Maps of Nicosia
Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th Century. The heart of the city is surrounded by 16th Century Venetian walls and it is full of churches, museums and medieval buildings that link to the past and make Nicosia feel very nostalgic indeed.
The Famagusta Gate, which has been restored, was one of the original entrances to the old city; most of the old churches are to be found in this part of Nicosia. With its narrow streets and old houses made from beautiful sandstone, in Nicosia you will often come across many craftsmen practising trades that have remained unchanged for centuries. Another must see is the Cyprus Museum, which is home to Cyprus’ most important collection of antiquities and treasures from the Neolithic and Roman periods.
A modern tourist city
Outside of the walls you really get an idea of how far Nicosia has progressed as a tourist city. Nicosia is often described as a "cosmopolitan centre of business and culture" and is also regarded as the main shopping area of Cyprus. On sale are numerous locally produced items such as embroidery, pottery and other handicrafts, as well as modern items such as perfume, liquor and fashion that retails at prices much less than elsewhere in Europe.
Nicosia today is a historic fragment of what it used to be. Before the 60s, Nicosia retained all the charm and beauty of an old city, but due to the pressures of demand the city has been developed into what it is today, full of restaurants, discos and bars. Sadly, the almost overnight upheaval, with many new buildings springing up, resulted in the historical character of Nicosia being, if not lost, then at least overwhelmed.