As the capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia is a veritable hive of activity. The city spreads across the Republic of Cyprus to the south and Northern Cyprus, meaning that Greek Cypriot and Turkish cultures clash here. Despite being several miles away from the coast, Nicosia still has plenty to offer for those who want a little adventure from their holiday.
The city is home to various museums and other cultural venues and is a little more authentic than other places on the island due to its central location. Nicosia also has a charming Old Town, which is where many of the major historical sites lie. Also, it happens to be quieter than Limassol and other coastal cities, meaning it’s a good place to go for a quiet break.
For getting around the Old Town and suburbs of Nicosia, it’s important to have something small and cheap to navigate the narrow streets and often tight corners.
Hamam Omerye is the city’s most well-known spa resort. In the heart of the Old Town, it has baths which are known for being therapeutic. The spa is also decorated with fine examples of arts which date back all the way to the 14th century.
The Byzantine Museum is one of the best places in the world to learn about Orthodox icons as well as see examples of Byzantine art. Near the museum, a statue of Archbishop Makarios stands proudly – he was instrumental in Cypriot history.
Formerly one of the city’s old gates, Famagusta Gate is one of the best places in Nicosia to catch a live performance. The venue is also used for various exhibitions and attracts visitors due to its impressive façade.
If you like sport, Nicosia is home to two of Cyprus’ biggest teams – Omonia and APOEL. They both play their home games at the GSP Stadium and compete in European competitions. The derby fixture between the two is one of Europe’s most intense matches.
Nicosia is separated by a wall which represents the border between the two halves of the island. It runs through the city centre.
If you have a valid EU passport, you can now go through the crossing points on the border in order to explore the northern half of Nicosia.
Access to and from the south of Cyprus is possible via the A9 going east into the city and the A1 going north from Limassol.
Larnaca International Airport is the nearest to Nicosia, being 22 miles southeast of the city centre in the city of Larnaca. It is the busiest airport in Cyprus, serving destinations all over Europe, mainly during the summer months.
Getting there is possible by going south on the A1 until the junction with the A2. Take the A2 eastbound until reaching the A3. Go southwest on the road until it ends at the airport itself.