Where to Eat, Drink, and Sleep in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is the closest town to Angkor Wat, which is the most popular tourist destination in all of Cambodia. Most people really only visit Siem Reap in order to see the nearby temples, but you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s actually a pretty lively little city!

Check out our list of the best places to eat and drink in Siem Reap, as well as the best things to do during your visit. Enjoy!

Complete Guide to Siem Reap

Siem Reap Travel Basics

Know Before You Go

  • The currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR) and at the time of writing the exchange rate was 4032.26 to $1 USD. But Cambodia mainly uses US currency, just without the small change. Riels are used for anything under $1 USD.
  • Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and nearly 90% of the people in the country can speak it. Most people in Cambodia also speak English so don’t worry about communicating here.
  • Learn a few Khmer phrases to get around! “Hello” is “sous-dey”, “thank you” is “orkun” (sounds like “air con”), and “where is the toilet?” is “bantubdakknoew ay nah?”.
  • Tipping should be minimal if at all here. And several restaurants that we recommend add a 5% service charge to your bill so be sure to check before leaving more.

Getting to Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the closest city to the Angkor Archaeological Park. It takes just 15 minutes to get from the center of town to the park’s main entrance.

Siem Reap has an international airport (REP) so catching a flight from Phnom Penh or any other large city nearby is relatively easy.

Check Flight Prices on Kayak

If you would prefer to travel to Siem Reap by bus, Giant Ibis is a reliable, low-cost company with several buses daily from Phnom Penh. The trip takes about 6 hours and you’ll stop twice for food and bathroom breaks.

Getting Around Town

How to Get Around Siem Reap: Tuk Tuk

There are two apps that are similar to Uber in Siem Reap – Grab (iPhone | Android) and PassApp (iPhone | Android). You can use either to call a car, and with PassApp you can also call a tuk tuk. If you would prefer to just hail someone on the street, there are literally hundreds of tuk tuk drivers all over town.

If you want more freedom you can also rent a motorbike for the day. Some people also choose to bicycle out to the temples of Angkor Archaeological Park although we wouldn’t recommend it as you’ll be exhausted and burning up by the end of the day.

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Best Hotels in Siem Reap Cambodia The Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt Siem Reap

The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is the ultimate luxury hotel near Angkor Wat. Offering spacious and lavish suites with every amenity you could wish for, a relaxing spa, two huge outdoor pools, a fitness center, and the friendliest staff, you’ll never want to leave the hotel!

Check Prices on Booking.com

The Best Hotels in Siem Reap Cambodia The Embassy Angkor Resort and Spa

The Embassy Angkor Resort & Spa

The Embassy Angkor Resort & Spa features a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool, which is the perfect place to relax after a morning exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. Rooms are large with comfortable beds and the most inviting bathtub. You’ll love staying at The Embassy!

Check Prices on Booking.com

Best Hotels in Siem Reap Cambodia The Night Hotel

The Night Hotel

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel offering room options at a lower nightly rate, The Night Hotel is a great choice! The location is perfect, right near Pub Street, so you’ll be in the middle of the action. The large outdoor pool is pristine and rooms are spacious and well appointed.

Check Prices on Booking.com

Eating and Drinking in Siem Reap

Where to Eat: Best Restaurants in Siem Reap

Pou Restaurant and Bar

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Pou Restaurant

Pou Restaurant and Bar is run by a group of up-and-coming Cambodian chefs who are creating unique Khmer fusion cuisine. It’s a small restaurant with modest prices but the food taste and presentation is impeccable! Be sure to try the chicken curry – it sounds like standard fare but their take on it is totally original.

Il Forno

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Il Forno Italian Restaurant

Il Forno Siem Reap has really delicious, authentic Italian food if you’re looking for a break from Khmer classics. The cheese plate is a really lovely selection of fresh cheeses, a rarity in SE Asia. And the pizzas are thin crust and incredibly flavorful. Prices are on the higher side but it’s worth it for a fun date night!

The Christa Restaurant and Bar

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Fish Amok at The Christa Restaurant
Fish Amok at The Christa Restaurant

The Christa Restaurant and Bar is the best go-to lunch spot in Siem Reap. It’s a laidback restaurant with super reasonable prices and a big selection of Khmer and Western food options. You’ll love coming here and enjoying a fresh fruit shake and a big bowl of soup after a long morning spent at Angkor Wat.

Genevieve’s Restaurant

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Beef Lok Lak at Genevieve's Restaurant
Beef Lok Lak at Genevieve’s Restaurant

Genevieve’s Restaurant is a bit pricier than others in Siem Reap but you’ll appreciate the quality and presentation. The Beef Lok Lak is made with Australian tenderloin steak – it’s tender, juicy and delicious. The Lao Fish Amok is also a great choice.

Maybe Later Mexican Bar and Grill

Maybe Later Mexican Bar & Grill is not only a great spot to get delicious nachos and the best margarita in town, it’s also a cool way to support the local community. Every wall in this quaint little restaurant is covered in vibrant “Day of the Dead” themed murals. Because they are not just a restaurant, they also run an art program for young, talented locals who are interested in learning to create “street art”. In the coming months they’ll be running art classes and begin hosting open mic nights so check out their Facebook Page to see what they’re up to!

Where to Drink: Best Bars in Siem Reap

Wild Creative Bar and Eatery

Wild – Creative Bar and Eatery is an incredibly popular little cocktail bar in Siem Reap. They serve fun boozy concoctions at totally reasonable prices. Food options here are limited, they really only specialize in spring rolls. It’s the perfect place for a pre-dinner cocktail and appetizer. Be sure to try the Taco Loco roll. And send them a note on Facebook to reserve a table, they fill up every night.

Happy Hour at the Park Hyatt

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Cucumber Mojito at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Cucumber Mojito at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap

The Park Hyatt Siem Reap bar offers an evening happy hour with 50% off select cocktails and glasses of wine. From 5:00pm until 7:00pm you can sit in their beautiful courtyard where a massive banyan tree sits at the center of a reflection pool, and enjoy delicious, discounted drinks. And if you stay for dinner, they offer a cultural show every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday beginning at 7:00pm.

The Local Brewery

The Local Brew Pub is a great spot to go in the evenings if you want to meet some friendly travelers and drink Cambodia brewed craft beer on tap. Currently they only brew two of their own beers – a Creme Brulee Stout and a Hefeweizen. But they also have Indochine brews on tap so you can try the IPA or the Mango Pale Ale, both are outstanding!

Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Best Dessert in Siem Reap

Gelato Lab

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Gelato Lab

Gelato and Coffee Lab creates interesting flavor combinations of deliciously decadent gelato. Options like Guatemalan coffee with caramelized Cambodian sugar cane or Papua New Guinea dark chocolate with black pepper from Kampot. Each customer can sample two kinds before settling on a favorite. You must get your ice cream in one of their warm, homemade waffle cones!

Where to Work: Best Coffee Shops in Siem Reap

Bang Bang Bakery

Bang Bang Bakery is a really darling little bakery and coffee shop in Siem Reap. One peek inside their dessert case and your mouth will be watering! Homemade cakes, pies, cookies, tarts, and crumbles are on display. They also have freshly baked bread and bagels and have a few decedent breakfast offerings.

The Little Red Fox Espresso

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars - The Little Red Fox Espresso

The Little Red Fox Espresso is a great place to get some work done, or just grab a really tasty breakfast. They have creative coffee concoctions, yummy smoothie bowls, and really delicious bagel sandwiches. Plus they occasionally offer live music (and air conditioning!) in the afternoons in “The Den” on the second floor.

Things to Do in Siem Reap

Explore Angkor Wat

Guide to Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Best Temples to Visit - Reflecting Pool at Sunset

The Angkor Archaeological Park is the crown jewel and the reason that most tourists visit Siem Reap. Read our Complete Guide to Angkor Wat to learn all about the best way to visit these spectacular temples!

Have a Cocktail at a Pool Party

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Cambo Beach Club Pool Bar

Cambo Beach Siem Reap is a lively public pool that is surrounded by sand and comfy beach loungers and cabanas. You’ll pay a $5 USD entrance fee that will be credited toward your food and beverage purchases. You can also pay $1 USD to rent a towel.

It’s a lively pool with daily music, pool parties throughout every week, family swim day on Sundays, and competitions where you can win boozy blended drinks. Make a splash by jumping off the high dive, play a game of beach volleyball, or lounge on one of the bean bags by the pool – it’s a good time for all ages. Plus the food is really tasty and the drinks are reasonably priced.

