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Overview: Nicosia, Cyprus

The bustling city of Nicosia (Lefkosia) in the northern interior has been the capital of Cyprus since the 12th century. It stands today as Europe's only divided city, being split in two by the 'Green Line', a United Nations buffer zone that divides the government-controlled south from the northern section of the island that has been occupied by Turkey since 1974. The modern city centre is surrounded by elegant tree-lined suburbs, but the favoured tourist sector is the old town, which is being extensively renovated. The old town is a picturesque fusion of 16th-century walls, pedestrian precincts, pavement cafes and squares, brimming with charm, character and sightseeing opportunities. The city, on the Mesaoria Plain, is centre of the Nicosia District that includes the valleys of Solea and Pitsilia and parts of Marathasa with its mountain villages, orchards, hill resorts and plethora of Byzantine churches and monasteries. These are within easy reach making a pleasant day trip from the city.

The city of Nicosia has a great variety of sights, tourist attractions and places of interest.The Lefkosia jewellery Museum, the Museum of the History of the Cypriot Coinage and the Municipal Arts Centre, are all worth a visit. The Leventis Municipal Museum of Lefkosia, with an imaginative presentation of the capital's history, was awarded the title "1991 European Museum Nicosia Touring of the Year".

Where to stay

Our Suggestions
• Castelli Hotel Nicosia
• Centrum Hotel Lefkosia
• Crown Inn Hotel
• Europa Hotel - Nicosia
Where to eat

Our Suggestions
• La Pasteria Cuicine
• La Trattoria
• Pagoda Restaurants
• Monte Christou Restaurant
What to see

Our Suggestions
• Cyprus Archaeological Museum
• Byzantine Museum
• Ethnographic Museum
• St John’s Cathedral
Nicosia Landmarks and Nicosia Monuments »
Archbishop's Palace
Address: Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, South Nicosia, Cyprus, CY Situated on the Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou and seemingly Venetian in its appearance, the Archbishop's Palace was actually constructed as recently as the early fifties. Soon after, the Archbishop's Palace become something of a sight of conflict and much fighting took place here in 1956, and again during the military coup of 1974, when it came close to being completely destroyed. Rebuilt in the eighties, the Archbishop's Palace is once again a grand building and although only rarely open to the public, is certainly worth a look, particularly to see the bust of Archbishop Kyprianos outside, a religious leader executed by the Turks in the 1820s.
Nicosia landmark open: daily
Nicosia landmark admission: free, view from outside only

Venetian Walls
Address: South Nicosia, Cyprus, CY An iconic symbol of the city, the Venetian walls certainly are a sight to see. These walls surround the Old City area and create a truly memorable image. When viewed from high above, the Venetian walls seem to be shaped rather like a snowflake. Although the wall was built to encircle and protect the Old City, and at one stage even featured a moat, they sadly failed and in 1570, not long after the walls had been completed, the Ottomans arrived and successfully stormed these impressive fortifications.
Nicosia landmark open: daily
Nicosia landmark admission: free

Buyuk Han (Great Inn) and Kumarcilar Han (Gambler's Inn)

Address: Arasta Sokak, North Nicosia, Cyprus, CY A splendid example of fine, medieval Ottoman craftsmanship and architecture at its very best, the Buyuk Han was completed in the early 1570s, being built at the request of the island's very first Ottoman governor. The Buyuk Han has recently enjoyed much renovation work and is now very much central to the shopping scene in the Old City, since it currently houses a host of traditional shops and handicraft workshops. Just a short distance to the north of the Buyuk Han, the Kumarcilar Han is another old inn of note, dating from the 17th century. Turkish inns of this style were once very much commonplace on Cyprus, although today, very few actually remain.
Nicosia landmark open: daily
Nicosia landmark admission: free

Famagusta Gate
Address: Pyli Ammohostou, South Nicosia, Cyprus, CY The Famagusta Gate stands on the easterly side of the city and is without question the most striking of the city's old gateway landmarks, being much photographed and admired by tourists. Standing within the Caraffa Bastion and just a stone's throw from the Leoforos Athinas, the Famagusta Gate began to fall into a state of disrepair during the 20th century, until is was beautifully restored in the early 1980s. Today, the Famagusta Gate is much more than just a gateway and this structure also functions as a venue for outdoor concerts and exhibitions, with a tunnel leading visitors through the ramparts and outside, to the arena space.
Nicosia landmark open: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 13:00, 16:00 to 19:00
Nicosia landmark admission: free
Attractions Nearby Nicosia, Day Trips and Excursions »
Nicosia provides an excellent base for exploring the island's numerous attractions, since it lies very close to the heart of Cyprus. It is quite possible and hassle-free to cross over the North Cyprus border and drive southwards for an excursion, if required, although Nicosia and North Cyprus has more than enough quality attractions to keep holidaymakers happy.

