100% sure which is right for you, here is a recap of our favourite hostel and hotel.

Onederz Phnom Penh is our pick for the best hostel in Phnom Penh because it has modern beds and is within walking distance of famous tourist attractions and landmarks.

DE NINTH Boutique Hotel & Spa is another great option because it has contemporary amenities, a delicious on-site restaurant, and is set at the heart of the nightlife district.

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