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The 12 Best Places to Visit in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

Discover the top 12 must-visit destinations in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus. From stunning beaches to ancient castles, the best places to visit in Kyrenia list have it all.
The 12 Best Places to Visit in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus Discover the top 12 must-visit destinations in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus. From stunning beaches to ancient castles, the best places to visit in Kyrenia list have it all.
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If you are looking for places to visit in Kyrenia, then you have already taken the perfect step to discover this magnificent city. Is Kyrenia worth visiting? Without a doubt, the answer is yes. There are many reasons to visit Kyrenia, a harbour city located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, in the north of the island of Cyprus.

Kyrenia is wonderful, especially during the summer season. It is one of the most popular cities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). According to Wikipedia, the city’s population is more than twenty thousand; but in summer, this number reaches hundreds of thousands.

Kyrenia (Girne) is not only geographically significant, but it also has historical significance. This city was founded by the ancient Greek colonists, the Achaeans, and fortified by the Byzantines, Franks, and Venetians for a long time. You may be wondering if is Girne the same as Kyrenia or not.

Even though the Greeks and Turks lived together for a long time, in 1974, as a result of the Cyprus Peace Operation, the country was divided into two regions: Northern Cyprus and Southern Cyprus. With this divide, Kyrenia city came under Turkish control. So, the city’s Turkish name is Girne, and the Greek name is Kyrenia.

Kyrenia is well-known for its harbour and castle. But also there are many other places to visit in Kyrenia. Some of them will surprise you when you visit. We have made a comprehensive where to go in Kyrenia list. This list is to facilitate your adventure in this city.

In Kyrenia, you will get lost in historical streets and witness the history of the ruins you see. Using the Kyrenia travel guide is a great way to discover the city. With the Kyrenia guide, you can easily make your vacation plans, enjoy nature and see the historical monuments in Kyrenia.

Kyrenia is a year-round destination. However, it would be better to have the perfect timing for your plans. Ask yourself, what do you want to do in Kyrenia?  In the summer season, Kyrenia is more lively. If you want to swim, sunbathe, walk at night or go out at night, the summer season will be the right choice for you.  If you are interested in historical places or casino hotels; you can visit Kyrenia for four seasons.

Kyrenia is also famous for its thriving nightlife. The bars, restaurants, casinos, and night walks are the touchstones of the city. Besides, Kyrenia is also famous for its historical sites, beaches, and unique natural landscapes. In Kyrenia, there are also numerous stores for shopping, and they attract many fashion lovers and souvenir collectors. Kyrenia has a wide selection of shops where you can shop.

If you have a British or Commonwealth passport, you can come to Kyrenia through the south of Cyprus. After arriving on the south side, you can cross the border to the north with your vehicle or by taxi. As a second option, you can travel directly to Ercan Airport in the north of Cyprus via Turkey. There are also passenger and car ferries to Kyrenia from Turkey.

Alternatively, you can save all the places on the list to your phone through the Map of Places to Visit in Kyrenia below.

Bellapais Abbey

Bellapais Monastery In Kyrenia 
Bellapais Monastery in Kyrenia – © Photo: kirill_makarov / Shutterstock

Bellapais Monastery is known as the “Beautiful Peace Monastery” and it is the ruins of a monastery built in the 13th century by the Canons Regular. Five kilometres from Kyrenia, the monastery is located on the northern edge of the small village of Bellapais (Beylerbeyi). Approximately one hundred years ago, the first settlers came to the monastery.

The church is the strongest structure that remains from the monastery. Except for the church, the only remaining structure of the monastery is the ruins of other structures. There is no doubt that you must visit Bellapais when you go to Kyrenia, which is at the top of our “Places to Visit in Kyrenia” list.

Kyrenia Harbour

Port Of Kyrenia 
Port Of Kyrenia – © Photo: Marinada / Shutterstock

A historical harbour in the heart of Genoa, the Kyrenia Harbour is a must-see place that has cafes, restaurants, and tourist sites. You can also enjoy swimming in the sea or sunbathing. Besides, the harbour used to be a major shipping point for salt and carob in the past. In the TRNC, the only harbour where both passengers and crew have access to accommodation, as well as eating and drinking establishments, is the Kyrenia Harbour

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia Castle
Kyrenia Castle – © Photo: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock

A 16th-century fortress built by the Venetians over an old Crusader fortress, Kyrenia Castle is located at the eastern end of the old harbour in Kyrenia. On the interior of the walls of the church, there is a re-showing of a 12th-century Roman capital, the Shipwreck Museum, and the ruins of an ancient Roman temple.

Castles were built to protect the region against Arab attacks by the Byzantines. The castle, which is one of the places to visit in Kyrenia, is worth seeing because of its historical and touristic significance.

Saint Hilarion Castle

Kyrenia St. Hilarion Castle
Kyrenia St. Hilarion Castle – © Photo: Aliaksandr Antanovich / Shutterstock

St. Hilarion Castle, located in the mountains of Kyrenia, was built to protect the region from attacks. The castle was used for surveillance by the Byzantines in the 11th century and remained operational until 1489. After the siege by the Venetians, the castle lost its function. Of the three old castles in the Kyrenia Mountains, the best-retained one is St. Hilarion Castle.

