Of course, it takes more than a day to get to know any foreign city, but if it had to be done, where would you begin? we asked three travel industry pros to show us the ideal day in their favorite destinations, and their itineraries make for essential city guides fit for your summer sojourn.

8 A.M. REFLECT AT THE BLUE MOSQUE

BLUE MOSQUE

“Wake up and take a cab to the Blue Mosque. I love visiting sites early in the morning when there’s no one there. Wait for the mosque to open at 8 a.m., then go inside. This is one of my favorite places in the world. I wanna learn so many things about religion. Islam is something I am looking forward to studying more this year.”

9 A.M. LEARN ABOUT THE HAGIA SOPHIA

“After visiting the mosque, cross the street to Hagia Sophia. Get an audio guide to make sure you don’t miss its history. It’s sad nowadays that people think travel is just for social media, but you won’t really learn anything about a country if you don’t get a guide or talk to locals.”

10 A.M. SNAP UP SOUVENIRS AT THE GRAND BAZAAR

“Walk to the Grand Bazaar to get local stuff from Istanbul. This place is heaven for me. It’s a bit touristy, but [it’s the place to buy] local food, bags and shoes!”

1:30 P.M. SHOP AT THE SPICE BAZAAR

THE SPICE BAZAAR

“Go to the spice market. This is where I usually buy Turkish delight. There are literally thousands of shops here where you can buy different kinds of teas, sweets, dried fruits and so much more.”

3 P.M. ASIAN EXCURSION AT THE GALATA TOWER

Galata Tower and Maiden Tower
Galata Tower and Maiden Tower

“Take a cab to the other side of Istanbul—the Asian side. Go to the Galata Tower, walk around from the top to bottom—you will find a lot of small shops here. I bought a bag here and I still use it today. It’s pure Turkish leather and it was just $80. On my last trip, I got a dress from one of the shops for $40. Not bad!”

4:30 P.M. BASK IN THE TURKISH SUNSETsunset bridges Turkey Istanbul bosphorus

“Walk from the Galata Tower to the bridge that connects the European and Asian sides and watch the sunset here. I love spending an hour watching people who are also watching the sunset. There is such so much magic in Istanbul.”

6 P.M. A TURKISH NIGHT OUT

“Take a cab to the hotel, freshen up and head out for a nice dinner. Ask the driver or hotel concierge for suggestions on where they eat during special occasions. If you like to drink, go to a bar to experience the Turkish nightlife. Personally, I’m not into going out at night because I really value sleep. I run my business while traveling, and most of the time I need to wake up on Philippine time so that I can answer all the questions of my employees. After seven years in this business I still feel like I owe it to everyone in the office to report just like everyone else!”

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