Go Shopping

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Shopping for Kampot Pepper

Considering the relatively small size of Siem Reap, there are a ton of markets around town if you like to shop for souvenirs. There is the Siem Reap Art Center Market, the Old Market (open from 7:00am until 8:00pm), the Made in Cambodia Market (open from 12:00pm10:00pm) and the Angkor Night Market (open from 5:00pm until 12:00am).

You’ll find similar treasures at all of these markets – loose-fitting parachute-style pants, cheesy t-shirts, straw purses, scarves, and wood and brass statues. Most of this stuff can be found all over SE Asia but prices are reasonable so there’s no reason not to buy something that you love. Be sure to negotiate, the first asking price is never the price you should pay.

We found a few souvenirs that were unique to Cambodia. Pepper from Kampot is considered to be some of the best in the world. Silver boxes that are shaped like elephants are a good thing to pick up in Siem Reap. And you’ll see beautiful and unique brass jewelry that has been made from bullet casings found around the country.

Be Entertained at the Circus

Phare, the Cambodian Circus Show combines theater, music, dance, and circus performances that will keep you entertained for the entire show; it’s one of the best activities in Siem Reap for kids.

It’s like the Cirque du Solei but on a smaller scale, and with traditional Cambodian flare. Plus it’s a good cause – the performers are graduates of Phare Ponleu Selpak’s vocational training center which provides training for disadvantaged youth.

You can catch nightly performances at 8:00pm, or the earlier 5:00pm show on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Get Tickets to See the Show!

Party on Pub Street

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Pub Street

Pub Street is the party area of Siem Reap. It’s where the young backpackers go to drink too much, listen to outrageously loud music, and dance in the street. The street is lined with restaurants, bars, shops, and loads of tuk-tuk drivers hoping to take you on a tour of Angkor Wat.

The most popular bar on Pub Street is Angkor What? Bar. They play the latest jams and have outdoor tables for prime people watching. However, you probably won’t love this bar if you’re over the age of 25. We had one drink there (for blog research purposes of course) and in that time we witnessed drunk people dancing on tables and one girl covered in puke get carried out of the bar. Not our cup of tea.

We preferred the tuk-tuk bars located on Street 10 at the intersection of Alley W.

Guide to Siem Reap, Cambodia: Best Restaurants and Bars: Tuk Tuk Bars

These tuk-tuks have been converted into little bars where you can sip on ridiculously cheap cocktails and have full control of the music. But beware, the alcohol isn’t high quality so you’re likely to wake up the next morning with a headache.

Visit the Museums

The Cambodia Landmine Museum is incredibly informative and well organized. Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world and to this day civilians are injured and killed by landmines and other unexploded devices left from the decades of war that was raged here. You’ll want to get the audio guide to get the full experience.

Opening Hours: Daily from 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Entrance Fee: $5 USD for adults, free for children under 10

The Angkor National Museum is a good complement to your tour of the Angkor Archaeological Park as it will help to give you a better understanding of the temples. The museum is well organized with good signage in English and will take at least 2 hours to get through all of the exhibits.

Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm daily from April 1st – September 30th, 8:30am – 6:30pm daily from October 1st – March 31st
Entrance Fee: $12 USD for adults

See the Floating Villages

There are several floating villages near Siem Reap and it is a popular activity to visit these temples to see the local people going about their daily lives. They live on Tonle Sap Lake in floating houses and travel by boat to get wherever they need to go. This is actually one of the most touristy things you can do in Siem Reap and probably won’t feel as authentic as you want it to.

If you want to see the villages without feeling like you’re being invasive or without being pressured to buy their souvenirs, we would recommend taking a sunset cruise on the lake. You’ll get to enjoy the views of the villages, but in a more relaxed environment.

Book a Sunset Cruise on Tonle Sap Lake

There are also stilted villages on the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake. These houses have been built on tall stilts to keep homes from flooding in the wet season. Again, this activity is quite touristy but it’s interesting to see how people adapt to the changing seasons here.

Visit the Stilted Villages

Enjoy your trip to Siem Reap!

Want more info on things to see and do in Siem Reap? Check out our favorite travel guides!


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