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Best things to do in Nicosia

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Cyprus  /  Nicosia District  /  Nicosia

Top 15 things to do in Nicosia

1. Buyuk Han

An old Ottoman roadside inn, Buyuk Han has a mosque in its courtyard, and several art galleries within its walls. Built in 1572, it served as a prison during the British colonization era, and became a hostel for the poor in 1893. The complex stands two stories tall, and has 68 rooms and 10 shops. You'll see a mosque at the center of the courtyard, erected on marble piers. Browse through quaint shops all around the site, which sell spices, sweets, and souvenirs. Check out some of the restaurants and cafes, which have been built to fit in with the traditional feel of the place.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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2. Selimiye Mosque

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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3. Off-Road & ATV Trails, Paphos

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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4. The Cyprus Museum

The Cyprus Museum (also known as the Cyprus Archaeological Museum) is the oldest and largest archaeological museum in Cyprus.

The museum houses artifacts discovered during numerous excavations on the island. The museum is home to the most extensive collection of Cypriot antiquities in the world and is located on Museum Street in central Nicosia. Its history goes hand in hand with the course of modern archaeology (and the Department of Antiquities) in Cyprus. Of note is that only artefacts discovered on the island are displayed.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Ledra Street Crossing Point

Ledra Street Crossing Point presents a division of one capital city among two countries. Lined with passport controls, the site provides insight into the turbulent past and present of the region. Featuring Greek-Cypriot streets, people, and culture one side and Turkish-Cypriot markets, beliefs, and lifestyle on the other, the crossing point is a rare place where you can switch between two significantly different worlds in a matter of minutes. If you are going to spend time with the locals, it's best to skip political talk on either side.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, Paphos

A World Heritage Site, Kato Paphos Archaeological Park features monuments from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, including some of the finest mosaics in the Eastern Mediterranean. See remnants of Roman villas and fortresses, some of them with floors made of colorful stone, representing scenes from Greek mythology. Take a walk through the arid lands, over dunes, and among ruins, and look for monuments such as Ancient Odeon--a 2nd-century theater built entirely out of limestone blocks--and Saranta Kolones, which features remnants of a Byzantine castle destroyed in a 1222 earthquake. 
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Byzantine Museum

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa

Get the party going at Nissi Beach, Cyprus's number one party spot. Stretching along 500 m (0.3 mi) of white sand seashore, the beach is considered one of the most exotic one on the island and it's been awarded the EU Blue Flag. The sea is shallow and crystal clear here, while the surrounding area is filled with palm trees and subtropical plants. You'll see a small islet just offshore, which you can access by foot, for a completely new view of Ayia Napa. Refrain, however, from joining the cliff jumpers at this spot.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia

The history of the city of Nicosia, from antiquity to the present era, unfolds in a complex of traditional buildings on Hippocrates Street no.15-17. The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia is located in the old city within the walls, not very far from Eleftheria Square. The idea of creating a museum dedicated to the history of Nicosia was that of the former mayor of the city, Lellos Demetriades. The Museum was founded in 1984 by the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and was inaugurated in 1989. Two years later, in 1991, the Leventis Museum was honoured with the European Museum of the Year Award. Today, entirely refurbished and with the new “Constantine Leventis” wing, the Museum aims to continue in its mission of contributing to the protection of Nicosia’s history. The permanent exhibition spaces are home to exhibits which take the visitor on a journey through Nicosia’s history, a history that began 1.800.000 years ago when the sea between the Troodos and Pentadactylos range gave birth to a fertile plain called the Mesaoria.

The permanent exhibition includes: the Nicosia Gallery, with objects dating from the birth of the region and the ancient city (3900 BC-325 AD); the Byzantine and Mediaeval Galleries (325-1489 AD) which have a unique collection of glazed vessels from the 13-16th century, as well as other objects presenting the city when it was capital of the Mediaeval Kingdom of Cyprus; the Venetian Period Galleries (1489-1570 AD) which showcase the single most important collection of mediaeval and modern maps of Nicosia; the Ottoman Period Galleries (1570-1878 AD) presenting the city as travellers saw it in the difficult years of the Ottoman occupation; and the British Period Gallery (1878-1960 AD) offering the social development of the city during the English occupation. Special mention is also given to the recent history from 1960 until today.

The Museum also offers organized educational programs, tours and other events. The temporary exhibition space hosts exhibitions from other museums and foundations from Cyprus and abroad, while, at the same time, it organizes exhibitions aimed at the promotion of the history and social development of the city. In the Museum’s shop publications and memorabilia are on sale and the profits go towards the enrichment of the Museum’s collections.

The visitor has the opportunity to learn about the history of Nicosia and the objects that represent the life of Cypriots in both the Greek and English languages. Maps of the museum are available in Greek, English, Italian, French and German. Admission to the Museum is free since it operates on a system of voluntary donations.

The history of Nicosia unfolds not only in the galleries but also on the official Museum website www.leventismuseum.org.cy.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Tombs of the Kings, Paphos

See Tombs of the Kings, an ancient burial site of Hellenistic and Roman administrative officers and distinguished people, and their families. Just steps from the sea, the site has a typical Eastern Mediterranean feel to it, with small sand dunes, low grass and bushes, and palm trees. Take a self-guided tour among the ruins and enter the atriums carved into natural rock to see niches in the walls that were used for burials. Used between the 3rd century BCE and the 4th century CE, the site features Doric pillars and architectural styles from Alexandria, Delos, Pergamon, and Priene.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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13. The Pancyprian Gymnasium Museums

The Pancyprian Gymnasium was founded in 1812 by Archbishop Kyprianos at a time when Cyprus was still under Ottoman rule. It was originally called the Hellenic School and is the oldest high school still in operation on the island. The school was expanded in 1893 to incorporate a lyceum when Cyprus was under British rule and changed its name to its current one in 1896. In tribute to the school's contribution to education the Cyprus Post office issued a commemorative stamp in 1993.GroundsIt is located opposite the archbishopric within the walls of the old city of Nicosia. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1920 and parts of the school were completely rebuilt in neoclassical style. Of particular historical interest is the crypt of the school located beneath the main entrance. This is where Archbishop Kyprianos was said to have held secret meetings with representatives of the Philiki Etairia in the early 19th century. The school also incorporates a substantial collection of artifacts, art and books. The Severios Library which opened in 1949 holds over 60,000 manuscripts.Through benevolent donations the school has become very wealthy. On an educational level it is highly regarded and considered a model school. Many influential figures have studied and taught here.Notable former pupils Archbishop Makarios, past president of Cyprus, former student Tassos Papadopoulos, past president of Cyprus Costas Clerides, attorney general of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides, past president of Cyprus Petros Clerides, former attorney general of Cyprus Vassos Lyssarides, politician and leader of the Socialist Party Christopher A. Pissarides, Noble Prize-winning economist Athos Petrou, physics professor, University at Buffalo
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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