Fancy a bit of a shopping trip whilst visiting North Cyprus? Why not make a visit to Arasta in the heart of the walled city of Lefkoşa to experience some modern shopping, located in a wonderfully historical location! Arasta is located at the top end of Girne Caddesi which is the main road leading up from the Kyrenia Gate – keep walking and you will come upon it one way or another! You will know you have arrived when you enter a vibrant and busy shopping district.
A nice little treat for most of us are the cheap goodies we can buy coming in and out of North Cyprus! Note that there are limitations on what you can bring in and what you can take out however, (taking out is more relevant for the country you are travelling back to!).
When arriving into Ercan airport which serves North Cyprus you are currently allowed to bring in: -
One historical sight that you have to see when visiting North Cyprus is the wonderful and vibrant Büyük Han in Lefkoşa. It’s one the main attractions for tourists, but also has its own local community feel, with residents and tourists alike spending time soaking up its unique atmosphere.
The Büyük Han (or Great Inn), located within the city walls, was commissioned by the first Ottoman Pasha to Cyprus, Musafer, in 1752, shortly after the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus. It was a familiar sight for travelling tradesman, as these types of Hans (Inns) were common in Turkey, especially in Anatolia. They were also known as ‘caravanserai’ which literally means a centre where people would commune. Apparently this Han is similar in design to only two others in the whole of Turkey, and is often compared with the Kosa (or cocoon) Han in Bursa.
Before 2003 if you lived in North Cyprus you could only shop in North Cyprus, but with the opening of the Ledra checkpoint in the heart of Lefkosa in April 2003, locals and European shoppers alike were able to explore the delights of what the south of the island had to offer.
Although officially there are duty restrictions in place, which at present are set at a limit of goods worth135 euro per person for shoppers coming back through to the north, there are not too many searches of goods purchased as you come back through the checkpoints – at the moment! There are also plans to raise this limit to between 250-300 euros (presently it’s 260 Euros for shoppers going back through to the south), and although progress is slow it is likely that this will become reality in the not too distant future. Sadly the effect on trade and related services since the opening of checkpoints has not been as fruitful as previously anticipated with Turkish Cypriots not feeling the full benefit of trading with their Greek Cypriot counterparts.
When we talk about cinema in North Cyprus, we don’t just mean the usual blockbuster movies that anyone can see no matter where in the world they live, we also mean that North Cyprus does have its own budding cinematic scene. So, you will find the usual cinema facilities in the city areas, but there are also a number of art house cinema venues which are popular places for people wishing to see something different.
Arts venues are host to various screenings, with offerings from local and international film makers, and you can see them in a variety of places such as at Sidestreets in Lefkoşa. Often these cinematic events are bought together by both Turkish and Greek Cypriots, who seem to thrive on working closely to provide a vibrant arts scene. [Read more...]
Buying a car here is actually really quite easy, and there are heaps of car dealerships for both brand new and second hand vehicles. We will offer some tips and advice on how to get the best deal, what to expect within the cost of buying a car, and what you need to do to keep it legally on the road!
Shopping – don’t we love it!! Well, in North Cyprus you are spoilt for choice when it comes to what you can buy and where you can shop, whether you’re in the market for practical items such as DIY materials, food etc., or indeed you want to indulge in shopping for pleasure for gifts, clothes and entertainment.
Besides just looking around the offerings on the north side of the island, there is now the opportunity to partake of some cross-border shopping too. Since April 2003 when the borders were opened, shoppers have been able to purchase items which are not readily available in North Cyprus, or to treat themselves to some items from western chain department stores.