Nicosia, located in the centre of the island, has been the capital of Cyprus since the 11th century. A wonderful melting pot of cultures and civilizations, this is city longing to be discovered. The old part of town is beautiful, the smell of jasmine lingering in the air, as you walk in the narrow streets surrounded by beautiful 20th century houses, will make you fall in love with this city.

If you want to spend some days away from the beach, you should make a trip to the capital. Discover its history, visit its many museums, and see how the only divided city in Europe looks like. Nicosia is the face of modern Cyprus. A blend of modern culture, booming businesses, vibrant nightlife and a history of hundreds of years, Nicosia is one of the most interesting cities in the Mediterranean region.

Places to Visit in Nicosia

Enter the old city centre through the Venetian Walls built in the 16th century to protect the city from the various invaders. The superbly reserved walls are three miles long and consist of 11 bastions and 3 gates: Porta San Domenico (Paphos Gate), Porta Guiliana (Famagusta Gate) and Porta del Proveditore (Kyrenia Gate). Your starting point will be the, under development, Eleftheria Square (Freedom Square). Start by a visit to Laiki Geitonia, a project that resembles a traditional urban neighbourhood and consists of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. In the same area pay a visit to the Leventis Municipal Museum, where a collection of architectural findings, traditional clothing and objects showcasing the history of Nicosia is exhibited.

From Eleftheria Square you can walk either, to Ledras or Onasagorou Street, two parallel streets. In both cases you will end up in Phaneromeni Square where the Phaneromeni Church built in the 1872, is located. Behind it there a small church with gothic, renaissance and byzantine elements, ‘Cross of Missirikos’ and next to it the historical Phaneromeni Gymnasium. If you walk 5 minutes you will come across the square and the building of the old Nicosia Municipality. In the same neighbourhood, it is a worth a visit to the beautifully restored Hamam Omerye Baths a 14th century building, functioning still as a hamam place and to the nearby Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios House, where a high official of the 19th century Ottoman domination used to live. Nearby there is the beautiful Famagusta Gate area. Walk around the beautiful neighbourhood, visit the Famagusta Gate and the Museum of Scuplture right below.

Activities & Tours in Nicosia

Private Walking Tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
Private Walking Tour of Nicosia – from €39.00
Divided Capital Tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
Nicosia Divided Capital Tour – from €80.00
Highlights of Nicosia Tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
Highlights of Nicosia Tour – from €95.00
Akamas Panorama Walk in Nicosia Travel Guide
Akamas Panorama Walk from Nicosia – from €75.00

Things to do in Nicosia

There are many things you can do in Nicosia, most of them on foot. In Ledras Street, visit the Shacolas Tower Observatory, where at the 6th floor you will have a panoramic view of Nicosia. At the end of Ledras Street, there is the checkpoint, where the Green Line that divided the country into two, used to be. Now, through that checkpoint you can cross over to the north of Nicosia, the occupied part. There are quite a few interesting museums in Nicosia. The Museum of Cyprus is the main archaeological museum on the island, where through artefacts (pottery, jewelry, sculpture etc.), you can revisit the history of Cyprus from the prehistoric times to the early Christian period. The Byzantine Museum, with a rich collection of Byzantine Art, the Ethnographic Museum with a good collection of 19th century and early 20th century folk art and nearby the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation Art Galleries, are located in the Archbishop’s Palace Square.

One of the latest additions in Nicosia is the A.G Leventis Gallery, hosting a private collection of Cypriot and world renowned artists. It’s also worth visiting the State Gallery of Contemporary Art, that houses the work of contemporary Cypriot artists. On the other hand if you want a more relaxed day in the capital, go shopping in Makariou III Avenue, Stasikratous and Mnasiadou Street, or even shop for fresh vegetables and fruit sold by local producers, in the OCHI open market that takes places every Saturday in the area of Bayraktar Mosque, on one of the 11 bastions of the Venetian walls of Nicosia.

Activities & Tours in Nicosia

Shopping Tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
Nicosia Shopping Tour with Personal Shopper – from €35.00
3 hour segway tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
Nicosia 3 Hour Segway Tour – from €48.00
Troodos Walking Trip in Nicosia Travel Guide
Troodos Walking Trip from Nicosia – from €70.00
Shopping Tour in Nicosia Travel Guide
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Nicosia Accommodation

