The Municipal Market, or Bandabulya in Nicosia, North Cyprus.
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The Municipal Market, or Bandabulya


Bandabulya
photo by: Sinem Tulipa Turcica
[ enlarge photo ]

Nothing reveals the spirit of a country more than a market, so make sure you find time to visit one during your holiday in North Cyprus. The main market in North Nicosia is the covered municipal market, or Belediye Pazari, known to all the locals as the Bandabulya. Built during the British occupation, the market stalls are busy with locals buying their weekly food shopping, or getting in essential supplies. Unlike local markets in towns such as Kyrenia, the Municipal market is open everyday except Sundays. (The market has been restored under the Nicosia Master Plan, so check for exact opening times in case work is still ongoing.)

Fresh North Cyprus Produce from the Bandabulya

Many stalls sell fresh produce direct from the fields of North Cyprus, so if you are staying in a North Cyprus villa or apartment, you can do your food shopping here with ease. Fresh meat is also on sale, although bring a cool bag to take it home in during the summer. You’ll need to get up early to get the best produce, as the market opens at 6am and is closed by 3pm weekdays, or 1pm on Saturdays.

Take Home a Box of Cyprus Delight!

If you want an authentic souvenir that will easily fit into a suitcase for your North Cyprus flight home, choose from the many boxes of Cyprus delight, or lokma. These authentic treats are far better than any Turkish delight you can get off the shelves in the UK. You can also buy other take-home delights such as pistachios, olives, halloumi cheese and sweet helva.


Nicosia Antiques Shop
photo by: Sinem Tulipa Turcica
[ enlarge photo ]

Designer Knitwear from the Bandabulya

Tucked right at the back of the market is Ayten Huseyin’s shop, where she sells beautiful woven bags and accessories that she had made herself, on the premises. Ayten studied at the St Martin’s School of Art in London and worked as a fashion knitwear designer in Paris and Italy. Now she has returned to her native North Cyprus to live in her parents’ old house in Nicosia, and sells her one-off designs from a humble market setting. For something of international quality design and local flavour, bag a Ayten designer item as your North Cyprus holiday souvenir.

If antiques are more your thing, head for the "Souvenir Bazaar" set up just north of the Selimiye Mosque (St Sophia’s Cathedral). Jewellery is always a good buy, and there are several shops selling interesting items in North Nicosia, such as Erdal Jewellery on Kadinlar Pazari.