The Walls of Istanbul
The Walls of Istanbul
4
About
These stone walls were built by Constantine the Great to protect Constantinople, what is now known as Istanbul, from attack by land and sea. The walls largely remained intact until sections began to be dismantled in the 19th century, as the city outgrew its medieval boundaries. Many parts of the walls survived and are still standing today.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Plan your visit

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles339 reviews
Excellent
145
Very good
127
Average
58
Poor
6
Terrible
3

2058-KW
St. Albans, UK70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
If you come to Istanbul, these are a must see. Google maps seems to be a bit thown when you search for them as it takes you to a certain location whereas in reality they stretch for many many kilometres. They are in various states of repair depending on location and have various gates. I followed them for around 6 kilometres at least. According to signs there is a project to repair them, but all I saw of current work was 1 guy watching another moving stones! This is an amazing place to visit, the walls in places are so high and thick. I just hope they end up being fully restored both for Istanbul and the rest of us. To summarise, a must see item on the Istanbul to do list.
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

normanlondon1957
London, UK41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023
First of all i have to admit to being a bit of a fanatical history buff. I absolutely loved visiting the Theodosian Walls. I took a train one stop on the Marmary Line and just walked up to the walls and then walked along them. Now and again I took a bus and got off if I saw something special. I found a gate where visitors can go up into the towers. These walls protected Constantinople for 1000 years. They are massive. 16 feet thick and 45 feet high in places. I am so glad I did this. You don't need a guide. You do need common sense and a desire for adventure. Absolutely brilliant.
Written 18 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Omar D
Malmö, Sweden63 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
I like how this big piece of Constainoples/Istanbuls history is just a integrated part of the modern city. The wall lies next to all that modernity. If youre interested in history and Aya Sofia, Topkapi etc is not enough than u should visit.
Written 6 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mic
London, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023
Note that being a wall, there isn't a single spot. Belgrade Gate is where the towers are, it is about a 15 min walk up the motorway from the Marmaray station. Google Maps will take you to a different spot (near Chora Church), which I understand is not as impressive.
Written 3 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Pale_Ridah
Gladesville, Australia1,959 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
This is for visitors who like to get off the well beaten track & for those that can find the charm in walking around sections of gritty urban areas, admire ancient crumbling fortifications & enjoy a tea in some nondescript cafe under the wall hidden well away from the touristic glamour of the Sultanhamet district. With almost zero tourist traffic this great historical monument still has plenty to offer a thousand years after the cannons have fallen silent.

Officially approx 21 kms in length from the Marble Tower (Mermer Kule) on the Mamara Sea to Ayvansaray Park on the Golden Horn, this is a really long walk! However this guide is much shorter. These surviving walls were built by Roman's in the 5th century over 1500 years ago protecting the Roman Empire's second capital & richest city in the empire.

The Walls of Constantinople around the suburb of Edirnekapie are within 100 metres from the Chora Church (Kariye Museum). It is a section of the ancient wall on a hill with a defensive tower that offers a raw & rare 360 degree view of the old city that is arguably one of the best you can get. No skyrise, penthouse or apartment can offer quite the same view that city guards from eons ago saw as they were watching over the city at dusk with the sun setting over both Europe & Asia in one breath. Such an experience is priceless, surprisingly its free to access but only for the brave. Two stone step ladders without hand-rails provide access up the wall & onto the tower. Yet after so much time the stone is still solid, the same it has been for hundreds of years. Many of us today are simply too cautious. Take a deep breath, don't look down & make the climb like the original defenders. The reward will linger in your memory for a lifetime.

The wall once acted as the city's main line of defense for 1000 years. They represent one of the most famous defensive structures of any city anywhere still standing. Armies have eyed this city with greed due to its status as the gateway to the riches of the exotic spices & silks of the far east. It wasn't until the Muslim army under Mehmet II conquered the city in the famous last siege known as The Fall of Constantinople of 1453. Finally vanquishing the Byzantines & the last remnants of the Roman Empire. That year in 1453 saw Christianity extinguished & its people converted to Islam from then till now, forever changing its name to Istambol (where Islam abounds).

