Wondering where to stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia? This complete guide to finding the perfect accommodation in Phnom Penh includes the best neighbourhoods for tourists, areas to avoid, and a hand-picked list of the 25 best Phnom Penh hotels, guesthouses and hostels for this year.

As someone who has lived in Phnom Penh and visits Cambodia often, I know the capital extremely well. Over the years, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) what are the best areas to stay in Phnom Penh and what are the places to avoid.

Most Phnom Penh accommodation guides only consider the popular Riverside area, by far the most touristy (and honestly my least favourite) part of the city. I’ve widened the net much further to show you the best local neighbourhoods and expat areas where you can find awesome boutique hotels and unique accommodations.


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Best Phnom Penh accommodations: Quick links

Short on time? Here are my quick recommendations for the best hotels in Phnom Penh.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh: Area guide

Before you start looking at specific properties, I highly recommend deciding which part of Phnom Penh you’d like to stay in. The city is deceptively big, and each neighbourhood offers something for different tastes and budgets.

It helps to have an idea of what you want to do in Phnom Penh – is the purpose of your visit to tick off the tourist staples, or do you prefer cafe hopping and boutique shopping? It’s very easy to get around Phnom Penh using PassApp. But if you end up staying at the opposite end of town to where you want to spend your days, you could end up spending a lot of your precious holiday time stuck in traffic!

In this section, I break down the pros and cons of the 6 most popular areas for tourists: Riverside (Sisowath Quay), Doun Penh, Street 240, BKK1, BKK2, and Tuol Tompoung.

A greyscale map depicting the six best areas to stay in Phnom Penh.
A very rough overview of Phnom Penh’s best areas. Screenshot via Google Maps.

Riverside & Doun Penh – best place to stay in Phnom Penh for first-time visitors

Phnom Penh’s Riverside is officially part of Khan Doun Penh, a large district that stretches along the Tonle Sap from the Japanese Bridge all the way to Independence Monument.

‘Riverside’ usually refers to the 1.5km portion of waterfront between the Night Market and the Royal Palace. As well as Sisowath Quay (the main road), it also encompasses two or three city blocks back from the river.

Doun Penh is a district that includes Sangkat Voat Phnum and Sisowath Quay – but for the purposes of this guide, I’m using it to refer to the area behind Riverside that runs from Wat Phnom down past Central Market to the back of the Royal Palace.

This area is walking distance from all the main attractions but a touch quieter and less touristy. You can find some great budget accommodations here as well as several highly rated resorts.

A group of women sit on the grass in front of tall palm trees at Phnom Penh Riverside.
Phnom Penh’s iconic Riverside Park.

Pros: River views; sky bars along Sisowath Quay; walking distance to most of the city’s top attractions.

Cons: Riverside Park is notorious for pickpockets and touts; the back streets are extremely seedy – proliferation of ‘girly bars’, which I personally can’t stand; it’s the most expensive part of the city for accommodation, food and drinks; tourist-heavy with less local character; noise pollution from hostels and bars.

Nearby points of interest: The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda; the National Museum; Wat Phnom; Central Market; Riverside Park promenade; Mekong boat cruises; the Night Market.

Good for: First-time visitors who want to be close to the action.


Street 240 – best area to stay in Phnom Penh for cafes & shopping

Nestled inside Doun Penh, Street 240 is it’s own little microcosm. The street runs east-west between Independence Monument and Wat Botum Park, along the southern wall of the Royal Palace. It’s one of my favourite places to hang out in Phnom Penh.

Street murals decorate Phnom Penh's vibrant Street 240.
Street Art on Laneway 240.

Pros: Excellent cafes and restaurants; best shopping precinct in the city; laneway culture and street art; lots of boutique hotels to choose from; still walking distance from many top attractions, including the Royal Palace.

Cons: Fewer local/street food options; eateries are tailored to expats and prices can be high.

Nearby points of interest: Street 240 and Laneway 240 (cafes and boutiques); Wat Botum Park; the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda; Independence Monument.

Good for: Couples or singles interested in up-scale dining and shopping.


BKK 1 – best place to stay for families

BKK 1 (Sangkat Boeung Keng Kang 1) refers to the area southwest of Independence Monument. BKK 1 is part of Khan Chamkar Mon district, which takes in the entire southern portion of the city. Popular among UN staff and other well-to-do expats, this is by far the most gentrified part of the city.

