The 33 best sights of Nicosia – descriptions and photos

Nicosia Attractions

Berengaria Airport Ercan Cyprus Archaeological Museum Liberty Monument Pankipriya Gymnastic Association Stadium Ancient City of Tamassos Ancient Colonnade of Salamis Art Gallery of Byzantine Art

The site contains the sights of Nicosia – photos, descriptions and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to what to see in Nicosia, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Nicosia.

Hotel Berengaria

Hotel Berengaria (photo)

Before his death, the owner bequeathed the management of the business to his three sons, however, the young men could not agree and began to quarrel over money. Eventually, all three died under mysterious circumstances.

In view of the fact that the owner of this luxurious hotel was gone, and there were many valuable and beautiful things, it was quickly redistributed by locals and visiting, but not very honest guests.

Today this abandoned and dilapidated building without windows and doors, but with rather sturdy walls and solid ceilings looks more like the ruins of an old castle than a once upscale luxury hotel. Locals say that the ghosts of the brothers haunt the place at night and try to argue about something.

Coordinates : 34.95039800,32.82993800

Ercan Airport

Ercan Airport (photo)

Ercan Airport is the international airport of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and is located north-east of Nicosia. It was built during World War II by Britain and was used as a military base and later abandoned. However, following the recognition of Turkish authority over this part of the island, the airport began to expand and redevelop and today it is one of the largest civilian airports in Cyprus with a new terminal at Ercan Airport opened in May 2004.

There is one important feature of the airport: all planes that make international flights to and from Ercan Airport must make an intermediate stop at one of the Turkish airports. This is due to the fact that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not yet recognized as independent.

The airport is easily accessible by bus (Airport-Nicosia) or cab from anywhere in Northern Cyprus. Check-in desk and passport control are located close to each other, the airport has currency exchange, luggage storage, mother and child room, several cafes and “Duty Free” stores. Prices are usually quoted in euros but you can also pay in Turkish lira, U.S. dollars or British pounds.

Coordinates: 35.15833000,33.49167000

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Cyprus Archaeological Museum

Cyprus archaeological museum (photo)

Archaeological Museum of Cyprus is the oldest and largest museum in Cyprus. The museum was founded during the British occupation and it now houses the largest collection of Cypriot excavations in the world. The museum cooperates with archaeologists and is always updated with new exhibits.

The creation of the museum was initiated in 1882 by local residents due to illegal excavations and smuggling of valuables from the island. In 1889 the museum building was completed, the museum was housed there and began to add to its collection.

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Today, the museum exhibit includes a variety of items from the many excavations on the island.

The museum is divided into 14 rooms, which present different periods of the exhibits, from prehistoric to Roman.

Coordinates: 35.17246700,33.35587600

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Freedom Monument

The Monument of Liberty (photo)

The Monument of Liberty is a landmark of Nicosia and also a favorite meeting place of the locals.

The monument includes 14 statues of prisoners who were released from prison. The monument was built in 1973 in honor of the Cypriot fighters who fought for the liberation of Cyprus from British colonization.

The monument depicts a goddess who towers over the two partisans who liberated the prisoners.

Coordinates : 35.17115100,33.37024200

Pankipriya Gymnastics Association Stadium

Pankipriya Gymnastics Association Stadium (photo)

Pankipriya Gymnastic Association Stadium (other names are GSP, Neo GSP) is the largest soccer arena in Cyprus, located in the city of Nicosia.

The GSP Stadium was opened on October 6, 1999. Its capacity is 23,700 people. “GSP” is a complex consisting of three areas – the main soccer pitch, an additional soccer pitch and a track and field complex. Between the soccer field and the athletics complex there is a large square, where various private and public cultural events are held.

The supporting infrastructure of the sports complex includes gyms and warm-up rooms, conference rooms, medical offices, VIP-area, offices of the fan-clubs of the teams playing on the “GSP”, cafeteria, restaurant, hotel “GSP” for accommodation of the sportsmen and service personnel.

The stadium is the official home ground of soccer teams “APOEL”, “Olympiakos – Nicosia”, “Omonia”, it hosts national and international competitions, in particular, the traditional annual games of the Super Cup of Cyprus. Many matches are held at the “GSP” and the Cyprus national soccer team. In the early 2000’s, during the Middle East conflict, the stadium also played host to a number of Israeli teams, and in the run up to the Olympic Games in Greece in 2004, the stadium was used as a training ground for many athletes from all over the world.

Coordinates: 35.11457300,33.36040800

The ancient city of Thamassos

Ancient city of Tamassos (photo)

Thamassos is one of the ancient cities of Cyprus. The ruins of the old city are still preserved and are located 20 km southwest of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.

The city was first mentioned in the poem “The Odyssey” by Homer. There is very little information about the city as few archaeological excavations have been done. The historical center of Thamassos is under the nearby monastery of St. Heraklidios. However, in the period from 1970 to 1990, many ancient artifacts were discovered.

Of greatest interest is the temple of Aphrodite with its large altar. To the northeast of the temple was the necropolis of Tamassos.

Coordinates: 35.16666700,33.36666700

The ancient colonnade at Salamis.

Ancient collonade in Salamis (photo)

This is not actually Nicosia of course, but rather the unrecognized territory of northern Cyprus. The ancient city of Salamis. But unfortunately, the site doesn’t allow for that choice, or am I dumb?

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Byzantine Art Gallery

Art Gallery of Byzantine Art (photo)

The main historical and cultural attraction of Nicosia is in the cultural center of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation. Here one can find the Library, the Picture Gallery and the Art Gallery of Byzantine Art. The latter deserves special attention as it contains 150 Byzantine icons of XII-XVIII centuries, kindly provided by churches and monasteries of Cyprus.

The unique collection provides an insight into the history and development of Cypriot iconography. Here, more than anywhere else, you can see all the traditional Byzantine schools of painting that succeeded each other over several centuries. According to world estimates the Byzantine Museum of Nicosia is considered one of the best museums in the world with such a rich collection of icons.

The museum is represented by two halls. The first contains fragments of iconostases and arched decoration of the altar part of the churches. The second one presents a collection of icons. The most ancient of them is the Mother of God with the Child, which is a little over thirty centimeters. The icon is very memorable, thanks to the large eyes of the image that stare anxiously into space.

Coordinates: 35.17352800,33.36710600

The most popular attractions in Nicosia with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Nicosia on our website.

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The capital of Cyprus is divided by a conditional buffer zone and belongs to two states. On one side is the Republic of Cyprus, where mostly ethical Greeks live, on the other is Northern Cyprus, populated for the most part by Turks. Ancient history and the fusion of the two cultures have created the present appearance of Nicosia.

The architecture of the city took shape during the Ottoman period. At that time some Christian temples became mosques and defensive structures such as the Venetian walls lost their former functions. To see the local color and contrast it is worth a trip to the pedestrian street called Ledra. And the history of the island is reflected in the museum collections. It took time for Nicosia to regain its valuables that were taken to the mainland, but now they are in their rightful place and available for viewing by tourists.

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Archbishop’s Palace

The religious center of the Orthodox part of Cyprus. It was built for several years until 1960 and was intended as a residence for the local high clergy. Much of the palace is closed to the public. However, its grounds now house several museum collections and a library, so it is possible to be in the immediate vicinity. In front of the entrance is a monument in honor of Archbishop Makarios III.

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The Palace of the Archbishop.

Ledra Street

The main shopping street of the island. The length is a little over a kilometer. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it belongs to the territory of two states at once: the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The name of Ledra is a reference to the ancient city, which was located here earlier. The street is pedestrian, on it among the past houses the headquarters of peacekeepers, who monitor the order in the buffer zone.

Ledra Street.

Shacolas Tower observation deck

It is located at the top of the commercial and business center. Shacolas Tower is the tallest building in the Old City and the third tallest in Nicosia. It was built in 1990 and reconstructed two decades later. It takes its name from the owner, a local billionaire. Access to the observation deck is open every day. Nearby is an observatory museum that allows you to learn more about the city.

Shacolas Tower observation deck.

Buyuk Khan (North Nicosia)

The caravanserai was built in 1572. It resembles a small fortress and used to serve as an inn. There are 4 double-storeyed buildings which are connected to each other in a square. The courtyard which was formed has a mosque and an ablution pool. Since the second half of the 19th century, Büyük-Khan has been used successively as a prison, a shelter for the homeless and a museum. It is now home to cafes, stores, and a shadow theater.

Buyuk Khan (North Nicosia).

Selimiye Mosque (North Nicosia)

This Islamic religious site used to be the orthodox cathedral of St. Sophia. It was laid in the early years of the 13th century and converted into a mosque in 1570. Two minarets were built nearby, all the decorations typical of temples were taken out of the premises, tombstones were covered with carpets. It was named after one of the Ottoman rulers. It was under the leadership of Selim II that the Turks captured the island.

Selimiye Mosque (North Nicosia).

A. G. Leventis Gallery.

The first owner, after whom the gallery is named, conceived the project half a century ago. It was Leventis’s foundation that was able to fully implement the initiative. Paintings, furniture, and art objects are exhibited in the halls of the gallery. They cover 400 years of European history. The exposition is divided into 3 collections: Parisian, Greek and Cypriot. The gallery is closed for maintenance on Thursdays.

A.G. Leventis Gallery.

Municipal Museum “Leventis”.

In operation since 1989. The Leventis Foundation bought an abandoned building and renovated it. In the spacious halls began to collect exhibits telling the history of the city and the whole of Cyprus. Already in our century the collection has grown so much that additional space was allocated for its needs. Among the exhibits are books, clothes, weapons, household items, jewelry. The oldest item in the museum dates back to the 4th millennium B.C.

Leventis Municipal Museum.

