The largest city in Cyprus, Nicosia is the cultural, commercial and religious centre of the island.
The capital city of Cyprus has many attractions for holidaymaker to explore, such as churches, museums and medieval buildings to name but a few.
There is also a great night life with plenty of bars and restaurants. Shopping opportunities are also in abundance with two shopping malls, markets and souvenir shops.
Nicosia is an inland city set between the Troodos Mountains of the south and the Kyrenia Mountains of the north. There are however many beaches around the island which you can drive to in 30 to 60 minutes. Kyrenia beaches are approx 26km, Larnaca Bay is approx 45km, Ayia Napa is approx 79km, Limassol is approx 75km and Famagusta Bay is approx 62km.
Things to Do
South Nicosia is surrounded by Venetian Walls and you can walk around the ramparts, bastions and well maintained city gardens. There are many museums in the city; the Cyprus Museum houses some important archaeological exhibits and, in the grounds of St Johns Cathedral you will find the European Art Gallery and the Byzantine Museum, which houses a rich collection of Byzantine Art and church icons.
To get an unnerving sense of the city division you can follow the Green Line walking route through the desolate buffer zone between the north and south parts of the city.
Out and About
South Nicosia is a great place to sample the Cypriot cuisine and traditional meze restaurants. Explore the maze of narrow streets in the old city and the modernised district of Laiki Yitonia which aims to preserve the charm of days gone with cobbled lanes and pavement cafes in small leafy plazas.
In the modern city centre there is a full array of traditional shops and high street department stores, international fast food chains and local tavernas. Makarios Avenue is lined with boutiques and designer fashions. In the evening, try the area around the Famagusta Gate for trendy bars, clubs and restaurants.
The city of Nicosia is divided through the middle and, if you wish to spend a day exploring the Turkish half, you can cross the border into North Nicosia at the Ledra Palace checkpoint. There you can see the Selimiye Mosque, converted from a 13th century Cathedral; take a steam bath at the Buyuk Hammam and browse the art centre which is housed in the historic Buyuk Han Great Inn.
South of the city you can explore quaint and picturesque villages in the Troodos mountains and the surrounding countryside.
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