Nicosia is one of the few remaining places on earth where you get to experience its ancient heritage alongside its modernization.
While it may not be as brimming with nightlife and exciting activities as most visitors to Cyprus would expect, the city has a unique and rather pleasant charm about it.
In fact, in no other parts of Cyprus would you be able to revel in an authentically local ambience as you would in Nicosia, owing mostly to the fact that its small number of tourists allows it to retain its local splendor.
Nicosia has a myriad of sights, mostly concentrated in and around what is known as the Old City—the area surrounded by an ancient star-shaped city wall.
Ledra Street offers an unrivalled shopping experience thanks to its exciting mix of high-street fashion and international brands, plus local retailers, restaurants and cafes.
Another shopping option includes ‘The Mall of Cyprus’, which features high street names, restaurants, fast food joints plus IKEA. It’s located on the outskirts of the town and open Monday – Saturday.
A quick tip: if you plan to explore the Old City and its attractions, make sure to get there as early as possible as many of its tourist sites close early.
Nicosia is known for a good number of museums that speak of its ancient heritage. Some of the more famous ones are:
• Cyprus Museum – Showcases the best of Cypriot archeological relics around
• Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre – An old power station converted into a cotemporary art gallery
• Leventis Municipal Museum – 1989 European Museum of the Year; a two-storey house converted into a museum that exhibits ancient and contemporary artwork.
• Ledra Observatory Museum – an observatory from which to view the island from Ledra street!
While you’re there, it is also fun to visit the Famagusta Gate, now the Nicosia Municipal Centre.
These are the most famous go-to spots if you are in the mood for various exhibitions, programs, cultural events, and performances.