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About Nicosia

Centrally located on the island of Cyprus, the capital city of Nicosia is fascinating in both its history and scenery. Separated by a border, the Turkish-held northern region is vastly different from the Greek southern side. As the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus attracts visitors to enjoy its summer festivals, historical landmarks and golden beaches.

Cheap flights to Nicosia are now available for a limited time only, so book your flight today and prepare to be swept up by the natural beauty and fascinating cultures of this historical island! Nicosia is served by Ercan International Airport (ECN) and Larnaca International Airport (LCA), both a 35 to 45-minute drive from the city centre. ECN and LCA serve a number of airlines, including Qatar Airways, Aegean Airlines and Turkish Airlines. There are no direct flights from South Africa to Nicosia, but popular connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Why visit Nicosia

picturesque landmarks

Picturesque Landmarks

The untouched, historical buildings and ruins of the Walled City and Kyrenia provide a glimpse into the heart and soul of Nicosia. Explore the interesting museums and art galleries in all their splendour.

gastronomic fusion

Gastronomic Fusion

Nicosia is a melting-pot of culture and cuisine, with European, Balkan and Middle Eastern influences. With a distinguished coffee culture and love for meze dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to eat next!

shimmering beaches

Shimmering Beaches

Savour the unspoilt stretches of golden sand along the coastline of Northern Cyprus. Immerse yourself in the exotic beach life and enjoy some diving, windsurfing, jet-skiing and sailing along the Mediterranean Sea.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Republic of Cyprus
Currency Euro & Turkish Lira
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 € / 1 ZAR = 0.28 TRY
Language Greek / Turkish
Hub Airport Ercan International Airport (ECN)
Airline Cobalt Air
Time Zone GMT + 02:00
Travel Adaptor Type G

Best time to visit Nicosia

The most favourable time to visit this idyllic city is during the summer, between May and October. The balmy weather and clear, blue skies make for a perfect day of sightseeing and relaxing on the beach. July and August bring an intense heat, so be sure to pack lots of sunscreen and a hat. You’ll find the city buzzing with activities and festivals at this time – the only downside is overcrowding and exorbitant prices. If you can time your holiday for April or November, you may just catch some good deals on airfare and accommodation, while still being able to enjoy the wildflowers, green landscapes and pretty mountain streams. Although December to March sees many places close for the winter, the towns and villages around the island are less touristy and you can head up the slopes of the Troodos Mountains for some thrilling skiing!

Weather & Climate in Nicosia

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 5°C 5°C 7°C 10°C 14°C 18°C 20°C 20°C 18°C 14°C 10°C 7°C
High °C 15°C 16°C 19°C 26°C 29°C 33°C 36°C 36°C 33°C 28°C 22°C 17°C
Rainfall (mm) 60 45 39 20 18 5 1 2 7 27 34 71

Overview

Nicosia, known in Turkish as Lefkoşa, is the central capital city of the island country, Cyprus. Known as the world’s largest divided capital, a Green Line border separates the Turkish northern half, while the Greek southern half serves as the Republic’s capital.

There are many major landmarks to see on both sides of the border – most attractions can be seen by walking around. Notable attractions to add to your ‘must-see’ list include the Cyprus Museum, Büyük Han and Selimiye Mosque (formerly St Sophia Cathedral). Many different styles of architecture are found in this region, from Venetian to Turkish and traditional Greek. Museums are the main order of the day, while art also features highly in the city’s history and culture. Take a walk around the Old City, lined with historical buildings, before crossing the border into Northern Nicosia, which houses fascinating ruins, castles and markets.

Aside from the splendid history and architecture, the city is bursting with cafés and eateries where you can delight your taste buds with exotic flavours. The city explodes with colour during the summer festivals, and its bustling nightlife offers an exciting end to a fun-filled day.

Don’t forget the stunning beaches, where you can enjoy a plethora of water sports and paragliding over the unspoilt landscape!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do need a visa to enter Cyprus. If you hold a Type C (Multiple Schengen) visa, you do not require a Cyprus visa, provided you enter a Schengen state BEFORE entering Cyprus. Schengen Visas can take up to three months to process, so plan ahead to ensure your visa arrives well ahead of time. Your passport also needs to be valid for at least six months after your return date, with three blank pages for entry stamps.

The High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus is located at: 375 Marais Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria.

For inquiries, email: pretoriaconsulate@mfa.gov.cy

Phone: 012 346 3298

Health & Safety

The island of Cyprus is considered to be exceptionally safe and tourists are made to feel most welcome. Nonetheless, always exercise common safety precautions. There are good medical facilities where most of the doctors and nurses can converse in English. Pharmacies are well-stocked and, should you require any prescription medication, be sure to have a doctor’s note. Food and hygiene is of high quality so you need not be sceptical of the water and local produce.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG NICOSIA
Meal, inexpensive restaurant R 90 R 100 R 171
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22 R 20 R 43
Cappuccino R 19 R 20 R 51
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R 10 R 12 R 10
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35 R 35 R 70
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