Nestled in the heart of Cambodia’s capital city, The Royal Palace is a must-visit when in Phnom Penh.
The Royal Palace is The King of Cambodia’s official residence and is the absolute epitome of Cambodian architecture. This magnificent complex is a must-visit for anyone seeking a glimpse into the country’s royal traditions and architectural marvels.
It stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Here’s all you need to know about The Royal Palace and its surroundings.
The Royal Palace Opening Times and Entrance Fee:
– Opening times for The Royal Palace are from 8am-11am and 2pm-5pm daily. Luckily it never gets too crowded here despite it being one of the most popular places to visit in Phnom Penh.
The entrance fee is $12, and it includes access to the various buildings within the palace grounds.
Best Time to Visit The Royal Palace:
The ideal time to explore the Royal Palace is first thing in the morning, or late afternoon before it closes, to avoid the midday heat. Keep in mind that certain areas may be closed during official events or ceremonies, so it’s advisable to check the schedule before planning your visit.
What to Wear At The Royal Palace:
When visiting The Royal Palace, it is important to dress respectfully and modestly. Men and women should cover their shoulders and knees and wear closed-toe shoes.
You can wear trousers or a skirt below the knees, as well as a short sleeved t-shirt, but make sure your shoulders are completely covered.
If your attire doesn’t meet these standards, you may need to rent or buy appropriate clothing at the entrance, otherwise you won’t be allowed in. It’s a good idea to pack a shawl or long scarf in your bag, ready to put on as a shoulder covering when you arrive if the weather is very hot.
How To Get To The Royal Palace:
The Royal Palace is located near the riverfront in Phnom Penh. The most convenient way to get to The Royal Palace is to take a short tuk-tuk ride from your accommodation to the Southern Gate entrance.
The actual Royal Palace cannot be seen from the outside as high yellow walls surround the complex.
You can easily find an available tuk-tuk on the street or you might want to use the app Pass App to book taxis and tuk-tuks.
What to See at The Royal Palace:
The Royal Place is very reminiscent of The Grand Palace in Bangkok – just a lot smaller thankfully!
As The Royal Palace is the King’s residence of course it means that many of the Palace buildings are not accessible to the public.
However the majority of the gardens and pavilions are and you’ll still be able to access the incredibly ornate Silver Pagoda, also known as Wat Preah Keo or ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’ and the golden-spired Throne Hall.
The Silver Pagoda is a stunning structure, that has a floor adorned with over 5,000 silver tiles. This pagoda was one of my favourite parts of the whole complex, it was so stunning.
The grandeur of the Throne Hall – used for diplomatic and state functions, is also a sight to behold, featuring intricate Khmer architecture and beautiful murals depicting Cambodian mythology.
You can’t take photos of the inside of The Throne Hall but you can look through the windows and see two giant gold thrones.
If the small blue flag is flying, this signifies that the King is in residence.
The grounds of The Royal Palace are so beautiful – the landscaped gardens are manicured perfectly, and the buildings are so intricately decorated and very impressive.
In contrast to the chaotic city outside, The Royal Palace is calm, majestic and completely pristine! It is absolutely beautiful, here full of intricate Khmer architecture and ornate details on the golden roofs.
Why Is The Royal Palace So Special:
The Royal Palace holds immense cultural and historical significance for Cambodia. It serves as the official residence of the King of Cambodia and is a symbol of the nation’s enduring monarchy. The country works hard to preserve The Royal Palace as a cultural icon and a tourist site.
Construction of The Royal Palace began in 1866, the same year that Phnom Penh was declared the new capital of Cambodia.
It was the last palace built during the French colonial period, now it’s a symbol of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Over the years many additions were added to The Royal Palace.
What Else to Do Nearby:
- Wat Botum Park: Adjacent to the Royal Palace, this park provides a serene environment for a leisurely stroll or a moment of relaxation.
- National Museum of Cambodia: Located nearby, this museum houses an impressive collection of Khmer artifacts, providing a deeper understanding of Cambodia’s history.
- Riverside Promenade: Take a stroll along the Tonle Sap River and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, with numerous cafes, shops, and restaurants lining the waterfront. You can also take a popular sunset cruise of Phnom Penh.
From the intricate architecture to the cultural treasures within, The Royal Palace is a beautiful place to explore, and a must-do when in Phnom Penh.
The Royal Palace is a must-visit when you’re in Phnom Penh – it will probably take you around 2 hours to leisurely enjoy the sights, meaning even if you’re only in Phnom Penh for a day or two, you also have time afterwards to explore other places of significance in Phnom Penh such as the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and S-21 Prison.
Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!