National Museum of Cambodia


  • Location: 13th St. | Between 178th and 184th Sts., Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Recommended reason: Museum of historical history in Cambodia
  • Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00
  • Internet site:
  • Entrance fee: Admission fees for foreigners between the ages of 10 and 17 are about $5. Fees for foreigners over the age of 18 are about $10. Fees for Cambodians are about 500 Riels. Children and school groups are free.

National Museum of Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the first place for many people to go to Cambodia. However, if you want to know the history and culture of a place, the first thing you should do is to go to the local museum to find out it. The National Museum of Cambodia, a museum of historical history in Cambodia, is also a scenic spot in Phnom Penh other than the Royal Palace. Here you can see many of the religious artworks on display, and you can learn about the history of the country of Cambodia. Religion is the spirit, art is the body, and the National Museum of Cambodia is one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art collections.


Where is the National Museum of Cambodia?

The National Museum of Cambodia is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The National Museum of Cambodia is very close to the Royal Palace. The National Museum of Cambodia is separated with the Royal Palace by a street.


History of National Museum of Cambodia

The National Museum of Cambodia was built between 1917 and 1920, when Cambodia was framed as a “French Protectorate” (1863-1953). The idea of establishing the museum was originally proposed by the French curator George Groslier. On April 13, 1920, under the auspices of King Sisowath of Cambodia, the opening ceremony was held. The highest commander, Henri Bodouin attended the opening ceremony.

In 1969, the central part of the east side of the National Museum was renovated. The museum building is a classic building in Phnom Penh with the use of herringbone roofs and carved doors. It is not only a Khmer ancient temple architecture, but also a traditional Khmer architecture with French colonial style.


Structure of National Museum of Cambodia

National Museum of Cambodia

The museum is open-plan and beautiful, with both typical Khmer architecture and exotic atmosphere. There is a small pavilion in the center of the museum, which is dedicated to a small statue. There are several small artificial lotus ponds around it.

The Cambodian National Museum has a total area of approximately 5,200 square meters. The exhibition area is 2,800 square meters. The corridors around the atrium of the museum are mostly used for exhibition stone carvings. In addition to the exhibition hall, the museum also has 1,200 square meters of office and archives.

The museum consists of the main building and three galleries around the atrium. The main building is a vermilion Khmer traditional building. There are Hindu and Buddhist stone carvings left by the Khmer people in the main building. These stone carvings are mainly works from the 6th to 15th centuries and are important materials for studying the history of Khmer carving. The exhibition hall has stone statues, bronze statues, stone tablets, pottery, metal crafts, and daily necessities and musical instruments of the 19th and 20th century royal families.

In addition, there are small bronze statues of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Angkor Empire era (9th-15th centuries), Thai wood carvings since the 14th century, and black glazed pottery unique to Khmer. Khmer stone monuments unearthed in various places in the atrium.

The National Museum of Cambodia is one of the world's richest museums of Khmer material heritage. It is dedicated to the protection, collection, promotion, restoration and inheritance of Cambodian cultural and artistic heritage, and to make people more aware through the collections in the exhibition hall.


Collections in National Museum of Cambodia

There are relatively few temporary exhibitions held by the National Museum of Cambodia (usually once a year), and most of the important works are permanently exhibited in the museum. Despite this, the museum has two showrooms dedicated to temporary exhibitions.

At present, there are about 15,000 collections in the museum, and about 2,000 works are displayed at each fixed exhibition. The collections in the museum are rich in different historical periods – both prehistoric and archaeological objects in the early, middle and late stages of the Angkor dynasty.

There are four main types of these collections: stoneware, bronze, porcelain, and wood. The stone tools are mainly the stone carvings of the gods in Brahmanism and Buddhist legends. The inscriptions and architectural styles are also quite representative. The collection of bronzes is mostly a statue of religious figures and rituals and living utensils used in daily life. In addition, there are some cultural relics reflecting human civilization, such as clay pots, porcelain and animal-shaped containers. The collection of wood is mostly benches for sermons, as well as boxes, plates, weaving machines and other carvings.

In addition, the museum also collects a small amount of oil paintings, textiles, pictures and other archives.


How to get to National Museum of Cambodia?

The museum is located near the north gate of the Royal Palace. It is recommended to walk here or take a Tuk-Tuk.


Tips for visiting National Museum in Phnom Penh:

  •  Photographs are prohibited in the museum and photographs can be taken in outdoor areas. No smoking.
  •  If you don't know enough about Hinduism, Buddhism and Khmer culture, it is highly recommended to come to the National Museum for a review before heading to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.


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