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Cultural Life
Cypriot Cuisine
Folk Dancing
Monasteries and Museums

Northern Cyprus has many keen and talented artists. Most of the galleries are in Lefkosa, but there are workshops, which present their work in Girne. Please phone the galleries to find out whose work is currently being shown.

Numerous books written about Northern Cyprus can be found in bookshops around the island.
For free information, please call to the Ministry of Tourism.
Tel: + 90 392 227 7194 - 228 1106 - 228 9629

Cultural Life/Events
For Turkish Cypriots, family life is of ultimate importance and therefore a great amount of their free time is spent at family gatherings, barbeques and weddings. Turkish Cypriots are highly sociable and like to go out, see people and be seen. All towns and even some villages hold festivals usually in the early summer. For information about these festivals and other events please contact the Ministry of Tourism.

Cypriot Cuisine

The culture of a place is always reflected in its kitchen, and Northern Cyprus is no exception, Cypriot cooking, like its people is unique. A typical Turkish, or Turkish Cypriot restaurant meal consists of meze, kebabs(lamb or chicken) or fish, followed by fruit and coffee. Meze is a selection of hot and cold appetizers. Cypriot home cooking s different and is only found in a handful of restaurants in Northern Cyprus, so you will have to look out for them. Probably the most famous of Cypriot culinary specialities is hellim cheese. This full-fat soft cheese is made from whole goat's milk, salt and a touch of mint. It is typically served with salads, cucumber or melon. It also makes an excellent side dish, as well as fried or grilled topping. Another speciality is molehiya, a green leafy vegetable which grows only in Cyprus and on the banks of the Nile. It is usually cooked with chicken or meat and is delicious and wholesome. Another interesting vegetable, unknown outside Cyprus is Kolokas, a root vegetable which when cooked(again with lamb or chicken) has the texture of potato but a sweeter taste. Cypriots have two kind of unique kebabs and both of them can be found quite easily in restaurants. One is Küp kebab(lamb or goat)wrapped in foil with potatoes and herbs and cooked for hours in a clay oven. The other is sheftali kebabs, which are small spicy and sausage like. They are skewered and cooked over hot charcoal. Of course you will want a drink with your meal. Turkish wines are a great favorite with the meal, but there are locally produced drinks too. There are Turkish Cypriot beers, raki and brandy. One favorite amongst visitors, usually as an aperatif, is brandy sour, a cocktail made with brandy, lemon juice and angostura bitters. For those who prefer something non-alchoholic, there is some home-made lemonnade called limonata.

Folk Dancing
Since 1974 folk dancing has been promoted by the state, municipalities and local groups as an important symbol of our national identity, culture and history.

Cyprus is the 3rd largest Island in the Mediterranean and is 65 km away from Turkey`s southern coast. Other neighbouring countries are Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Greece. Since the division of Cyprus in 1974 the Turkish Cypriots have lived in the northern part of the island while Greek Cypriots live in the south.


Lefkara embroidery and lace is an old Cypriot tradition going back countless generations. Young and old women still produce the beautiful and intricate bed covers, table cloths, doilies and head-scarves. Carpet weaving is another age-old Cypriot tradition and is mostly found in the Famagusta region. Kilims (small floor rugs) generally with colorful striped designs with colorful striped patterns make ideal souvenirs or gifts. Wicker basket weaving is another Cypriot art form that is popular with tourists who tend to buy the colorful flat baskets (sale, in Turkish) to use as wall decoration.

Historical Information
This publication contains some historical information about Northern Cyprus. Should you however require some more detailed literature on the subject please contact the Ministry of Tourism or the Tourist Information Offices, which are located in all major towns, who will be happy to furnish you with whatever information you need.

The majority of the Turkish Cypriots are Moslem and although very few regularly attend mosque services or wear religious attire, they do celebrate religious festivals.

This publication contains some information on this subject, but if you require more detailed information please ask at you local Tourist Information Office. Museum visiting hours and entrance fees are shown below.

National Archieves and Research Centre Kyrenia;
Tel: 815 2156

American Centre Nicosia;
Tel: 227 4938

British Council, Nicosia;
Tel: 227 4938

Atatürk Cultural Centre, Nicosia;
Tel: 228 3257

Sultan Mahmut Library, Kyrenia
Tel: 815 8631

there are also libraries at the universities in Kyrenia, Nicosia, Famagusta and Lefke.

Monasteries and Museums
This publication contains some information on this subject, but if you require more detailed information please ask at you local Tourist Information Office.

Gazi Magusa
Name Winter Summer
Archaeological Site of Enkomi  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Ayios Yuannis Church  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
Canbulat Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-17.00 
Icon Museum of Iskele  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Kantara Castle  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  10.00-17.00 
Otello's Tower  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  10.00-17.00 
Ruins of Salamis  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Salamis Royal Tombs and Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Sipahi Ay Trias Basilica  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  07.30-14.00 
St. Barnabas Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
The Akkule Mosque  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  07.30-14.00 
The Dungeon and Museum of Namik Kemal  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  07.30-14.00 

Name Winter Summer
Antiphonitis Monastery  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
Bellapais Abbey  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Girne Archangelos Icon Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Girne Castle and Museums  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Monument and Museum of Freedom and Peace  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
St. Hilarion Castle  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-17.00 
The Fine Arts Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
The Girne Museum of Folk Art  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 

Name Winter Summer
Palace of Vouni  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  10.00-17.00 
Ruins of Soli  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
The Guzelyurt Museum and St. Mamas Icon Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 

Name Winter Summer
Dervis Pasha Ethnographic Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-19.00 
Library and Lapidary Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
Lusignan House  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
Mevlevi Tekke Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  07.30-14.00 
Museum of Barbarism  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00 
National Struggle Museum  09.00-13.00/14.00-16.45  09.00-14.00