Best places to shop in Phnom Penh
While you may put Bangkok or Singapore at the top of your shopping destinations in Southeast Asia, don’t dismiss Phnom Penh. The city has a lot to offer the discerning shopper, as well as souvenir and bargain hunters.
It’s not just about steamy local markets or cheap knock-off bags and watches any more. Local markets (you can find a Phsar in almost every corner of Phnom Penh), modern shopping malls and individual boutiques are all waiting to greet you, and all with that famous Cambodian hospitality. Our list of the 10 Best Shopping in Phnom Penh are personally researched and picked from all over the city so you can be
Russian Market (PhsarToul Tom Poung)
Contrary to the popular myth that this is where Kalashnikov rifles were readily sold, the Russian Market gets its name from the 1980s when it was first popular with foreigners, most of whom were Russian. These days you’ll find expats, locals and tourists from all over the world winding their way through the market’s inner maze.
You can find almost everything here: clothing, souvenirs, artefacts, antiques, paintings, jewellery, lamps, kitchen utensils, shoes, silk scarves—even parts for your motor scooter! You also have a nice display of the usual tourist fare in knock-off watches and luggage. The food area is very interesting to wander around, though be careful of the wet floor near the fresh food area as it can be slippery. Stop for lunch or a snack on the delicious local food offerings to recharge between your bargain hunts.
The streets immediately surrounding Russian market also house many interesting shops that are worth checking for antiques, silk, or even western food.
Address: Corner of streets 440 and 155, South of Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, Boeung Keng Kang 3, Opening hours: 06:00 to 17:00
Central Market (PhsarThmei)
This architectural stand-out was the work of famous Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, so it’s worth a look even if you’re not hunting for souvenirs or knick-knacks. The art deco inspired, cross-shaped building sits under a golden dome.
Jewellery, watches and gold stands dominate the central area under the dome. Some of the gems are real from Cambodia’s near-exhausted gem fields, and most of the silver and gold items are real, though you will pay current trade prices, so don’t expect to get them for a steal.
Each of the four wings sells clothing, shoes, household items, and electronics. It’s fairly haphazard but adds to the enjoyment of wandering around inside the huge space. Around the outside – in the space between the wings – you can find some stands selling tourist favourites (T-shirts, Buddha statues, Angkor Wat paintings) and souvenirs as well as a good selection of stands selling fresh flowers. The food stalls are on the western side towards Monivong Boulevard.
Opening Hours: 07:00 to18:00
Address: Street 130, one block East of Monivong Boulevard
Street 240 is a nice quiet street behind the Royal Palace, with a lot of shops and eateries in old French colonial houses. You will find a mix of boutique fashion shops, souvenir shops, cafes, shops belonging to charities, and NGOs promoting fair trade and goods made by locals. A great place to find small independent fashion boutiques selling unique clothing made of local fabric and silk (such as Wanderlust or Subtly); unique jewellery shops, such as Water Lilly tucked away behind a garden and selling items made of “buttons”; stores selling second-hand books and a volunteer library offering a reading room; textile shops such as Couleurs d’Asie that offers textiles for home decoration or clothing; and cooperative clothing stores like the unique A.N.D. where fabrics are locally designed and woven, providing a fair wage to employees. If you’re tired of the usual Southeast Asian trinkets gifts and souvenirs, this is the place to find something different.
Opening Hours: differs from shop-to-shop, but usually from around 08:00or09:00 until late.
Location: Running from the south side of the Royal Palace to Monivong Boulevard
Aeon Shopping Mall Trang Tien Street (south of Hoan Kiem Lake)
The 68,000-square-metre Aeon Mall, opened mid-2014 after 18 months of construction, has given Phnom Penh a world-class shopping mall. It houses brand stores such as Sheridan, Mango, Levi’s and Adidas to name just a few, along with Aeon’s own store selling well-known brands and homewares and groceries.
There is an extensive food court on the top floor, along with a modern entertainment complex, including a cinema, karaoke lounge, bowling, arcades and even ice skating! Among the services at the mall, you’ll find an Air Asia sales centre on the ground floor, along with dry cleaners, western chemists travel agencies and banks.
Like any mall, the food venues are many and varied—from food hall vendors to top-class restaurants—but don’t expect Cambodian street food, or street food prices. It’s the place to shop and relax in air-conditioned comfort to escape the heat, noise and smells of the Phnom Penh street.
Opening Hours: 09:00to 22:00 (the cinema, bowling and the wine bistro, Terrace, are accessible until midnight).
Address: Sotheros Boulevard, Tonle Bassac next to the Sofitel
Night Market (PhsarReathrey)
The Night Market is a popular spot for tourists and locals, and has a relaxed atmosphere. The locals mostly come for the evening entertainment on the main stage (such as singers, performers or company promotions), and to eat at the food stalls.
While there is more on sale by locals for locals here, tourists and visitors can find handicrafts, clothing, wood carvings, etc. The main reason to come here is to mingle with the locals and try the local food at the open-air food court behind the main stage.You will be able to sample some traditional Khmer street food while eating with the Khmer families sitting down on mats, set up on the grass, or (if you’re lucky) at one of the tables with plastic chairs.
Opening Hours: Weekends only, Friday to Sunday from 17:00until midnight
Location: Riverside, just past Street 108
Street 178 is known as ‘Art Street’, and is definitely the place to go for paintings, sculptures, statues and hand-made silverware. If you’re walking down 178 from Riverside, you’ll first see small boutique shops selling designer clothing, bags and accessories. Some of these are charity partner stores, with money going to support the many programs offering artisan work to Cambodians.
As you move down the street you’ll see art galleries selling popular Cambodian art such as paintings, and stone and wooden statues. The local sculptors and artists work in shops and on the street in front of their stores next to Wat Sarawan. You’ll see an impressive collection of giant stone Buddha statues displayed on the pavement—it’s worth the photo opportunity even if you’re not shopping for a six-foot high statue.
Be sure to look around the corners as you walk down Street 178, as you’ll also find a few galleries and silver stores in the area. Several private galleries, such as Reyum and Sa SaBassac have regular exhibitions of contemporary and traditional artwork.
And don’t worry if you get a little tired from all that walking. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and street food along the way where you can take a break.
Opening Hours: Differs from shop-to-shop, but usually around 09:00 until early evening
Location: Running from Riverside at the corner of FCC to Norodom Boulevard
Old Market (Phsar Chas)
The Old Market has been located here since the French colonial time, and is the oldest market still operating in Phnom Penh. This is truly a locals market, popular with Khmer people, so a visit will give you the experience of a truly authentic market.
It offers a wide range of clothing, handicrafts and textiles, along with motorcycle parts, and fruit and vegetables. Towards the evening on weekends, the food vendors will set up mats along Street 13 for the evening market. The market closes at sunset, but the stands located on the south side selling souvenirs will stay opened until well after 20:00.
Opening Hours: 05:00 (for some of the stalls) or 06:00 until sunset
Location: Street 108, just behind the Night Market next to Freedom Park
Owned by the Lucky supermarket and hotel company, City Mall is another large shopping centre a little outside of the tourist areas, but still easily accessible by a short tuk-tuk ride.
There is a Lucky Supermarket on the ground floor, along with various fast food outlets and other variety stores. The shops on the various floors will sell a large choice of clothes, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics and electronics, and the small shops are selling mainly Cambodian brands. It is usually very quiet and not as hectic as other centres, such as Soryaor Aeon. The medium-size food court is on the top floor, just next to the Legend Cinema, where you can view newly released blockbusters in Khmer and English.
While you are there, make sure you visit Olympic Stadium just across the road. It’s free of charge to enter, and a popular public space for the locals to relax and exercise. You can also appreciate the work of famous Cambodian architect, Vann Molyvann.
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 21:00
Location: Charles de Gaulle Boulevard, next to Olympic Stadium
Orussei Market (also called OuRuessei Market or Phsar Orussey) is the largest old-style market in Phnom Penh, situated across three floors. Not very well-known to tourists or even expats, this large building just five minutes in a tuk-tuk from Central Market, is the place for Cambodians to shop for everyday items.
You can find everything from food, household items, garden tools and electronics on the ground floor to jewellery, tailors, fabric and clothing on the two other floors. The top-floor is especially popular with locals as a factory-style outlet for a lot of the well-known brands that manufacture their clothes in and around the city. Prices are much cheaper than you will pay at home, but you will find mostly smaller sizes to suit the Cambodian shoppers. While bargains can be had, this market is so big that you can easily get lost in the labyrinth of aisles and stalls.
Opening Hours: 07:00 to 17:00
Address: Street 182, west of Monivong Boulevard
Sorya Shopping Mall
The Sorya Shopping Centre is a centrally located, multi-story building, packed with shops and restaurants. In 2003, it was the first shopping centre of its kind in Phnom Penh, and is still very popular with Cambodians. There are a number of variety shops and somespecialty stores, selling items ranging from clothes, shoes and jewellery to cosmetics, children’s toys and electronics.
A large food court is on the 4th floor, and the cinema, arcades and entertainment complex are all on the top floor. It’s only one block south of Central Market, so a good place to walk to on your Phnom Penh shopping expedition.
Opening Hours: 09:00 to21:00
Address: Street 63, one block south of Central Market