Nicosia Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Nicosia

Nicosia, being the capital of such an exotic country as Cyprus, couldn't be a better shopping spot for tourists. Offering a traditional Turkish market, folk art, crafts and fashionable shops and boutiques, Nicosia has something for everyone. Take this self-guided tour to discover the best of Nicosia shopping.
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Nicosia Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Nicosia Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Cyprus » Nicosia (See other walking tours in Nicosia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Belediye Pazarı (Bandabuliya Municipal Market )
  • Büyük Han (Great Inn)
  • Arasta Street
  • Ledra Street
  • Laiki Geitonia Shopping Area
  • Stasikratous Street
  • Makarios Avenue
1
Belediye Pazarı (Bandabuliya Municipal Market )

1) Belediye Pazarı (Bandabuliya Municipal Market )

The Bandabuliya Municipal Market can be found at 2 Uray Street in the Selimiye neighborhood of the Walled City. It was built between 1930 and 1932 during the British rule of the island. It is a covered market with a late Art-Deco facade. Above the entrance is the legend "Bandabuliya Pazari 1932."

It was the main covered market in Northern Nicosia. It was a traditional Turkish bazaar where folks could find fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products and household items. It served not only as a market. It was also a local gathering place. Because of the conflicts of the 1970s, the market building fell into disuse. It was unsafe.

The market was closed down in 2010, but in 2012 it was renovated and reopened. Today it has at over 70 vendor stalls, cafes, bookshops and a small theater. The produce stands have returned with craft and souvenir shops for visitors.
2
Büyük Han (Great Inn)

2) Büyük Han (Great Inn) (must see)

Great Inn is the largest roadside inn in Cyprus. It was built by the Ottomans in 1572, shortly after they expelled the Venetians. In the middle of the courtyard is a mosque and a fountain for religious ablutions.

The Great Inn was ordered built by Muzaffer Pasha, first ottoman governor. He got as far as the groundbreaking when he was executed. Politics was the cause, not construction. The roadside in was initially called the "New Inn." After the smaller Gambler's Inn was built it became the "Great Inn."

Under British colonial rule in 1878 the inn was restored and modified to serve as a prison. From 1903 to 1947 the place was put to its proper use as an inn. Between 1947 and 1962 it was low income housing.

The roadside inn typically has two floors and an inner courtyard. It is square shaped. The rooms of the inner courtyard have cross-vaulted colonnades. Altogether, there are 68 rooms on the two floors. The lower floor is used for commercial activity while the upper floor accommodates guests. There are ten shops behind the eastern colonnades.

The main entrance is on Asmaalti Square. There are hexagonal or octagonal shaped chimneys in each room. In the courtyard is a grave thought to be that of Muzaffer Pasha himself. This has been disputed, but who's to look?

By order of the Evkaf Administration all items sold in the Great Inn must be made by the tenants themselves. After the restorations of the 1990s, the inn has been reborn as an arts center featuring galleries and shops. In the courtyard are cafes and souvenir shops. If the Evkaf law still applies, tourists get the real thing. No Cypriot dolls made in China.
3
Arasta Street

3) Arasta Street

Arasta Street extends from Eleftheria Square. It lays in a north-south direction. It is about one kilometer in length. Mostly it is within the Republic of Cyprus. At the north end one encounters the buffer zone and the green line. Here Arasta Street and Girne Caddesi enter the Turkish part of Nicosia.

The republic of Cyprus does not keep immigration checkpoints any more at the several entrances to the Turkish old city. Nevertheless it does hold identification checks on people entering from the northern, or also known as Turkish, sector.

Arasta street is narrow, pedestrian with shops jammed shoulder to shoulder. At the end of the street is the beautiful Gothic/Lusignan Selimiye Mosque and the Great Inn. The street is shaded for most of it's length by awnings and canopies. At one stretch, however, shade is provided by a flotilla of colorful umbrellas overhead.

