Eco-friendly travel guide to Nicosia advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Nicosia, Cyprus.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$70 - $150
- Budget per day: US$200 - $350
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus. It is also known as Lefkosia. When you travel to Nicosia, you will want to get the best experience out of your travel to be worth all the money you spend. To have a fantastic trip, you need to travel responsibly. Here are some tips and advice that you can choose to follow accordingly to help you travel responsibly and get the best out of your trip.
The carbon footprint refers to the number of greenhouse gases released into the local environment by your activities. You should make use of public transport and avoid using plastic containers at the most. The next thing that you need to keep in mind while traveling to the city is to minimize your carbon footprint. If you want to travel to the town in the best way possible, you need to avoid any activities that harm the local environment. If you ignore this vital step, you will be clueless about your environment and not get the best experience. Your responsible travel measures need to start way before you visit the country. After booking your flight, you need to do extensive research about the current country scenario, the culture, things you need to avoid, and the laws you have to follow as a tourist.
After landing in Nicosia, you will want to stay at a five-star hotel with a good reputation and luxury facilities. Instead, it would be best if you preferred opting for eco-hotels, hostels, guest houses, and apartments to get the right amount of exposure to the local culture. But, in reality, these hotels are not the best choice if you are a foreign tourist as they will provide you with world-class facilities but will fail to give you proper exposure to Cyprus’s culture.
Air Quality and Pollution
As a tourist, you must keep this in mind when visiting the city and taking precautionary steps accordingly. The monsoon season is also relentless and could contribute to increased pollution levels because the suspended particles tend to hang on to the heavy atmosphere. However, one thing that should be kept in mind is that the city has moderate air quality. People love to make inquiries before they visit any city as they would not want to compromise their health despite having fun during the holiday. Therefore, it would be better to visit the city during the summer months when the climate is good. The humidity levels are also low if you plan for a long trip or visit the city as a tourist, unhealthy, and poor air quality. It could lead to breathing problems, burning and itchy eyes, and other such complications. The air is fresh and crisp at this time of the year, and you will enjoy bike rides and walking in the city quite a lot. After all, health is wealth. Air quality and pollution play an important role while visiting a new city.
Respect the Culture
It is not out of place that one of the first things you would hear when visiting a new place is that you should respect the culture if you want to flow well with the locals. However, some people might be lost if they do not know the traditions of the city. If you are having lunch with your local friends, then it is proffered if everyone pays for what they ordered or can offer to pay for everyone if you are hosting. Do not wait for others to pay your bill and always offer to pay for your own food. If this city is your chosen city for a holiday, have no fear as we would give you some tips on respecting their culture. You should know that the people of this city love it when the atmosphere is relaxed. Thus, they would not jump into any business topic. Always talk about something simple and allow the host to start the conversation. You must show respect towards the local communities, landmarks, culture, and local environment. By indulging in cultural or recreational activities, you can learn a great deal about the city's culture and history.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- The Cyprus Museum: The Cyprus Museum is a museum in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Museum 1, Nicosia, Cyprus. It is one of the largest and oldest museums in the city.
- Saint Sophia Cathedral: It is a mosque in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Selimiye Sk, Lefkosa, Nicosia, Cyprus. The museum was established in the year 1326.
- Ledras: A shopping street in the city of Nicosia. It was also known as Ledra. It is one of the famous streets in the city of Nicosia.
- Famagusta Gate: A cultural center in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Athinas, Nicosia, Cyprus. It is the chief gate of the city. It was built in the 16th century.
- Kykkos Monastery: It is a monastery in the city of Nicosia. It is located in F966, Nicosia, Cyprus. It was established in the 11th century. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
- Venetian Walls of Nicosia: They are constructed in series, which surround the capital city of Cyprus. It was established in the year 1567. The Republic of Venice built the walls.
- The Hadjigeorgakis Kornesuos Mansion: It is a famous museum in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Patriarchou Grigoriou 20, Nicosia, Cyprus. It was established in the year 1960.
- Girne Kapisi: It is a historical landmark in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Girne Cd No: 1, Nicosia, Cyprus. It is one of the famous tourist places in the capital city of Nicosia.
- Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum: It is a museum in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Nicosia 1010, Cyprus. The museum is dedicated to the history of motorcycles between 1914 and 1983.
- Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia : A famous museum in the city of Nicosia. It is located in Hippocrates 15-17, Nicosia, Cyprus. The museum was established in the year 1984.
The city has many things to offer apart from the many historical and culturally renowned places packed with tourists. The various parks, beaches, museums, and landmarks will help you get deep insights into the local culture and its beauty. People say that all work and no play would make one dull. This city ensures that it has places that play roles in calming and relaxing the mind. Thus, it is not surprising that people always want to visit this city.
There is so much to do in this city, so tourists should have a schedule plan ready so that activities will not be jumbled.
The city is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. The views are one thing you cannot take away from parks.
Here are some famous city parks in the city:
- Nicosia Municipal Park
- Grammiko Park
- Acropolis Parkpedieos Linear Park
- Kaimakli Railway Station Linear Park
- Pandora Park
- Spyros Kyprianou Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and zoos. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Athalassa National Park
- Pedagogical Academy National Forest Park
- The Machairas National Forest Park
- The Liberty Monument
- National Forest Park Of Machairas
Many people fantasize about spending time at a beach, and it could be that it is what you do when home. Thus, they are curious about beaches when in a new city. If you fall under this category and visit Nicosia, you are in for a treat as it has beaches for people to explore and relax.
- LIMASSOL D. ZAPALO BEACH
- PAPHOS D. LARA BEACH
- LARNACA D. ALAMINOS BEACH
The city of Nicosia also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- A. G. Leventis Gallery
- Omeriye Mosque
- Shacolas Tower
- Ledra Street Crossing Point
- Byzantine Museum
Visiting museums would be the icing on your holiday package, especially if you are in this city, as it shows that you have adequately explored the city. Here are some of these museums given are as follows:
- A State Of The Art Gallery For Cyprus
- Nicosia’s Local Museum
- A Center For Visual Arts And Research
- Beautiful Private Art Museum
- The Home Of Cypriot Antiquities!
You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meats. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences. Here are some famous local restaurants, vegetarian and vegan, and street foods are given below.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Here are some famous local restaurants which serve their authentic traditional foods are given below:
- Social Kitchen
- Siantris Restaurant
- Pizzaiolo, Traditional Italian Pizza
- Traditional Gourmet Cookery
- Dregs Coffee Shop
- Mathaios Restaurant
Vegetarian and Vegan
Sometimes the habits of two people are different. Thus, everyone does not have the same eating habit or love the same pattern when it concerns food choices. If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Evergreen Vegan And Vegetarian
- Inga’s Veggie Heaven
- Green Foods, Fresh And Bio, Athalassis Ave. 128, Nicosia
- Katakwa Coffee Bar
- Olives And Burgers
The preparation time for them does not take long, and it is something you can eat on the go. One thing about street food is that you can try out varieties at the same time. We understand that many people are lovers of street food, so we cannot ignore highlighting their choices when visiting the city. Although you can get these street foods from kiosks and stores, you can also get them in some restaurants. It is not hard to find as almost everyone in the city is eating one of them.
- Burger Guy
- Red Orange Kiosk And Espresso Coffee Bar
- Piatsa Gourounaki
- Avo’s Armenian Food
- To Anamma
- Estiatorio Euroullas
- Gelateria Gelatiamo
Drinks are an essential thing in travel as it helps to get refreshed between your travel to different places in the city. There are some of the places in the city that will provide you a wide range of drinks. From local drinks to international, you will find a lot of different drinks here. You can try some local beers from the shops, soft drinks, juices, and others. Before visiting the city, you need to know the best places in this city that can help you get refreshed. Make sure to try the local drinks in the city to get the best experience and help out the local people. Many people are very much dependent on tourism and maintain their living based on it. Here are different sections given below that will give you an idea of drinks you can get in the city.
One of the most common things tourists need to know before landing in the city is water quality. Knowing the quality of tap water will help you to know if you can drink it or not. The tap water in Nicosia is 100% safe to drink without any harm to your health. But most of the people in the city do not drink it without boiling. No matter how clean the water is, the locals do not recommend it to drink. You can drink tap water without filtering, but the locals will give you some side-eye. Boiling or filtering is not necessary, but you can do it just like locals. In most parts of the city, you will be able to get bottled mineral water that you can buy.
The city has stood up to the task of catering for all segments of the population, including those with a preference for organic foods. Since some people would prefer eating organic, it is not out of place to have organic cafes in different cities. While they are not as obvious as the mainstream restaurants, the city has several organic eateries:
- Puku/Organic Speciality Coffee
- Green Foods, Fresh, And Bio
- Coffeehouse Tastehabitat
- Get Fresh
- Inga’s Veggie Heaven
Relaxing is hard when you do not have a drink in your hand. However, the situation in Nicosia is not like that. You will be able to get some of the best breweries in the city. From alcohol to soft drinks, you will be able to find a wide collection of breweries. Among all the different places, make sure to visit the nightlife of this city. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and nightclubs that you can visit to get local and traditional breweries. If you want to try international alcohol or beverage, then you will also get many options in these bars. Apart from bars, you will also get many soft drinks and specialty drinks available on the streets. As an eco-friendly traveler, make sure to visit the local stores and try out local brews. It will help the locals to earn some profit and help you to get closer to the locals.
- Oo’s Brewery Co
- Pivo Microbrewery
- Moondog’s Bar And Grill
- The Beer Lab
- Hula Hops Beer Shop
The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them. The city is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit Nicosia, as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new city, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. If there is not much to do in a city, then what is the point of visiting there? It would be best to make friends with the locals to have an epic experience in the city.
Yoga and Retreats
You will find that young people are the ones that like to participate in such fitness exercised. There are many yoga institutes in the city where you can train under a qualified and experienced yoga teacher. With increasing awareness of the need for a healthy and fit lifestyle, the local people are gaining interest in yoga, an ancient Indian practice for maintaining the health of mind and body. Some of the renowned yoga centers are as follows:
- Yoga Love Story
- Cocoon Wellness Center And Yoga Nicosia
- Joy Project Wellness
- Yoga Europe School
- Green Blis Yoga
- Yoga And Reiki Sopt City
We would not say that accommodation in this city is cheap, neither would we say that it is expensive. The price you would get depends on your accommodation option. It may not be as low as what you would get in some cities, but it is not the most expensive in the world. With this clear, we know that the next question concerns the pricing as people want to know to plan their budget. The city has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. You can either make accommodation plans when you are in the city or before you arrive. It would be best to do whatever works best for you.
Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in Nicosia to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
Here are some of the green hotels in the city given below:
- The Landmark Nicosia
- Centrum Hotel
- Hilton Nicosia
- Semeli Hotel
- Hypnos By Bed N’ Mix
- The Classic Hotel
- Altius Boutique Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
As mentioned earlier, the accommodation mode depends a lot on how many days you are staying in the city. If you are staying for more than 1.5 weeks, then hostels or guesthouses are the best options for you. You will be able to stay in the city for a long time without spending a lot of money. You might not be able to get many options and features of big hotels, but they are pocket friendly. Here are some of the hostels and guest houses that you can choose to stay in in Nicosia.
- Costas Hostel Action 2
- Pedieos Guest House
- Nex Hostel
- Hostel Xanthis
- Amber’s House
- Honey Suite Nicosia
- Halos Suites
When you plan to stay even more than 3-4 weeks, choosing hotels, hostels, or guest houses might be a bit high on cost. So, if you plan a long stay, then renting apartments is the best option for you. It will help you to save a lot of money and stay comfortably. You will find a lot of apartments in the city with different price ranges. All of them offer different features like an air conditioner, TV, refrigerator, and others. You need to choose one depending on your needs and choices. Use online services to choose and book them before stepping into the city. It will save you time searching and help you to start exploring right after reaching.