A good start is to use Google Street view to plan ahead. From the Chora Church in the suburb of Edirnekapi, follow the road west up the hill thru Kariye Bostani street until you reach the end where it meets Hoca Cakir road. At the corner of Fevzi Pasa Road & Hoca Cakir road lies the tower. The 500 yr old Ottoman-era Mihrimah Sultan Camii Mosque is within 5 mins walking distance around the corner down Fevzi Pasa Road at the Edirnekpie Gate. A great short walk along the wall from the tower on Hoca Cakir road to Teknu Saray Park where a gap in the wall allows you to walk to the otherside with a parkway along the wall. On this otherside is Tekfur Sarayi or The Palace of the Porphyrogenitus which is the ruin of a 13th century Byzantium palace, definitely a bonus as part of your walking tour. Further on there are a number of gates & gaps in the wall allowing access back to the opposite side. The side along the freeway is mostly parkland while the other are small streets thru neighbourhoods that eventually snake their way to the Ayvansaray ferry port on the Golden Horn. Mix up the walk by exploring some of these neighbourhoods. I would describe these areas as very urban. Some tourists would be afraid of all the graffiti & modest dwellings but these are simply underdeveloped areas, poorer households as you may say. I felt completely safe here during the day. Head towards Ayvansaray Park where the Ayvansararay ferry port is located. There are ferries traveling to & from Üsküdar & the main Sultanhamet port in town, this is a great cheap day option that should take you around 90 mins, take a few mins & grab a drink or use the toilets in one of many small cafes under the wall & enjoy ur day.

The walls at Edirnekapie (also known as the Gate of Charisius or Andrianople Gate) were restored during the 1980's with financial aid from UNESCO, much still remains to be done however. Technically, the famous walls makeup part of the the UNESCO World Heritage listing under the title of 'Historic Area of Istanbul' inscribed in 1985 for Outstanding Universal Value.
Written 14 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hugh G
Greater London, UK327 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Couples
Having dragged semi-reluctant family members around fortifications for many decades I do realise not everyone has my passion for such things; but the walls of Constantinople are amongst the greatest city defences still reasonably extant on the planet, and can't resist giving them a plug.
Most visitors will see bits of the sea walls incidentally as they tour the city, but one has to go well off the usual tourist trails to take in the spectacle of the land walls.
First, let's get one ridiculous canard out of the way: various guide books issue dire warnings of the danger and peril risked by those foolish enough to tackle the length of these walls. Whilst I wouldn't advise anyone to be wandering on their own around the remoter sections at 2.00 a.m. waving above their heads an expensive camcorder and a bulging wallet with "I'm a Tourist, Please Rob Me!" embossed on it, walking the walls during the day simply is not a problem of any sort....apart from possible sore feet - the land walls are around 4 miles (7km) long, and one can add a couple of miles onto that for cutting back and forth to examine both sides, scrambling up on to the parts where one can walk along the top etc.
I'd recommend starting in the south on the Marmara coast (take the suburban railway to Yedikule station) and walking north to the Golden Horn (where you can pick up a ferry back to the terminals east of Galata Bridge).
The most southerly section down by the Sea of Marmara is very spoiled, fragmented by industrial units and workshops. However if you desire to be 'completeist' just march on past ignoring them. We got stares, but no one challenged or tried to stop us.
The Yedikule Fortress, just south of the Golden Gate, is the one part that charges a small fee: there is a man sat in a small booth cut into the entrance - and a large dog on a chain that barks incessantly throughout the entire time one is inside. It is worth climbing up onto the wall-walk here as one gets a great view of the walls to come stretching away to the north. Just don't expect the rusting rickety broken guard rail on the stairs to bear the slightest weight should you slip.
After that it is a matter of deciding which side of the walls to be on at various points. Sometimes access to the top is from the east side, sometimes the west; some sections you can't get up on to. The western side has lots of vegetable gardens occupying the former moat, especially for the first mile or so. The eastern side has a large depot in the way at one point, although the surrounding fence is broken down at points, so even if the gates are locked one can get through if one has enough bluster and/or charm.
It is the southern half of the walls where the best (or worst, depending on one's point of view on this particular issue) restoration has been done. When the area was hit by a reasonable sized quake in 1999 it was a lot of this recent 'over-restoration' that failed to cope and cracked or collapsed.
About two-thirds of the way along the walk one reaches the only section of the walls that has been completely obliterated, to drive a multi-lane road and the tramway through. Took us a little while to work out there was an underpass and we didn't need to adopt the suicidal approach to cross it.
Another half mile further on a smallish diversion can tick off the splendid Kariye Museum (Church of St Saviour), which has the best remaining frescoes and mosaics left in the city.
One could bash through the walk in a couple of hours, or as we did - with various excursions, stopping for chats with the dozen or so people we met at different points doing the same walk, examining and investigating and photographing, and a leisurely lunch - take the best part of a day.
For those that want some background to and explanation of what they are seeing, at 64 pages, with lots of nice photos and illustrations, The Walls of Constantinople AD 324-1453 by Stephen Turnbull is a good starting point.
Written 10 July 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dragan J
Johannesburg55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Solo
I walked the wall from the Yenikule tower (south) right down to the Golden Horn. This was my most favourite excursion in Istanbul of many I did there. The walk took me around 3 hours, with frequent stops for sightseeing and photo opportunities. I used the "Rough Guide to Istanbul" as a guide and everything they have described there was accurate and valuable, since there were no signposts along the route. This was a great trip through history and I can recommend it to everyone who likes walking, hiking, history, anthropology and military history.

