If you are planning a trip to Cambodia, Siem Reap is definitely on the agenda. There are many reasons to visit this fascinating city and I’m here to spill the beans with this 3 days in Siem Reap itinerary travel guide.

Siem Reap is one of Cambodia’s most charming cities and the gateway to exploring the infamous Angkor War ruins. I have traveled to Siem Reap on 3 separate occasions and every time I visit, I fall in love with the city all over again.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for ancient ruins, jungles and getting pampered on the cheap. Siem Reap is the definition of how I like to travel – adventure luxury. Don’t worry, setting some time aside for pampering is definitely on this Siem Reap itinerary.

3 Days in Siem Reap Itinerary

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How Many Days in Siem Reap

The average traveler spends about 3 days in Siem Reap, thus that’s what I wrote this Siem Reap itinerary for.

Below is a quick view at what this Siem Reap itinerary in 3 days  will look like. For more information about a specific location or activity, click on the blue links below.

3 Days in Siem Reap is enough time to visit Angkor Wat and surrounding temples, as well as spend a day at the markets and enjoying Pub Street.

If you have the gift of time, 5 days in Siem Reap is the perfect amount of time. Adventure luxury remember, make sure to reserve time for getting pampered at the spa and relaxing poolside.

Tree overgrowing ruins in a jungle in Cambodia
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia

3 Days in Siem Reap Itinerary

Day 1: 

Day 2:

Day 3:

  • Explore downtown Siem Reap & Pub Street
  • Relax by the Pool
  • Phare Circus

Additional days, if you have more time.

Days 4 & 5:

  • Siem Reap War Museum
  • Beng Melea Temple
  • Tonsle Lake
  • Phnom Kulen National Park
Beautiful Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap Itinerary Day 1

For the sake of this itinerary for Siem Reap post, let’s assume that today is your first full day. If you arrive late in the day and don’t have enough time to explore the temples, explore downtown and Pub Street first and explore these temples tomorrow.

Angkor Wat Small Circuit

For your first day in Siem Reap, you’re going to hit the ground running and explore the most iconic temples in Angkor Wat. Don’t let the name fool you, this Angkor small circuit is still quite big.

On the Angkor Wat small circuit you’ll explore the star of the show, Angkor Wat, drive through the striking Angkor Thor Gates, witness the hundreds of Buddha faces at Bayon Temple, and play Tomb Raider at Ta Prohm Temple Temple.

Bayan Temple in Siem Reap Cambodia
View of Angkor Wat Cambodia.

Ta Prohm or as most people know it, the Tomb Raider temple is a very popular temple because of the movie and for good reason. Trees are over grown around the temple ruins and the sight instantly transforms you into a bad ass like Indiana Joes or Lara Croft.

Angkor Thom the largest complex of Khmer ruins. Angkor Thom contains the iconic Bayon Temple with hundreds of faces covering the pillars. Make sure keep a look out for the face that you can get up close and personal with. It’s located on the top level.

Angkor Wat, just imagine what it looked like when it was thriving. The power that used to be here. Just wow. My favorite part are the south side walls.

View of Angkor ruins in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

If you only have 1 day to visit Angkor Wat, you’ll hit all the above mentioned and then some. It will be a long, day of exploring but you’ll feel satisfied that you saw as much you could in such a short time.

Arrange a private tuk tuk driver for the day so they can drive you around to all the temples. Exploring Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples is by far the top thing to do in Siem Reap.

Your guesthouse will be able to help arrange a driver, you can find one on the street or you can book one online. It should cost $20 or less to rent a private tuk tuk driver for the day.

Book a Private Tuk Tuk Driver →

💡 Travel Tip: Ask your driver to take you on the reverse route, starting with Ta Phrom (the Tomb Raider Temple) to avoid to the crowds.

Foot Massage in Downtown Siem Reap

I mentioned earlier that pampering would be involved in this Siem Reap itinerary. After you’ve explored the Angkor small circuit and eaten a good meal, get a foot massage.

Foot massages in Siem Reap cost only a few bucks and your tired limbs will thank you. You’ll want to get a good night sleep tonight as tomorrow’s wake up call is early. 

Sunrise over Angkor Wat Cambodia in Siem Reap

Siem Reap Itinerary Day 2

Angkor Wat Sunrise

Today is the day you’ve been waiting for, wake up early for a sunrise over Angkor Wat. Yes it’s touristy. Yes it’s crowded. And yes it’s totally worth it and one of the best things to do in Siem Reap.

No matter how crowded, it is a breathtakingly beautiful sight. If you stay long enough, you’ll be able to get a picture without people in it. You should be prepared to leave Siem Reap by 5 am. Leave earlier if you want to get a good photo spot for sunrise.

Book a Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour →

Angkor Wat Grand Circuit

Once you’ve got your sunrise shots, start out on the Angkor Wat grand circuit of Siem Reap. The Angkor grand circuit takes you around the temples on the outskirts of Angkor.

You’ll explore Neak Pean and its healing pools and Preah Khan Temple and Tak Keo. This is the tallest temple standing over 70 feet tall. Stairs are steep and narrow but the views are worth it.

