If you have just 3 days in Siem Reap and want to experience the highlights, this Siem Reap 3 day itinerary is for you. Siem Reap is best known for Angkor Wat, one of the largest religious monuments in the world, but the town of Siem Reap has much more to offer.
In this itinerary, I will share all the best things to do for a fun-filled 3 days in Siem Reap, including activities, restaurants, markets, transport, budget, accommodation and more.
Day 1 Siem Reap Itinerary
It’s really no surprise that Angkor Wat makes number one on the Siem Reap Itinerary. If you are planning to visit Siem Reap, chances are that you are visiting just to see Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is the ultimate expression of Khmer genius – an awe-inspiring temple that is stunning for both its grand scale and its incredible detail. The temple is the heart and soul of Cambodia and a source of fierce national pride.
To access the temples you will need to buy a 1, 3 or 7-day temple pass, starting at $37USD for one day.
The site of Angkor Wat is huge and takes a minimum of one full day to explore.
An experience not to be missed is sunrise over Angkor Wat. If you start day 1 of your trip to Siem Reap with sunrise at Angkor Wat, you will be off to a good start.
The main temples to visit within Angkor Wat include Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm.
As the temples of Angkor represent a sacred religious site to the Khmer people, visitors are asked to dress modestly (cover shoulders and knees). Do not to touch or sit on the ancient structures, pay attention to restricted areas and be respectful of monks.
After a full day of exploring temples in Siem Reap, you will be keen for a quiet dinner and early night, or you can choose to visit the Angkor Night Markets.
Day 2 Siem Reap Itinerary
For day two in Siem Reap, you can either choose to head back to Angkor Wat if you didn’t get to see enough, or you can spend the day in town.
Siem Reap is home to some exciting food and art markets, making for a great local experience. Some markets worth checking out include Angkor night markets, old market (Pshar Chas), Noon night market and the made in Cambodia Market.
Siem Reap is also home to some amazing restaurants. If you’re vegetarian like me, check out Vibe Cafe, Green-Go Garden Vegan and Vegetarian, Chamkar House Vegetarian and Vitking House. Molop Wat Damnak Restaurant is another great restaurant. It isn’t exclusively vegetarian, but all vegetables are grown locally and organically, which excites me.
Day 2 in Siem Reap should involve some relaxation, in the form of a massage and day spa. My massage experience in Siem Reap was one like no other. I was massaged fully clothed and my body was stretched and bent in every direction possible. A massage is part of the cultural experience and Siem Reap has lots of options, ranging from budget to luxury spas.
To end day 2 in Siem Reap, you can visit Phare Circus, featuring some very talented young Cambodians. Theatre, dance, original live music and breathtaking circus arts are used to tell unique, Cambodian stories. This is a Siem Reap highlight and something that shouldn’t be missed.
Day 3 Siem Reap Itinerary
Your third and final day in Siem Reap calls for a day trip to the surrounding countryside. Phnom Kulen National Park is a popular day trip from Siem reap and features temples and a stunning waterfall.
The cost to enter Phnom Kulen National Park is $20USD.
Phnom Kulen National Park is 48km from Siem Reap and takes 1.5-2 hours to reach one way. The ticket office is at the bottom of Phnom Kulen and is the entrance to the Phnom Kulen National Park.
Alternatively, you could spend your last day in Siem Reap doing one of the things below.
Other things to do in Siem Reap
Siem Reap Countryside tour – This a great way to experience Cambodia beyond tourist sites. The countryside tours commonly include a trip to a floating village, island pagoda, flooded forest and monk school.
Cycling Tours – Cycling Tours are popular from Siem Reap. You can take a cycling tour through the countryside of Siem Reap, and through Angkor Wat.
Take a helicopter or hot air balloon over Angkor Wat – If walking through the ancient temples just wasn’t enough, you can experience them from the air, which will further demonstrate the remarkable size of the temples.
Floating Village Tour – Almost all tuk-tuk drivers will suggest a trip to a floating village. These villages aren’t just above the water on stilts, they are literally floating and move around Siem Reap through the year and as the water changes. Kompong Khleang is a popular floating village tour.
Cambodian Cooking Classes – A cooking class is one of the best cultural experiences you can have in any country. You wouldn’t want to miss a Cambodian cooking class, they do have some of the most delicious food in the world after all.
Angkor Zip Lining – If you’re a thrill seeker (and not on a budget), you can choose to take a Zip Lining Tour from Siem Reap, through the Angkor Archaeological Park Jungle. You will get birds-eye views of the region and will learn about the preservation of the area. These tours start at $59USD.
Siem Reap Quad Bike Adventures – This is another one for the thrill seekers. The quad bike tours from Siem Reap take you through the remote countryside and villages. You will pass friendly locals, schools, orphanages, temples, Buddhist monasteries and rice paddies. The cost starts at $30USD.
As you can see there is plenty to do in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat and Phare Circus are the highlights, in my opinion.
Getting Around Siem Reap
If you are staying in the centre of Siem Reap, most things are within walking distance. To get to Angkor Wat and attractions outside of the city centre, you will need to hire a motorbike, tuk-tuk or car for the day. The cost of getting around Siem Reap is relatively low. A short tuk-tuk drive will cost around $2 and a tuk-tuk driver for a tour of Angkor Wat will cost $20-$25, depending on how many temples you visit.
Where to stay in Siem Reap
I suggest staying in the Siem Reap city centre.
If you’re looking for a boutique style hotel in a great location, I recommend Sarai Resort and Spa. I absolutely adored this Moroccan inspired hotel and was more than happy to spend a few hours by the pool each day. Search for accommodation options in Siem Reap here.
Siem Reap Budget
A budget for Siem Reap will vary greatly depending on how you like to travel.
For 3 days in Siem Reap on a budget, you could spend $120USD, $40USD per day.
$40 per day would include accommodation, food and a day at Angkor Wat, but wouldn’t include a guided tour of Angkor Wat or any other day tour.
Accommodation starts from $15 per night for a private room and meals start for $2USD.
Your greatest expense in Siem Reap is Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat costs $37USD for a one day ticket and $62 USD for a three-day ticket. In addition to this, you will need to hire adriver ($20USD+) to get you around, or you could rent your own motorbike ($10USD per day). Phare Circus costs $18USD for a category C seat but is a show I highly recommend.
Siem Reap Travel Tips
- There are lots of mosquito in Siem Reap so bring repellant.
- Businesses accept Cambodia Riels and USD.
- This is everything else you need to know when planning a trip to Cambodia.
I hope this 3 day Siem Reap itinerary keeps you busy and well informed for your trip.