Cyprus Archaeological Museum

The oldest and largest museum on the island. It was founded in 1882 to prevent illegal excavations and looting of historical sites. Until then, the finds had been sent to European museums. The collection received its own building in 1908. It is situated there up to the present day. The main acquisitions were made before 1931. Nowadays the exhibitions are divided into 14 halls.

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Cyprus Archaeological Museum.

Byzantine Museum

Opened under the auspices of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation in 1982. At that time the collection was modest and occupied only a small room. Subsequently, the authorities did an impressive job of returning the objects that had been taken to the mainland. The museum has grown to its current size. Of particular importance is a collection of 230 icons. Among them are examples dating back to the “golden age” of Byzantine iconography.

Byzantine Museum.

Museum of Classic Motorcycles.

Is based on a private collection. Andreas Nicolau opened his collection to the public in the 1990s. The exhibition consists of more than 150 motorcycle models. They date from the production period from 1914 to 1983. Each piece has its own history. The museum has a small movie room where they spin tapes about motorcycles. Nearby there is a theme store and a cafe.

Museum of classic motorcycles.

Cyprus Car Museum (North Nicosia)

The only car museum in Cyprus opened in 2014. It is based on the collection of Dimi Mavropoulos, the rally champion. An area of more than 1,000 m² is packed with collector cars in perfect condition. A London double-decker bus, a retro ambulance, an armored Cadillac – you name it. New cars are constantly appearing, and some are for sale.

Cyprus Car Museum (North Nicosia).

Hadzigeorgakis Kornesios House.

The first owner was a tax collector and one of the wealthiest residents of the city. He ordered the mansion to be built at the end of the 18th century. Kornesios was executed and his relatives had the house given to Nicosia. At present the building houses a museum. The collection tells about the traditions and everyday life of the times when the Ottoman Empire ruled the island. Its peculiarity is the Turkish baths, which are still in use.

House of Hadzigeorgakis Kornesios.

Church of Our Lady of Faneromeni

One of the largest Orthodox churches on the island. The exact date of construction is unknown, but the church appeared during the Lusignan dynasty. In the past was part of the convent. During its history has been repeatedly updated, and the current appearance is far from the original. The main value of the temple is carved iconostasis, created in 1659. Scenes from the Old Testament are depicted on it.

Church of Our Lady of Phaneromeni.

Church of the Archangel Michael Trypiotis

The foundations were laid in 1695. Construction was completed in record time in a few months. The decoration of the facade is not typical of religious sites: bas-reliefs depict sea monsters, mermaids and lions. The most valuable icon was painted in the 15th century. The iconostasis was made in 1812. It is decorated with fine carvings and gilding. The interior decoration is lavish and rich.

Church of the Archangel Michael Trypiotis.

Cathedral of St. John the Theologian

Located in the old city since the XVII century. The temple belonged to the Benedictine order. Now only a small building next to the ethnographic exhibition reminds one of it. The modest appearance of the cathedral is explained by the period of construction: at that time the island was ruled by the Ottomans. But the interior design is bright: the walls and vaults are covered with frescoes. The local shrines are revered by both Orthodox and Catholics.

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The Church of St. John the Evangelist.

Venetian fortress walls

Military engineers from Italy began remodeling the old city fortifications in 1567. Among other things, they left the riverbed in the outer radius. In this way, the threat of flooding was removed and an additional barrier to the enemy was created. The walls were impressive, but the project was not finished: the Ottomans captured the city earlier. The perimeter is surrounded by 11 bastions. The walls are about 5 km long.

The Venetian fortress walls.

The Gate of Famagusta

In the 16th century it was possible to enter Nicosia through one of three gates. The largest of them is the Famagusta Gate. They were originally named after the architect Giulio, but the name did not stick. After the conquest of the city by the Ottomans, the Christians and traders could only pass through the gate on foot. The structure is well preserved. A cultural center has been opened in the building attached to it.

The gates of Famagusta.

Kyrenia Gate (North Nicosia)

Another passageway to the old city. It was finished in 1562. The design is based on the notes of Marco Polo and is a scaled-down copy of the gate in Peking. Although it was called “governor’s gate” it was used mostly by peasants and merchants. The landmark has not been fully preserved: only the arch and the guardhouse have passed through the centuries. There is a panoramic view of the surroundings from the upper platform.

Kyrenia Gate (North Nicosia).

Freedom Monument

It was unveiled in 1973 and is dedicated to an organization called EOKA. The installation of the monument has divided society. Some consider the activities of the EOKA as terrorist, others as liberationist. The sculptural composition shows a scene of Cypriots leaving a British prison. Among the former prisoners are depicted people of various ages and occupations, including young guerrillas and priests. Nearby are flowerbeds.

Monument of Liberty.

Athalassa National Park

One hundred years ago, the land where the national park is now located was considered infertile. In 1962 the territory was occupied and the aim was to create a green area. The resulting forest and shrubbery had not been improved until recently. Now the park has a network of walking areas, drinking water taps, sports fields, and picnic areas. Hiking trails have been developed to get around the entire park in one go.

Athalassa National Park.

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