Turkish Old Town Walk in Nicosia, Nicosia (Self Guided)

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 Walk in Nicosia Map

Guide Name: Turkish Old Town Walk in Nicosia
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
Author: Cathy
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, Part 1

Nicosia Museums and Galleries Tour, Part 1

Nicosia, as an old city, has a large number of museums dedicated to the history, traditions and interesting facts about the city and country. In the following tour, discover the city’s politics, jewelery making, classic motorcycles, and the Apocalypse Gallery where you can admire modern paintings and sculptures.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Nicosia Nightlife Tour

Nicosia Nightlife Tour

Nicosia, a city with a vibrant nightlife, features the best DJs and a lot of fun. Whether you’re looking for anything from oldies to R&B and much more, the city offers many fantastic places to spend the evening. Take the following tour of Nicosia’s best bars and clubs to have a memorable night out.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
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
Greek Old Town Walk in Nicosia

Greek Old Town Walk in Nicosia

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
Nicosia Museums and Galleries Tour, Part 2

Nicosia Museums and Galleries Tour, Part 2

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
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

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

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Nicosia for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Nicosia has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Nicosia, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.