There is plenty of choice if you want to enjoy a night out in Phnom Penh, and the choices are growing more every year! Anyone who has visited Phnom Penh more than a few years ago will tell you how much the city has changed. Not only are there more people living and visiting here, there’s more of everything opening all the time. That includes bars and interesting venues. Whether you prefer a quiet drink overlooking the river, or you are looking for something with a little more action, you will find somewhere to suit your style of nightlife in Phnom Penh. We’ve put together a list of what we think are Phnom Penh’s top picks for some nightlife. Most bars in and around the city have happy hours, so check the times to make your travel budget stretch further without sacrificing the fun factor.
Address: 157 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh Closes: 03:00 Happy hours: Buy 1 get 1 free for all cocktails and draft beer from: 14:00-19:00 Riverhouse has it all: Set in a French colonial building on the riverfront, you can choose between the relaxing and breezy balcony looking onto the Tonle Sap River, the VIP area, or the lively club called The Lounge. This is one of the longest running nightclubs in Phnom Penh. There is a live DJ every night of the week, and once a month they feature an International DJ, so keep a look out for their program if you are in town for a few nights. They have plenty of choice on the drinks menu and cocktails are moderately priced for Cambodia.
Address: Phnom Penh Tower, Street 232 off Monivong Boulevard, north of Sihanouk Boulevard Closes: 02:00 Happy hours: 17:00 – 19:00 (30% off all drinks except bottles of spirits or wine) Located on the 23rd floor of the Phnom Penh Tower, the Eclipse Sky Bar is the highest rooftop bar and restaurant in the city and won a 2014 people’s choice award for best sky bar. The bar is fully open air, so not advisable during the wet season. However, you may decide the view in every direction over the city is worth the trip to the top – rain or shine. The bar opens at the end of the afternoon (just in time to enjoy the sunset) and closes at 01:00 during the week, and 02:00 on weekends, with a live band from 21:00. Like most rooftop bars in the world, drinks are pricier than other bars, and especially in Phnom Penh.
Address: Street 172, off Street 51 Closes: 21:00-05:00 Pontoon is a popular nightclub with a massive dance floor, a very large bar and many seating areas to chill out. It’s open seven nights a week and each night has a different theme and music with various DJs. Aside from regular events such as ladies night on Wednesdays (50% discount on cocktails and groups of 5 ladies get a free jug of frozen margarita) or a very popular cabaret and live drag show on Thursdays, they regularly feature well-known international DJs. Pontoon attracts a mix of locals and travellers, and while you will have to pay an entrance fee (which includes one drink) on weekends and special events, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
Address: Street 51, parallel to Norodom Boulevard, between Street 154 and 178
Closes: 20:00-the early hours of the morning Street 51 north of 178 is buzzing at night. Phnom Penh’s biggest nightclub, Pontoon, is around the corner and there are many girly/hostess bars on both side of the street, but a few smaller bars are also worth mentioning. Zeppelin Bar’s Taiwanese owner and in-house DJ, Jun, is a metal fan who owns an impressive collection of classic rock vinyl. Worth a visit for its unique grunge decor, the music (Jun may take requests) and the pork and leek dumplings (only $1.50). Another institution among long-term residents is Howie’s late night bar across the road: opened until the last person leaves, they have a pool table, dice games and a long 80s music list to dance on. Finish the long night out with beer and pizza at Katy Peri-Peri’s Pizza. They serve pizzas from as low as $2.50 out of their wood-fired tuk-tuk pizza oven.
Where: Bassac Lane, south of Independence Monument, just off Norodom Boulevard Closing hours: Most bars in the area close at 23:00 out of respect for their neighbours Happy hours: 17:00 – 19:00 Street 308 is Phnom Penh’s latest hot spot, with new bars and restaurants opening regularly. Five themed “micro bars” in the middle of it all offer a very cool vibe in each bar. They each have a small speciality drinks menu, mostly of cocktails, but you can order your favourite even if it’s not on the menu. Check the Library for daiquiris, Hangar 44 for manly cocktails and custom motorbikes, or Seibur for aperitifs. Also on street 308, Chez Flo serves plates of French cheese and charcuterie (shipped directly from France) with wines or beers to match. The more established Red Bar is a cheaper option, relaxed and always busy at the entrance of the street. With the 23:00 curfew for most venues, this is an ideal way to kick off the night before moving on.
Address: Street 302, BKK1, Phnom Penh Opening hours: 15:00 until midnight Happy hours: Between 17:00 and 20:00, but may differ for special promotions Backpacker central! The Mad Monkey is away from the main tourist area but still located centrally in BKK1. Well known as a backpacker hostel, the place also has two bars including a rooftop “beach” bar overlooking the city, with over 40 cocktails on offer. Don’t miss the Phnom Penh Bazooka while watching the sunset!The prices are a bit more expensive than many backpacker bars in the city but the chilled out atmosphere and quality service make it a good choice. While times for happy hour can change, they have been known to have free beer promotions as well.
Address: 134, Street 136 Opening hours: 19:00 – 01:00 Happy hours: Thursday Angkor nights, 3 for the price of 2. Tuesday $2 cocktails. The Rainbow Bar is one of the LGBT community’s favourite Phnom Penh venues. The decor is modern and stylish and they have comfortable outdoor seating as well. There is entertainment every night—karaoke on Monday nights from 19:00, RNB nights on Wednesday, but the most popular is their drag show every night from Tuesday to Sundays at 10:30pm! Show times can vary a little, so check for the latest times when you arrive. The weekend shows have been known to vary a little and may include re-enactments from Khmer soap operas. Drinks are inexpensive.
Address: Street 278, BKK1 Closes: 01:00 most days Happy hours: from 16:00 – 19:00 Equinox is located on busy Street 278 (aka Golden Street), which is a backpacker and nightlife hub away from Riverside, with hostels, bars and restaurants, just one block south of Independence Monument. The ground floor is a relaxing area that gets very busy at night, with the main bar, a pool table and art exhibitions displayed on the wall. The first floor is where it happens at weekends, when live local bands or comedians from all over the world perform on the small stage. Entry is always free, and drinks are reasonably priced. They also have a rooftop area on the second floor where you can chill out.
Where: off Sisowath Quay Closes: 02:00 (most bars) Just off Riverside, the first three blocks of Street 136 is one of Phnom Penh’s hostess bar streets, and certainly the most popular. Apart from finding some female (or transgender) company and entertainment in one of the many neon-lit venues with names like 69 Bar, Candy Bar and Pussy Cat, there are also some other bars and clubs offering more traditional pub entertainment. Sharky’s, just one block away, has live music and a reputation for good local bands playing live rock. Drink prices will vary for each bar, and obviously expect to pay extra for your hostess’s drink.
10. Score BarAddress: Street 282, between Streets 51 and 57 Opening hours: 08:00 until midnight, 02:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hours: Monday to Friday,17:00 – 19:00 The Score Sports Bar and Grill is one of the few sports bar in Phnom Penh, but claims to have the largest screen (5.8 x 4.5metres). Most major sports (English and German football leagues, rugby, boxing, basketball, hockey to name a few) will be featured and they stay open after their normal hours for special events. As well as the live games on the many LCD screens, they also have three bars, four slate pool tables and ample seating areas, including a terrace and a lounge. Drinks are reasonably priced, with good local and international beers on tap, a selection of wines and cocktails.