Turkish Old Town Tour (Self Guided), Nicosia

The Turkish Part of Nicosia’s Old Town is fairly considered the historic part of the city. The following tour highlights the splendor of the city's history, including social and religious aspects. Some of its buildings date back as far as the 13th century. Discover Nicosia’s rich history and get some great photo opportunities in the Turkish section of the Old Town.
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Turkish Old Town Tour Map

Guide Name: Turkish Old Town Tour
Guide Location: Cyprus » Nicosia (See other walking tours in Nicosia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Haydarpasa Mosque
  • Bedesten
  • Büyük Han
  • Kumarcilar Han
  • Büyük Hamam
  • Venetian Column
  • Armenian Church and Monastery
  • Kyrenia Gate
  • Kuğulu Park
Haydarpasa Mosque

1) Haydarpasa Mosque (must see)

Haydarpasa Mosque, one of Nicosia’s most popular attractions, was initially a 14th century cathedral raised by the Lusignans. The Cathedral of Saint Catherine was the second largest Gothic building in the city during that period. It was later enlarged and used as a convent until the Ottomans transformed it into a mosque, adding the minaret. Rich in architectural details, its large entrance is adorned with stone dragons and roses, as well as gargoyles and geometric details elsewhere on its exterior. Between 1986 and 1991 it underwent significant restoration and nowadays Haydarpasa Mosque is open to the public as an exhibition.

2) Bedesten (must see)

Bedesten, built as the Church of Saint Nicholas of the English in the 12th century, was designed in a blend of Byzantine and Medieval styles. Later, the Lusignans expanded the structure, adding Gothic elements. During the Venetian rule the church became the Greek Orthodox Metropolis. During the Ottoman period, this splendid building was transformed into a covered market, giving it its present name Bedesten, meaning ‘market’ in Turkish. An important landmark of Nicosia’s Turkish quarter, it was recently renovated to cope with a series of earthquakes and other calamities it had suffered damage from over the years.
Büyük Han

3) Büyük Han (must see)

Büyük Han, one of Nicosia’s most popular attractions, is an immense inn constructed in the 16th century by the Ottomans. Among the most impressive monuments of that period, it was initially called Alanyalilar's Han. In the 17th century it attained its present name, which means ‘Big Inn.’ During the British period, it was used as the city’s main prison. The building is reminiscent of a fortress, with a multitude of arches and a dome in the center of the inner yard. Hazving undergone several renovations, it is now home to several shops and cafes.
Kumarcilar Han

4) Kumarcilar Han

Kumarcilar Han, an inn built in the 17th century by the Ottomans to host visitors to the city, is also known as Gamblers' Inn. Unfortunately, the present state of the building is poor, but its ruins preserve the rich history of this important monument. Designed as a two-story inn with fifty six rooms, later the building was enriched with columns, arches, a large entrance and a staircase.
Büyük Hamam

5) Büyük Hamam (must see)

Büyük Hamam, the oldest Turkish bathhouse in the city, was erected on the site of the 14th century St. George of the Latins Church. The only element that remained unchanged when the public bath was built in 1571 was the main entrance. This bathhouse became a popular spot since many residences lacked personal bathrooms. One unusual fact is that this structure sits partially below ground due to each new city being built on the ruins of the former. Büyük Hamam is one of the most stunning remains of the Ottoman period in Nicosia.
Venetian Column

6) Venetian Column (must see)

The Venetian Column is a beautiful landmark located on a central roundabout in the Turkish part of the walled city. This granite column was transferred from Salamis in 1489. After its installation in Nicosia, it was decorated with the Lion of Saint Mark and the Venetian coat of arms. In 1570 the Ottomans removed the column, storing it in the backyard of Sarayonu Mosque. In 1915 the British raised the Venetian Column on its original site, adding a globe on top to replace the lost Lion of Saint Mark, and an engraving of the years of the column's removal and replacement.
Armenian Church and Monastery

7) Armenian Church and Monastery

The Armenian Church and Monastery, initially named the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Tyre, was raised in the 13th century. Originally intended as a convent for Cypriotic nuns, in 1571 the Ottomans handed the building over to the Armenian population of Nicosia as a reward for their support. The building was designed in the Gothic style, its distinguishing features being the splendid nave with cross vaults, and a newer unique bell tower. It houses several tombs, the oldest dating back to the 14th century.
Kyrenia Gate

8) Kyrenia Gate (must see)

Kyrenia Gate, the northern of the walled city’s three gates, was built in 1562 by the Venetians. Initially named in honor of the Venetians' city guard, a very important position in that period, the name sounded like "Porta del Proveditore." During the Ottoman rule it was renamed Edirne Gate and underwent several improvements. The gate is inscribed with emblems from the Venetian, Ottoman and British periods. Nowadays it serves as a tourist information office.
Kuğulu Park

9) Kuğulu Park

Kuğulu Park, a very peaceful place surrounded by several landmarks, was established nearly 40 years ago. Since then it has received a few restorations, the most significant one in 1993. Northern Nicosia’s most popular attraction, it is used for social events such as concerts, parades and meetings. This park includes a playground for children. Next to it is the Residence of the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, also known as Cephane (or Quirini) Bastion.

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.
Nicosia Museums and Galleries Tour

Nicosia Museums and Galleries Tour

Nicosia is home to a variety of museums and art galleries. The following tour highlights the city’s most important ones, reflecting Cyprus’ recent and distant past. Visitors will get the opportunity to see artifacts and art objects that paint an illustrious portrait of this ancient city’s history.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Nicosia Shopping Tour

Nicosia Shopping Tour

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 the following tour to discover the best in Nicosia’s shopping.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Greek Old Town Tour

Greek Old Town Tour

The Greek part of Nicosia’s Old Town is certainly the more modern part of the walled city. The architectural monuments are well-maintained, preserving the spirit of the city’s rich history. Take the following tour to admire and learn more about the past and present of the Greek portion of Nicosia.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Famous Mosques in Nicosia

Famous Mosques in Nicosia

Nicosia is rich in beautifully designed mosques, each of them with its own fascinating history. Some of them were built from churches and monasteries and these remaining elements add a special charm. Nicosia’s multitude of mosques is an indispensable part of the city panorama. Take the following tour to discover the Muslim spirit reflected in the city’s mosques.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Nicosia Introduction Walking Tour

Nicosia Introduction Walking Tour

The divided capital of Cyprus, Nicosia is an ancient city replete with historic landmarks and numerous museums, offering visitors insight into the island's tumultuous past and present, as well as culture and traditions. Follow this orientation tour to discover these and other, more modern attractions of Nicosia.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles