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Things to do in Nicosia
Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus, is a historical city with a rich culture and numerous attractions. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, food, or shopping, there’s something for everyone in Nicosia. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in Nicosia and provide tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Explore the Old City
The heart of Nicosia is its Old City, which is surrounded by walls dating back to the Venetian era. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets and alleys, taking in the sights and sounds of this historic district. One of the highlights of the Old City is the Selimiye Mosque, which was originally built as a cathedral in the 13th century and later converted into a mosque. The mosque features stunning architecture and beautiful mosaics and is a must-visit attraction in Nicosia.
Another must-visit attraction in the Old City is the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, which features exhibits on the history and culture of the city. Visitors can learn about the city’s ancient past and its modern-day culture through the exhibits on display.
Visit the Cyprus Museum
The Cyprus Museum is one of the top attractions in Nicosia and is home to an extensive collection of artifacts from ancient times. Visitors can see pottery, sculptures, and other artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age and the Roman era. The museum is a great place to learn about the island’s rich history and culture, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in archaeology or history.
Take a Walk Along the Venetian Walls
The Venetian Walls are one of the most iconic landmarks in Nicosia, and a walk along the walls provides breathtaking views of the city. The walls were built in the 16th century to protect the city from Ottoman invasion, and today they offer a glimpse into the city’s history and architecture.
Visit the Archbishop’s Palace
The Archbishop’s Palace is one of the most charming buildings in Nicosia and is located in the heart of the Old City. The palace was built in the 18th century and features wonderful architecture, beautiful gardens, and a museum. Visitors can explore the palace and learn about the history and culture of the city.
Enjoy the Local Cuisine
Nicosia is known for its delicious cuisine, which features a blend of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern flavors. Visitors can enjoy traditional dishes like souvlaki, moussaka, and kleftiko, as well as local delicacies like halloumi cheese and Cyprus meze. There are numerous restaurants and cafes throughout the city that serve delicious food, and it’s a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine.
Shop in the Old City
The Old City of Nicosia is a great place to go shopping, with numerous shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to designer clothing. Visitors can find unique souvenirs like hand-painted ceramics, jewelry, and textiles, as well as modern-day fashion and accessories. One of the most popular shopping areas in the Old City is Ledra Street, which is a pedestrian-only street filled with shops and cafes.
Explore the City’s Parks and Gardens
Nicosia is home to several beautiful parks and gardens, which are great for a relaxing day out. One of the most popular parks is the Municipal Gardens, which is located in the heart of the city and features a beautiful garden, a pond, and a playground. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the garden or take a walk around the pond.
Another great option is the Athalassa National Forest Park, which is located just outside the city and features a beautiful natural setting. Visitors can hike through the park and enjoy the thrilling scenery, as well as spot local wildlife like birds and reptiles. This park is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and offers a peaceful retreat in nature.
Visit the Cyprus Folk Art Museum
The Cyprus Folk Art Museum is a great place to learn about the island’s traditional culture and arts. The museum features exhibits of traditional crafts like weaving, embroidery, and pottery, as well as traditional costumes and musical instruments. Visitors can also attend workshops and demonstrations to learn more about these crafts and even try their hand at creating their own souvenirs.
Explore the Venetian Quarter
The Venetian Quarter is a charming neighborhood in the heart of the Old City, known for its beautiful architecture and traditional houses. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets and admire the beautiful buildings, many of which date back to the Venetian era. The neighborhood is also home to numerous cafes and restaurants, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink.
Visit the Cyprus Handicraft Center
The Cyprus Handicraft Center is a great place to see local artisans at work and purchase traditional handicrafts. The center features workshops where visitors can see artisans creating pottery, textiles, and other crafts, as well as a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs to take home. The center is a great place to support local artisans and learn more about traditional Cypriot crafts.
Take a Day Trip to the Troodos Mountains
The Troodos Mountains are a great natural attraction located just a short drive from Nicosia. Visitors can enjoy awesome views of the mountains and the surrounding countryside, as well as explore traditional mountain villages and visit historic monasteries. The Troodos Mountains are also home to several hiking trails, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.
Visit the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque
The Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque is a beautiful and historic mosque located just outside Nicosia. The mosque is one of the most important religious sites in Cyprus and is believed to be the burial place of Umm Haram, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Visitors can explore the mosque and its beautiful gardens, as well as learn about the history and significance of the site.
Overall, Nicosia is a beautiful and historic city with a rich culture and numerous attractions. From exploring the Old City and its historic landmarks to sampling the local cuisine and shopping for souvenirs, there’s something for everyone in Nicosia. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or nature, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this charming city. So why not plan your next vacation to Nicosia and experience all that this amazing city has to offer?