In this thoroughly modern city, the architecture, cuisine, and customs reflect Istanbul’s tumultuous past and the civilizations that tried to tame it. Explore the festive Grand Bazaar, more than 4,000 shops and two mosques spread across sixty streets. Turkish rugs tell stories of love and despair that are woven in colorful wool, but before he buys one, Rudy enlists the services of a personal shopper to locate the best shops, and to demonstrate the art of haggling. In addition to some of the world’s great buildings, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sofia, Rudy goes off the beaten path to get steamed and scrubbed in a 16th century hamman, or public bath, and visits a hookah bar.
Istanbul, formerly the ancient site of Byzantium and Constantinople, is currently the nexus of Europe and Islam. Due to its geographic location, Istanbul has always played a central role in world affairs. The Grand Bazaar is enormous, and Rudy explores its many passages and offerings.Watch Now >>
Join Laura McKenzie, and enter the realms of ancient castles, such as Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle) in Transylvania. Visit Sighisoara, the oldest city in Europe that is still inhabited. Soak in the warmth, hospitality, historic architecture, and classic vistas of Budapest.Watch Now >>
In Istanbul’s Spice Market, persimmons are split open to reveal their insides that resemble melting rubies. Brown-gold paprika is carefully molded into the shape of a pyramid. Cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and cardamom infuse the air with the fragrance of the East.Watch Now >>