08 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions and Places to See in Cyprus
1. The House of Dionysus
The most impressive site in the resort of Paphos is the House of Dionysus, home to an impressive collection of mosaic floors valued for their excellent preservation and vibrant colours.
Part of the larger Paphos archaeological site which contains the excavated remains of ancient Paphos, the area is home to a variety of Greco-Roman ruins as well as many other mosaic houses.
The House of Dionysus is the most visited part of the site because it contains excellent examples of intricate mosaic art.
The house is named after the god Dionysus which appears in the many mosaics throughout the house, most of which depict scenes from Greek mythology.
2. Cyprus Museum
With so many archaeological sites, Cyprus is full of museums, but the Cyprus Museum in the capital, Nicosia, is where you go to collect all the history of the island.
The museum, which is very well curated, takes visitors on a journey from the Neolithic period to the Ottoman era, using beautiful artefacts to display the latest artworks from each era.
Notable exhibits are a huge collection of votive terracotta sculptures from the 7th century BC.
Even if you’re based on the coast, you should definitely take a half-day trip to the capital to visit the museum.
3. Nissi Beach
A rim of fine white sand perched above the turquoise sea in Ayia Napa, Nissi Beach is Cyprus’ most famous stretch of sand.
Yes, it does get crowded in the summer (a very nice beach is no secret), but even with rows of sunbeds, Nissi’s beauty is undeniable.
The water is very shallow on the beach and the bay in general is very calm, which makes it a great place for families with young children, and in the summer, amenity kits are offered, which means you can spend the whole day.
Kyrenia (Girne) is the most beautiful town in North Cyprus, sticking to the old Ottoman character of the port area.
Kyrenia Castle overlooks the attractive harbor on the east side, and climbing the castle walls rewards you with stunning views across the city.
Narrow streets stretch back from the waterfront area, lined with boarded-up houses in various conditions. It’s a great place to stroll and soak up the timeless atmosphere and there are plenty of cafes overlooking the harbor for when you want to put your feet up.
5. Underwater Museum
The Underwater Museum Park (officially known as Mosan Underwater Sculpture Museum Ayia Napa) is an underwater jungle of 130 sculptures created by reef artist Jason DeCaris Taylor, opening in 2021.
In addition to being a major tourist attraction, the forest is designed to support the local marine environment, where the statues are placed (all made of pH-neutral cement that will eventually attract corals), which will grow into a dense forest. Attracting the marine life of the area.
Both scuba divers and snorkelers can explore the museum underwater, though snorkelers will be able to venture into the deeper depths of the park.
Musan is located on the shores of Pernera Beach in Ayia Napa.
6. The ancient city of Famagusta
In northern Cyprus, don’t miss the ancient city of Famagusta, surrounded by fortified walls from the Venetian era and inside, scattered with ruins of crumbling Gothic churches.
In the center is the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, originally the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, which was built during the Lusignan period in the early 14th century.
There are many other churches in various states of ruin or restoration that line the streets of the old town, most dating from the 14th century and built in the Gothic style, but there are also earlier Byzantine examples.
Famagusta’s biggest tourist attraction, though, is its 16th-century Venetian walls, with their bastions and gates, which can still be climbed and traversed in parts.
7. Protaras Beach
On the southeastern corner of the island, the coastline running north from Cape Greco to the Green Line (which separates the republic from the north) is dotted with beaches.
This stretch of coast is a summer resort getaway, with the small town of Protaras central to family holidays devoted to sun, sea and sand.
Protaras Beach and Fig Tree Bay are the most popular sandy stretches, offering water sports and facilities for a full day at the beach, although the small, white-sand bay of Konnos at the northern tip of Cape Greco is less popular. , comes in third place.
North of Protaras, the smaller sandy bars of Agia Triada Beach and Scutari Beach are the best options if you want to avoid the maximum crowds, but in the middle of summer any stretch of sand along this beach is empty. Do not expect
8. The old city of Nicosia
Nicosia is the last divided capital of Europe. Nicosia (Lefkosia) is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, and North Nicosia (Lefkoşa) is the capital of North Cyprus recognized by the United Nations.
The Green Line runs right through the heart of the old walled city district, and if you wish to cross, you must show your passport (and meet any of the current border requirements, which change regularly).
In Nicosia (Lefkosia), the streets of the old town have several excellent small museums, including the Byzantine Makarios Cultural Foundation, and some stuccoed churches, such as the Church of Agios Ioannis.
Two of the city’s best preserved architectural sites are in North Nicosia (Lefkoşa). Here, you’ll find the impressive Gothic architecture of the Salmiya Mosque, the original 14th-century St. Sophia Cathedral, and the Ottoman-era caravanserai at Beuk Han.