Kyrenia is an appealing port town and has grown up around its crescent-shaped harbour. Located in the centre of the northern shore of Cyprus and directly to the north of Nicosia, Kyrenia's waterfront is where the action happens, with attractions in the form of Cypriot taverns and restaurants, bars and pleasure boat tours.

Agios Sozomenos - Nicosia, Cyprus
The deserted village of Agios Sozomenos is worth visiting for one attraction and one attraction alone - its beautiful Gothic church. The ruined Agios Mamas Church is particularly intriguing, since its arches were never actually completed. Built in the 16th century, the Agios Mamas Church may well remain locked up, but the exterior views are wonderful.
Nicosia attraction open: daily - 24 hours
Nicosia attraction admission: free

Ancient Tamassos - Nicosia, Cyprus
Ancient Tamassos lies in central Cyprus and just under 20 km / 12 miles to the south-west of Nicosia, close to Politiko village, where it is of particular archaeological significance. This historical city was once an affluent kingdom, with a never-ending supply of copper mines supplying much of its wealth. Mentioned by the goddess Athena in the epic poem entitled 'The Odyssey', Tamassos is a fairly obscure location and stands on a small hillside. However, its two tombs serve as a huge attraction and are said to date as far back as the 6th century BC, exhibiting some intricate stone carvings. The remains of a citadel add further interest. Nicosia attraction open: Tuesday to Friday - 09:00 to 15:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 15:00 Nicosia attraction admission: charge

Kyrenia - Nicosia, Cyprus
Kyrenia is no more than a 30-minute drive away and its central Old Town area is always popular with tourists. The Kyrenia Castle is a very eye-catching landmark here and provides a dignified backdrop to the harbourfront. For swimming and sunbathing, head to the Five Mile Beach (Yavuz Cikarma), which is a scenic sandy cove, protected from the open Mediterranean by large rocks.
Nicosia attraction open: daily - 24 hours
Nicosia attraction admission: free
Nicosia Shopping and Nicosia Shopping Districts »
Although North Cyprus is not quite as well equipped with shopping opportunities and stores as the more touristy resorts down south, the city of Nicosia (Lefkosia) certainly does cater for everyone, far more than adequately. South Nicosia is well known for its multitude of Cypriot fashion boutiques and British chain stores, with Marks & Spencer being a familiar favourite with holidaymakers.

Shopping in Nicosia provides tourists with the chance to purchase some traditional gifts and souvenirs, ranging from lace and embroideries, to Cyprus wines and jewellery. However, it is the discounted designer gear that is often the most appealing to those who are clothes shopping, with 'discount stores' offering sizable discounts of up to 80% off their original prices.

There are several main shopping districts in South Nicosia. In the Old City district, Ledra Street contains innumerable old-style clothing stores, boutiques and shoe shops. A little more upmarket is the rather swanky Ermes department store, which was formerly a brand of Woolworths and today sells everything from cosmetics and stationary, to clothing, perfumes and even food.

The pedestrianised area of Laiki Geitonia is also historic and shops here frequently exhibit traditional architecture. In the considerably more modern 'New City' area of South Nicosia, the street named the Leoforos Arhiepiskopou Makariou III (Makarios Avenue) is brimming with shopping possibilities, although this busy area does not always offer the best value for money. For gift shops targeting tourists in particular, take your holiday spending money to the Laiki Yitonia, while for the latest English-language newspapers, head to the kiosks at Eleftheria Square.

In North Nicosia, the Buyuk Han is really the best place to head for an afternoon of serious shopping. For local produce, pay a visit to the colourful Municipal Market (Belediye Pazari) and soak up the atmosphere.
Nicosia Events, Things to Do and Nicosia Festivals »
Northern Cyprus knows how to party just as much as the rest of the islands and throughout the course of the year, Nicosia plays host to many impressive festivals and local events. Nicosia is also very much known on Cyprus for its religious Muslim celebrations and Turkish events, with both Kurban Bayrami and Seker Bayrami being especially prominent events here.

