Incredible tourists attractions in North Cyprus
North Cyprus is a fantastic tourist destination with ancient sites, gorgeous landscape, intriguing towns and cities, excellent lodging, and welcoming people. North Cyprus is a safe, welcoming, and entertaining destination for tourists, despite a tense political climate. It has a wealth of treasures waiting to be discovered, yet there are now just a few other travelers to enjoy it with.
Many of North Cyprus’ most stunning views are located outside of major towns and cities, making public transportation difficult to visit. While there is a bus system, it operates in a different manner than you may be accustomed to and does not travel everywhere.
It is strongly advised that you rent a car to visit whatever you want to see. Many towns and cities in North Cyprus are recognized by two names, one of Greek origin and the other of Turkish origin, due to the fact that Cyprus has two major ethnic groupings.
Things to Do in Lefkoşa, the Capital
The capital of Cyprus is Lefkoşa, or Nicosia as it is called by Greek Cypriots. It is the world’s only divided capital city, with a UN buffer zone dividing it down the middle. Visiting the city is both safe and worthwhile. Both sides of the city have a lot to see and do, and the buffer zone is intriguing in and of itself. From the southern side of Nicosia, the UN buffer zone’s perimeter can be seen.
Nothing else compares to the Green Line
The UN Buffer Zone, a 180-kilometer-long demilitarized zone known as the ‘Green Line,’ divides Cyprus into two legislative territories.
The presence of the Green Line outside of Lefkoşa/Nicosia is only indicated by signage and low-key checkpoints staffed by Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, and British soldiers. However, within the capital, things are considerably different.
Barbed wire and manned roadblocks surround a region with abandoned houses and litter-strewn wasteland that only a few have the authority to approach. Walking around the line’s edge is both intriguing and distressing at the same time. Normal life goes on as best it can on both sides of the divide, but it is difficult not to notice the armed guards and graffiti appealing for peace and reconciliation.
If you have your passport, you can simply cross the border in a few locations across the city. It will be double-checked by guards representing both opposing parties. The Ledra Street crossing is the most popular tourist destination, however, it is believed that the less-frequented Markou Drakou bridge is substantially more intriguing. You can freely roam across a stretch of the buffer zone here, and you can even stop for a coffee at the Home For Co-operation.
A unique community center is located within the UN Buffer Zone, just across from the former Ledra Palace Hotel, which now functions as the UN headquarters. The centre’s primary goal is to create a secure area where different people may come together and engage in one another’s culture. It houses a fantastic cafe and multi-functional facilities for events and gatherings.
Drop in for a coffee and a bite to eat if you are passing by (and you should be) if only to express your support for such a great institution in such separated communities. If you are lucky, one of the numerous events conducted here will coincide with your visit. If possible, take a seat near the window. UN peacekeeping troops in blue berets often pass by, and seeing them while sipping your latte is an odd, though slightly macabre, experience.
Self-guided walking tour in Lefkoşa: Follow the Blue Line
Simply follow the blue line to see all of the major landmarks on the Turkish side of the capital. The city has painted a broad blue line on the ground that goes past areas of interest around the city, which is quite useful. Road resurfacing has caused portions of the line to vanish in certain spots, so you will have to use your imagination to find your way around. We were able to keep to the course without too much difficulty with a little persistence.
On Markou Drakou, you can take up the blue line from the Ledra Palace crossing. Take the first right onto Sarayönü Sk (with Khora Kitap Cafe across the road on your left) and turn right again once you have entered the UN Buffer Zone. The blue line should begin at this point.
The picture here is truly remarkable: a row of well-kept town residences faces into a large trench with UN watchtowers within.