About Nicosia

The heart and soul of Cyprus

Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus, and some would say its very heart and soul. Nicosia is an enticing city and is ideal for experiencing what modern Cyprus is all about. The ancient walls, traditional restaurants and an increasingly vibrant and young cafe and cultural scene effectively showcase the city’s basic make-up.

Almost everything of interest lies within the historic walls, where a labyrinth of narrow streets reveals churches, mosques and evocative colonial-style buildings. The country’s best museum is also here, housing an extensive archaeological collection.  Located opposite the municipal gardens, the Cyprus Museum preserves more than 4000 years of history.

Nicosia lies roughly at the centre of the island, with a rich history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. It only became Capital of the island in the 11th century AD. The Lousignians turned it into a magnificent city with a Royal Palace and over fifty churches. Today it blends its historic past brilliantly with the bustle of a modern city. The heart of the city, enclosed by 16th century Venetian walls, is dotted with museums, ancient churches and medieval buildings preserving the nostalgic atmosphere of years past.

Nicosia has fast developed as a contemporary, business and cultural centre boasting enchanting places of interest such as Byzantine churches and monasteries, archaeological sites and charming villages.

Encircled by strong fortress walls – built by the Venetians in the 16th century, the enchanting old city of Nicosia is scattered with buildings and monuments of historical interest as well as little shops, cafés and taverns. The Nicosia Jewels Museum and the Municipal Arts Centre are well worth a visit. The 'Leventis' Municipal Museum, with an imaginative presentation of the capital's history, was awarded the title "1991 European Museum of the Year".

A walk through the old city is a step backwards in time. Narrow streets and old houses line the streets with ornate balconies and sandstone walls; the smell of jasmine and craftsmen in small workshops, practicing trades unchanged for centuries. 'Laiki Yitonia', or Folk ‘Neighbourhood’, is a pedestrian section, which has been carefully renovated to evoke the atmosphere of the past. The two main streets of old Nicosia, Ledra and Onasagorou, are lined with shops of every type, bustling with cafes, shops and places of interest.

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