The City and Region
Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus is the island’s largest city. It is the administrative, commercial, cultural, educational and religious centre of the republic, and is also geographically at the centre of the island. Nicosia is the last divided capital city in Europe.
Nicosia has developed to become a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, rich in history and culture that combines its historic past with the amenities of a modern city, and is consistently ranked as one of the richest cities in the world in terms of per capita income.
The city is a trade centre and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. Copper mines are nearby. Nicosia is the seat of the University of Cyprus (UCY) and four other universities.
Nicosia is one of the key locations in the country for economic activity and contributes greatly to Cyprus's GDP figure. Financial related industries are mostly located in the Nicosia region, with more than 10 different banks operating in the area.
Like other leading cities in Cyprus, Nicosia is a prime tourist destination, particularly in the summer months, when the warm weather attracts visitors mostly from other European countries.
The shipping industry plays an important part in the economy of the city, as the location of Cyprus makes it a transport hub between Europe and the Middle-east. The nearest port is Limassol, which is also the largest and busiest port in Cyprus. Most products manufactured in this city are exported from Limassol Port to Greece, the United Kingdom and Germany. There is a special tax policy whereby Cypriot ships carrying cargo are not required to pay any tax on profits or exports.
Cyprus has a strong education system, whereby it is compulsory for all children to attend school up until the age of 16. The primary and secondary education system remains free for citizens in the country, while grants are available for any further educational studies.
Nicosia has the largest amount of universities and campuses than any other city in Cyprus, including the University of Cyprus (UCY), the University of Nicosia, the European University Cyprus, the Open University of Cyprus and Frederick University. Classes are taught in English, Greek and Turkish, and some 3,500 students are currently enrolled in study programmes. There are also several more specialist schools, offering in depth study of a specific subject, such as the Aigaia School of Art & Design and the Kolarides University of Accountancy.
The main hospital in Nicosia is the New General Hospital which opened on October 10 2006. It is considered that Cyprus, and in particular Nicosia New General Hospital has the potential to become a peripheral transplant centre for the region. Kidney transplants have been carried out in Cyprus since 1987 and in 2012 the hospital team completed their first pancreas transplant.
One of the foremost private hospitals is the Apollonion, Private Hospital - an ultra-modern hospital, purposely built to offer the best and most complete medical care to its patients.
Located in north of the Republic of Cyprus the capital city of Nicosia offers something quite different to the large selection of coastal tourist resorts located along the north and south Mediterranean coastlines. Nicosia is divided into two very distinctive regions - the North (Turkish occupied) and the South (Republican).
Crossing between the north and south of Nicosia was once restricted, but is now easy and a regular tourist attraction. The north of Nicosia offers traditional Cypriot handicrafts and markets, while in the South there are the remarkable 16th-century Venetian Walls.
Nicosia has a hot subtropical semi-arid climate with long, hot and dry summers with relatively wet and mild winters. The warmest average high temperature in July and August is 37ºC, with temperatures in Winter dropping to 5ºC. Nicosia receives on average 13.6 in of rain annually
Nicosia is well endowed with a variety of city-centre shopping facilities including Ikea, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next, McDonalds, KFC, Carrefour, Zare, Accessorize and Body Shop etc in addition to local retail outlets and local shops. The most recent addition for retail therapy in Nicosia is The Mall of Cyprus (www.themallofcyprus.com) which encompasses fashion, supermarket, leisure technology, sports outlets etc in addition to leisure facilities including a cinema, restaurants and cafes.
National and International Travel
International travelers and businesspeople travelling to Nicosia generally utilise the New Larnaca International Airport, which is located 50km southeast of Nicosia's city centre. The airport can be reached by the frequent shuttle bus services that run from the downtown area. Larnaca International Airport offers flights to numerous European locations, several areas in the Middle-East, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the Far-East including China.
The road system is modern and well maintained, with a highway system linking all of the major cities in Cyprus.