The elephant terraces are great as hardly anyone goes there. Lastly you’ll end up Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Book a private tour to get you around. It cost less than 20 dollars.

Book a Grand Circuit Tour →

Day 3 in Siem Reap

On day 3 of your Siem Reap itinerary, you’ll take a day off of temple hopping to explore the town and relax by the pool. Pub Street is the main drag in Siem Reap, where you can shop, drink and eat your way through town.

Best Places to Eat in Siem Reap

Brunch at Easy Speaking, located in the heart of it all. They serve a bomb breakfast from 7-12, perfect food to cure a hangover. You’re paying for the location and vibes. Perfect place to people watch.

Pub Street has a lot of restaurants to choose from. If you want something more cost effective but not sacrifice taste, eat at Khmer Taste. Located on a street perpendicular to Pub Street, it has a large menu with a variety of options like curries, western food, and classic Khmer dishes.  

I ate the Amok which is a classic Khmer dish, curry like with coconut milk, vegetables and your protein with steamed rice. The best part is it only cost $2.50. This is another one of the amazing reasons I love this city, you can always find cheap food in Siem Reap.

💡 Travel Tip: If you’re looking for the party, dance the night away at Temple Bar which has some of the best nightlife in Siem Reap.

Phare Circus

If you are looking for something unique to do in Siem Reap, you must check out the Phare Circus. Your night will be filled with dancing, acrobatics, music and laughter.

Buy a Ticket →

Beng Melea Temple outside of Siem Reap Cambodia
Exploring Siem Reap Cambodia in 3 Days

Siem Reap Itinerary: Extra Days 

Beng Mealea

One of the best things to do around Siem Reap is go on a day trip to Beng Mealea Temple. This is a great half a day trip from Siem Reap. Beng Mealea is located an hour and a half southeast of Siem Reap.

This ruin is similar to Ta Prohm as there are trees carving through the walls and mossy green rocks. No restoration has been done to the temple so if you’re looking for a crumbled down temple hidden in the middle of the jungle, here ya go.

Book a Beng Mealea Tour →

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    Ton Le Sap

    A great excursion to pair Beng Mealea Temple is a tour of Ton Le Sap Lake. Ton Le Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, It’s most photographed for the villages built on stills.

    These villages are very poor so I have mixed reviews on this attraction near Siem Reap. I have heard these tours did not benefited the local community, which is something I will not support. Therefore, I have never been to Ton Le Sap.

    Travel Tips

    Angkor Wat Entrance Tickets

    There are 3 different Angkor Wat Entrance Tickets that you can purchase. The most popular tickets are the 1 day and 3 day tickets. If you’re short on time, this 3 day itinerary in Siem Reap will help you decide if you want to purchase a 1 or 3 day pass.

    • 1 Day Pass for $37
    • 3 Day Pass for $62
    • 7 Day Pass for $72

    You will need to purchase your Angkor Wat entrance tickets at the Angkor Park office. They accept cash or card.

    💡 Travel Tip: Make sure you are dressed modestly to enter the temples.

    Before Traveling to Cambodia

    • Visa: Most visitors require a visa which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport or border crossing. To save time, you can apply for an e-visa online.
    • Make sure you have at least 6 months validity on your passport.
    • USD is widely accepted in Siem Reap, make sure you bring fresh, crisp one dollar bills.
    • Purchase Travel Insurance before you travel to Cambodia. It’s very affordable when you consider the alternative.

    ☕️ Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Cambodia

    Cambodia Travel Cost

    🛺

    Budget – $15-20

    • Dorm bed
    • Street food
    • Scraping your change to get into the temples

    ☕️

    Mid Range – $60-70

    • Average for a couple
    • Double bed w A/C and a pool
    • Enternace to the temples
    • Occasional happy hour

    🕯️

    Luxury – $100 and up

    • Staying in the swankiest hotels
    • Dining in restaraunts
    • Private tour guides
    • Private transportation

    Where to Stay in Siem Reap

    Saem Siem Reap Hotel

    If you don’t already know, Cambodia is one of my favorite countries.  Every time I visit Siem Reap Joe and I make sure we stay at Saem Siem Reap Hotel at least for a night during our stay.  We love this hotel!

    This is by far one of the best things to do in Siem Reap on a budget. It’s a hidden gem.

    Located only 15 minutes from the Angkor Temples and 5 minutes from pub street via tuk tuk this hotel has the perfection location for luxury and relaxation.

    The breakfast buffet offering anything everyday should be reason enough to stay here if the amazing pool doesn’t sell you first.   It could possibly be the best pool in Siem Reap.

    The staff who are polite and proper only add to the elegance of the hotel. Prices are very affordable and you will not be disappointed.

    Siem Reap does not have a shortage of hotels so finding one that suits your needs will not be a problem.  For a bigger selection of hotels, check out the article below.

    📖 Read Next:  Where to Stay in Siem Reap

    How to Get to Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Siem Reap has an international airport that is close to town which makes it easy to fly into.  Siem Reap airport code is REP.

    There are also lots of bus companies travel to and from Siem Reap so finding something in your price range and on the days you want to travel will not be a problem.

    Book a Long Distance Bus to Siem Reap →

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    Siem Reap Itinerary
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