Fun things to do in Nicosia

  • Venetian coats-of-arms over the entrance
    Venetian coats-of-arms over the entrance
    by leics
  • Buyuk Han exterior
    Buyuk Han exterior
    by leics
  • Green line
    by greekcypriot

Most Viewed Things to Do in Nicosia

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    Lefkosia's highlights

    by Assenczo Written Mar 9, 2015

    Lefkosia or Nicosia, it is difficult to understand the background behind the existence of two names for the same place except maybe for their use by Turks or Greeks. For a foreigner, this conundrum can have a positive side facilitating the depiction of this divided city perfectly by using the name Lefkosa for the Turkish zone and the name Nicosia for the Greek part of this ex-capital of Cyprus. Old Lefkosa contains some gems of architecture which should not to be missed at any circumstances. Amongst them are the premises of the ex-colonial power, Britain, executed in a very Mediterranean style as if to match the Venetian column in front. Further up, the street leads to the North Gate, part of the Venetian walls still surrounding the old town and opening the road to this quintessential Cypriot town called Girne or Kyrenia in its Greek transliteration. Before leaving Lefkosa though one has to admire the intricacies of the old ottoman inn (Buyuk Han) nowadays turned into a tourist trap and of course the most bizarre combination of religious architecture in the case of the Selimiye mosque formerly the cathedral of Sainte Sophie. WOW!

    Venician column and British Raj Gate to Girne Stylized development Ottoman Hilton Gothic Mosque
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    Nicosia Walking Tours

    by greekcypriot Updated May 17, 2014

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    Within the remarkable 16th-century Venetian Walls.
    Every Thursday at 10:00, visitors can join the Organised walking tour that aims to give an overall picture of the city of Nicosia within the walls and how it has evolved through the centuries.
    Guests have the opportunity to observe the town’s architecture from the medieval years to the present and see a few of its churches.
    The walk will take visitors to workshops and shops where craftsmen such as candle makers, blacksmiths, chair-makers, cobblers, coppersmiths and tailors remain true to their traditional crafts.

    Start & End Point: Cyprus Tourist Organization Information Office at Laiki Geitonia
    Estimated Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes
    Price / Price Range: Free of charge
    Supplier: The Municipality of Nicosia.

    Please check the link for further free walks that you might be interested in.

    The Tourist Information Centre in Laiki Geitonia
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    Inside the City Walls

    by greekcypriot Written May 17, 2014

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    Laiki Geitonia is the Traditional Neighbourhood of Nicosia, which in reality is a popular pedestrian touristy area with narrow winding streets combining residential houses with craft shops and tavernas. It is to be found close to Ledra’s Street within the City Walls of Nicosia.

    A favourite stroll for tourists for shopping –mostly Cypriot souvenirs and delicacies.

    The buildings which have been restored date back to the end of the 18th century and are typical examples of traditional Cypriot urban architecture.

    Local delicacies A virtual tour to Laiki Geitonia Cypriot souvenirs from Laiki Geitonia One of the tavernas at Laiki Geitonia A delicious local delicacy called soutzoukos.
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  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    A stroll to the Laiki Geitonia is a Must!

    by greekcypriot Updated May 17, 2014

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    Laiki Geitonia houses the main Tourist Information Centre, where walking tours of Nicosia start on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. It is a pedestrian area very near Ledras street.
    Until the 1980s, the area was known as a home for various "dens of iniquity". Since then, however, it has been an excellent example of urban renewal, designed to evoke the atmosphere of old Nicosia.

    Laiki Geitonia has seen the restoration of houses that are typical examples of traditional Cypriot urban architecture. The buildings date from the end of the 18th Century, with building materials being mainly wood, sandstone and mudbrick. It is a pedestrianised area of narrow winding streets, combining residential houses with craft shops and tavernas. It is a very popular area for both locals and tourists to browse among its many shops.

    Laiki Geitonia" is part of the heart and soul of the walled City. It covers an area of about 2000 sq. meters and forms a world of its own, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and yet only 100 yards from the capital's main square (Eleftheria Sq.). Laiki Geitonia is the excellent result of the Municipality's initiative to revive the fascination of the Old City.

    All sorts of souvenirs Laiki Geitonia close to Ledras street. The tourist Information Office Laiki Geitonia close to Ledras street. One of the many restaurants in the area
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    Turkish Nicosia

    by antistar Updated May 31, 2013

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    The Turkish side of Nicosia is a fascinating look into a hidden and unrecognised world: the capital of a non-nation. Here everything suddenly feels like Turkey. There are Turkish signs, Turkish flags, statues to Kemal Ataturk and Turkish soldiers marching around in full battle dress. On the Greek side there are mosques and Turkish baths, but here it feels solidly Turkish. Oh and you won't forget the giant Northern Cyprus flags painted on the hillside.

    Getting there is a bit of an adventure. Even though the main streets of Greek Nicosia are just meters away from the same streets in the north, these are divided by a deadly No Man's Land that you cannot cross. Instead you must walk out to the west of the city, outside the medieval walls, and then head north through the UN checkpoint.

    Here you will be bombarded by propaganda from both sides. The Greeks are keen to let you know about all the atrocities that they believe the Turks have carried out, during and after the war. You will start to get a sense of the political divisions as you make your way past the physical ones. Passing through customs is a formality - you don't need a visa, and you don't even need your passport stamped. Although they'll happily oblige if you ask them.

    Turkish Nicosia Turkish Nicosia Turkish Nicosia

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    Europe's last divided City

    by mickeyboy07 Written Aug 6, 2012

    After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989,Nicosia remains the only divided city in Europe after Turkish Forces invaded the North of the Island in 1974 and divided the capital from east to west.Forty per cent of Nicosia is now under Turkish control with the remaining sixty per cent under Greek-Cypriot control.As you cross the U.N.buffer zone and past security forces check point you see a Nicosia far different from the southern zone.Almost untouched by tourism with a much simplar way of life.Not so many cars and not so many people,but still with its charms.There are a lot of Mosque's and the Turkish-Cypriot flag painted on a nearby hillside can be seen for miles.The scenery in around Northern Nicosia can be spoilt by the numerous Turkish troops and army bases dotted around.

    Northern Nicosia from the south Turkish-Cypriot flag on hillside Inside a Mosque
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  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    Hadigeorgakis Kornesios House

    by greekcypriot Written Apr 12, 2011

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    A very attractive building in the old city of Nicosia.
    The house of Hadigeorgakis Kornesios, also known as the house of the Dragoman. It is a building of the 15th century, a wonderful example of a combination of both Venetian and Ottoman architecture.

    The interior of the house
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    Liberty Monument

    by antistar Written Dec 12, 2010

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    This isn't, as you might think, a monument to the liberation of Cyprus from the Turks, but from the British. It still sits uncomfortably with the Turkish Cypriots, as it celebrates the actions of the EOKA - the Greek Cypriot freedom fighters. This organisation is viewed with suspicion by Turkish Cypriots because they wanted unification with Greece, and often treated Turks as collaborators. The monument also has no Turkish Cypriots making up the figures, and as this was constructed in 1973, a year before the invasion by Turkey, it gives you an idea of the divisions and tensions on the island in those times.

    Liberty Monument, Nicosia

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    Hamam Omerye Baths

    by antistar Written Dec 12, 2010

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    One of the most beautiful and well kept Turkish baths in Europe can be found in the heart of Greek Nicosia. The carefully restored Hamam Omerye Baths were built during the Turkish occupation, converted from a church that once existed in its place. The baths consist of a mottled beige and yellow rusticated outer wall, constrasting with the smooth, cream domes behind. On cold winter days the steam from the baths leaves white trails in the clear blue sky.

    Hamam Omerye Baths, Nicosia

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    Town Hall

    by antistar Written Dec 5, 2010

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    Overlooking Freedom Square, renamed after the Turkish invasion, the Town Hall occupies a prominent, if not central, location. Freedom Square is a popular place for celebrations, such as the celebration of Cyprus's accession to the EU. The Town Hall is an elegant building, tucked into the south side of the city's medieval walls.

    Town Hall, Nicosia Town Hall, Nicosia Town Hall, Nicosia

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    No Man's Land

    by antistar Written Dec 5, 2010

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    Separating the Greek and Turkish sides of the city is about fifty meters of nostalgia. Frozen in time, every brick, sign, window, beam and slab of pavement is exactly how it was in 1974 when Turkey invaded. Since then anyone foolish enough to step inside this kill zone will be instantly shot. Well at least if you aren't a cat.

