Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and the only divided capital city in the world. The city is split into two parts: the southern part, which is controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, and the northern part, which is controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The two parts are separated by the Green Line, a buffer zone that was established after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
Despite the division, Nicosia remains a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The southern part is home to the majority of the population and is the commercial and financial center of Cyprus. The northern part is more traditionally Turkish in character and is home to a number of historical and cultural sites.
Here are some of the top things to do in Nicosia:
- Explore the walled city: The walled city is the oldest part of Nicosia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walls were built by the Venetians in the 16th century and are some of the best-preserved in Europe.
- Visit the Selimiye Mosque: The Selimiye Mosque is the largest mosque in Cyprus and was originally built as a cathedral by the Byzantines. It was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus in 1571.
- Shop at Ledra Street: Ledra Street is the main shopping street in Nicosia and is a great place to find souvenirs, traditional Cypriot products, and clothing.
- Take a walk through the buffer zone: The buffer zone is a unique place to learn about the history of the Cyprus conflict. You can walk along the walls and see the barbed wire and watchtowers that separate the two parts of the city.
- Visit the Cyprus Museum: The Cyprus Museum is the national museum of Cyprus and houses a collection of archaeological artifacts from all over the island.
- Enjoy the nightlife: Nicosia has a vibrant nightlife scene and there are bars and clubs to suit all tastes.
No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do in Nicosia. The city is a fascinating blend of old and new, and it’s a great place to learn about the history and culture of Cyprus.
Here are some additional tips for visiting Nicosia:
- The best time to visit Nicosia is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild.
- If you’re planning on crossing the Green Line, be sure to have your passport with you.
- There are a number of tour operators that offer walking tours of the walled city and the buffer zone.
- If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Cyprus, be sure to visit the Cyprus Museum.
- Nicosia is a relatively safe city, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against petty theft.
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