Like many of you, I’m not a native Nicosian—so I wasn’t too sure about what there is to do here. After a couple of semesters though, Nicosia is my home away from home! So, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things to do in this capital city. I have split my suggestions into the seasons so you can see that it is a city for all seasons—and there’s fun stuff going on all year round.
Autumn! Back to uni or just starting out? The first thing you want to do is get your room in the halls, your flat or your study space in tip-top shape for the new school year. Whether you are looking for some new bedding, small bits of furniture, funky decoration or just some ‘back to school’ essentials, you are spoilt for choice. Head to the Nicosia Mall or HomeMate nearby, Jumbo (for bargains) or The Mall of Cyprus with the gigantic temptations of all things IKEA. If you are looking for second-hand or vintage finds to decorate your room or flat, you can check out the Cypriot equivalent of eBay, www.bazaraki.com or Marketplace Cyprus on Facebook or a cool pre-loved shop in Old Nicosia– The Collective. Any season, Nicosia is a hit for those looking for a bit of shopping therapy. The weather is still warm and there are a variety of sites and activities you can visit and take part in!
Winter days in Nicosia are pretty mild, but don’t be fooled by the sunshine—it does get pretty cold at night. This is the season (and the point in the semester) that it’s great to get a little fresh air! Nicosia may not have the beach like the other towns of Cyprus, but we do have a fantastic pedestrian/bicycle path that runs from the city suburbs into the city center. This two-lane path (one for walkers and runners and the other for cyclists) runs along the riverbed of the Pedieos. Though dry throughout the summer, once there’s some rain (and snow in the Troodos mountains) it creates some really beautiful scenery. You can reach it by a 10-15 minute walk from the EUC campus, and it’s a great place to go for a run or just take a long, therapeutic walk with a friend in nature.
Spring is an incredible season in Cyprus, and Nicosia is no exception to this. The dry brown of summer is replaced with green and the fields get taken over by chin-high yellow flowers. They say that the yellow in the flag of Cyprus represents the copper deposits found here, but I like to think it’s the yellow fields of spring. There are lovely parks and green spaces in Nicosia where you can enjoy the flowers in bloom. It’s also a great season to take one of the many (free!) tours of Nicosia and gain an appreciation of its historic and cultural significance. You can find out about tours of the city organized by the Cyprus Tourism Organization here.
There is so much to do in the summer and so many places you can visit that you will want more days of the week. You may want to hide from the mid-day sun (malls, galleries and restaurants), but as the sun goes down, you can feel the city come to life. Whether joining the vibrant café life in Nicosia to hang out with your friends or opting for the sporting life at a football match with your besties, early evening is really kicking in and around the EUC campus. Chill and very pleasant, the evenings in Nicosia are a great chance to hang out with your friends or meet new ones—over a cocktail, a mocktail or an ice cream-all within walking distance of campus.
Throughout the year there are loads of cafes, bars and clubs to go out to. I recommend just walking around the city and going into any that you think look interesting!
Another amazing thing about Cyprus in general is that everything is close by. Cities like Limassol, Larnaca, Ayia Napa, and Paphos are all a short drive away. I got to know the island best by going on road trips with friends and it’s safe to say that every city I’ve visited thus far is unique and beautiful in it’s own way!