Nicosia, also known as Lefkosa was once the Gothic Capital of the Lusignan Kings, and is today the only divided capital in the world. The Green Line separates the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, but also now acts as a gateway border to cross between the two regions. You’ll notice a stark contrast between the two areas, with the South of Nicosia being extremely commercial, full of bustling bars and shops and cosmopolitan styled streets. North Nicosia is far quieter and more traditional, still remaining untouched by tourism prompted developments. Visitors to here will be able to get a real feel for the culture and political history of the country. There are plenty of exciting things to see, all giving the Capital a charisma that is animated with the past.
There is the Big Inn, which was built in 1572 by the first governor of Cyprus, or the Dervish Pasa Mansion, which is a two storey mansion once owned by the publisher of the first ever Turkish newspaper in Cyprus – Dervish Pasha. It still has a subtle magnificence that will captivate those looking around. You could take an amble around the St Catherine Cathedral, a beautiful fourteenth century building that still boasts all the opulence of the Ottoman era with its gothic windows and geometric ornamentations. The many old buildings that embellish the city create a ghostly presence of old civilisations, and this gives Nicosia a completely unique atmosphere. Restaurants serving a range of foods will always welcome those that have been wandering the attractions all day and need a good meal in a friendly atmosphere.
Nicosia/Lefkosa is a must visit if you’re interested in the history of the country, and also provides the opportunity to explore both sides of the region if you wish.