The shops sell generally inexpensive items, including textiles, jewelry, shoes and casual footwear. There are, of course, cafes, and other watering holes for the footsore tourist.
4
Ledra Street

4) Ledra Street (must see)

Ledra Street is a popular shopping street named after the ancient kingdom of Ledra. In 1050 BC, Ledra was located where Nicosia is today. Ledra Street is a pedestrian-only street, so you can walk and shop without the noise and inconvenience of vehicle traffic.

The street was known as Murder Mile during the EOKA struggle in the 1950s. During this time, EOKA fighters targeted the British military along Ledra Street.

The buffer zone was established in 1974 to separate the northern Turkish-controlled part of Nicosia from the Greek-controlled southern part.

It used to have a barricade as the center of the United Nations buffer zone between the Turkish and Greek sides of the city. The barricade was removed in 2008, and now people can walk across the border.

Most of Ledra Street is on the Greek side. The Greek side features international brands, and the Turkish side has smaller boutiques. The Shacolas Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Nicosia and links to three arcades that are filled with shops and cafes.
5
Laiki Geitonia Shopping Area

5) Laiki Geitonia Shopping Area

Laiki Geitonia is part of Nicosia's pedestrian area. Laiki Geitonia features buildings from the 18th century that have been beautifully restored. The buildings were constructed with wood, sandstone, and mudbrick. This area features winding streets, residences, souvenir shops, craft shops, and tavernas.

Visitors can walk the narrow cobbled streets and get a taste of a traditional Greek neighborhood. As you wander, you'll encounter intriguing side streets and bustling courtyards. The renovated homes and buildings feature traditional architecture. Cafes have outdoor seating, and guests can enjoy traditional Cypriot food. For a traditional treat, try a Cyprus coffee with halloumi, tsamarella, or lountza.

Visitors can enjoy boutique shopping, visit an art gallery, or watch artists paint. Laiki Geitonia is a wonderful place to explore Nicosia's culture, folk art, and local crafts. Stop by during the day to take pictures, enjoy shopping, or visit for a delightful dinner in the evening.
6
Stasikratous Street

6) Stasikratous Street

Stasikratous Street is one of the most famous shopping streets in the Eastern Mediterranean and is often compared to New York's 5th Avenue and London's Bond Street.

Stasikratous Street features designer brands, boutiques, jewelers, restaurants, and coffee shops. In addition, many of the shops feature tax-free shopping.

Shoppers will find luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, and Armani. Kult Nicosia Boutique sells a diverse number of luxury brands, including Gucci, Dolce Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and Prada. In addition, visitors will find boutiques offering imported clothing, shoes, porcelain, and silverware.

At Analio Studio, shoppers will find upscale Italian and Spanish shoes. Shoppers can find specialty stores such as Leonidas Chocolates, which sells delightful sweet treats.

Stasikratous Street is also known for its creative restaurants, such as Think 30 and Artigiana. There are also many delightful cafes and bistros. In addition, Stasikratous Street is a great place to enjoy Nicosia's nightlife, bars, and pubs.
7
Makarios Avenue

7) Makarios Avenue

Makarios Avenue is named after the President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III. Previously, the street was named Pluto Street and was the primary route to Limassol. Makarios Avenue is a popular shopping street and features department stores, boutiques, restaurants, and bars.

Originally, the street was lined with residential buildings, but most of the residences have been torn down and replaced with commercial buildings. The Lyssiotis Mansion is one of the remaining original buildings. It was built in 1928 and now houses the National Bank of Greece.

Visitors will find several large department stores and arcades along Makarios Avenue. City Plaza is Nicosia's biggest department store, and Galaxias Arcade features a bustling area with restaurants, bars, a music store, and hair salons.

In 2021, Makarios Avenue was restructured to allow for better visitor movement. The street now features expanded options for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport. In addition, city planners are planting over 300 trees and adding water fountains to improve the area's shade and keep visitors cool during the summer.

Walking Tours in Nicosia, Cyprus

Create Your Own Walk in Nicosia

Create Your Own Walk in Nicosia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nicosia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Turkish Old Town Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
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