Nicosia, Cyprus - Stein Travel
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Nicosia

The bustling city of Nicosia (Lefkosia) in the northern interior has been the capital of Cyprus since the 12th century. It stands today as Europe's only divided city, being split in two by the 'Green Line', a United Nations buffer zone that divides the government-controlled Republic of Cyprus in the south from the Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

The modern city centre of Nicosia is surrounded by elegant tree-lined suburbs, but the favoured tourist sector is the old town, which is being extensively renovated. The old town is a picturesque fusion of 16th-century walls, pedestrian precincts, pavement cafes and squares, brimming with charm, character and sightseeing opportunities. There are many things to see and do in Nicosia, with a variety of museums, performance venues, cinemas, restaurants, bars and nightclubs to choose from.

The city, on the Mesaoria Plain, is centre of the Nicosia District that includes the valleys of Solea and Pitsilia and parts of Marathasa with its mountain villages, orchards, hill resorts and plethora of Byzantine churches and monasteries. These are within easy reach making a pleasant day trip from the city.

Information & Facts

Climate

Nicosia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with abundant sunshine year round. Long dry summers and mild winters are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. Summer is a time of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breeze creates a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Winters are mild, with some rain and snow on Troodos Mountains.

Getting Around

The Nicosia Bus Company services routes all over the city, all starting from Solomos Square terminal in the centre. Buses run every half hour or so, with less frequent service at weekends. The Nicosia Municipality runs free yellow buses in the old city. There are numerous taxi companies, operating metered cabs, which can be ordered by telephone or hired at the Eleftheria Square taxi rank.

Language

The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas.

Money

The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) on 1 January 2008. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments. Money and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, open from Monday to Friday. There are ATMs spread throughout the island, operating 24 hours a day.

Time

GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

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