So, we went to Nicosia for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of ol’ Podgorica. We went in January, which provided us with decent enough weather to go out and explore, which can’t be said about the climate of most European capitals at this time of year.
Perhaps we underestimated just how strictly divided this city is. We stayed in the Greek part, and what separated us from the north (Turkish part) was a fully established border, found – believe it or not – in one of the busiest shopping streets in downtown area (Ledra). The Greek part of Nicosia is kind of what you expect from a Mediterranean European capital (malls, shops, fast food joints and places generally catered to tourists), whereas the Turkish part was more “oriental”, hodge-podge and certainly more exciting if you like things off the beaten track. Here, you can find a variety of old-style markets (bazaars), mosques, hammams (Turkish baths) and many other things. From the Turkish part (Ataturk square), you can take the little, charming buses to the coastal towns, such as Famagusta and Kyrenia. I would definitely recommend Nicosia to any fellow travelers – it’s almost as if you’re getting a two-in-one combination for your vacation.
Make sure to order to Greek coffee in the Greek part and Turkish coffee in the Turkish part to avoid any faux pas!