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Selected Hotels

Hilton Cyprus in Nicosia Travel Guide
Hilton Cyprus
It was a fantastic hotel, excellent staff and facilities, wonderful property and the rooms…
Philippe, United States
Excellent breakfast and clean and comfortable room. Staff very helpful and charming…
Kenneth, United Kingdom
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Hilton Park Hotel in Nicosia Travel Guide
Hilton Park Nicosia
Bed amazing. Housekeeping professional. Staff all friendly and sincere. Loved it…
Aida, United States
Nice comfortable hotel near University of Nicosia. Facilities were good and breakfast very good…
Jenny, Australia
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Semeli Hotel in Nicosia Travel Guide
Semeli Hotel
A first class hotel at a reasonable price within a 25 minute walk from the city centre…
Peter, United Kingdom
very friendly staff great breakfast and good restaurant inside the hotel comfortable room…
Monica, Italy
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Hypnos by bed N' mix Hotel in Nicosia Travel Guide
Very Clean and Comfort, Staff is very helpful. Location is quiet, and only 2 km from the city center…
Jem, Bulgaria
The room was fantastic! It was Spacious with comfy bed and decent size bathroom. Smart phone in…
Halilee, Canada
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Selected Holiday Rentals

Almond Business Suites in Nicosia Travel Guide
Well located for all my meetings. Lots of space in the room and the option to cook…
Grahame, United Kingdom

Clean and Spacious Rooms, nice location in Nicosia center, friendly staff…

Teddy, Lebanon
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Achillion Apartments in Nicosia Travel Guide
Achillion Apartments
The apartment was spacious and very clean! We loved that it had all the amenities…
Magda, Canada
Great location and amazing apartment. I hardly recommend this apartment…
Olga, Ukraine
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202 Residence Boutique Apartment in Nicosia Travel Guide
202 Residence Boutique
Fantastic apartment with a wonderful, clean and modern interior and very a friendly, cooperative owner…
Heidi, Netherlands
The flat was amazing and Petros, the host was really great, it was a pleasure to stay there…
Dimitrios, Greece
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Mini Art House in Nicosia Travel Guide
Mini Art House
Very comfortable apartment, spacious, clean, great location, would definitely stay here again…
Alexia, Greece
Host was easy to contact and told us everything we needed to know about the apartment…
Ross, United Kingdom
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Traveling & Transfers

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Larnaca Airport Transfers in Nicosia Travel Guide
Larnaca Airport Transfers
Paphos Airport Transfers in Nicosia Travel Guide
Paphos Airport Transfers

Nicosia Restaurants

Being the capital, Nicosia has various options that can accommodate all tastes. In downtown Nicosia, along Ledras and Onasagorou streets and in the streets around them, there are numerous restaurants. Traditional kebab houses, taverns, casual Italian restaurants, Middle Eastern ones, modern bistros, bar-restaurants, high end restaurants and so on. Most of them are open for lunch and dinner. You will be spoilt for choice. Note that one of the most beautiful – and less busy- areas to enjoy either lunch or dinner is Famagusta Gate a few minutes walk from the old town centre. Casual eateries, the only vegetarian-only place in the capital, a restaurant inside a museum, industrial-chic bistros are some of the places worth checking out in that part of town.

If you end up in the modern part of Nicosia, there are restaurants in the streets and avenues around Makariou Avenue. For example the Th. Dervi avenue, is the so called ‘brunch street’, because there are at least five beautiful places serving breakfast, brunch, coffee and lunch there. Although there are a lot of restaurants in the modern part of Nicosia, you will need a car to get to most of them. Nicosia is famous for its many traditional kebab taverns where you will enjoy ‘souvlakia’ (kebab), ‘sheftalia’ (minced pork with spices wrapped in caul fat) cooked over charcoal and of course Mezze.

Pyxida Fish Tavern in Nicosia Travel Guide
Pyxida Fish Tavern
Il forno restaurant in Nicosia Travel Guide
Il Forno Restaurant
Valtou Rigani Restaurant in Nicosia Travel Guide
Valtou Rigani Restaurant
Brasserie Au Bon Plaisir in Nicosia Travel Guide
Brasserie Au Bon Plaisir

Nicosia Bars & Clubs

People in Nicosia, get off work in the afternoon and drop by their favourite wine or cocktail bar for a drink, before heading home. That’s why in the last five years, the wine bars have increased and the cocktail spots have been popping in various spots in the city. Most of those places operate inside beautifully restored traditional houses in the old part of Nicosia. Onasagorou street, in the old town, has been booming lately with bars and restaurants. However, there are drinking holes, in almost every corner of the old town.

Excellent pubs, bar-restaurants, wine bars serving wine from around the world (do try the Cyprus wines, especially the ones made with local varieties), small bars specialising in craft beers, tapas bars and so on. If you are a dance lover, most of the dance clubs can be found in Engomi Area, with 20-25, being the usual age group. On the other hand, for a more quiet night, check out the pubs around Nicosia, serving a variety of beers and pub food. And if you would like to see how many of the locals spend their Saturday nights, go to one of the live music spots. That is, if you like Greek music!

Klub D in Nicosia Travel Guide
Lost and Found Drinkery in Nicosia Travel Guide
Lost and Found Drinkery
Cafe Mercedes in Nicosia Travel Guide
Cafe Mercedes
Patio Cocktail Bar in Nicosia Travel Guide
Patio Cocktail Bar