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Places to Visit in Cyprus

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Places to Visit in Cyprus

Known as the pearl of the Mediterranean, Cyprus is an island that fascinates its visitors with its culture, nature and history. Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage. That’s why there are many places to visit in Cyprus. Different ethnic groups such as Greek, Turkish, Armenian, Maronite and Latin live on the island. The official languages ​​of the island are Greek and Turkish.

Cyprus is also known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. There are many historical and natural beauties on the island. For example; Places such as Kyrenia Castle, Selimiye Mosque, Paphos Ancient City, Petra tou Romiou, Troodos Mountains and Akamas National Park are worth seeing.

Cyprus also has a delicious cuisine. The most famous food of the island is halloumi cheese. Halloumi cheese is made from sheep or goat’s milk and is served grilled or fried. Other popular dishes include desserts such as pilavuna, peach kebab, molohiya, okra, kolokas and macun.

The island of Cyprus is a dazzling holiday center with its history, natural beauties, casinos and Cyprus hotels . It is possible to find activities to suit every taste on the island. The best time for those who want to visit Cyprus is spring or autumn. In these seasons, the temperature is ideal and it is the best opportunity to enjoy the island. Apart from this, it offers a special holiday experience for its visitors with its mild climate during the winter months.

It is possible to list the prominent places to visit in Cyprus as follows:

  • Kyrenia Castle
  • Bellapais Monastery
  • Ancient City of Salamis
  • Othello Castle
  • Museum of Barbarism
  • Venetian Column
  • Saint Sophia Cathedral (Selimiye Mosque)
  • Karpaz Peninsula
  • Icon Museum (Arkhangelos Michael Church)
  • Maraş District

1. Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia, one of the most beautiful cities of Cyprus, fascinates its visitors with its historical and natural beauties. One of the most important symbols of Kyrenia is Kyrenia Castle. Kyrenia Castle was built by the Byzantines in the 7th century to protect the city against Arab-Islamic raids. Those who want to visit Kyrenia Castle can easily reach the castle located at the eastern end of Kyrenia harbour. The entrance fee to the castle is 20 TL. You should spare at least a few hours to visit the castle.

Spending time at Kyrenia Castle is a great opportunity to discover the historical atmosphere and impressive views. The museums inside the castle offer visitors the chance to get to know the history and culture of the region more closely. You can also walk around the castle walls and wander around the narrow streets. You can enjoy local flavors and take a pleasant break at the restaurants and cafes in the inner courtyard of the castle.

At the same time, concerts and events are held in the castle during certain periods, so visitors can experience both history and entertainment together. Kyrenia Castle, as one of the important historical and cultural heritages of Cyprus, offers visitors a unique experience. An unmissable region for history lovers, culture enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts. By visiting this magnificent building, you can accumulate pleasant memories while witnessing the history of Cyprus.

2. Bellapais Monastery

Bellapais Monastery is a building of historical and cultural importance located in the Bellapais village of Kyrenia. It offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its unique location, magnificent views and historical texture. In terms of transportation, after reaching Kyrenia, one of the main cities of Cyprus, you can take a short trip to the village. If you are staying in Kyrenia, you can easily reach there by taxis and minibuses.

The architectural structure of the monastery is quite impressive and magnificent. Bellapais Monastery fascinates with its historical atmosphere, with its stonework, arched passages and beautiful gardens. Visitors can wander around the monastery and explore the historical building up close. You can also enjoy traditional Cypriot food at the restaurants around the monastery and take a pleasant walk in the narrow streets around it.

Bellapais Monastery is also a popular venue for events and concerts. Various art events and festivals are organized, especially in the summer months. Thanks to these activities, the monastery offers a culturally and artistically rich experience. This building, which is among the must-see places to explore the history and culture of Cyprus; It offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its historical texture, impressive views and peaceful atmosphere around it. Entrance to the monastery is 15 TL.

3. Ancient City of Salamis

Salamis Ancient City stands out as one of the oldest settlements on the island. This ancient city, located in the northeastern part of Famagusta, offers the opportunity for those who want to closely explore the history of the island.

B.C. Salamis Ruins, which date back to the 1100s, have survived to the present day with largely preserved ruins. The ancient city, which has hosted many civilizations such as Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, is built on a wide area. Thanks to the easy transportation route, you can reach the region from Famagusta in approximately 30 minutes.

You can visit ruins such as theatre, sports fields, market areas, temples and port in the ancient city. The entrance fee is 9 TL for adults and 5 TL for students. You can explore the entire city in approximately 2-3 hours.

Since the region consists of ancient ruins, you do not have many options for food and beverages around. Therefore, it is recommended that you obtain your food and beverage needs during your visit before coming to the area. You can have a pleasant time in this area where ancient ruins are side by side with natural beauties.

4. Othello Castle

Another important place to visit during your Cyprus trip is Othello Castle. This castle, which you can easily reach due to its location, is located in the Suriçi neighborhood of Famagusta. It is approximately 55 – 60 km away from Nicosia. You can also reach this area by minibuses.

The main purpose of the castle is to effectively prevent attacks from outside. Among the striking details in the structure, the majestic lion statue stands out. This castle, built by the Venetians, has survived almost completely. Since the castle is not a very large structure, you can complete your tour in about half an hour. However, you may also want to visit the small museum of Venetian history inside.

Since it is in a central location, you can also meet your food and beverage needs from the restaurants and buffets around it. You can also choose the buffet located inside the castle. The entrance fee to the castle, which is open on the remaining days of the week except Mondays, is 10 TL.

5. Museum of Barbarism

Barbarism Museum is a museum located in Nicosia and witnessing the recent history of Cyprus. Thanks to its central location, you can reach the museum even on foot. In this museum, which was nationalized in 1980 after opening in 1966, the recent events between Greeks and Turks are narrated. There are documents, photographs and various documents belonging to the people who lost their lives.

You can visit the museum every day except Thursdays. You can visit this single-floor museum, where entrance is free, in approximately half an hour. If you get tired, you can rest in the rest areas within the museum. You can get detailed information if you wish, thanks to the explanations in the works.

6. Venetian Column

The Venetian Column, located in the city center of Nicosia, stands out with its beauty. This column, which you can see in Atatürk Square, is within walking distance due to its central location. This column, built approximately in the 1550s, was made by the Venetians, as its name suggests. The symbols on it point to the rich families of the period. Although the column was originally located in a different location when it was first built, it was moved to its current location after the British came to the island. It stands out as a good option, especially if you want to take photos.

Due to its central location, you can have a pleasant time in the area where there are many tourist shops, restaurants and cafes. Since it is located in a public area, you can see the column for free.

7. Saint Sophia Cathedral (Selimiye Mosque)

Saint Sophia Cathedral, or now known as Selimiye Mosque, stands out as another historical building you should visit during your Cyprus trip. The building, which draws attention with its Gothic style, is considered the main mosque of Nicosia. Due to its central location, you can reach the building by walking.

The building, which attracts attention with its magnificent appearance, was built by Latins who came to the island in the 1200s. Its construction took approximately 100 years and when it was opened, it became one of the few cathedrals. For a long time, Lusignan kings were crowned in this structure.

While the monumental gate that first catches the eye at the entrance fascinates those who see it, the fine details, stone workmanship and stained glass inside the building are also noteworthy elements. The building, which is among the most beautiful examples of Gothic structure, has a total of 3 corridors.

Today, since it is used as a mosque, you can visit the building outside of prayer hours. Selimiye Mosque entrance is free. You can visit every day of the week. Since it is centrally located, you can meet your food and beverage needs from the nearby businesses.

8. Karpaz Peninsula

Since Cyprus is an island, it has many natural beauties that you need to discover. Karpaz Peninsula, which is the first place that comes to mind when it comes to natural beauty on the island, offers a good opportunity for you to relax with its peaceful structure. You can reach the peninsula, which is approximately 80 km away from Nicosia, by car by following the Karpaz Main Road.

This peninsula starts with the Mesarya Plain and spreads to the tip of the island. Since it covers a large area, you can spare a day to explore this place. It may be a good choice, especially to get away from noise and crowds.

You can make your holiday here much more enjoyable and beautiful with the view it offers, natural beauties and an environment full of greenery. If you want, you can also swim on the golden beach in the region. Even though it is a natural environment, there are many restaurants and cafes for you to relax on the Karpaz Peninsula.

9. Icon Museum (Arkhangelos Michael Church)

The Icon Museum in Kyrenia is approximately 25 km away from Nicosia. You can easily reach there by car by following the Kyrenia – Nicosia road. You can also choose minibuses. Located in a central location in Kyrenia, the museum was opened as the Arkhangelos Mikhael Church. Built in the mid-1800s, the building served as an Orthodox church for a long time. However, the archaeological remains found on the island began to be exhibited in the building, which was later converted into a museum.

The building, which takes its name from the rich variety of icons, is at a level that will meet the expectations of people who are especially interested in archeology and art. Thanks to its central location, you can also benefit from options such as restaurants, cafes and eateries around it. It is a 5-minute walk from Kyrenia Castle. The icon museum entrance fee is 10 TL.

10. Maraş District

Maraş District in Famagusta is spread over a very large area. It is 60 km away from Nicosia. Since it is a central location, you can try different alternatives in terms of transportation. The most important thing to know about this place is that entry is prohibited. In other words, you can watch from outside.

This area, which was one of the most important touristic centers of Cyprus in the 1970s, was evacuated as a result of the events and war on the island. Since it was evacuated very quickly, the houses in the area still contain the belongings of those who lived at that time. Vehicles from that period can also be seen on its streets.

Maraş District, an important symbol for the history of Cyprus, is a structure whose interior details are not fully discovered because it is viewed from the outside. However, if you want to see this place, which has become a kind of ghost neighborhood, from the outside, you should definitely visit it.

11. Karaoğlanoğlu Museum and Martyrdom

Karaoğlanoğlu Museum and Martyrdom, located in Kyrenia and where the bodies of the Turkish soldiers who were martyred during the 1974 operation are located, is one of the most special places for the Turkish side. To reach the martyrs’ cemetery, you can follow the martyrs’ cemetery road in Kyrenia centre.

There are a total of 71 Turkish soldiers’ graves in the martyrs’ cemetery. There are various columns and statues at the entrance. These statues especially symbolize the Republic of Türkiye and TRNC. At the same time, the museum located in the martyrs’ cemetery serves to document what happened during the Cyprus Operation and what happened afterwards.

Entrance to the museum is free and you can visit it during your visit to the martyrs’ cemetery to learn more about what happened during the operation.

12. St. Hilarion Castle

St. Hilarion Castle has been the subject of many films and paintings due to its appearance. It was effective in creating the image of a castle that comes to mind when it comes to castles in the Middle Ages. You can reach the castle, which is located in Kyrenia and is a bit difficult in terms of transportation, with a journey of approximately 50 minutes.

The castle was built in the 4th century AD and was used for defensive purposes by every civilization in Cyprus. At the same time, it has always been a center of attraction for the intellectuals of the time and was preferred for retreats.

Since the view of the castle is fascinating, you should definitely visit it during your Cyprus trip. Since it is in an elevated position, it is recommended to take food and drinks with you. Thanks to its view, you can watch Kyrenia from a much more beautiful position.

13. Guzelyurt Nature and Archeology Museum

Located in the city of Güzelyurt, Güzelyurt Nature and Archeology Museum hosts important works in its field. You can easily find the museum, which is approximately 1 km away from Guzelyurt Terminal.

The museum consists of two parts and the first part is the nature museum. Here you can find frozen sculptures of animals from Cyprus. You can especially see the bird and fish species that are unique to the island. In the other section, artifacts belonging to the archaeological remains on the island are exhibited.

This museum, which will please nature and archeology lovers, is open every day. Thanks to its parking lot, you will not have any problems if you go by car. In addition, there is also a cafeteria section in the museum for you to relax. The entrance fee to the museum is 10 TL.

14. Famagusta Namık Kemal Square

Famagusta Namık Kemal Square, located in Famagusta, took this name because the famous homeland poet Namık Kemal was exiled to Cyprus. The famous poet was exiled to Famagusta after the play called Homeland or Silistre, written by Namık Kemal, attracted the reaction of the palace.

Although there is a statue erected in the name of Namık Kemal in this square, the building where the famous poet stayed in exile has also been turned into a museum. Since it is in a central location, you can relax in areas such as cafes and restaurants around it. Additionally, since the square is open, it is also ideal for walks. Among the works in the museum are many photographs, letters and personal belongings of the poet.

15. Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, which is among the places you must see with its architecture, was built as the first church. Located in Famagusta, the building is within walking distance from every point due to its central location. The building, which is one of the important examples of Catholic architecture, was built approximately in the 1300s.

You can be impressed by the appearance of the building, which was used as a church until the Ottomans came to dominate the region and then as a mosque. While the glass in the building attracts attention with its fine workmanship, the doors also take you on a journey through history with their special designs. In addition, the coats of arms of the kings who reigned during the period are engraved on many points of the structure.

16. Barnabas Monastery

Barnabas Monastery, located in a high position in Famagusta, has been one of the centers of different beliefs throughout history. Built in the 7th century AD, the building was used as a place of worship by pagans, Christians and Muslims over time.

The building, which has survived to the present day intact and is open to visitors after successful restoration works, also contains the graves of Christian clergy who existed until recent times. After reaching the building, you can also explore the natural beauty and landscape around it.

Visiting the Barnabas Monastery is free. Reaching Barnabas Monastery by car may be difficult due to the road condition. Therefore, you should remember that you may have to reach it on foot. You should also keep in mind that due to its sheltered location, it is difficult to find places to meet your food and drink needs.

17. Blue Pavilion

The Blue Mansion is among the places you will see in Cyprus. You should definitely visit this place, with its eye-catching architecture and mysterious stories attributed to it. Since there are many stories and legends about the mansion made by local people, you can learn about them during your visit.

During your visit to the mansion, which is open every day except Mondays, you can meet your needs from the buffet as there is no restaurant or market around. At the same time, since the Blue Mansion is a military zone, you must have your ID with you. The Blue Pavilion entrance fee is 15 TL. You can reach the mansion, located on the Güzelyurt mountain road, by car.

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