Istanbul Inspired with Serena Crawford

For centuries described as the heady meeting place of East and West, Istanbul has served as the capital of three of the greatest empires in history. These days, the city is on the thrilling edge of age-old tradition and modernity. On this incredible journey, travelers can experience this duality in equal measure, guided by interior designer, world traveler and bon vivant Serena Crawford, through VIP historical and design tours with acclaimed art historians, creatives, thought-leaders and collectors, as well as private receptions in the former palaces-turned- homes of the aristocrats who live along the legendary Bosphorus Strait.

What to Expect

For this special journey, we are thrilled to partner with Serena Crawford to bring you unmatched access to private experiences in Istanbul. Highlights of this itinerary include the opportunity to:

  • Tour with one of Turkey’s foremost travel writers and historians and gain exclusive access to fascinating historical and cultural sites in the city, including museums of major impact that are off the beaten path.
  • Be welcomed for private receptions, lectures and art collection viewings with Istanbul’s elite in stunning mansions along the Bosphorus Strait, and experience a challenging destination at a moment of political change through the eyes of local insiders across various disciplines—from art and fashion to business and history—as well as your host, expert world traveler Serena Crawford.
  • Meet with expert guides for historical touring and see amazing works of art and architecture at top monuments like the Hagia Sophia, the Theodosius Cistern and the Topkapi Palace.
  • Join fashion guides and designers for shopping in Turkey’s finest bazaars—including the Grand Bazaar, the Kadiköy Bazaar and the Spice Market—and search for authentic treasures and such handicrafts as carpets, antiques, jewelry and ceramics. Plus: Enjoy private visits to Istanbul’s cutting-edge ateliers and boutiques.
  • Dive into Turkish culture through immersive experiences like sailing along the Bosphorus in private yachts, seeing live music and traditional dance performances, trying a hammam treatment and more.
  • Find a home away from home at the St. Regis, one of Istanbul’s most stylish hotels.
  • Worry less, experience more: Indagare’s expert Insider Journeys team will help you navigate a safe and rewarding travel experience. Plus: Indagare can arrange tailor-made trip extensions paired to this itinerary, including further exploration in Turkey and beyond, if you are an Indagare member (at additional cost).


Please note that elements of the itinerary may change.

The health and safety of our travelers is our No. 1 priority. We are committed to upholding the highest safety standards, while providing world-class hospitality and a seamless travel experience. For any questions, please reach out to our team at

  • When
    October 15 - 20, 2023
  • Length
    6 days / 5 nights
  • Type of Traveler
    Art Lovers , Intellectuals , Style Mavens

This Journey's Host

Serena Crawford has built a career in design and travel that spans over 40 years—including hosting small-group luxury trips around the world. Her passion for travel encompasses her love of unique experiences and meeting new people: “Travel makes me feel more alive; it is like falling in love every time I go somewhere new. It has made my life so much richer and helps remind me that we live in the most amazing, diverse, vibrant, complex and fascinating world. I could not be more excited to mix all my passions together by leading insider tours of the countries I love and know best. I look forward to highlighting the design, arts and craft of each country; meeting new friends; having fun and adventures; and creating meaningful memories in stunning places,” she says. Her academic career brought her to study Decorative Arts and Architectural History and Restoration—with a year at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, time with Anna Clarke in Sydney and at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a post-graduate scholarship at Florence University in Italy. Serena and her husband Murray have lived all over the world. They currently reside between London and South Africa.

Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

Trip Details

In preparation for the journey, members will also receive a comprehensive departure package that includes an itinerary, packing list, accommodations overview and other important information.

  • When
    October 15 - 20, 2023
  • Length
    6 days / 5 nights
  • Group Size
    Up to 10 travelers
  • Host
    Serena Crawford


  • Five nights’ accommodations at the St. Regis Istanbul (Deluxe Room)
  • All meals and beverages, as detailed in the itinerary
  • All guided touring, admission fees and activities, as detailed in the itinerary
  • VIP airport assistance and airport arrival and departure transfers to/from the Istanbul Airport, as well as group transfers throughout to all included activities, in small luxury vehicles
  • Expert guides and drivers, including your host and the 24/7 support of Indagare’s partners on the ground
  • The services of Indagare’s expert travel team to plan all Journey details, international flights and trip extensions for those who want to arrive early or stay later in the arrival or departure cities (costs not included)
  • 24/7 access to Global Rescue emergency medical services for the duration of the trip


  • Transportation to/from Istanbul and e-visa (available online at
  • Airport transfers outside of scheduled group arrivals/departures
  • Meals not specified and premium or alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities and personal items and expenses, including gratuities and any Covid-testing fees
  • Trip and medical insurance (highly recommended—please let us know if you would like to see quotes)
  • Custom trip planning for add-on travel to destinations not included in the Journey is available; please inquire
  • Liability for changes in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control (such as flights, cancellations, natural phenomena)
Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

What To Read

Indagare has selected articles from our website and magazine to prepare you for your journey. Peruse inspiring slideshows, insider tips, reading lists and more.

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