The Blue Mansion (Byron Pavlides’ Villa)

Kyrenia Lefle Blue Pavilion (Byron Pavlides' Villa)
Kyrenia&Nbsp;Lefle Blue Pavilion (Byron Pavlides’ Villa) – © Photo: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock

Paulo Paolides (birth name: Byron Pavlides), was the biggest arms smuggler in the Middle East and also the lawyer of the President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios. Pavlides was a Greek Cypriot born of Italian descent. As soon as he left the mansion in 1974, it was turned into a museum by the Turkish military. When you visit the museum, you will be accompanied by military personnel. During your visit to the museum, you should carry your passport or identification card.

Shipwreck Museum

Kyrenia Shipwreck Museum 
Kyrenia Shipwreck Museum – © Photo: Dinosmichail / Shutterstock

An exhibit of a ship from the Alexander the Great era, the Sunken Ship Museum is located at Kyrenia Castle. With great effort, the ship was excavated from the sea and it has been carefully preserved till today. It was discovered by archaeologists in 1968. Today, the ship is exhibited in its restored form in the museum.

Agha Cafer Pasha Mosque

Girne Aga Cafer Pasha Mosque
Girne Aga Cafer Pasha Mosque – © Photo: Katatonia82 / Shutterstock

The mosque donated by the Cypriot Governor Cafer Pasha in the 16th century is located on Agha Cafer Pasha Street, just behind the harbour. This mosque takes its name from the landowner who donated the land upon which it was built. The mosque, which is rectangular in shape, has three main rooms and one minaret. Besides the mosque, many gardens, fields, olive groves, and barns were also donated at that time.

The Peace and Freedom Museum (Karaoğlanoğlu Cemetery)

Kyrenia Peace And Freedom Museum (Karaoğlanoğlu Martyrdom) 
Kyrenia Peace And Freedom Museum (Karaoğlanoğlu Martyrdom) – © Photo: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock

This museum is located at the same point where the Turkish troops first landed as part of the Cyprus Peace Operation back in 1974. The significance of this museum can be best understood by looking at its history. The museum was restored to honour Turkish soldiers who were killed by Russian cannonballs during an encounter with the Russians. Because of its historical importance, It is one of the most prominent places to visit in Kyrenia.

Church of Christ Antiphonitis

Christ Antiphonitis Church In Kyrenia 
Christ Antiphonitis Church In Kyrenia – © Photo: Rob Atherton / Shutterstock

In the mountains near the village of Kalograia, in Kyrenia, there is a church called Antifonit. The name of the church means “Christ who answers.”  Even though the frescoes and mosaics inside were looted, they were given back to the church recently. You can reach the church from the small roads both in the herbarium and in the area of Agios Amvrosios. Even though it is a bit far away from Kyrenia, we wanted to include it in our list of the places to visit in Kyrenia.

Kyrenia Museum of Folk Art

This museum is a wonderful travel route that allows you to experience the ancient culture and architecture of Cyprus. This museum has been designed in a traditional Cypriot house style, with needlework and bridal costumes. The museum illustrates the culture and history of Cyprus. There is also an upper floor where handcrafted products are exhibited. On the lower floor, there is a counter and an olive press.

The property once belonged to a well-known Cypriot philanthropist, Lady Loch. Previously it was a granary, then a shop selling carobs, and now a museum. Upon her death, she donated the building to the Department of Antiquities to be used as a museum. The Museum of Folk Art‘s main entrance is from the harbour.

Kyrenia Icon Museum

Kyrenia Icon Museum
Kyrenia Icon Museum – © Photo: I. Noyan Yilmaz / Shutterstock

The former Greek Orthodox church of Archangelos Mikhael is now home to the Girne Icon Museum. The three-story collection contains icons rescued from unidentified churches in the region in the 17th and 19th centuries. In 1885, a bell tower was added to the church. This tower can be seen from many parts of the city.

Ercan International Airport (ECN)

Nicosia Ercan International Airport (Ecn)
Nicosia Ercan International Airport (Ecn) – © Photo: Grey82 / Shutterstock

Ercan International Airport is the only airport where flights are operated from Turkey by airlines such as Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines. The airport takes its name from Commander Fehmi Ercan, who was killed in the Cyprus Peace Operation. Although it is not a touristic destination in Kyrenia, we wanted to give it last place on our list of things what to do in Kyrenia because of its significance.


What to do in Kyrenia?

Kyrenia is known as a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and historical sites. You can spend some time on the beaches in the summer if you decide on a route for Kyrenia first, and then visit these historical places. It is easier to plan a nice route to follow if you know where you can spend time and have fun in the evening.

What to do in Kyrenia in the evening?

Kyrenia is a preferred residential area due to its position at the forefront of the country, which provides vibrant nightlife and numerous venues. If you want to avoid being overwhelmed by the heat during the summer, you can go to places where you can have active fun at night. The summer months are a good time to go to bars, restaurants, and night walks, for example.

When to go to Kyrenia?

If you are interested in doing any activities while you are there, it may be a good idea to choose a time at which you will visit based on the activities you wish to participate in. If you’re looking for fun during the summer, you can go to Kyrenia. You can go to the beach, swim in the pool, take a walk, or just have fun. However, you can only see historical sites and play casino games (bets).

What is Kyrenia famous for?

The TRNC is famous for its carob trees. In addition to growing carob in Kyrenia, which is also a popular tourist destination, Kyrenia is also well known for its carob trees. Kyrenia is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Northern Cyprus because of its historical sites, beaches that will revive sea tourism, and unique natural landscapes.

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