Cost of Living in Phnom Penh: Moving to Cambodia’s Capital City

UPDATED on Feb. 15, 2023

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Phnom Penh?

The cost of living in Cambodia is relatively low; listed 107 out of 197 countries in the world, which are ranked from most expensive to cheapest cost of living, based on livingcost.org. Depending on which city you live in Cambodia, the costs may vary. In Phnom Penh, the average cost of living is $876 USD, ranked 12th among 23 countries in Asia.

With the national minimum wage increased to $200 (in 2022), the median salary after-tax for locals is $325 USD, which can cover living expenses for up to 12 days. With an estimated population of around 2.8 million people (a growth rate of 3.1% yearly), Phnom Penh is the largest city in Cambodia. It is also the top 62% (5723rd out of 9294 cities worldwide) in the list of best places to live in the world and top 1 in the best cities to live in Cambodia. 

Note that the average cost of living in Phnom Penh is based on a developed country lifestyle which is quite expensive compared to least developed countries. Hence, locals and expats differ significantly in terms of cost of living in Phnom Penh.

Cost of living in Phnom Penh infographic
Source: Livingcost.org

What makes Phnom Penh the best city to live among other cities in Cambodia is that it is the country’s economic powerhouse, followed by Siem Reap. Generally, the capital city is where the most businesses operates, which means it is where money circulates, products are exported, and goods are traded. This also means convenience and career opportunities for those who choose to live in Phnom Penh.

The major factors that residents, especially expats, consider are: housing & utilities, transportation, and food or grocery.


Whether you’re into fancy dining, fast food, or prefers eating cheap street food, you can easily get a satisfying meal anywhere in Phnom Penh. Inside malls or food stops along major roads, Phnom Penh offers wide range of dining options, from very affordable fast food, mid-end eateries to fine dining.

Lunch Menu$4.02
Dinner in Restaurant$16.10
Fast food meal$6.53
Beer in a Pub (0.5 L or 16 fl oz)$1.01
Soda or Softdrinks (0.5 L or 16 fl oz)$0.97

Meanwhile, if you’re in a tight budget or prefers cheap yet tasty food, the streets of Phnom Penh is dotted by local food stalls and stores that are highly concentrated in night markets. The most common street food you’ll encounter is rice with either grilled pork or chicken or stir-fried noodle and noodle soups, which usually comes with free water or tea and will only cost you less than $2 per meal.

Lunch/Dinner4,500 KHR
Khmer Noodle6,000 KHR
Beer in local store (0.5 L or 16 fl oz)3,000 KHR
Coffee2,000 KHR


Unlike most urban enclaves in Southeast Asia, Phnom Penh has less mode of public transportation. There are no trains or buses that drive around the city, so commuters usually take the obvious options, either taxi car or tuktuk.

Tuktuk (minimum ride)$0.78
Taxi Ride (4 km or 2 mi)$3.40
Gas or Petrol (1 L or 0.26 gal)$1.25


The rent in Phnom Penh can be relatively higher, however, there are more facilities, amenities, and other factors that are guaranteed to make your life better and more convenient.

In order to properly prepare for the rent to ensure you have a greater living experience here, here are the range of rent in Phnom Penh for various properties. Check the comprehensive research below to be a smarter and wiser renter.

Villas and Townhouses

Commonly, a townhouse is what you rent if you want to live in a house where your privacy is guaranteed. It normally has three bedrooms and more within it and a small yard. On the other hand, a villa is more luxurious with more than three bedrooms and it offers higher quality of living.

If you want to rent a townhouse or a villa, the rent range depends on the number of bedrooms you’re thinking of renting as you can see below:

  • 3 bedrooms → $1,500 to $2,500
  • 4 bedrooms and more → $2,500 to $6,000

Renovated Apartments & Flats

Renting a renovated apartment means you’re getting a more modern unit with updated appliances and fixtures to make your living experience better. Meanwhile, a flat is often a bigger and wider unit complete with all the essentials you need to live in it.

If you want to rent a renovated apartment or a flat, check the rent range below to know how much it would cost to lease depending on the number of bedrooms:

  • 1 bedroom → $300 to $800
  • 2 bedrooms → $600 to $1,400
  • 3 bedrooms → $900 to $2,200
  • 4 bedrooms → $1,500 to $3,000

Serviced Apartment & Condos

Renting a condo means you can get one that is unfurnished up to fully furnished, with a variety of amenities provided by the building. Additionally, you are free to decorate it any way you want. A condominium is what you need to rent if you are planning on staying for a length of time in Phnom Penh since you can fully make the place your own, with all the things you need to relax.

On the other hand, a serviced apartment contains the basic necessities of living in it similar to a hotel, but with its own kitchen. You can get services like room service, mini bar and enjoy the convenience of amenities like gym, sauna, and more.

If you want to rent a serviced apartment or a condo, see below the normal range of the rent depending on how many bedrooms the unit has:

  • 1 bedroom → $500 to $1,500
  • 2 bedrooms → $700 to to $2,500
  • 3 bedrooms → $1,200 to $3,500
  • 4 bedrooms → $1,700 to $5,000

Utilities Bill

Utilities in Phnom Penh are quite affordable. You can only spend around $65 to $75 USD for electricity, which includes lights, charging of gadgets, TV, heater and air-conditioner. This amount mostly applies to working individuals who stay in their unit for around 8 hours per day. Meanwhile, you can worry less about the water bill since it is only around $1 to $2 USD per month, including dishwashing, laundry, and bathroom usage.

For internet, the monthly average bill is around $29 to $37 USD, depending on the internet provider and preferred speed.

Internet Plan (50 Mbps)$37
*Note that prices above are the average bill per month for one person and may vary depending on usage, number of users, and service provider.

Whether you’re a new arrival in Phnom Penh or a resident looking to find a new space to rent, we can help you find a perfect home in the capital!
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