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Attractions of Northern Cyprus

Many tourists who have visited the sights of Northern Cyprus, come back here again. After all, the most interesting monuments of antiquity are located here.

Main interesting places in Northern Cyprus

Interesting places in Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus is rich in interesting places.

If South Cyprus has become a place of more relaxed recreation, the Republic of Turkey is just filled with active excursions, sports entertainment and many businesses in the tourism industry.

The Old City of Famagusta and its attractions

There are about 20 historical monuments in the city center. Experienced tourists are advised to go straight to the obelisk, located near the fortress wall. They issue cards to newcomers there. They will help you study all the buildings in detail.

The city of Famagusta
The old city of Famagusta welcomes tourists.

The ghost town of Varosha

In August 1974, the city’s population was evacuated and the area was surrounded by a fence with barbed wire. Everywhere there are towers with armed guards, vigilantly watching for those wishing to visit the city. The UN resolution issued in 1984 states that only former local residents can live here.

The guards reprimand even ordinary tourists taking pictures of abandoned houses. But Varosha is close to the public beaches of Famagusta. Therefore, people who are interested in an example of the consequences of armed conflicts can see the place from afar.

The ghost town of Varosha
The ghost town of Varosha is for locals only.

The Salamin Archaeological Complex

It was once the largest city of Cyprus, located 6 km from Famagusta. But today all that is left of it are ruins.

Despite this, you can see a lot of interesting monuments:

  1. Roman Gymnasium. Its marble columns and statues of the gods have become one of the hallmarks of Cyprus.
  2. Antique Theater of the Eastern Mediterranean. It could hold 15,000 spectators.
  3. Necropolis. There are royal tombs and a small museum on its premises.
  4. Church of St. Epiphanius.
  5. Remains of the ancient marketplace, the temple of Zeus, the central square and the Christian church.
Salamin complex
The archaeological complex of Salamis contains many ancient ruins.

The deserted Karpas Peninsula and Cape Andreas

Karpas is located in the eastern part of Cyprus. This area is famous for its beautiful beach and unusual scenery. So here come those tourists who want to spend a few days in nature, away from people.

At the edge of the peninsula rises Cape Andreas. Not far from it you can see the monastery of the Apostle Andrew, which is more than 1,000 years old.

Today it is one of the heritage sites of UNESCO, turned into a museum for tourists. An icon of the saint is kept in the building. Priests will show those wishing to do so a spring, which, according to legend, was discovered by the apostle himself.

Cape St. Andrew
Cape of St. Andrew in Cyprus.

Kantar Castle

The castle was built in the X century, before it was the monastery of Our Lady of Cantara. Popular with tourists because of the beautiful views of the sea and mountains, as well as the opportunity to admire the sunset from the observation deck.

The price of a visit is 2 €.

Kantar Castle
Kantara Castle was built in the 10th century.

Nicosia, the capital of Northern Cyprus, and its attractions

Nicosia is divided into two halves by a stone wall. One part of the city became the capital of Northern Cyprus, the other part the capital of Southern Cyprus. The Turkish Border Guard and UN troops control the crossing between them.

In the city you can visit Ataturk Square. This is where the famous Venetian Column is located. Its base is decorated with the coats of arms of the Venetian families who lived in Cyprus at the time.

For religious people, the church of St. Nicholas and the Selemie Mosque (the former Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Sophia) are open. Other tourists prefer the Turkish inn Buyuk-Khan and the Buyuk-Hamam baths.

Ataturk Square
Ataturk Square in Kemer.

Kyrenia Girne: Castle and Shipwreck Museum

The ancient city, located near the harbor of Northern Cyprus, has gradually turned into a major tourist center. Among the visitors are popular Kyrenia Fortress and Shipwreck Museum, which houses an antique ship built during the time of Alexander the Great. The ancient ship was discovered in the 1970s near the coast of Kyrenia.

Tourists can visit the fortress every day from 8:00 to 18:30. In winter, the time is reduced by 2 hours (up to 16:00). Admission is charged at 2 € or 14 ₺.

Kyrenia Fortress
The walls of the fortress of Kyrenia.

The ancient city of Soli

It is one of the ten ancient kingdoms of Cyprus. Historians believe it was named after the philosopher Solon. The settlement was of particular importance to Cyprus because of its fertile soil and large number of ports. Of all the urban buildings have survived to this day only the Agora, the Roman theater and the basilica, painted with mosaics.

The ticket price is 1,6 €.

Roman theater
Roman theater in the ancient city of Soli.

Fortress of St. Hilarion

The castle is built as a multi-level building. The upper floors were occupied by the royal family. Below were warehouses, farm buildings and stables.

In these rooms lived servants with armed soldiers. In addition to their daily tasks, they monitored food and water supplies. Due to the large size of the warehouses, the fortress could safely survive several years of siege.

Today there are installations showing the life of members of the royal family, and on top of the fortress is equipped with a special platform, where you can admire the beautiful view.

On the territory of the cafe and store, where you can buy souvenirs.

The site is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day from April through the end of October. In other months, visitation times are reduced to 3:30 p.m. The cashier closes 60 minutes before closing time. The cost of the ticket is 2.5 € or 17 ₺. Children under the age of 7 are allowed free of charge.

Fortress of St. Hilarion
St. Hilarion Fortress is open to tourists.

Bellapais Abbey

The building has taken the place of the most beautiful structure of the Middle East, made in the Gothic style. Historians disagree on when the original version was built. But all the assumptions concern the period from 1198 to 1205. The modern complex was completed in 1267-1284.

From April to October visiting hours are from 8:00 to 18:00. In exceptional cases, the administration may extend the visit by 1 hour. From November to March the place is open to tourists from 8:00 to 16:00. The price for admission is 2 €. Parking for cars is paid – 1,2 €.

Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey is set in a very picturesque location.

St. Barnabas Monastery

Inside the building are open museums for tourists. One is devoted to archaeology, the other to icons. A mausoleum was built 100 meters from the monastery. Beneath it are the remains of St. Barnabas. They lie in a cave, so they are available to all who wish to visit.

The cost of admission is 2.5 €.

St. Barnabas Monastery
In the cave of St. Barnabas Monastery his remains are preserved.

Büyük-Khan Caravanserai

The complex is located in the north of Nicosia. In addition to the ancient buildings, tourists can visit the cafes and souvenir shops. Admission to the area is free. But sometimes the artists of the only Theatre of Shadows in Cyprus perform here. On these days, all visits are for a fee. Their cost depends on the orders of the administration.

Büyük-Khan Caravanserai
In the north of Nicosia is the Caravanserai Buyuk Khan.

Vuni Palace

The building was built in 500 BC. But 120 years later it burned down. Tourists can admire only the remains of the buildings, the palace and the temple of Athena. Ticket price – 1,6 €.

Vuni Palace
The ruined remains of the Vuni Palace.

Cyprus Wall

On most of the peninsula, the landmark looks like a mesh fence with barbed wire running along it. But on the territory of Nicosia it consists of planks, barrels and pieces of rebar. Created as a temporary barrier between the Turks and Greeks. However, the structure has been in existence for 47 years.

In some places, residential buildings became part of the wall. For reasons unknown, they are abandoned. The border, which runs along the perimeter of the wall, is controlled by the military. They don’t take pity on curious tourists.

Cyprus Wall
The Cyprus Wall was built 47 years ago.

Buffavento Castle

Byzantine building from the seventh century. If you translate the name from Italian, it means “blown by the winds”. Many tourists agree with this. It’s hard to get up to the castle, especially in the sun. But the most patient will be rewarded with a beautiful view from the top deck.

Now only ruins remain. Therefore, this place can be visited for free by everyone.

Buffavento Castle
Buffavento Castle in ruins.

The Monastery of St. John Chrysostom

The monastery is situated on the southern slopes of the Kyrenia Mountains. The first building was constructed between 110 and 118. But over time it was destroyed. Gradually it was restored, but tourists are still forbidden to visit the area.

What other sights are worth seeing on your own in North Cyprus

This list includes Castello Fortress and Othello Tower, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, St. Nicholas Cathedral, etc. To explore in detail all that Cyprus has to offer tourists, it is recommended to buy special maps and explore all the monuments on your own.

Othello Tower
Othello Tower is one of the attractions of Northern Cyprus.

Sightseeing map of Northern Cyprus

The card is issued in places where tickets are sold. The cost of the card depends on the administration, but in most cases it is free. Paper carriers have one major drawback – they are rarely updated. Therefore, not all information is contained there. It is recommended to use the online options.

Popular tours and driving routes in Northern Cyprus

6 popular tourist excursions:

  1. From Famagusta to Salamina. They will charge 35 € per person.
  2. Northern Cyprus. The cost is 45 €.
  3. Grand tour of the northern state. One person will pay 65 €.
  4. The Lost Paradise of Karpas. Price – 60 €.
  5. Secrets of the Kyrenia Mountains – up to 60 €.
  6. The two-faced Nicosia. One ticket costs 45 €.

What else to do in North Cyprus: Affordable entertainment

If tourists get bored with the architectural monuments, they can diversify their leisure time with more modern entertainment offered by the infrastructure of the island.

Best beaches

In Ayia Napa you can visit the most beautiful beach in Northern Cyprus. It is known among tourists for its incredible natural beauty. Lovers of original selfies go to the reservoir in Larnaca.

Next to it, fenced off by a single fence, the airport works. The more patient tourists catch the moment when the plane flies over to capture themselves in front of it in the same swimsuit.


There are souvenir shops and stores in every town. Don’t count on sales. They are timed to coincide with major holidays and strictly regulated by the state. But even without them you can buy a lot of inexpensive goods.


This list includes:

  1. Diving.
  2. Sea Trips.
  3. Walking on hiking trails.
  4. Bike rides.
  5. Golf

Casino and nightlife

In the evening in Ayia Napa another life begins. The lights of night discos light up, casinos, bars and restaurants open. Almost every establishment holds raucous parties until morning.

Cyprus is so rich with historical monuments and developed entertainment industry that even by car in a week can not visit all the interesting places.

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