The City Wall
Built by Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in the first half of the fifth century, Istanbul's fortifications have withstood battles and earthquakes. Follow the 2.5-mile stretch of the wall between Topkapi Palace—take the tram to the Pazartekke stop—to Ayvansaray for a glimpse of the modern city beyond commercial Beyoglu and touristed Sultanahmet. En route are gardens and little-visited neighborhoods, as well as Chora Church—part of a long-gone monastery complex built outside the walls by Constantine that’s home to exquisite mosaics and frescoes. Asitane, a nearby restaurant serving Ottoman dishes, serves as a great rest stop.