P.S. My favourite: climbing the wall just after the Edirne gate by using ladder-style steps. Although the clib itself might be scarry, the view from the top is rewarding and mesmerizing. Since this is the highest of all seven hills of Istanbul, one can see the whole city, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
Written 25 October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cameron N
Istanbul, Türkiye2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Friends
The walls are beautiful, but there's a lot of homeless people, people on drugs, etc. living in the walls. I've been there twice, and the second time my friend and I were looking into one of the empty towers when a homeless man blocked the only exit. If it weren't for my friend's fast thinking, we would have been sexually assaulted.

I don't write reviews, but I thought this would be necessary to post. If you choose to go, make sure you're keeping an eye out and you're not alone. Don't think of going at night, because I can only imagine it would be worse. The walls are beautiful, and the other time I went there I had a great time (but I almost got attacked by vicious dogs living on the walls). If you go, just be cautious.
Written 29 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason_Klimowicz
Madison, WI183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
My wife and I walked the entire length of the walls on March 3, 2013. We started at the south end by the Sea of Marmara and ended at the Golden Horn. It took us about half of day. Along the way, we ate lunch, climbed parts of the walls, and saw the Chora Church, which is just a few blocks from the inside of the walls. Two important things:

First, if you are going to walk the land walls, read Roger Crowley's 1453 beforehand. It will give you a sense of the history and importance of these walls. Second, pick up the Rough Guide to Istanbul - it helps explain what you will see as you walk along and on the walls.
Written 2 April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christopher H
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2011 • Solo
There is an easy walk, which takes you away from the crowds and shows you the spectacular Roman walls, and the outstandingly beautiful Church of St Saviour in Chora (now a museum called Kariye Müzesi). Take the Golden Horn Ferry from Eminönü to Ayvansaray, where you will see the walls over the busy road. Walk along them, with a detour to St Saviour in Chora and the excellent next door restaurant of Asitane, and continue your walk to to the busy thoroughfare of Millet Caddesi where you will see the T1 Zeytinburnu-Kabataş tram, where you can catch a tram (every few minutes) back to the city centre.
Written 2 December 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 161
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

The Walls of Istanbul

All Istanbul HotelsIstanbul Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Istanbul
All things to do in Istanbul
Day Trips in Istanbul
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars