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19 Top Things To Do In Nicosia Tourists Should Not Miss

Things to do in Nicosia - Boats are docked at the beautiful Kyrenia Harbor with a stunning sunset.


I’m thrilled to be your personal guide to all the fantastic things to do in Nicosia, Cyprus. This city is the capital of Cyprus and it’s also the biggest one on the whole island.

It’s called Lefkosia in Greek and Lefkosa in Turkish. Nicosia is super busy with lots of businesses, but it has a special charm that’ll make you love it. I’m so excited to be your guide and show you all the amazing stuff waiting for you here.

Nicosia is a city that’s split in two – it’s the last divided capital in the world. There’s so much history and culture to explore, and you’ll feel the mix of Greek and Turkish influences all around you.

Helpful Information for Things to Do in Nicosia

To make your trip planning super easy, I’ve put together this valuable table with all the useful pieces of information you need, like where things are, when they’re open, the ideal time to go, and how much they cost. Check it out:

AttractionBest Time to VisitLocationTimingsEntry Fee (EUR/USD)
Plateia EleftheriasYear-roundKonstantinou Palaiologou, Nicosia24/7Free
Venetian WallsSpring and AutumnNicosia Old City24/7Free
Church of Archangelos MichailYear-roundPlateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, Nicosia9:00 AM – 5:00 PMFree
Omeriye MosqueYear-roundTrikoupi Street, Nicosia9:00 AM – 7:00 PMFree
Agios Ioannis ChurchYear-roundArchbishop Makarios III Cultural Foundation, Nicosia8:00 AM – 4:00 PMFree
Cyprus MuseumYear-round1 Leoforos Mouseiou, Nicosia8:00 AM – 6:00 PMFree
Byzantine MuseumYear-roundPlateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, Nicosia9:00 AM – 4:30 PM€4 / $4.32
Leventis Municipal MuseumYear-round17 Ippokratous, Nicosia10:00 AM – 4:30 PMFree
Green Line Crossing (Ledra Street and Ayios Dhometios Checkpoints)Spring and AutumnLedra Street, Nicosia and West Nicosia24/7Free
Hamam OmeryeYear-round8 Tyllirias Square, Nicosia10:00 AM – 10:00 PM€20-€70 / $21.60-$75.60
Büyük HanSpring and AutumnNorth Nicosia9:00 AM – 7:00 PMFree
OHI Farmer’s MarketMorning hours, year-roundOHI roundabout, NicosiaWed & Sat 6:00 AM – 4:00 PMFree
Traditional Cypriot Coffee SpotsMorning or late afternoon, year-roundVarious locations in NicosiaVariesVaries
Piatsa GourounakiEvenings, year-roundOld Town, Nicosia12:00 PM – 11:00 PM€10-€20 / $10.80-$21.60
Zanettos Cypriot TavernEvenings, year-roundSouthern Old Town, Nicosia12:00 PM – 11:00 PM€15-€30 / $16.20-$32.40
Stoa tou DimitriEvenings, year-roundOutside city walls, Nicosia12:00 PM – 11:00 PM€12-€25 / $12.96-$27.00
St. Hilarion CastleSpring and AutumnNear Kyrenia, North Cyprus9:00 AM – 6:00 PM€2 / $2.16
Troodos MountainsSummerNear Nicosia24/7Free
Shacolas Tower ObservatorySpring and AutumnLedra Street, Nicosia10:00 AM – 8:00 PM€2.50 / $2.70
Things to do in Nicosia, Cyprus Planning Table

Alright, now that you’ve got the essential details, let’s hit the streets and check out Nicosia’s historical spots, museums, fun experiences, shopping areas, and yummy food. By the time we’re done, you’ll be so excited to visit and see this travel destination all for yourself. As a bonus, here’s an interactive map for you with all the locations pinned:

Nicosia Points of Interest

Historical Spots You Can’t Miss

A section of the iconic 16th-century Venetian Walls, a historical attraction in Nicosia's Old City.

One of the neatest things about Nicosia is how it’s filled with history. Everywhere you look, you’ll find little reminders of the city’s fascinating past, from old walls to pretty churches and mosques.

1. Explore the Venetian Walls

First, you’ve just gotta see the Venetian Walls. These huge walls were built way back in 1567 by the Venetians to keep the city safe from the Ottomans. And let me tell you, they’re really impressive.

The walls have this star shape that you don’t see every day. The best part that’s still standing is the Famagusta Gate—it’s a perfect example of how the Venetians used to build their walls and gates.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are the best times to explore the Venetian Walls. The weather is nice and comfortable for walking around and discovering these historic sites.

How to get there: You can get up close to the walls by taking any bus that goes to the Old City and getting off at the Famagusta Gate stop. Or, if you feel like stretching your legs, it’s just a quick 15-minute walk from the center of town.

2. Discover Religious Landmarks

Next, let’s talk about Nicosia’s incredible churches and mosques. These buildings are like a timeline of the city’s history, showing how different religions and cultures have left their mark over hundreds of years.

  • Church of Archangelos Michail: This church was built way back in 1695 and has some old gold icons from the 1400s inside. It’s got a neat mix of Gothic and Byzantine styles.
  • Omeriye Mosque: This mosque used to be a church in the 14th century before the Ottomans turned it into a mosque in 1571. You can pop in anytime, as long as it’s not prayer time.
  • Agios Ioannis Church: This church was built in the 17th century and has some beautiful paintings called frescoes from the 18th century. You’ll find it inside the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation.

How to get there: The great thing is, all these spots are super easy to get to. They’re all in the Old City, so you can just wander around and find them. Just remember to dress appropriately and be respectful, since they’re active places of worship.

Must-See Museums

The grand facade of the Cyprus Museum highlights its rich cultural heritage, a top thing to see in Nicosia.

If you love history or art, you’ll have a blast in Nicosia. The city’s museums are packed with amazing artifacts and artworks that tell the story of Cyprus throughout the ages.

3. Visit the Cyprus Museum

Your first stop should definitely be the Cyprus Museum. This is the biggest and oldest history museum in all of Cyprus, with artifacts from way back in the Stone Age all the way up to the Byzantine era.

Since it’s indoors, you can comfortably visit the Cyprus Museum year-round, no matter what the weather’s like outside.

Here are some of the highlights you won’t want to miss:

Stone Age ArtifactsLittle figurines made of soapstoneRoom 1
Bronze Age PotteryFancy jugs and bowls with cool designsRoom 2
Votive FiguresTiny statues of people and godsRoom 4
SculpturesBig statues made of marble and limestoneRooms 5 & 6

How to get there: The museum is super easy to find – it’s right in the heart of Nicosia. Just look for the big white building with columns out front. It’s free to get in, and you can even take a guided tour if you want to learn all the stories behind the exhibits.

4. Discover the Byzantine Museum

Another must-see is the Byzantine Museum, which has an incredible collection of 220 religious icons. These special artworks date from the 9th to the 19th centuries, with the most famous ones being the Kanakaria Mosaics.

The Byzantine Museum is a bit smaller than the Cyprus Museum, but it’s worth adding it to your things to do in Nicosia if you’re into religious art and history. It’s located in the Old City, just a quick walk from the Famagusta Gate.

5. Explore the Leventis Municipal Museum

Last but not least, make sure you save some time for the Leventis Municipal Museum. This award-winning museum tells the tale of Nicosia from ancient times to today, with exhibits on everything from the early Byzantine days to the Ottoman and British periods.

The Leventis Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM (it’s closed on Mondays), and it’s totally free to visit. You’ll find it right on Eleftheria Square in the middle of the city, and it’s super easy to get to by bus or on foot.

Unique Things to Do

Barriers mark the historic Green Line, a significant landmark to explore in Nicosia.

One of the things that makes Nicosia so special is all the one-of-a-kind experiences it offers visitors. From crossing the Green Line to relaxing in a centuries-old bathhouse, there’s no shortage of cool things to do in Nicosia.

6. Cross the Green Line

You can’t come to Nicosia and not cross the Green Line. This is the UN-patrolled border that splits the city into the Greek side and the Turkish side. It’s a totally unique experience that shows you the city’s complicated history and politics.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are the most pleasant times to cross the Green Line. The weather is comfortable, making the walking experience more enjoyable.

There are two main crossing points in the city center:

Ledra StreetOld TownBring your passport and keep an eye on your stuff
Ayios DhometiosWest NicosiaUsually less crowded and quicker to cross

No matter which checkpoint you pick, you’ll need to show your passport or EU ID card. The guards might ask you a couple of questions about why you’re crossing, but it’s usually pretty quick and easy.

Once you’re on the other side, take some time to wander around and notice the differences between the two halves of the city. From the buildings to the food to the street signs, it’s an interesting glimpse into Nicosia’s split personality.

7. Stroll Through Nicosia’s Old Town

Speaking of wandering, one of my absolute favorite things to do in Nicosia is getting lost in the winding streets of the Old Town. This historic part of the city is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) offer cooler temperatures that are perfect for outdoor activities like exploring the Old Town.

Start on Ledra Street, the main pedestrian street with many shops, cafes, and restaurants. This is the beating heart of the Old Town and a great spot to people-watch while sipping on a coffee or grabbing a bite to eat.

From there, head off the beaten path to Onasagorou Street. This super hip area has lots of bars, live music spots, and colorful street art. It’s THE place to be for a fun night out.

Finally, don’t miss Ermou Street. This charming little lane is packed with traditional craft workshops and artist studios. It’s the best place in the city to pick up authentic, locally-made souvenirs and handicrafts.

My top tip: Put away the map and let yourself get a little bit lost. You never know what kind of awesome stuff you might stumble upon.

8. Relax at Hamam Omerye

After all that walking and exploring, you’ll probably be ready for some serious R&R. Luckily, Nicosia is home to one of the most beautiful Turkish baths I’ve ever seen.

Hamam Omerye was built way back in the 16th century and has been completely restored to its original glory. The moment you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time and place.

Best time to visit: Hamam Omerye is a year-round attraction, perfect for any weather. The indoor spa experience is a great way to unwind and relax, no matter the season.

You can choose from tons of different treatments, from self-service options to fancy spa packages. I recommend going for the traditional hammam experience, which includes chilling out in the steam room, getting scrubbed down on the heated marble slab, and getting a relaxing foam massage.

Treatments start at just €20 for basic entry and go up to €70+ for the full spa experience. Hamam Omerye is open every day from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, but it’s a good idea to book ahead, especially on weekends.

How to get there: You’ll find the hammam just off Tyllirias Square in the middle of Nicosia, in a gorgeous stone building with a big dome on top. Trust me, a few hours here is the perfect way to recharge after a busy day of sightseeing.

Shopping & Markets

Shoppers browse fresh produce at the bustling OHI Farmer's Market, a popular activity in Nicosia.

One of the things I love most about Nicosia is its incredible shopping scene. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional handicrafts, cool boutiques, or fresh local goodies, this city has got you covered.

9. Shop at the Büyük Han

First things first, you absolutely can’t miss the Büyük Han. This amazing 16th-century Ottoman building is like a living museum, with stunning architecture and a maze of artisan workshops, souvenir shops, and cozy cafes.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are the most comfortable times to explore the Büyük Han, with pleasant temperatures for browsing the shops and enjoying the cafes.

Spend a couple of hours getting lost in the courtyard and peeking into all the different stalls and studios. You’ll find everything from hand-woven rugs to intricate jewelry to beautiful pottery. When you need a break, grab a seat at one of the traditional cafes and treat yourself to a strong Turkish coffee or a glass of sweet mint tea.

How to get there: The Büyük Han is in the northern half of the Old City, just a short stroll from Ledra Street. It’s open every day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

10. Visit OHI Farmer’s Market

If you want to sample some of Cyprus’ famous fresh fruits and veggies, head straight to the OHI Farmer’s Market. This lively outdoor bazaar happens every Wednesday and Saturday morning, and it’s a total feast for the senses.

Best time to visit: The morning hours are the best time to visit the OHI Farmer’s Market year-round. You’ll find the freshest produce and the most vibrant market atmosphere during this time.

Walk past stalls piled high with colorful produce, fragrant herbs, juicy olives, and freshly-baked breads. Make sure you try some of the local specialties like halloumi cheese, loukoumades (fried dough balls drizzled in honey), and glyka tou koutaliou (candied fruits).

My top tip: Get there bright and early (around 7:00 or 8:00 AM) for the best selection and to beat the crowds. Bring plenty of small bills and change, and don’t be afraid to haggle a bit – it’s all part of the fun!

How to get there: You’ll find the market just outside the Old City walls near the Famagusta Gate. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the city center, or you can hop on any bus heading towards Famagusta and get off at the Market stop.

Food Adventures

An assortment of delicious traditional Cypriot dishes showcases the diverse food scene in Nicosia.

You can’t come to Nicosia and not indulge in some seriously yummy food. The city’s food scene is a mouthwatering mix of Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern flavors, with something to suit every taste and budget.

11. Dine at Cypriot Meze

Meze is THE traditional Cypriot dining experience, and it’s basically a never-ending parade of small dishes meant to be shared by the whole table. Think dips like hummus and tzatziki, grilled halloumi cheese, stuffed vine leaves, kebabs, and a whole lot more.

Best time to visit: Evenings are the perfect time to enjoy a meze dinner at local restaurants year-round. The lively atmosphere and the opportunity to sample a wide variety of dishes make it a must-try experience.

Some of my favorite meze spots in Nicosia include:

RestaurantSpecialtyLocationPrice Range
Pyxida Fish TavernSeafood mezeOld City€25-35 per person
Zanettos TavernTraditional mezeAg. Dometios€20-30 per person
ArxontikonFancy mezeOld City€35-45 per person

No matter which place you pick, come hungry and get ready to feast. Meze is a marathon, not a sprint, so take your time savoring each dish, and don’t be shy about asking for seconds of your favorites.

12. Try the Nicosia’s Street Food & Quick Bites

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more casual, Nicosia has tons of street food and quick bites to choose from. Here are a few of my personal faves:

  • Souvlaki: Grilled meat (pork or chicken) wrapped in a soft pita with veggies and sauces. You can grab one from pretty much any street cart or hole-in-the-wall joint for a cheap and tasty meal on the go.
  • Sheftalia: Cypriot sausage made with ground pork or lamb and mixed with parsley, onions, and spices. The absolute best sheftalia in town is at Zenon Tavern in the Old City.
  • Bourekia: Flaky pastries filled with sweet or savory goodies like cheese, spinach, or cinnamon sugar. Head to Bourekia tis Loxandras in the Chrysaliniotissa neighborhood for the real deal.

13. Satisfy You Sweet Tooth with Nicosia’s Traditional Sweets

Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about Nicosia’s mind-blowing traditional sweets. Cypriots have a major sweet tooth, and the city is packed with bakeries and cafes dishing up all kinds of mouthwatering treats.

Here are a few must-tries:

  • Loukoumades: Deep-fried dough balls damped in honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. The absolute best ones in town are at Pallas Pastry Shop in Makariou.
  • Mahalepi: A creamy, milk-based pudding flavored with rosewater or orange blossom water and topped with chopped pistachios. You can find it at pretty much any traditional cafe or pastry shop.
  • Katmer: A Turkish pastry made with super thin phyllo dough, clotted cream, and pistachios. The version at Sevan Bakery in the Küçük Kaymaklı neighborhood is out of this world.

Trust me, even if you’re not usually a dessert person, these sweets are totally worth making an exception for. Just don’t blame me if your pants feel a little snug afterward.

Day Trips & Excursions

A scenic view of the picturesque Troodos Mountain, one of the must-visit spots near Nicosia.

As much as I adore Nicosia, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city for a day and explore more of what Cyprus has to offer. Fortunately for us tourists and travelers, there are some awesome day trip options within easy reach of the capital.

14. Explore the Troodos Mountains

If you’re craving some fresh air and nature vibes, head straight to the Troodos Mountains. This stunning mountain range is home to cute little villages, hiking trails, and even ski slopes in the winter.

Best time to visit: Summer (June to August) is the perfect time to escape the city heat and enjoy the cooler temperatures in the Troodos Mountains.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Omodos Village: A ridiculously picturesque village known for its wine, lace, and silverware. Make sure you sample some of the local vintages and browse the artisan workshops.
  • Kykkos Monastery: One of the most famous and impressive monasteries in Cyprus, home to a priceless collection of religious icons and relics.
  • Troodos Geopark: A UNESCO-listed park with incredible rock formations, waterfalls, and nature trails.

How to get there: To get to the Troodos Mountains, you can either rent a car or hop on a public bus from Nicosia. The journey takes around 1-2 hours depending on where exactly you’re heading.

15. Wander the Ancient City of Salamis

If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss the ancient city of Salamis on the island’s east coast. This huge archaeological site was once one of the most important cities in Cyprus, with a history that goes back over 3,000 years.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) offer pleasant weather for exploring the ruins and hiking around the site.

Some of the coolest things to see at Salamis include:

  • The Gymnasium: A massive complex of baths, exercise yards, and changing rooms that was the heart of social life in the city.
  • The Theatre: A beautifully preserved Roman theatre that could seat up to a whopping 15,000 people.
  • The Royal Tombs: A collection of underground burial chambers with stunning frescoes and mosaics.

How to get there: Getting to Salamis is a piece of cake – just hop on a bus or drive east from Nicosia for about an hour. The site is open every day from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM (5:00 PM in winter), and tickets are just €2.50.

16. Take Lots of Photos at Kyrenia & Bellapais Abbey

For a taste of Cyprus’ gorgeous northern coast, head to the charming harbor town of Kyrenia. This historic port is home to a picture-perfect Old Town, a huge Venetian castle, and some of the yummiest seafood on the island.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are ideal for exploring Kyrenia and Bellapais Abbey, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds.

Just a short drive from Kyrenia, you’ll find Bellapais Abbey, a stunning 13th-century monastery perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views of the coast. The abbey’s beautiful Gothic cloister and peaceful gardens are the perfect spot to spend a relaxing afternoon.

How to get there: To get to Kyrenia and Bellapais from Nicosia, you’ll need to cross the Green Line into the Turkish-controlled north. I recommend renting a car or taking a taxi (buses can be a bit unreliable) and don’t forget to bring your passport for the border crossing.

Festivals & Events

A vibrant display of colorful umbrellas hangs above a street, adding to the charm of things to do in Nicosia.

No matter what time of year you visit Nicosia, there’s almost always some kind of fun festival or event happening in the city. Here are a few of the highlights:

17. Nicosia International Festival

If you’re in town in June, you won’t want to miss the Nicosia International Festival. This month-long extravaganza features music, dance, and theater performances from all over the world. You can expect everything from classical concerts to cutting-edge dance shows to family-friendly circus acts.

Best time to visit: The festival takes place annually in June, offering a packed schedule of cultural events and performances.

Most of the events take place at different venues around the Old City, like the Famagusta Gate and the Municipal Gardens. Tickets range from totally free to around €20 depending on the show.

18. Cyprus Wine Festival

If you’re visiting in October, you’ve got to check out the Cyprus Wine Festival. This two-week celebration of the island’s amazing winemaking tradition features tastings, live music, traditional dance performances, and a whole lot more.

Best time to visit: The Cyprus Wine Festival is held every year in October, showcasing the island’s delicious wines and cultural heritage.

The festival takes over the Municipal Gardens in the heart of Nicosia, and admission starts at just €5 (including a free wine glass!). Come hungry because there are also tons of food stalls dishing up tasty local specialties to help soak up all that vino.

19. Trikomo Tulip Festival

For something a little different, head to the Trikomo Tulip Festival in March or April (depending on when the flowers are blooming). This colorful celebration takes place in the village of Trikomo, about a 30-minute drive east of Nicosia.

Best time to visit: The Trikomo Tulip Festival happens in March or April, coinciding with the beautiful tulip blooms in the area.

During the festival, the village’s fields and hillsides are blanketed in millions of gorgeous tulips, creating an incredible natural display. There are also traditional music and dance performances, craft markets, and yummy food stalls to enjoy.

How to get there: To get to Trikomo, you can either rent a car or hop on a special festival bus from Nicosia (check with the tourist office for schedules and tickets).

Practical Info & Tips When Visiting Nicosia

Tourists study a map and plan their itinerary for exploring things to do in Nicosia.

Okay, I know this guide is already pretty epic, but before I wrap things up, I want to leave you with a few practical tips and temperatures to help make your trip to Nicosia as smooth and fun as possible.

Nicosia Year-Round Temperature

Getting Around

  • Nicosia is a super walkable city, especially in the Old Town. Most of the main sights are within easy strolling distance of each other.
  • If you need to go further afield, there’s a pretty good bus system that covers most of the city. Fares start at just €1.50 per ride, or you can snag a day pass for €5.
  • Taxis are also easy to find and fairly cheap. Just make sure you agree on a fare before hopping in since not all cabs have meters.

Where to Stay

  • Nicosia has a huge range of places to stay, from budget hostels to swanky hotels.
  • For a truly authentic experience, consider staying in a traditional Cypriot guesthouse or agrotourism property in one of the cute villages just outside the city.
  • If you want to be right in the middle of the action, look for a hotel or Airbnb in the Old City or near Ledra Street.

Money & Tipping

  • The official currency in Cyprus is the Euro (€). ATMs are all over the place, and most businesses are happy to take major credit cards.
  • Tipping isn’t mandatory but it’s always appreciated. At restaurants, it’s normal to round up the bill or leave around 10-15% if the service is really great.
  • For taxis, it’s polite to round up to the nearest euro or two.


  • The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, but most folks in Nicosia also speak at least a little bit of English.
  • That said, learning a few basic phrases in Greek (in the south) or Turkish (in the north) will go a long way in making the locals like you.
  • Some handy Greek phrases include “yassas” (hello), “efharisto” (thank you), and “parakalo” (please).


  • Nicosia is generally a super safe city with pretty low crime rates. But as with any big city, it’s always smart to take basic precautions like keeping an eye on your stuff and being aware of your surroundings.
  • If you’re planning to cross the Green Line, make sure you follow the instructions of the border guards and have your passport ready to go.
  • For emergencies, the police number is 112 and the ambulance number is 199.

As you can probably tell, I’m head over heels in love with fun things to do in Nicosia and could go on and on about it for days. If you have any other questions or just want to chat more about this awesome city, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Is it Worth Going to Nicosia?

Absolutely! Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is a fascinating city with a rich blend of Greek and Turkish cultures. You can explore historical sites like the Venetian Walls, enjoy vibrant local markets, and savor delicious Cypriot cuisine. The unique mix of history and modernity makes it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re into ancient architecture or contemporary cafes, Nicosia has something for everyone​.

Is Nicosia Walkable?

Yes, Nicosia is very walkable. The city’s layout is pedestrian-friendly, especially in the old town. Walking around, you can easily explore historic neighborhoods, visit museums, and enjoy local street art and cafes. The compact nature of Nicosia means you can cover many attractions on foot, making it a perfect city for walking tours​.

What Part of Cyprus can you not Visit?

While most of Cyprus is accessible, the United Nations Buffer Zone, also known as the Green Line, separates the Republic of Cyprus from Northern Cyprus. Some parts of this buffer zone are off-limits to the public. However, there are several crossing points where tourists can move between the two sides. Just remember to carry your passport if you plan to cross between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus​.

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