National Library

Phnom Penh

The National Library is in a graceful old building constructed in 1924, near Wat Phnom. During its rule, the Khmer Rouge turned the building into a stable and destroyed most of the books. Many were thrown out into the streets, where they were picked up by people, some of whom donated them back to the library after 1979; others used them as food wrappings. Today it houses, among other things, a time-worn collection of English and French titles.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Phnom Penh attractions

1. Wat Phnom

0.23 MILES

Set on top of a 27m-high tree-covered knoll, Wat Phnom is on the only ‘hill’ in town. According to legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in…

2. Psar Thmei

0.47 MILES

A landmark building in the capital, the art deco Psar Thmei (literally 'New Market') is often called the Central Market, a reference to its location and…

3. French Embassy


Located at the northern end of Monivong Blvd, the French embassy played a significant role in the dramas that unfolded after the fall of Phnom Penh on 17…

4. Wat Ounalom


This wat is the headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism. It was founded in 1443 and comprises 44 structures. The wat received a battering during the Pol Pot…

5. Futures Factory

0.91 MILES

Helmed by the ever-popular Friends restaurant, this new community space aims to become the cultural heart of central Phnom Penh with a regular lineup of…

6. National Museum of Cambodia

0.99 MILES

The National Museum of Cambodia is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture: a millennium’s worth and more of masterful Khmer design…

7. King's Residence


The official residence of King Sihamoni and his family is not open to the general public.

8. Chan Chaya Pavilion

1.12 MILES

Performances of classical Cambodian dance were once staged in this pavilion, which is sometimes lit up at night to commemorate festivals or anniversaries.