The well-preserved northern half of the capital of Cyprus is under Turkish control. It is a simple place, with a number of historic buildings at its heart and just a few modern buildings going up on its outskirts. There are splendid examples of Turkish architecture around, such as the historic Great Inn and the Arab Ahmet Mosque. Another Islamic place of worship, the Selimiye Mosque, used to be a cathedral. Near this outstanding building is the Lapidary Museum, which has a collection of stonework through the ages housed in a 15th century Venetian-style structure. Fascinating old artefacts may also be seen in the historical Mevlevi Tekke Museum.

Along Ledra Street in the old city may be found some colourful shops, cafés and restaurants. Turkish Cypriot cuisine includes spicy chicken and lamb kebabs, thin-crust beef pizzas called lahmacun, cheeses and Mediterranean dips, and Turkish wines, beer, or lemonade. This part of the city also has hamams, or Turkish baths, and wonderful traditional markets.

South Nicosia and North Nicosia are separated by a border with two main border crossings. People may rent a car and cross from South into North, but only personally allowed cars may cross from North to South. However, there are car rental agencies near the border.

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