Spotlight On: Nicosia, Cyprus

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and with evidence of human activity on the island dating back as far as the 10th millennium BC, there is plenty to see and do especially in the capital, Nicosia.

Activity in Nicosia itself only—a relative term—dates back around 4,500 years and the result is a fascinating mix of old and new. What makes modern Nicosia unique is it is one of the last capitals in the world that is divided between two territories—Greek and Turkish Cypriot quarters. In fact, Nicosia is the only capital city in the world to have two time zones.

Ledra Street is directly in the middle of the walled city and has historically been the busiest shopping areas. Elsewhere, narrow streets are lined with art galleries, cafes, boutiques, as well as bars and restaurants. The walled city—a leftover from Venetian times—is in the shape of a snowflake and history is evident everywhere.

Nicosia is also home to eight universities—a disproportionate amount given the relatively small size of the city. It’s also one of the richest cities per capita in the Eastern Mediterranean.