    But don't worry too much. The divide is mostly political and symbolic. It's not like the Berlin wall. Turkish and Greek Cypriots are free to travel across the island, and so are you, as long as you go don't try and run across No Man's Land. It's very relaxed around the walls. I drank ouzo with Cypriot soldiers gearing up for New Year's, while "no photographs" signs are routinely flouted.

    No Man's Land, Nicosia No Man's Land, Nicosia Street Party near the Wall, Nicosia No Man's Land, Nicosia No Man's Land, Nicosia

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  • greekcypriot's Profile Photo

    Take a stroll and Do some Shopping

    by greekcypriot Written Apr 28, 2010

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    Cross Plateia Eleftherias and enter Laiki Geitonia.. This area has been restored as a sanitized version of an old-fashioned Nicosia neighbourhood. You’ll find souvenirs aplenty here – some authentic, some amusing and some trashy. The Diakroniki Gallery at Aristokyprou 2B is a good place to seek out original and facsimile prints and engravings. Nearby, at Ippokratous 2, you can find copies of Byzantine silverware at the Leventis Museum Gift shop.
    Nicosia’s main shopping street, Odos Lidras (Ledra Street), runs north from Laiki Geitonia. It too is pedestrianized, but it could hardly be more different with its big-name department stores and smaller shops doing a thriving trade in copies of designer sunglasses.
    At Plateia Faneromenis, turn right and wander across the square to the Central Market, off Plateia Palaiou Dimarchiou, for a look at how the locals shop: fruit and vegetables, fresh olives, feta cheese and dried herbs are sold from dozens of stalls in this venerable emporium.

    Ledras Street -shopping centre of Nicosia
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    Drive to the Picturesque Village of FIKARDOU

    by greekcypriot Written Apr 28, 2010

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    This picturesque village is situated 32 km south east of Nicosia, surrounded by peaks of over 1.000 m high.
    The buildings date back from the 19thcentury with modifications and additions made from the 20th century.

    During winter time, there are just 4 people living in the village, all over the age of 65, occupying 4 dwellings. There was a steady fall after 1096 in the population, and the inhabitants moved to either the city or chose to live in larger settlements in search of a better life. During the weekends however a number of families return to the village.
    This small village with its authenticity and the preservation of the sites, attract a great number of both locals and foreigners who come here to visit it, usually during the weekends.

    The local Rural Museum is housed in two of the most interesting traditional dwellings.

    The main activities of the locals is agriculture. In the past there used to be kilns for firing the ceramic half-round tiles and slabs used to construct houses. Mud bricks were also made locally.

    This picturesque village was until recently an isolated self-sufficient settlement. Luckily the 4 people who permanently live in the village continue their traditional activities.

    This picturesque village is situated 32 km south east of Nicosia, surrounded by peaks of over 1.000 m high.
    The buildings date back from the 19thcentury with modifications and additions made from the 20th century.

    FIKARDOU VILLAGE EAST OF NICOSIA STONE-PAVED FIKARDOU VILLAGE FIKARDOU HOUSES
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    Ataturk Meydam

    by leics Written Jan 4, 2010

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    The central square of north Nicosia..not a huge place, but apparently the main focus of the city's Turkish community for many centuries.

    It is generally known as Sarayonu.

    Spot the Post Office, built by the British........and there are other colonial-syle official buildings.

    In the centre stands a grey ganite column from ancient Salamis, orginally placed here in 1489 by the Venetians. It once had a lion on top (the lion of St Mark) but that has long disappeared.

    In 1915 the British stood the column up again (it had been pulled over during the Ottoman rule) and stuck a globe on top (no idea why).

    I'd have liked time to sit here, people-watch and absorb the atmosphere..there's at least one cafe with outside tables...but there was none.

    Square and column Fountain remains and colonial architecture
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Wander the streets and look at the details.

    by leics Written Jan 3, 2010

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    This is the only way to really get a sense of anywhere.

    As you walk through north Nicosia old town, you'll see so many buildings which are derelict, or semi-derelict, or in the process of slowly being restored.

    There are still may difficulties about ownership of buildings and land, and it is exactly the same in the south.

    If I'd been by myself I would have taken much more time to explore properly......but here are a few photos to give an impression of what the city is like.

    Just be careful taking photos near the Green Line. Matters are still sensitive. I didn't risk it.

    Derelict houses behind Selimiye Camii Venetian coats-of-arms on a wall Typical Ottoman dwelling A derelict Ottoman balcony
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Nicosia Hotels

See all 18 Hotels in Nicosia
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