While there are many buildings inside the Royal Palace compound, the main tourist attractions are the Throne Hall—where Cambodian kings are crowned—and a few surrounding buildings. On the southern edge of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo) is another highlight. Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Silver Pagoda houses images of the Buddha made with precious metals, crystal, and gemstones.
To understand the significance of the site more fully, hire a guide or join a tour; the Royal Palace includes few interpretive signs for visitors. Many guided city tours feature the palace as an included stop.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Royal Dance Troupe sometimes performs at the open-air theater in the coronation hall.
If you’re planning to take photos, you may need to pay a camera fee upon arrival.
Credit cards are not accepted at the ticket office, so bring cash. A handful of ATMs are located within walking distance.
How to Get There
The Royal Palace is centrally located near Sisowath Quay, walking distance from many hotels and top attractions in Phnom Penh. If you’re coming from farther afield, consider taking a cyclo, or bicycle rickshaw, which is used most often when traveling short distances. Alternatives include motorcycle-powered tuk-tuks and enclosed taxis; be sure to negotiate the price before departure.
When to Get There
The Royal Palace is open daily from 7:30–11am and 2–5pm. To avoid crowds and steamy afternoon temperatures, visit when the Royal Palace first opens. Since the east-facing palace complex catches great light in the mornings, that’s also the best time for photography.
What to Wear to the Royal Palace
Modest dress is required for men and women at the Royal Palace, which means covering knees and elbows. Shirts are usually available for sale near the entry point. Keep in mind that shawls may not be considered sufficient coverage if you’re wearing something skimpier beneath. In some areas of the Royal Palace, guests must remove footwear; plan ahead by wearing shoes that are easy to slip on and off throughout your visit.
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