Things to do in Nicosia also include more commercial events aimed at drawing tourists and visitors to the city. These include everything from film festivals and concerts, to sports, national Cypriot holidays and seasonal markets.

The following list shows the main events taking place on an annual basis in the Nicosia region of North Cyprus:
  • Cyprus Film Days - mid March, at both the Cine Studio and the Pantheon Art Cinema in South Nicosia, as well as movies at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol
  • Ledra Music Soloists International Festival - April, at South Nicosia's PASYDY Auditorium
  • Aglandjia Festival - mid-June to early July, with traditional Cypriot music and dancing, as well as theatrical performances and art exhibitions
  • EU Accession Day - May 1st, a very prominent day in the history of modern Cyprus, when all the locals in Nicosia come out to party
  • Cyprus International Fair - May, a huge trade show attracting more than 1,500 different companies and some 100,000 attendees
  • Bellapais Music Festival - May to June, in the village of Bellapais, close to Nicosia, with concerts at the abbey's Refectory Hall
  • Pharos Chamber Music Festival - May to June, with various recitals, concerts, lectures and related events across the city
  • Kataklysmos (Deluge) - June, also known as the 'Festival of the Flood' since it remembers the story of Noah and his Ark
  • Peace and Freedom Day - June 20th, an event of great importance to those in Northern Cyprus
  • International Cyprus Theatre Festival - July, co-hosted by Nicosia, Famagusta, Salamis, and Kyrenia
  • Victory Day - August 30th, another event remembering an important day in the history of North Cyprus
  • Aphrodite Cup - September, part of the International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit, with games played on traditional clay tennis courts
  • World Tourism Day - late September, promoting all aspects of Cypriot tourism to holidaymakers and visitors
  • Pancyprian Hunting, Shooting and Fishing Exhibition - September and October, attracting enthusiasts from throughout this region of North Cyprus
  • Cyprus Independence Day - October 1st, an excuse for lots of frivolity and partying in Nicosia
  • Cyprus International Film Festival (CIFF) - mid-October, suiting movie buffs everywhere, held at venues not only in Nicosia, but also Larnaca and Limassol
  • Archangel Michael Day - November, including plenty of food and wine at the Archangel Michael Monastery
  • Rainbow Festival - mid-November, promoting anti-racism in Cyprus
  • New Year's Eve - December 31st, major celebrations as the new year arrives, with fireworks, music and excitement on South Nicosia's Plateia Eleftherias and other venues across the city
» We have 11 hotels matching your search
To see a hotel description click on the button ''Details''
Hotel Results:  | 1 - 1 |
Asty Hotel
Make the ASTY HOTEL your home just once and we are sure you will be back again and again.
Rating from: 1 guest reviews
Averof Hotel
From the moment you enter the Averof Hotel you will experience the true meaning of local hospitality.
Rating from: 2 guest reviews
Castelli Hotel Nicosia
Situated close to Eleftherias Square, this hotel offers peaceful and well-appointed accommodation with free parking and complimentary breakfast, in the centre of Nicosia.
Rating from: 5 guest reviews
Centrum Hotel Lefkosia
A warm welcome awaits you at the cozy Centrum Hotel, the most centrally located in Nicosia. Charmingly intimate, the hotel boasts 40 comfortable standard rooms and executive rooms offering you a relaxing and fruitful stay in Nicosia. Renovated in November 2003 the Centrum Hotel offers the highest standards of comfort and cleanliness not forgetting a traditional warm Cypriot welcome.
Rating from: 14 guest reviews
Classic Hotel
Rating from: 4 guest reviews
Classic Hotel - Nicosia
The Classic Hotel often referred to as "The Classic Gem" by many international clients. More than just a hotel, it is a focal point that attracts social and business meetings.
Crown Inn Hotel
The Newly renovated Crown Inn Hotel, located in the lush green residential area of St Andreas in Nicosia is just 5 minutes walk from the municipal swimming pool, 10 minutes from the national museum and theatre and just 15 minutes away from the capital's centre where an abundance of shops, cafes restaurants are to be found.
Rating from: 2 guest reviews
Denis Hotel
Europa Hotel - Nicosia
The Europa Hotel, built in a modern style construction that offers standard and executive accommodation as well as suites, decorated with taste and equipped with up to date facilities.
Rating from: 6 guest reviews
Sky Hotel
The Skyhotel is a nice establishment in the heart of Nicosia.
Rating from: 1 guest reviews
Hotel Results:  | 1 - 1 |