- Expertly-planned 7 day, 6 night itinerary in Istanbul. Tours lead by Context local guides, with evening lectures presented by Dr. Madden
- Small group size (10-18 participants)
- Hagia Sophia Museum, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniye Camii, Chora (Kariye Camii), Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and Bosphorus Strait
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- Explore: This one-of-its-kind journey will encompass the splendor of Istanbul and its historical standpoint at a cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean
- Learn: Private tours to encompass Hagia Sophia, The Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque, and a private cruise along the Bosphorus river – and more!
- Connect: Exclusive opportunity to learn from a top-class expert, and create memories alongside fellow curious travelers, in a small group of 10-18 participants
- Unwind: Our team of experts on the ground has managed all the details, so guests can relax and enjoy carefree travel
At a Glance:
- Arrive from the airport and check in to the hotel in historic Sultanahmet
- Meet our fellow travelers and Dr. Madden for an orientation lecture
- Welcome dinner together as a group
DAY 2: Introduction to Istanbul and Sultanahmet
- Breakfast at the hotel, then we begin our deep dive into the history of Istanbul
- Walking tour of Sultanahmet area including Hippodrome
- Guided Tour of Hagia Sophia
- Traditional lunch in Sultanahmet area as a group
- Evening lecture with Dr. Madden to prepare for our visit to Chora and Tefkur Saray Palace tomorrow
- Dinner on their own - recommendations will be provided
DAY 3: Chora Church and an Evening Bosphorus Cruise
- Morning tour of Chora Church and Tefkur Saray Palace
- Lunch and afternoon on our own to rest, explore, or shop
- Our group reunites in the late afternoon for a sunset Bosphorus cruise departing from the Karakoy neighborhood
- Evening lecture alongside drinks and Hors d'oeuvres onboard the yacht
- Dinner on our own – tailored recommendations will be provided for local cuisine nearby
DAY 4: Experiencing Topkapi Palace and A Taste of Istanbul
- Morning tour of Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans.
- Cross the Bosphorus by ferry for lunch on the Asian side in the picturesque Kadikoy neighborhood
- Evening lecture with Dr. Madden
- Dinner on our own - recommendations will be provided
DAY 5: Sinan the Architect, Suleymaniye Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar
- After breakfast at the hotel, we will go to Suleymaniye Mosque to see the architectural masterpiece of Sinan
- Lunch together in central Istanbul
- Optional afternoon visit to the Grand Bazaar
- Evening lecture with Dr. Madden to prepare us for tomorrow’s continuing narrative
- Dinner on our own – tailored recommendations will be provided
- We’ll have a guided visit to the Greek Patriarchate Church
- Experience local life in the Fener and Balat districts
- Free afternoon for exploring independently and last-minute shopping
- Final lecture with Dr. Madden to coalesce each day’s narrative into the broader context of Turkish culture
- Concluding with a grand farewell dinner as a group.
To experience Istanbul virtually, we invite you to join our Istanbul Through the Ages: A Six-Part Course with Dr. Thomas Madden, beginning September 2021.
Thomas F Madden is a Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. As the author of the book Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World and historical consultant, he has appeared in such venues as The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and The History Channel. He is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Medieval Academy of America, and he is a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar.