Towards the end of 2019 I visited Cyprus for the first time. Whilst we were staying in Paphos we felt it was important to at least see some of the other parts of the island too!
We had planned to visit the Troodos Mountains but unfortunately we didn’t quite plan it right and so didn’t have enough time to do so. Instead we booked a coach trip elsewhere taking us to the capital – Nicosia!
On our way we had a lovely stop at Pano Lefkara which I blogged about previously here. Definitely worth the visit if you like cute little villages complete with a bit of history too.
We took the short trip by coach across the country to Nicosia, less than a 2 hour drive from Paphos. Here we didn’t know what to expect but knew it would be different from the picturesque coastal part.
When we arrived in the capital we had some free time to explore on our own. What I didn’t know about Cyprus before I visited is that a large part of the country is part of Turkey. You can’t enter this part without both a passport and going through border control! We decided to go across this side to see what the difference was.
As soon as you head over here you can feel the difference. Although it is subtle, you can tell the difference between the people, the stores and the overall feel of the place. Having visited Turkey back in August it was familiar to me. The streets were lined with tacky gift stores selling counterfeit goods and the usual souvenirs. There wasn’t a whole lot for us to see however we did walk around the area to at least give it a chance.
In the end we visited a lovely Turkish restaurant where we sat outside and listened to live music. Ada Mutfagi Cafe Restaurant is where we enjoyed a delicious chicken souvlaki!
After our meal we wandered back over to Cyprus. I especially liked the sculpture they had at the border crossing.
There was plenty of restaurants and shops to go inside however we didn’t bother with these. Just the usual to expect in all capital cities.
One thing I absolutely loved visiting was the St. John Cathedral. You couldn’t take photographs inside and i’m not surprised as to why. The walls were lined with beautiful artwork depicting the story of Jesus Christ and various other stories including the journey to Hell. I’ve never seen such detailed drawings within a holy building. They were creepy, artistic and insightful. I’ve been in many cathedrals, churches and some of the most famous religious places of all time but this stood out for me as the most interesting I’ve ever seen.
If you ever make it to Cyprus i’d recommend checking out the inside of this holy place.
Finally, we visited a sculpture named the Liberty Monument. Funnily enough it represents escaping British Rule but I’d say one to celebrate all the same.
We had a great day travelling around the island and at a small cost of around 30 euros each through a tour operator in Paphos. You can book these type of tours all over and i’d always recommend trying to get out and about where possible. It’s the best way to make the most of your trip!