The Old City of northern Nicosia can be comfortably covered on foot. If crossing through the checkpoint at from South Cyprus, there are taxis that can be rented by the hour or by the day to cover the Old City and surrounding areas.
There are also numerous buses which will carry you around the city, you will have no difficulty in spotting these in the bus stops near Kyrenia Gate.
To get to the Dereboyu area from the walled city, turn left from the Kyrenia city, go straight on, passing the Parliament - the area is considered to start from around Domino's.
Most of Nicosia's sights are within the walled city:
Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia Cathedral). Northern Nicosia's top attraction, this fortress-like cathedral-cum-mosque was completed in 1228 and has survived a number of earthquakes since then. The cathedral was converted into a mosque in 1570 and the two minarets added at the same time are a Nicosia landmark.edit
Kyrenia Gate. Built in 1567, the impressive Northern entry gate into Nicosia was built when the Venetians were in charge of Cyprus. Today it is home to the tourism information centre in Nicosia.edit
The Great Inn (Büyük Han). It has been totally transformed through sympathetic renovation and restoration over the past few years and today it’s a place where you can shop for eclectic crafts, enjoy a light meal, watch some street theatre or listen to live music and marvel at the incredible architecture of this building constructed back in 1572.edit
Atatürk Square, better known as Sarayönü - the heart of the walled city, this square boasts the Venetian Column and the Judicial Building, with an opportunity to see other historical buildings and witness locals going about their daily business.
Samanbahçe Houses - a very good reflection of traditional Turkish Cypriot architecture, these houses are well-preserved and well worth seeing and photographing.
The Great Turkish Bath - built over 400 years ago and still active, this bath is a place to relax.
Dervish Pasha’s House. An ethnological museum, the recently resorted mansion that was once owned by Dervish Pasha.edit
The Lusignan House. A French medieval residenceedit
The Museum of Barbarism. The house of Dr. Nihat Ilhan, a major who was serving in the Cyprus Turkish Contingent in 1963. During the inter-communal troubles of December that year, the house was attacked by the Greek-Cypriot terrorists. Dr. Ilhan's wife and three children were ruthlessly murdered in the bathroom where they had tried to hide. The house, in the Dereboyu region of Nicosia has been preserved as a museum.edit
Kızılbaş Church - in the Kızılbaş area, within walking distance from Dereboyu, this historical church is now used as a cultural center with frequent exhibitions and other cultural events.
The Office of Rauf Denktaş - the office of the founder of Northern Cyprus, this is another attraction in the Dereboyu area.
The Republic Park (Cumhuriyet Parkı) - hosting the grave of Rauf Denktaş and a monument dedicated to the national struggle, this park is located in the Gönyeli area.
Whirling Dervish Shows take place in the walled city near the Selimiye Mosque, every night apart from the Sundays.
Try the 500-year-old Great Turkish Bath (Büyük Hamam) for an experience of true and relaxing cleanliness.
The Nicosia International Fair, takes place every June, and it's more than a fair, with an opportunity to mingle with locals and enjoy the decades-old atmosphere of the mobile restaurants and funfair there.
Nicosia is home to festivals, especially during the summer:
International Gönyeli Festival - organized by the Gönyeli Municipality in July, one of the suburbs of Nicosia, the festival boasts concerts from some internationally-known Turkish bands and folk dance shows, with many other events
Nicosia Theater Festival - in September and October, with well-known plays and actors from Turkey and Cyprus, this is a festival the locals are proud of, though the plays are in Turkish
Nicosia Youth Festival - takes place in the summer, with concerts of local bands
Walled City Jazz Festival - in September
Golden Tulip Hotel, Saray Hotel, Merit Hotel and Royal Hotel host casinos, which are banned in the south.
The so-called nightclubs on the highway to Morphou are prostitution centers. While prostution is illegal, the government turns a blind eye to these "nightclubs" and they remain an attraction for men.
The Indoor and Outdoor Markets are the markets in North Nicosia are certainly worth a visit… There are many market stalls to browse selling everything from genuine fake designer clothes, bags, belts and shoes to stalls overflowing with fantastic fresh, organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables. You can pick up all the local cheese (Hellim cheese), Turkish delight, olive oil and such like that you want to take home to family and friends and you can negotiate a good clothing bargain or two to boot.
Arasta region in the walled city is home to cheap clothing, souvenirs and many other items with friendly vendors.
Outside the walled city, Dereboyu is the most classy area of the city. With frequent festivals, the area hosts several international clothing brands, restaurants and cafes. You will encounter Turkish Cypriot youths here, and hear foreign music. It is busy until late, and probably the only place in North Nicosia with this quality.
If your visa allows it, it would be fine to stay in northern Nicosia and see both areas of the city, the crossing is hassle free and open 24 hours a day, and there are more budget options on the northern side (in particular if you don't want to or can't use the youth hostel on the southern side).
The going rate for a Pension is 30 TL for a 1 or 2 person room. There are many of them around the Great Inn. They don't have online reservations, but hotels are a minimum of 100TL in the low-season so it's much cheaper to walk into any pension.
Aksaray Pansiyon, Mecidiye Sokak No: 63 LEFKOŞA (north of the Great Inn), ☎ 0392 228 46 48 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . About €30 for private room for 2 with breakfast. edit
Antalya Pansiyonu, Iplik Pazari No. 17 (just north of the Hamam), ☎ 22 77 396. €25 for a private room for 2. edit
Tourism information may or may not be available at the tourism office on Atatürk Square, you are sure to find it at Kyrenia Gate. The telephone code of the city has no difference with the whole Northern Cyprus; (+90) 392.
It is possible to visit the South on a day trip, provided you are an EU-Citizen. Citizens of other western nations (e.g. US, Canada, Australia) are allowed to pass by the Greek Cypriots on a case to case basis only. People from countries that need a visa for the Republic of Cyprus cannot visit the South if they entered the island via the TRNC. The main checkpoint for pedestrians is on Ledra Street.