There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of CouchSurfing mates and companions. The perk of Couchsurfing is that it is free. As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the city. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city. The idea surrounding Couchsurfing is that locals of the city offer hospitality by opening their homes to foreigners. It is usually voluntary so that there will be no complaints. Thus, anyone who signs up to accommodate people through Couchsurfing is expected to treat them right as they were not forced to do it.
Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before. If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in a new city. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated. Thus, it is right to know about camping sites.
- Platania Camping Site
- Molos, Flasou
- Girl Guides Association Of Cyprus
- Onur Camping
- Moniatis Camping Site
- Eco Camp Indigo
- Trooditissa Camping Side
How to Get There
Nicosia is an easily accessible city, so you do not need to crack your head on ways to get to the city. Everyone would agree that using an airplane is the fastest means of transportation, and you can use it to reach Nicosia. Nicosia International Airport is on the outskirts of this city, and it is where your plane will land. From there, you can take a train or taxi to central points in the city. It is not difficult to navigate Nicosia, and the locals are always willing to help out. You can also use a bus from some locations to reach Nicosia, mostly if you stay close to the city. You have to research and find a site that would help you make bus reservations so that your trip will be stress-free.
Using an airplane would almost be the first thought of any foreigner's mind when visiting Nicosia. However, there are some follow-up questions like the proximity of the airport to the city. Nicosia International Airport is where your plane will probably land, and it is on the outskirts of the city. The airport you will use depends on your current location and the available flight. What is important is that you would get to your destination. Many locals recommend that foreigners take a train from the airport to the city as it is cheaper. You can get more information and make train bookings online as well.
The bus terminuses are chaotic, and you may have to take some local help to determine which bus to choose for your requirements. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city. The city has reasonably advanced local bus transport services, but intercity bus services are not very comfortable.
Many people in Nicosia would tell you that using a train is the cheapest means of transportation in the city. Thus, it is not surprising that people are always rushing for the train. Some people book ahead so that they would not miss using it to reach their destination. Interestingly, there are trains at airports that help covey foreigners when they come into the country. You should know that you would pay as it is not free, but the price is low as it is cheaper than when you use a bus.
While the locals are quite friendly and hospitable and hitchhiking is a common practice in many parts of the world, it is not common to encounter hitchhikers in Nicosia. Hitchhiking is very much in vogue in the city, but you have to be careful when choosing the right person. Most drivers are naturally wary of picking up strangers, fearing carrying robbers and carjackers. While there are exceptional cases of drivers who would be okay with offering one a lift, most of them would not, especially when driving at night.
Shared rides are another means of reaching Nicosia. It could be that you want to order a taxi that would take you there, but the amount is too expensive, and you cannot cover it alone. In such a case, you need to look for someone who is also going to the same destination and is willing to share a ride. This way, you both would share the expenses, and it would not be on you alone. It is not always hard to get someone who wants a shared ride as it is common in the region. Thus, it is another viable option.
These modes of transportations are efficient in helping you move around the city and discover the city's hidden gems. If you wish to travel, then the best option at your disposal are public transports such as trains, available buses, and electronic vehicles. Walking is an alternative mode of moving around but is the healthiest and cheapest mode.
Despite numerous attempts to decongest the city, including increasing the parking cost in town and banning public service vehicles from accessing certain parts of the town center, the streets have continued congested. Away from the city and into the residential suburbs boasts of many trees along many avenues that provide shade and fresh air as you stroll along. Walking is the most eco-friendly means of transport but also because of the traffic jam. As the city has rapidly grown, Nicosia has become known for its unending traffic jams.
Some people use bicycles as a means of transportation, while others use it for exploration. Irrespective of why you are using a bicycle, be assured that it is safe as the city has cycle paths to ensure that cyclists do not collide with cars. There is no issue of traffic in Nicosia, and cars do not compete for safe with bicycles. The road also has a flat structure, so it does not impose any harm. Your safety is assured if you are using a bicycle in Nicosia.
Electronic vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles, electronic cars, etc., are recently introduced by the Cyprus government to lower carbon emissions. The government promotes electronic vehicles by setting up various charging stations and parking areas for such cars. The users of electronic cars and bikes also receive relaxation for taxes.
