The History of Byzantium Tour!! (SOLD OUT)

We have sold out for both tours!

Thanks so much to all of you who responded so quickly. I’ll leave the information up for now but bookings are closed. If you are keen to come in 2020 do make a note now to get in touch with me. If all goes well we’d be looking at Spring and Autumn 2020. I’m happy to do multiple weeks if demand is there. I’m also happy to aim for particular dates to fit in with your schedule. I know it’s a long way off but have a think…


Hello everyone,

I’m incredibly excited to announce that the History of Byzantium Tour will be heading to Istanbul on 6th-10th May 2019. Our first week in April has already sold out so we added this second tour.

This will be five full days of Byzantine sites with me and our Turkish tour guide Serif Yenen. Serif is a hugely experienced and accomplished guide (he’s given tours of Istanbul to Oprah Winfrey and Pope Benedict XVI!) who will be leading us around the city.

The cost of the tour is $1125.00 USD per person (for accommodation in double room) or $1435.00 USD per person (for a single room). There are discounts available and an extra day you can add (see below).

What is included in this price:

The beautiful mosaics of Chora

The beautiful mosaics of Chora

  • Private airport transfers from and to Istanbul Atatürk Airport
  • Accommodation in deluxe rooms at the Recital Hotel for 5 nights
  • Five breakfasts at the hotel
  • Five lunches at local casual restaurants with good traditional food
  • Five days of tours with Serif Yenen as an official guide. And Robin Pierson adding insights from the podcast (and generally grinning with excitement)
  • Two days of transportation in a private van/bus. Three days on foot (including two walks along parts of the Theodosian land walls).
  • All museum entrance fees and costs as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Complimentary copies of Serif Yenen’s maps and books
  • Headsets will be provided to hear your guide at each site

What is NOT included in this price:

Walk the Land Walls!

Walk the Land Walls!

  • Dinners
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities

Our itinerary will take in all the best Byzantine sites in the city 

  • The Hagia Sophia
  • The Hippodrome and accompanying exhibition inside a nearby cistern
  • The former Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (built by Justinian, beautifully designed)
  • The Bukoleon Palace (long time residence of the Emperors and the spot where John Tzimisces scaled the walls to kill Nicephorus Phokas)
  • The Aqueduct of Valens
  • Chora Church (the best preserved mosaics and frescoes in the city, amazing!)
  • Two walks along parts of the Theodosian Land Walls

    The Basilica Cistern

    The Basilica Cistern

  • Zeyrek Mosque, the former Church of the Pantokrator (the Komnenos family church and former home of the Patriarchate)
  • The Patriarchal Church of St George
  • St Mary of the Mongols (the only church to be continuously in Christian use since the fall of Byzantium)
  • An underground tour will take us to many ruins from the Great Palace which lie beneath hotels and restaurants
  • The Basilica Cistern (the most famous and picturesque of the city’s many cisterns)
  • The Column of Constantine and the Forum of Theodosius (giving you a sense of Constantinople’s giant public squares)
  • Kalenderhane Mosque, the former Church of the Theotokos Kyriotissa (a beautiful building with a fascinating history)
  • Bodrum Mosque, the former Church of the Myrelaion (built by Romanus Lekapenos to be his burial place, we may be able to visit the very spot!)

    The amazing gardens of the Archeaological Musuem

    The amazing gardens of the Archeaological Musuem

  • The Archaeological Musuems of Istanbul (an astonishing collection of Roman and Byzantine artefacts)
  • Hagia Eirene (built by Justinian and preserving Iconoclast decoration)
  • The Palace Mosaic Museum (a beautiful stretch of Justinian-era floor mosaic showing amazing scenes of nature)
  • And more!


For those who want to stay another day and see non-Byzantine Istanbul this bonus day with Serif (without Robin) is available:

May 11th, Saturday (Optional Walking Tour with accommodation)

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Blue Mosque
  • Lunch
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Bosphorus tour

The price will be $200.00 USD per person (accommodation in double room) and $255.00 USD per person (for a single room)

What is included in this price:

  • Accommodation in deluxe rooms at the Recital Hotel for one night
  • One breakfasts at the hotel
  • One lunch at local casual restaurants with good traditional food
  • One-day tour with Serif Yenen as an official guide
  • All museum entrance fees and costs as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Complimentary copies of Serif Yenen’s maps and books
  • Headsets will be provided to hear your guide at each site

What is NOT included in this price:

  • Dinner
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities


I want to go! What do I need to do?

