Nicosia (Lefkosia) is the capital of Cyprus. It is also the biggest city. Since the island’s administrative center, Nicosia is both a political and commercial hub. It is an metropolis that functions as Cyprus’ financial center, however, is. The northern section of Nicosia is Cyprus’ capital, although the city’s southern part is Cypriot territory. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicosia became, and still is, the only city on the planet.
Nicosia has been continuously occupied since the island Bronze Age (2500-1050 B.C.) By the first century B.C., Nicosia had grown into a city-kingdom called Ledra. Contrary to the trading city of Kition (modern-day Larnaka), Ledra was an immaterial city with most of its people dedicated to agriculture.
By the time Christianity had spread to the island around 350 A.D., the town was called Lefkousia. In the year 965, Cyprus was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire and also Nicosia was made the official funding — a name it holds to this day.
Check out our Informative Article 5 Things to Do in Limassol, Cyprus
The five centuries introduced several changes for Cyprus. The island was captured, sold and sold to rulers including King Richard I of England, the Knights Templar and the Franks before coming beneath the rule in 1489. On the island, infantry governors fortified every town Together with the threat of Ottoman invasion. The 16th century Venetian walls of Nicosia stay in good shape and are just one of Cyprus’ biggest tourist attractions.
The historical center of Nicosia is a place where modern and historical cultures abound. Nicosia is home to luxury hotels, fascinating museums, Byzantine temples and pedestrian streets. A visit to Nicosia is a visit to the past along with a glimpse into the island’s long run. Here are the top 10 things to do in Nicosia!
The Cyprus Museum of Nicosia is often regarded as the island’s number one memorial because it houses an especially rare and extensive collection of Cypriot antiquities. The Cyprus Museum was set up as a means to keep the artifacts archaeologists were discovering while excavating around the staircase in 1888. The Cyprus Museum may not have the ultra modern facilities located in Paris’ Louvre or London’s British Museum, but its collection is nothing short of remarkable, with the oldest bits dating back to the 8th century B.C.
The Cyprus Museum contains 14 galleries showcasing art, culture and background in chronological order. Beginning with the island Neolithic Period, visitors will observe tools and vessels. Cruciform objects from the Period are on display. All these picrolite figures are considered to be amulets.
Replicas of these figurines can be seen in virtually every souvenir shop on the staircase. Each area in the museum takes visitors as they come across Bronze Age pottery, archaic vessels, clay sculptures, spiritual objects, Roman busts, silver, bronze figurines, jewelry, lamps and mosaics.
The Cyprus Museum is a brief stroll from Eleftherias Square, which makes it effortless to access from virtually anywhere in downtown Nicosia. Do not lose out on the extraordinary displays this museum stays.
My Ideas on Nicosia
Museum opening hours:
Additional Travel Details
Tuesday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Eleftherias Square, or”Freedom Square,” isn’t really a square in any respect, but instead a four-lane one-way street. Overlooking this nontraditional plateia, perched on one of the Venetian bastions, is Nicosia’s Town Hall. Eleftherias Square has been the center of Nicosia’s activities including the everyday hustle and bustle , public parties, demonstrations and also political agendas of town’s inhabitants.
Back in 2005, a strategy was set in place to resurrect the square and allow it to function as a stunning public space that joins old Nicosia to new Nicosia (pictured above). Rejuvenate and the world-renowned firm was selected to redesign Eleftherias Square. As of 2012, the project was put on hold due to findings. The area will be a modern park that Cyprus could be pleased with, when it’s completed. This remains to be viewed, although some say it will be the catalyst to reunify the town.
Famagusta Gate forms part of Nicosia’s Medieval walls.
Originally, Famagusta Gate was known as Porta Guiliana and served as a member of three main entry points into the city. Famagusta Gate offers visitors a exceptional glimpse in the gigantic fortress. There are 3 halls, which are used for a number of cultural displays.
Originally, they were used to store military supplies and ammunition. During the times of British Colonial rule the gate was utilized as a warehouse also fell into disrepair that was considerable. Back in 1980, Nicosia city officials began its restoration process. Now, Famagusta Gate isn’t just the best preserved of the original three gates, but also the most photographed building in Nicosia.
Monday — Friday 9 a.m. — 1 p.m., 4 p.m. — Seven p.m.
Like Valletta in Malta, Nicosia was vulnerable to Ottoman attacks throughout the 16th century. Kingdoms had much to dread at time, especially since the Ottomans had proved that they could overthrow port cities. In 1565, the Ottomans tried to take over Valletta at a battle. The Knights of Saint John (also known as the Knights Hospitaller) was able to purify the invasion, but other Mediterranean countries took notice and began their preparations for a possible attack.