Public buses are a standard mode of transportation for the locals and are entirely safe for tourists. You can use public buses to travel to different city areas and gain some useful information from the locals on the bus. Tourists usually depend on the locals' help for understanding when it comes to languages and signs that they do not understand. These buses are connected to even the remotest areas and provide easy travel to locals and tourists in the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
As we have repeatedly mentioned earlier, it is one of the cheapest means of transportation in the city, and we can vouch to a large extent that it is safe to use. The timing might be longer than usual with any other means of transportation, but you will get to your destination. It also allows you to have better views of different parts of the city. If you do not have a train in your country, visiting Nicosia will enable you to use one, and you should not pass up the chance as it does not come easily.
Sustainable shopping is a concept where the impact on the environment, health, and society is maintained. It is a way by which people avoid products and services that are harmful and are against their beliefs.
For many travelers, food is one of the necessary things in travel as it helps to understand the lifestyle of local people. These groupings eventually turned into more formal food markets. The city local markets initially began as informal vendor meetings, where merchants would get together and sell their wares.
You can find these markets fill with handmade products and represent the local culture and people. These markets are run by local people and the best places to find local art and craft items. There are numerous markets throughout the metropolitan city, including the famous night markets and traditional wet markets for fish and fresh produce and fish markets, flower markets, jade markets, craft, and antique markets.
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand stores are an excellent source to bargain sometimes, as they offer you almost as good as new goods at a fraction of the original price. These stores are some of the most common places for shopping for lower-income groups and budgeted travelers. These stores are some of the most common places for shopping for lower-income groups and budgeted travelers. These stores sell second-hand products that possess the potential for reuse.
You will find that eco-fashion is a viral trend among local people. Many models and brands serve such clothing items, which is why it is gaining a lot of popularity. Eco-fashion clothes help in minimizing the impact on the environment and health of society. Organic cotton, recyclable fabrics, plant-based dyes are used to make eco-fashion clothes. While looking for eco-fashion stores, prefer local businesses as they sell products sourced from the local environment. Eco-Fashion or Sustainable Fashion is a concept that is becoming quite popular in the city.
You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. These stores offer various monetary or store voucher services that you can use for buying other recyclable items and services. The government has also provided multiple incentives to people following various recycling waste measures and saving natural resources. The recycling laws in the city are quite strict. Various laws are there for proper recycling and waste disposal that everyone has to follow to preserve its beauty.
Pollution is a severe problem in the city, and there are many measures that the government has put into action to control it. You will find dumpsters and garbage disposal trucks in every street of the districts in Nicosia. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the waste properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment. For proper waste management, several laws and policies are followed to minimize the cost of disposal. Nicosia’s public manages waste by following the regulations, such as sorting the garbage as recyclable, disposable, and non-recyclable.
Work and Study Abroad
It is common to see foreigners moving to this country because of its conductive state. You should know that Nicosia has the highest quality of living in Europe. So, why would there not be a steady increase in foreigners? The city's educational institutions are also commendable, and many foreigners opt for the option of studying in this city. One might trace their decision to the fact that Nicosia is a city where people can work and study simultaneously.
There are many famous universities and colleges in Nicosia so that you would see exchange students in abundance. If you are an international student in this country, you should not fear that locals will dominate the educational institutions as you would also see many foreigners. Since the city is amongst the best in Europe, tales of ye quality of their universities and colleges spread, and students in other schools will want to do exchange programs in the city.
You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors. As the birthplace of Western culture, au pairing can be seen in the city. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. Au pairing refers to a foreign person who takes a share of the family's responsibility for childcare and housework. Such a person receives monetary allowances for his or her personal use.
A lot of the volunteering in the city of Nicosia is involved in helping out the refugees. You can take part in such volunteering activities to help the people of Nicosia lead a better livelihood. Volunteering activities in the city are quite common. The majority of these activities are related to social welfare, such as spreading awareness regarding environment-friendly practices and their need, waste management, volunteering with archaeologists as interns or social help, etc. As a foreign tourist, you need to involve yourself in activities that help the cities environment and society.