The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the northern part of the island of Cyprus with around 330,000 inhabitants. The official language is Turkish and the Turkish lira is used as a means of payment.

Around 92% of the population of Northern Cyprus profess the Islamic faith.

The largest cities in Northern Cyprus include Lefkosa (North Nicosia), Gazimagusa (Famagusta), Iskele (Trikomo), Girne (Kyrenia)), Gönyeli, Güzelyurt, Lapta, Hamitköy and Alsancak.

The Republic of Northern Cyprus offers some interesting architectural sights, such as the Castle of St. Hilarion, the Kyrenia Fortress, the Bellapais Monastery, the Old Town and the “Lala Mustafa Pasha” Mosque of Famagusta, the Kantara Castle, the Buffavento Castle ruins, the harbor of Kyrenia, the ruins of Salamis, the church and monastery of St. Barnabas in Famagusta, the Golden Beach and the city walls of Famagusta.

The capital of the Republic of Northern Cyprus is Lefkosa, also known as North Nicosia, with around 70,000 inhabitants. Lefkosa has three border crossings with southern Nicosia, the most famous of which is Lokmaci, which is only for pedestrians, in the middle of the city center of the divided Nicosia.

North Nicosia is home to the National Bank of Northern Cyprus and four universities. Other sights in the capital include the Arabahmet Mosque, Ataturk Square, the Barbarism Museum, the library of Sultan Mahmud II, the ancient building “Büyük Han Caravanserai”, the Haydar Pasha Mosque, the Mehmed -Akif Street, the Feinschliff Museum and the Selimiye Mosque, which was originally built as a cathedral.

In July 2012 I visited the Turkish Republic in Northern Cyprus for the first time. I used the border crossing in downtown Nicosia for a three-hour stay in the Turkish part of the divided capital.

The walk to Lefkosa, Turkey, was relatively unspectacular and problem-free. At the border crossing, the security guard gave me a small piece of stamped paper that I just had to hand in on the way back.

Due to the completely different architecture, on the other hand it really felt like you had arrived in the real Turkey.

Lefkosa has some very old mosques to offer and is definitely worth an extensive city tour. During my time in the Turkish part, I spent my lunch break in a small, cozy restaurant.

On my second visit to the Turkish part of Cyprus in May 2019, I took a rental car to explore the almost untouched part of the beautiful Mediterranean island a little more flexibly. This time my main destination was the east of Cyprus, the city of Famagusta and some remote places in the UN buffer zone.

The Republic of Northern Cyprus has several historical cultural treasures, small picturesque beaches, almost untouched nature and a fascinating hilly landscape. In the end I spent an exciting day there, a visit that was definitely worth it.

After two very interesting trips to the Turkish part of Cyprus, I returned every evening to my hotel in southern Larnaca.