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Many years ago when I would visit Cyprus on holiday as a teen, the island’s capital Nicosia was its most cosmopolitan destination. With time, the other major towns have developed, grown and expanded to offer everything you can find in the commercial streets of Nicosia, but the capital’s hip status will never change! Nicosia has a cultural tapestry that the curious traveller will love.



If you have just 24 hours in the capital the best way to experience it is to put on a pair of comfy shoes and walk in the footsteps of its history within and around its Venetian Walls.

The Walking Tour within the Walls City Route is a free guided walking tour organised by the DMT (Deputy Ministry of Tourism) and the Cyprus Tourist Guide’s Association that explores the old city within the walls, from its architecture to its traditional workshops for a really in-depth introduction to ‘old Nicosia’.

The old parts of town lead to Ledra & Onasagorou streets – pedestrian only shopping lanes with old buildings that house an eclectic mix of shops and cafes. The abrupt ending of Ledra Street is a stark reminder that Nicosia remains the world’s last divided capital. The rest of the street lies in the Turkish-occupied areas past the checkpoint.


Tucked between Ledra & Onasagorou is Faneromenis district, centred around its church and square where you will find a myriad of cultural gems including the church itself, which has an architectural style that merges Medieval Latin, Neoclassical and Byzantine elements. There are also several other historical buildings. I love the cafes and restaurants here – always something interesting to discover!


When it’s time to get out of the sun, a visit to the island’s main national museum Cyprus Museum, is a must. Filled with archaeological treasures there are many stories behind the priceless artefacts that really give you a sense of how rich the history of the island is and how far back it dates.

Take a well-deserved pampering pit-stop next at the restored baths Omeriye Hamam (built 1570–71), located next to the Omeriye Mosque. Aside from offering a world of relaxation, the architecture of the bathing complex is stunning and won a ‘Europa Nostra Award for Architectural Heritage Conservation’ in 2005.


As the sun sets and day gives way to evening, the capital is abuzz with the sound of socialising. Keeping in the theme of exploring the old parts of Nicosia. I particularly like discovering the latest trendy bars and restaurants hidden in old buildings – combining the old with the new – a personal favourite is GRANAZI. They serve the most delicious cocktails!

 I often head back to Faneromenis district and Ledra Street for quirky outdoor venues; to walk the streets of the old town and see what the latest local favourites of the moment are, or to grab some authentic street food (often the best food!). My favourite is Piatsa Ggourounaki – the best kebabs in Nicosia!