In 1567, the Venetians Started building a fortress around Nicosia with the Support of engineers Ascanio Savorgnano along with Francesco Barbaro.
In under three years that they were able to finish the gigantic endeavor, that had 11 bastions, two people gates, one military gate (Famagusta Gate) and a moat. But despite his efforts, the town was captured on September 9, 1570, by Ottoman forces. Now, five of the bastions are at southern Nicosia, yet another five are located in northern (Turkish) Nicosia and one is inhabited by the U.N. buffer station compels.
Ledra Street, named after the ancient city-kingdom of all Ledra, is the main shopping street of Nicosia. It starts in Eleftherias Square and runs from south to north, using some of it. Ledra Street is constantly buzzing with action. Boutiques coffee shops, restaurants and clubs line the edges of the pedestrian-friendly boulevard in the center of the old city.
For the home cooked meals in Nicosia, look no further than Taverna Siantris. This modern restaurant, situated in the center of the old town, is a stone because of the Siantris family. The décor could be contemporary, but the recipes are tried and true dishes that are traditional. Daytime brings in lunching ladies, hungry businessmen and tourists that are curious. Everybody comes to sample the tasty specials.
Here, diners find nontraditional Cypriot dishes such as spaghetti with pork and hearty bean stews. Much of the clientele has not changed considerably since the restaurant opened in 1969, although the menu varies every day. Taverna Siantris functions the kind of food one would find in a standard Cypriot family — rabbitbeef, legumes and pasta. Taverna Siantris’ dishes are varied and of premium quality. This area is crucial!
Recommendations: Lentils, koupepia (stuffed grape leaves), rabbit, daily specials ~ Dishes $10 — 25 ~ Open Monday — Saturday 11:30 a.m. — 4 p.m., 7 Tonight — 10 p.m.
The Dafermou Winery is the perfect place to station one Dionysus. This estate is situated high and includes. General director Mr. Phakoukakis along with his team conceptualized the distance as a New World meets Old World refuge. Although the building itself is quite impressive, what is being manufactured inside is even more exciting.
Once through the colossal principal entrance, guests are given the chance to find the different rooms where Dafermou wines are processed and aged. Hundreds of barrels are on display from the ground floor area that is aging. Here, the wines create their ideal flavors and aromas that are different. Visitors can sample the wines, that are created by mixing varieties such as Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc with Greek types such as Assyrtiko, along with Cypriot wines such as Maratheftiko. The combo of these yields Dafermou’s three signature blends: red white and rosé.
Visitors are more inclined to take a tour and enjoy Dafermou’s uniquely crafted wines from the area — a distance that is also ideal for parties and private events. Make sure you phone ahead to schedule your visit and tasting. The Dafermou Winery is about a 30-minute drive from Nicosia about the Nicosia-Limassol Highway, which makes it an ideal day trip from the capital. Don’t forget to designate a sober driver!
Fifty-five Km west of Nicosia, on the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, lies the village of Kakopetria.
Lush greenery surrounds this quaint city also has two lakes, the Kargotis along with Garillis. Both rivers intersect in Kakopetria to make the Klarios River, which goes through the Solea Valley and empties into Morphou Bay.
Kakopetria attracts visitors with forest landscape and its original architecture. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the region has been inhabited since the twentieth century B.C. Pieces found here include religious objects and pottery, all of which are on display in Nicosia’s Cyprus Museum. Old Kakopetria retains much of its medieval style with its narrow cobblestone streets and houses.
Close to the old part of city is your 11th century Byzantine church, Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis. The church is all that remains of this monastery. Inside it has frescoes depicting the Virgin Mary, Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Saint Lazarus, Jesus Christ and Saint Nicholas. Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis was known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its significant importance in Cypriot culture. It is available to the public every day except Monday. Entrance is free.
Aside from meandering around the old town, the very popular pastime in Kakopetria is… you guessed it… eating! The village includes quite a couple of bed and breakfast hotels and restaurants. For there are campgrounds, hiking and biking trails around Kakopetria village from the Platania Forest.
Kakopetria provides much needed respite from the hustle and bustle of town life. Slower pace and the village setting make it a great day escape from Nicosia.
The Tamassos site is situated about 20 km south of Nicosia. Historical Tamassos inhabited an area where the cities of Episkopio, Pera and Politiko are now. Archaeologists have discovered clues that suggest it was more industrial than cosmopolitan, although little is known about how the ancient city-kingdom of Tamassos was set up. Unlike ancient Kition, Tamassos’ economy depended heavily on copper mining. Many of the old mines are located beneath structures, making it impossible to excavate and learn more.
What’s known is that the folks of Tamassos worshipped Greek deities. The Tamassos website has a ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. Visitors can also go to the tombs and copper workshops. Lots of the artifacts found at the Tamassos website are on display at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.
Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday closed
*Site is Available with a Phone appointment only
The Troodos Mountain range is just one of Cyprus’ natural wonders. Who knew that you could go snowboarding? We didn’t until we watched the snow. The Troodos Mountains are situated in northeast Cyprus. At 1,952 meters above sea level, Mount Olympus is the mountain with the highest summit.
The Troodos Mountains are well famous for enchanting villages , Byzantine churches, their pristine woods, nature trails, ski resorts and vineyards. Based on what it is you are looking for, the Troodos Mountains have endless possibilities for outdoor pursuits family fun and cultural appreciation. The mountain range is split into these areas: Lemesos mountain hotels, Pitsilia (east), Solea Valley (north west ), Marathasa Valley (west) and wine region (south west ). Each region holds scenic villages and expanses of pure beauty.
The Troodos National Forest Park covers an area of about 35 square miles around Mount Olympus. This is the very ideal location in Cyprus to camp, ski, ski and have picnics.
The great thing about this Troodos stems from fauna that is diverse and its stunning flora. With accommodations, which range from village apartments to four-star hotels, there is no explanation as to why travelers should not stay a night or two.
As capital town of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicosia doesn’t disappoint with its museums, restaurants and monuments. Old Nicosia is a great area to stroll about on foot and includes a different architecture. Laiki Geitonia, the neighborhood where the tourism office is situated, is especially attractive. Though pricier than other areas of the town, the cafés here offer stunning views of this 200-year-old district. Most of the restaurants and companies in Laiki Geitonia work out of houses that are renovated that are charming.
Saturday evenings bring sellers from the surrounding villages. Walking the town will show outdoor markets with honey, local crafts, produce, cheese and desserts. The Municipal Market, the market at the Constantine Bastion along with St. Anthony’s market will be the city’s main markets. Getting out of Nicosia offers travelers the chance to find the scenic countryside of the region. The Troodos Mountains are a must-do! It’s possible to ski, bike hike and camp, which makes it the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The streets are easy to navigate and the forest views are stunning.
Nicosia is a capital that is hectic, but is rather pedestrianized. Leventis Municipal Museum and the Cyprus Museum are considered two of the best in the island. Do not lose out on both of these treasures! Nicosia is a town of opposites — old and new, Greek and Turkish. It’s plenty do, to see and eat considering it’s not the only divided city on the planet! This top 10 things to do in Nicosia, will date at least four times to pay.
Time zone: GMT +2
Shopping: For high fashion, Visit Makarios Avenue and Stasikratous Street.
Here, high-end boutiques and big name fashion brands provide trends and the most recent styles. Popular stores include Tiffany Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fogal, Gucci, Labels, Mango, Max Mara, Replay, Amicci Boutique and Zara. Additionally is your City Plaza Mall.
For amusing shopping, surf around Laiki Geitonia. This traditional neighborhood is packed with shops selling traditional crafts and figurines. It is a pedestrian-only area using narrow, winding streets and renovated 18th century houses, thus there’s a lot of architectural allure along with shaded walkways.
The Mall of Nicosia
3 Verginas Street
Shacolas Emporium Park
2025 Nicosia, Cyprus
+357 77 776 255
Hours of operation: Working hours May be a bit of a Struggle in Cyprus, However as a general Principle:
Currency: Euro (€)
Currency converter: XE
Best time to go: Cyprus’ Mediterranean climate means dry, hot summers (mid-May through mid-September). May and June are comparatively months with little to no rainfall. You can expect less heat and fewer crowds.
Crossing into northern Cyprus
Here are some things to Think about, if you plan to cross the border into Nicosia:
Larnaka International Airport (LCA)
+357 24 643633
Pafos International Airport (PFO)
+357 26 007 100
Anemayia Rentals (Larnaka) +357 99624726
Europcar +357 22878380
Sixt Rent a Car +357 25312345
Tours: The Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) Provides Free guided walking tours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tours begin at the tourism information office at 10 a.m. and last about two and a half hours using a half-hour break. The CTO office is located at 11 Aristokyprou Street, Laiki Geitonia (East of Eleftherias Square).
Segway Tours are a great way to maximize your time in the old town of Nicosia. Tours cover all of the key sights and last two and a half hours. Cost is $44 per person.
Cyprus Taste Tours is a business that operates in Larnaka, Limassol and Nicosia. Cyprus Taste Tours was created by two young entrepreneurial girls who wanted to flaunt Cypriot civilization through cuisine. Tours, which are comprehensive, last three to four hours and choose people to five neighborhood restaurants such as meals, wine and ouzo samplings. Cost is $75 per individual. Discount available for groups of four or more.
Share your tips to the top 10 things to do in Nicosia, Cyprus! Leave us a comment below!