Home to one of the largest collections of Khmer art in the world, the National Museum of Cambodia focuses on the country’s ancient history and distinctive architecture. Galleries are categorized by material—stone, metal, wood, and ceramics—and feature artifacts that date back as far as the Neolithic period.
To understand Cambodia’s history, a visit to the National Museum is essential. Travelers can combine a visit to the museum with other Phnom Penh sights, such as the Independence Monument and the Royal Palace on a full- or half-day tour. Independent travelers can save up to an hour waiting in line by booking skip-the-line admission. However, exploring the museums with a guide allows you to head straight to the highlights of the 14,000-strong collection.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Museum is a must-see for history buffs and culture vultures.
- If visiting without guide, be sure to put aside at least 1.5 hours to enjoy the collection.
- There is a small admission fee. Travelers can arrange a 1-hour group tour of the museum for an additional fee.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The museum is located on Street 13 in central Phnom Penh, near the Royal Palace. Visitors can enter at the corner of Streets 13 and 178. You can also visit the museum as part of a guided tour and avoid the stress of getting lost in Cambodia’s busy capital.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily from 8am to 5pm. If you want to beat the crowds, arrive as early as possible and admire the exhibits in relative tranquility.
As you make your way around the museum, look for ancient highlights that include an 8-armed statue of the Hindu god Vishnu from the sixth century, a giant pair of wrestling monkeys that date back to the 10th century, and a 12th-century stone inscribed with intricate scenes from the life of Shiva.