The bustling city of Nicosia (Lefkosia) in the northern interior
has been the capital of Cyprus since the 12th century. It stands
today as Europe's only divided city, being split in two by the
'Green Line', a United Nations buffer zone that divides the
government-controlled Republic of Cyprus in the south from the
Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.
The modern city centre of Nicosia is surrounded by elegant
tree-lined suburbs, but the favoured tourist sector is the old
town, which is being extensively renovated. The old town is a
picturesque fusion of 16th-century walls, pedestrian precincts,
pavement cafes and squares, brimming with charm, character and
sightseeing opportunities. There are many things to see and do in
Nicosia, with a variety of museums, performance venues, cinemas,
restaurants, bars and nightclubs to choose from.
The city, on the Mesaoria Plain, is centre of the Nicosia
District that includes the valleys of Solea and Pitsilia and parts
of Marathasa with its mountain villages, orchards, hill resorts and
plethora of Byzantine churches and monasteries. These are within
easy reach making a pleasant day trip from the city.