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Context Travel, Paris

Context Travel puts a new spin on the classic walking tour by marshaling a network of English-speaking art historians, writers, architects, and other specialists to open up, both literally and figuratively, unique aspects of the city. Among its latest offerings are Scent Dinners with New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr, who leads an olfactory voyage through the history of perfume; a tour of the Rungis food market—where the city’s greatest chefs stock up—with PBS personality Louisa Chu; and private runners’ tours led by local athletes. In Istanbul, the company offers a History and Continuity tour perfect for culture enthusiasts. Wind your way through the narrow streets of the Balat quarter, where you’ll visit ancient relics (the 11th-century Chora church; the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, honorary seat of Orthodox Christianity) along with boutiques and restaurants, including little-known Asitane, which serves authentic Ottoman cuisine.

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