Wat Langka, a beautiful pagoda in the Phnom Penh neighbourhood of BKK 1.
Wat Langka in BKK 1.

Pros: Very safe on account of the demographics and proximity to embassies; never-ending supply of specialty coffee shops and laptop-friendly cafes; excellent restaurants, including lots of vegetarian and vegan options; laneway bars and nightlife on nearby Bassac Lane; green space and leafy streets; plenty of yoga studios, hair salons, and other services.

Cons: Expat-heavy, feels gentrified; because of the demographics, prices are high; fewer local and street food options; no local market within close proximity; further to travel to attractions around Riverside.

Nearby points of interest: Wat Langka; Independence Monument; Bassac Lane; Wat Thann.

Good for: Families who need space to stretch out by a resort-style pool or anyone who loves boutique hotels with character.


Tuol Tompoung – best location to stay in Phnom Penh for local vibes

Also part of Khan Chamkar Mon, Tuol Tompoung (AKA Russian Market) sits east of Monivong Boulevard and south of Mao Tse Toung. (A friend of ours calls it SOMAO, our very own SOHO.)

This is my old neighbourhood, and by far my favourite place to spend time in Phnom Penh. Whenever I go back, I stay here. Russian Market offers a near-perfect blend of local vibes and tourist/expat conveniences. It’s an area on the up and up – I hope it doesn’t change too much in the months and years to come.

An aerial view of Russian Market.
Tuol Tompoung Market.

Pros: Charming local vibe – great place to get lost; plentiful supply of street food and local restaurants; lively local market; great cafes, bars, and international restaurants; cute gift shops and fair trade boutiques.

Cons: Far from the tourist sights near Riverside (minimum 20 minute tuk tuk ride); heavy traffic in the evenings, especially around the market.

Nearby points of interest: Russian Market; Wat Tuol Tompoung; Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Good for: Solo travellers & digital nomads.


BKK 2 & 3

BKK 2 and BKK 3 are less well-defined. Generally they are grouped together to refer to the area east of Monivong Boulevard and north of Mao Tse Toung. This is another local neighbourhood with great street food, local restaurants and charming residential streets.

A woman in yellow pyjamas cycles past a row of houses in suburban Phnom Penh.
Quiet streets of BKK 2.

Pros: Local vibes; quiet; lots of markets and street food options.

Cons: Fewer accommodation choices; not many tourist attractions in close proximity; less residential and more commercial so not as pleasant to walk around; far from the tourist sights near Riverside (minimum 15 minute tuk tuk ride).

Nearby points of interest: Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum; Russian Market; Olympic Market and Stadium; Wat Moha Montrei.

Good for: Budget and long-term travellers.


Where not to stay in Phnom Penh – areas to avoid

Tuol Kork is a residential district that’s popular among expats and families. But it’s not really suitable for visitors to Phnom Penh because it’s very far from the city centre, and there aren’t as many restaurant options.

The touristy part of Riverside is generally considered unsafe and unsavoury. It’s my least favourite part of Phnom Penh and an area I normally try to avoid at all costs. I’ve included Riverside in this guide because it is so central and so popular – but as you’ll see, I’ve only selected a handful of hotels near Sisowath Quay.

Anywhere near a canal. Phnom Penh has a couple of open canals that are very polluted and stinky. Some are marked on Google Maps as a thin blue line running parallel to main streets. I used to live right above one (fondly dubbed ‘Sh*t Creek’) – it actually didn’t bother me that much, but if you don’t want to smell that first thing in the morning, avoid staying near Street 105 and Street 396 (Tuol Tompoung and BKK 2).


Tips for choosing the perfect Phnom Penh hotel

  • Is it secure? This is my number one concern when deciding where to stay in Phnom Penh. You can only do so much before you actually arrive, but I do recommend looking for a place that has security guards (most hotels do), and is in a safe area (close to embassies or apartment blocks when looking on Google Maps).
  • Does it have a pool? Phnom Penh is hot! There are lots of resort-style pools you can use for a small fee, but you might prefer to have one on your doorstep.
  • Is it locally owned? Again, this can be really hard to gauge before you actually get there. If supporting local businesses is important to you, do a bit of digging before you book. I’ve included a few locally owned hotels below.
  • Is it close to a local market? Markets are the best place to find street food and budget eats. If there’s a market nearby, it’s a pretty good indication that the area will have an interesting local vibe.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh: Best accommodations for every budget

This curated list of hotels, guesthouses, resorts and hostels is organised by price category. Although I have not personally stayed at each and every one of these properties, I have friends and family who have. To provide you with the best recommendations possible, I’ve elected to only list hotels that have a guest rating of ‘Excellent’ or better.

All prices shown are in USD when booking through Agoda. Rates are only approximate and are subject to change at any time.

Luxury hotels in Phnom Penh

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, these luxury and luxe-for-less properties combine Khmer heritage, elegant colonial architecture and first-class service for an unforgettable stay.

Heritage details at Raffles Hotel Le Royal.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal.

Raffles Hotel Le Royal

  • Location: Riverside (near Wat Phnom)
  • Price range: From $173
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; bars & restaurants
  • Book here on Agoda

Nestled behind Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh’s premier luxury hotel is set inside a white-and-yellow French colonial building. My experience with Raffles only extends as far as the Elephant Bar (itself worth a visit, even if you’re not staying here). By all accounts the suites are to die for.

The property also features sprawling tropical gardens, an outdoor cinema, several restaurants and a large pool. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A heritage building and modern glass towers make up the Hyatt hotel in Cambodia.
The Hyatt Regency.

The Hyatt Regency

  • Location: Doun Penh (near the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $79
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; restaurant & bar
  • Book here on Agoda

Another 5-star hotel in Phnom Penh, the Hyatt Regency is conveniently located behind the National Museum. Palace View Deluxe Rooms overlook the Royal residence, while two-bedroom suites boast either city or pool views.

The hotel is divided between a restored heritage building and newly built high-rise towers, combining the traditional with the ultra-modern. Furnishings lean towards the latter and are a tad cookie-cutter, but the rooms are generously proportioned and light-filled. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A leafy restaurant courtyard and a contemporary suite at Palace Gate luxury hotel in Phnom Penh.
Palace Gate.

Palace Gate

  • Location: Riverside (in front of the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $50
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

Pressed tiled floors and four-poster beds inside, palm-ringed pool outside. Palace Gate Hotel & Resort is just a stone’s throw from the Royal residence, and has a similar palatial feel.

If the spa doesn’t make you feel like a king or queen, the breakfast spread will. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A sparse and modern room at Rosewood Phnom Penh, with city views and a rooftop terrace.
Rosewood Phnom Penh.

Rosewood Phnom Penh

  • Location: Riverside (near Wat Phnom)
  • Price range: From $163
  • Facilities: Rooftop pool; French restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

Luxury of a different ilk, the Rosewood occupies the top 14 floors of Vattanac Capital Tower, the tallest building in Phnom Penh. It’s a brand new build; thoroughly modern but with thoughtful heritage details in the design and artworks.

All rooms have magnificent city views – obviously. Come for the indoor pool set 188m up; stay for the ‘whisky library’. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

No buffet? Here’s where to find the best breakfasts and brunches in Phnom Penh.

A modern hotel lobby and outdoor pool overlooking the Mekong River in Cambodia.
The Bale.

The Bale Phnom Penh

  • Location: National Road 6 (near Koh Dach; 17km from the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $99
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

Located north of Riverside, The Bale is perched on the riverfront parallel to Koh Dach (Silk Island). The architecturally designed resort is meant to cultivate peace of mind and zen – having recently stayed here myself, I can confirm they’ve succeeded in their goal.

A dozen spacious suites feature private courtyards, and an incredible pool area that faces onto the Mekong. It’s the perfect place to stay if you want to escape the city, but still be within driving distance (about 20 minutes) of the main hub. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A floating bungalow in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Floatation.

Floatation Floating Bungalows

  • Location: Koh Pich (3km from the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $90
  • Facilities: Floating restaurant/bar
  • Book here on Agoda

If you can’t get enough of those Tonle Sap views, try spending the night floating on the river. I thought Floatation was a bit of a gimmick until I learned it’s operated by MAADS, one of the best boutique hotel brands in the city.

Private bungalows are beautifully outfitted, and there’s a floating restaurant-bar nearby. Every evening, a traditional rice boat ferries guests between the bungalows and the jetty directly in front of the Royal Palace. For safety reasons, children under 12 are not permitted. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.


Best boutique hotels in Phnom Penh

These small-but-beautiful accommodations offer travellers an intimate experience. Many of these urban resorts feature incredible pools and leafy tropical gardens.

Pavilion, a beautiful hotel with a leafy pool and individual bungalow-style rooms.
Pavilion.

Pavilion

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $36
  • Facilities: 2 swimming pools & spa; restaurant-lounge; free bicycle hire
  • Book here on Agoda

Operated by MAADS, Pavilion lives up to its reputation for being Phnom Penh’s ‘oasis heritage hotel’. Thirty-six rooms are set across four heritage buildings from the 1920s – including former diplomatic lodgings, a Cambodian senator’s house, and what is thought to have been the private residence of Queen Kossamak.

Each of the houses has a distinct character and many original architectural features, including carved wooden staircases and hardwood floors.
That’s the ‘heritage’ part. The ‘oasis’ part refers to the hotel’s common areas, which include two large swimming pools and private plunge pools. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Heritage tiles and exposed rafters at a boutique hotel in Cambodia.
Villa Langka.

Villa Langka

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $25
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; restaurant; pet-friendly
  • Book here on Agoda

Hidden behind Wat Langka walking distance from some of Phnom Penh’s best restaurants and bars, the tropical gardens at Villa Langka are a leafy haven from the hubbub. The centrepoint of the property is a huge shaded pool.

Choose from a room in the property’s traditional Khmer villa or a more contemporary suite in the new modern building. My top picks are the superior double rooms with exposed ceiling rafters and the deluxe room with private outdoor access. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A pleasant hotel room set inside a 1960s villa house.
iRoHA Garden.

iRoHA Garden

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Russian Market)
  • Price range: From $36
  • Facilities: Pool & spa; restaurant & bar
  • Book here on Agoda

Located at the southern end of BKK 1 not far from Tuol Tompoung, this boutique hotel is set in a stunning 1960s Khmer villa whose architect clearly took his inspiration from Vann Molyvann.

Spacious suites and doubles in the main hotel building are thoughtfully decorated with woven textiles and rattan. Villa Theato – a creative collaboration between a group of Cambodian artists and craftspeople – features three more spacious studios and rooms outfitted with traditional craft objects. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A trendy hotel lobby and room in Phnom Penh, with leafy indoor plants.
Penh House & Jungle Addition.

Penh House & Jungle Addition

  • Location: Street 240
  • Price range: From $38
  • Facilities: 2 pools; spa; lounge-restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

This two-part hotel is double bang for your buck. Penh House, the newer half of the hotel, boasts modern suites and deluxe doubles with pressed tile floors and city views. Set in a nearby period villa, Jungle Addition has suites and doubles with private balconies and leafy views.

Guests have access to both properties, including the rooftop pool at Penh House and the shaded pool at Jungle Addition. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A large outdoor pool and a hotel rooms with white linens and sheer curtains hanging from a four-poster bed.
Plantation.

Plantation Urban Resort

  • Location: Doun Penh (behind the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $41
  • Facilities: 2 pools; spa; restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

One of Cambodia’s premier accommodations, Plantation is everything you could possibly want from a Phnom Penh hotel. There are a range of rooms for every traveller, from budget-friendly standard singles and doubles all the way to a swish penthouse.

Beyond the rooms, there are two pools, numerous leafy outdoor areas, and the wonderful French-Khmer restaurant, La Pergola, on site. The Lotus Pond Gallery holds regular exhibitions from local and international artists. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A beautiful heritage building in Phnom Penh, with comfortable hotel suites.
White Mansion.

White Mansion

  • Location: Street 240
  • Price range: From $72
  • Facilities: Lap pool; on-site cafe; pet-friendly
  • Book here on Agoda

Located on trendy Street 240, White Mansion is the former US Ambassador’s residence and one of the most striking buildings in the city. Thirty spacious suites with private balconies and terraces all feature heritage furnishings.

Breakfast is included in the nightly rate and served at Le Café, one of Phnom Penh’s loveliest coffee shops, set inside a sunlit atrium on the hotel’s ground floor. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Aerial view of a hotel swimming pool surrounded by plants and a green wall.
Tea Palace.

Tea Palace Urban Hotel

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $29
  • Facilities: Pool
  • Book here on Agoda

Tea Palace (formerly TeaHouse) is a boutique hotel that features a gorgeous outdoor pool area and colourful common spaces. Rooms are big and bright – the minibar features a selection of loose-leaf teas that you can brew in a traditional teapot. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Bright rooms and a spread of Khmer food at Rambutan Resort.
Rambutan Resort.

Rambutan Resort

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Russian Market)
  • Price range: From $33
  • Facilities: Salt-water pool; spa; restaurant & bar
  • Book here on Agoda

Rambutan is an LGBTQ-friendly resort that welcomes travellers of any stripe. The 19-room urban resort features a gorgeous salt-water pool and an outdoor bar set in a leafy garden. Rooms feature polished concrete floors, bespoke artworks, Cambodian silk textiles and stone bathtubs.

The Asian-Khmer restaurant here is terrific. Rambutan also has a resort in Siem Reap. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.


Mid-range hotels in Phnom Penh

Economical, efficient but no less glamorous, these mid-range Cambodian hotels are perfect for a short inner-city trip or a longer stay in a self-contained apartment.

A leafy urban jungle, large pool and cascading fountains at Baitong hotel.
Baitong.

Baitong

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $45
  • Facilities: Glass-bottomed pool; restaurant, cafe & bar
  • Book here on Agoda

Newly opened in 2019, this 105-room hotel is one of Phnom Penh’s most unique accommodations. Rooms are arranged around an inner open terrace, which features a cascading jacuzzi, glass-bottomed pool and vertical gardens.

Suits are cool and minimal. Some feature a private terrace or plunge pool. With the rooftop Lantern Bar, a branch of the popular Eric Kayser cafe and a celebrated seafood restaurant on-site, you’ll never have to leave the hotel.

The location attracts business travellers but the location is ideal for sightseeing too. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Umbrellas shade deck chairs at a rooftop pool in Phnom Penh.
Patio.

Patio

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $24
  • Facilities: Rooftop pool; restaurant & bar
  • Book here on Agoda

One of my favourite mid-range hotels, this is where I took myself for a staycation when I lived in Phnom Penh. Patio features a stunning rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city and a terrace bar-restaurant. It’s pure bliss at night.

Rooms are simple but comfortable with tiled floors and modern bathrooms. The location down an alley behind Wat Langka is convenient to excellent restaurants and the bars on Bassac Lane. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A leafy garden and an outdoor pool at Double Leaf hotel.
Double Leaf.

Double Leaf

  • Location: Tuol Tompoung (near Russian Market)
  • Price range: From $28
  • Facilities: Pool
  • Book here on Agoda

Another of my top choices, this is where I sent my dad when he came to visit me in Phnom Penh. Double Leaf is located in my favourite area, Tuol Tompoung, walking distance from the Russian Market. Double Leaf is your best choice of hotel if you want to stay in this cool local neighbourhood.

A petite pool is located out front. Rooms are large and nicely decorated, and the free buffet breakfast is great. Best of all, staff here are extremely friendly and helpful. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A comfortable hotel with views of the river in Phnom Penh.
Nou’s River Hotel.

Nou’s River Hotel

  • Location: Riverside (north of Wat Phnom)
  • Price range: From $38
  • Facilities: Rooftop bar
  • Book here on Agoda

This family owned hotel has some lovely touches, including built-in beds and wooden floors. Fourteen rooms face either the river or garden, and breakfast is served on an open terrace overlooking the river.

Family rooms can accommodate four people with double queen-sized beds. The Singaporean owners focus on local hires for an all-Khmer team. The location north of Wat Phnom (2.5km from the Royal Palace) means you’ll either have to tuk tuk or promenade to get to and from Riverside. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A modern living room overlooking a river terrace in Cambodia.
TAO Riverside Residence.

TAO Riverside Residence

  • Location: Riverside
  • Price range: From $38
  • Facilities: Kitchenette; river views
  • Book here on Agoda

This 4-star hotel on Sisowath Quay is ideal for long stays or for families. The 11 rooms are more like self-contained apartments, with separate bedrooms, kitchenettes, and private balconies overlooking the river.

Enquire directly to take advantage of long-stay deals without the need for a deposit. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

A leafy courtyard and a double room with brick walls at a popular budget hotel in Phnom Penh.
Saravoan Royal Palace.

Saravoan Royal Palace

  • Location: Doun Penh (behind the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $28
  • Facilities: Free bike rental
  • Book here on Agoda

Steps from the Royal Palace, Saravoan features polished concrete and brick walls, terrazzo bathrooms, and silk and wooden fittings from local artisans. Twin, superior double and family rooms all come with breakfast included in the (very reasonable) nightly rate.

There’s also a special deal for solo/business travellers, and free bicycles for guests. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Bright furnishings and a rooftop terrace at Kolab Sor hotel in Phnom Penh.
Kolab Sor.

Kolab Sor

Located in BKK 2 close to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Kolab Sor features bright and minimal rooms, a sky bar and an onsite restaurant. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.


Budget hotels & hostels in Phnom Penh

These budget-friendly accommodations are perfect for anyone who wants to save some cash without compromising on features or service.

Dorm beds and a colourful indoor terrace at Sla Boutique Hostel.
Sla Boutique Hostel.

Sla Boutique Hostel

  • Location: Doun Penh (behind the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $5
  • Facilities: Shared kitchen
  • Book here on Agoda

This ‘elevated’ hostel offers 48 beds configured in single-sex dorms, co-ed dorms and private doubles. All share bathrooms. There’s also a communal kitchen, patio space and bar.

The location behind the National Museum is away from the fray of the main backpacker area and a touch quieter as a result. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

The Artist, a creative hotel in Phnom Penh.
The Artist.

The Artist Residence

  • Location: Doun Penh (behind the Royal Palace)
  • Price range: From $13
  • Facilities: Cafe/restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

Tucked behind Riverside, this hotel offers double, triple and family rooms with colourful furnishings, cool loft sleeping spaces and private bathrooms. The on-site cafe comes recommended. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

YK Art House, a clean hotel with terracotta floor tiles and a large pool.
YK Art House.

YK Art House

  • Location: Tonle Bassac (near Aeon Mall)
  • Price range: From $13
  • Facilities: Cafe/restaurant
  • Book here on Agoda

For boutique digs at a budget price, YK Art House is an upgrade on your standard hostel. The property is located a bit further out from the main tourist area (2.2km from the Royal Palace) but is excellent value for money. Choose from spacious rooms or serviced apartments, which come with a kitchenette, dining area and private bathroom.

The hotel has an artist residency program, offering a work space, accommodation and half-board for creatives interested in working in Phnom Penh. The team also runs popular vegan restaurant Bong Bonlai, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests and walk-ins. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.

Mad Monkey, a bright and clean hostel in Phnom Penh.
Mad Monkey.

Mad Monkey Phnom Penh

  • Location: BKK 1 (near Independence Monument)
  • Price range: From $5
  • Facilities: Pool; shared kitchen
  • Book here on Agoda

For a classic hostel experience in Phnom Penh, look no further than Mad Monkey. This beloved company has accommodations all over the country and is a great place to meet other travellers. → Check rates & availability on Agoda.


How (and when) to book accommodation in Phnom Penh

How far in advance should you book your Phnom Penh hotel? That depends on the time of year you’re travelling. If your visit is during peak period (November to January), I would recommend booking your accommodation 4-8 weeks out to secure the best price possible. If you’re travelling in low or shoulder season, you can get away with booking a few weeks (or even days) in advance.

‘Abundance mentality’ is key in Phnom Penh. There are so many properties to choose from, it will almost always be possible to show up and find a room on the spot.

Ninety-nine percent of hotels and guesthouses in Phnom Penh accept credit card as well as cash (USD or Cambodian riel). A few may ask for a small safety deposit ($10-$30) at check in, so it’s a good idea to have some cash on you when you first arrive. Hotels are required to register all foreign tourists, so you’ll be asked for your passport at check in.

Booking with Agoda

Agoda is by far my favourite online booking service for accommodation in Southeast Asia. I prefer it to Booking.com for a few reasons. Firstly, I find the interface and app much easier to use. Pre-payment in full is the norm, which comes in really handy in Cambodia where smaller hotels often don’t accept cards, and ATM fees for withdrawing cash are high.

Agoda always has specials on – I’ve been able to find some outstanding deals using the app. If you sign up for an account, you accrue points that you can use to get a discount off future reservations.

Agoda currently has more than 1,000 Phnom Penh listings. Browse them all here, or read on for my specific recommendations.

Can you use Airbnb in Phnom Penh?

Airbnb is legal in Cambodia, but it’s not as popular as in neighbouring Vietnam or Thailand. I have only used Airbnb in Phnom Penh once, and personally I do not recommend it.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some great properties on the site – but the problem is that most are located in residential areas. Hotels, guesthouses and even hostels have good security, whereas you have to be much more wary about private homes and apartments. Unfortunately personal security is something you have to be on guard about when visiting Phnom Penh.


How to get to your accommodation when you first arrive

When you first arrive in Phnom Penh – be it by plane, bus or train – I strongly advise you do not pick up a taxi or tuk tuk at the airport/station. Unfortunately, unsuspecting new arrivals often get taken advantage of by drivers.

Instead, download PassApp before you arrive and jump on the nearest WIFI connection to order a tuk tuk that way. Giant Ibis buses have WIFI on board, so if the connection is strong enough, you can order a ride as you’re pulling into the coach station.

Prices are always 30-50% cheaper if you book using the app. As an example, I used to pay a flat $10 to get from the airport to my apartment in Russian Market. There was no other option. On my recent visit, I paid just $3 for the same trip when I used PassApp.

If you don’t want to fiddle around with the app or you can’t get on WIFI, just ignore the drivers who will no doubt approach you and walk a few blocks in any direction to pick up a driver from the street.

If you’re arriving at night or you just want a hassle-free experience, I highly recommend pre-organising pick up through your accommodation in Phnom Penh. Most hotels do it for a reasonable flat fee (around $12) and will have someone there ready to meet you. Alternatively, you can book an airport transfer online.


5 things to pack for Phnom Penh

  • A reusable water bottle. Absolutely essential in Cambodia for minimising plastic waste and staying hydrated. I love my S’Well water bottle – it’s vacuum insulated to keep water icy cold for the whole day, and it doesn’t sweat. If you like your mango smoothies, pack a reusable smoothie cup as well.
  • Rehydration tablets or sachets. At the end of a long day bike riding or exploring temples, your body will be crying out for electrolytes (believe me!). I prefer Hydralyte tablets because they come in a handy tube. If you forget to bring some from home, the Double D brand is sold at most pharmacies and grocery stores in Cambodia.
  • Rain jacket and travel umbrella for the wet season. Wet season is my favourite time to travel in Cambodia because the countryside is so verdant. Downpours come out of nowhere, so it’s essential to have a rain jacket with you at all times (I love the packable rain jackets by Lomon for women and EZRUN for men). I also carry a travel umbrella in case it’s too hot and steamy to wear a jacket. This one is UPF 50+, making it great for sun cover as well.
  • A sturdy day pack. An anti-theft backpack is particularly good for the cities, especially Phnom Penh. Opt for a minimalist backpack that doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.
  • Cambodia guide book. I prefer Lonely Planet’s dedicated Cambodia guidebook or regional guidebook that also covers Laos, Vietnam and Northern Thailand.

Phnom Penh must-dos


More Cambodia travel resources


Thoughts or questions about Phnom Penh accommodation? Drop your comment below and I’ll do my best to help out!


Cambodia essentials

Planning a trip to Cambodia? Here are some of the resources and tools I personally use to organise my travel plans in the Kingdom.

– Find affordable flights to Cambodia on Kiwi.com, a booking site that mixes and matches airlines to find the best route (there’s a money back guarantee if you miss a connection).

– Use iVisa to check if you need a tourist visa for Cambodia and apply for an expedited visa online.

– Pre-book your hotel transfer from Phnom Penh Airport or Siem Reap Airport.

– Find the best hotel deals in Cambodia on Agoda or book a Cambodia hostel.

– Buy your Cambodia bus tickets online in advance through Bookaway or organise a private car and driver through BookMeBus.

– Download Pass App to book tuk-tuks and taxis on the go.

Find the best cooking classes and foodie experiences in Cambodia.

Find the best city tours and day excursions in Cambodia.

– Try an alternative tour or DIY experience with social enterprise Backstreet Academy.

– Pick up a copy of the latest Lonely Planet guidebook for Cambodia.

Where to stay in Phnom Penh: Pin it!


Property images courtesy of Agoda.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Emily for mentioning our Sla Boutique Hostel on the list of places to stay in Phnom Penh. Despite this difficult time, we are very hopeful for this 2021 year and for traveling to resume again. As a locally-owned business that has been operating for 6 years, we have been very blessed with the many supports from our overseas guests for continuing to mention and give words of encouragement as well as our local Khmer guests who have also shown supports. Best wishes to you and other travelers, and we look forward to welcoming travelers in this coming year. Vatanak and Sla team.

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