Travel Nav

An hour-by-hour guide to the planet's top sights and experiences – even if you need a teletransporter to make it happen.

12 am: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Steel yourself; this is the perfect time to start your gruelling summit attempt on the 5,895m mountain. With any luck you will be up there by sunrise.

1 am: New York, United States
Head to the top of the Empire State Building. Its observation deck is open until 2 am – the ultimate place to survey the city that never sleeps.

2 am: Lausanne, Switzerland
Listen for the last cry of the nightwatchman. Since 1405, a guardian has called from the Cathedral's belfry every hour, on the hour, from 10 pm to 2 am: “C'est le guet; il a sonné l'heure” (“This is the nightwatch; the hour has struck”).

3 am: London, England
Join the early-rising meat traders of the 140-year-old Smithfield Market – though you will have to wait until 6 am for the nearby Hope pub to open.

4 am: Toronto, Canada
Grab an early breakfast at Fran's. This atmospheric diner has been serving favourites such as prize-winning pancakes and ribs 24-hours–a-day since 1940.

5 am: Atacama Desert, Chile
Bundle up to watch the El Tatio Geysers. These high-altitude geothermal gurglings are most spectacular at sunrise, when their steam condenses in the cold air.

6 am: Mumbai, India
Flex your chuckle-muscles at a Laughter Yoga session on Chowpatty Beach, where lighthearted locals gather for a therapeutic giggle.

7 am: Sydney, Australia
Well, 6:55 am to be precise: the time when behind-the-scenes auction tours of Sydney Fish Market begin each Monday, Thursday and Friday.

8 am: Mexico City, Mexico
Prepare for the pomp and parading that accompanies the daily flag-raising in the capital's super-sized Zócalo square.

9 am: Paris, France
Get to the Louvre – perhaps the world’s biggest and best repository of art – as soon as the doors open, to make the most of your day.

10 am: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Join a free guided tour to better appreciate the elegant Sheikh Zayid Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world.

11 am: Athens, Greece
Line Syntagma Square to watch the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The pompom-slippered soldiers change every hour, on the hour, though Sundays at 11 am are the main event.

Noon: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Walk into the colossal cathedral – the goal for every peregrino making the epic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage – for the special Pilgrim's Mass, held daily at noon.

1 pm: Edinburgh, Scotland
Cover your ears for the Castle's one o’clock gun, which has been fired from the battlements almost daily since 1861. Not open on Sundays.

2 pm: Jerash, Jordan
Come over gladiatorial at the Chariot Show, where sandalled warriors re-enact Roman entertainments in the city’s ancient Hippodrome.

3 pm: Istanbul, Turkey
Take afternoon tea in the piano-tinkled lounge of the Four Seasons Hotel.

4 pm: Wagah, India-Pakistan border
Cheer on the gun-toting, foot-stomping one-upmanship between India and Pakistan, played out at the daily closing of the international border.

5 pm: Memphis, United States
Watch as the resident mallards of the Peabody Hotel are led from the foyer fountain, along a red carpet, to their penthouse home.

6 pm: Borneo, Malaysia
Wait at the entrance to Gunung Mulu National Park's Deer Cave to watch millions of bats make their en-masse evening exit.

7 pm: Marrakesh, Morocco
Tantalise your tastebuds as the Djemaa el-Fna main square turns into an atmospheric open-air night market.

8 pm: Hong Kong, China
Take your place on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront to watch the Symphony of Lights laser show sparkle over the skyscrapers.

9 pm: Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Star-gaze from the top of the 4,200m Mauna Kea. Astronomy appreciation programmes are held at the observatory here every night, 6 pm to 10 pm.

10 pm: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Feel the power and the passion of tango at Torquato Tasso. Sultry shows are almost nightly at this authentic San Telmo spot.

11 pm: Reykjavík, Iceland
Last orders? No chance. Now is the time to begin your Icelandic runtur (pub crawl) – at weekends most bars stay open until 4 am.

© 2011 Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘Your 24-hour guide to the world’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.

Follow us on

Best of Travel

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.