Click here for 6th-10th May 2019

BUT before you do just check this is all clear:

There are three payment options available:

1) Pay the full amount now on credit card.

2) Pay a deposit now ($350 per person in a single room, $280 per person in a double) and the rest on card the week before the tour.

3) Pay a deposit now and pay the rest in person in cash. This cuts out credit card and other fees meaning you’d only pay an overall total of:

  • $990.00 USD per person (accommodation in double room)
  • $1265.00 USD per person (accommodation in single room)

Also the extra day with Serif will be paid separately. Just let us know if you’d like to take up that option.

Remember the tour days are Monday 6th – Friday 10th April. But you need to arrive on Sunday 5th and will stay that night in the hotel. Robin will be in the hotel on the evening of the 5th to greet you. Then we’ll all head out Monday morning to begin the tour. Unless you are booking the extra day with Serif you will then check out of the hotel on Friday 10th. We can leave our bags in the hotel for that day’s tour and then pick them up at the end of the day. If you’d like to stay in the hotel that night please make your own arrangements.

Please don’t book your flights until we reach the minimum number we need for the tour to go ahead (12 people). We will let you know the second that happens so you can get your travel sorted.  


Why does it cost more if I want a single room to myself?
I’m afraid this is an industry standard charge

Categories: News | 16 Comments

Post navigation

16 thoughts on “The History of Byzantium Tour!! (SOLD OUT)

  1. Sundeep

    Hi Robin, do I email you if I am interested in the 2020 tour? Also, is it possible to still get in on the 2019 tours if I arrange accommodation for myself?

    • Yes drop me a line about 2020. I’m afraid the numbers are fixed for 2019. We have to plan for people going on a bus etc and so can’t add any more.

      • Carol

        how do we contact you to get on the list for 2020? I’m interested in going in Autumn of 2020. Would you allow children to come along? My husband and I would like to bring my 13 year old son.

  2. I am sorry I will not be able to accompany you on the tours – though I have visited all of these places. Be aware at the St. Sergios and Bachus church (Little Aya Sofya) that there are handmade artisan shops along the outer garden courtyard – handblown glass, ebru (Turkish marbleing art), traditional ceramic art, etc. I encourage people to shop there. My wife is a traditional ceramic artist and had a shop there until a few years ago. It is not well known.

  3. Jim Mortensen

    Just found this page on the site. Please put me on your list for the next available tour and any email list when dates and details get get.



  4. Dishon

    Hi, I am interested in going on the 2020 tour, please let me know if / when you open registration.

  5. Brad

    Howdy! I’ve finally caught up on the podcast (took about 11 months directly after finishing HoR) and it is brilliant. Can’t wait until you’re up and running again. I’m interested in any 2020 tours you may be arranging. Please let me know what may be in store!

  6. Paula McKay

    My husband and I are currently booked for your September 2020 tour. Wondering what your thoughts are about the trip in light of world events.
    P McKay

    • Hey, we’ve just had to postpone our March tour to October. And obviously at this stage there is nothing much I can helpfully say about the September tour. We hope that some semblance of normality will have returned to the world by then. And if it has the tour will go ahead. We are certainly keen for them to go ahead if we can.

      • Paula McKay

        thank you for the reply. These times are just so uncertain and we will all have to wait and see. My kind regards to you are your family, stay safe.

  7. Onur Akça

    Hello everyone from the Queen of Cities. I just caught up with this episode and looked around for the mentioned audio guides so that when city opens up again I may visit some of the Roman Sites mentioned, however I could not find any. If you kindly show me the way or inform me about the fates of those audio guides that would be much appreciated.

    I know some of you are planning to come here so let me be the one to tell you that opening up process for the city starts in 1st of June so hopefully if nothing goes bad we will return to “normal” soon.


    • The audio guides were not commissioned by the Kickstarter I’m afraid. But I can recommend very good tour guides if you need one.

      • Onur Akça

        Well as you have stated in the podcast I don’t want to be guided as a tourist but if you could recommend a book or another audio guide maybe that would be great so that I can visit each place in my own timeline.

  8. Strolling through Istanbul by John Freely is an excellent guide to the sites

  9. Rachael

    hi there. A friend of mine is on this trip. Can you put me on the waitlist in case someone cancels?

Leave a Reply to Jim Mortensen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: