The Bazaar in North Nicosia, North Cyprus.
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The Bazaar in North Nicosia

Arasta Bazaar
photo by: Basak Rapunsell
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One of the great delights of any holiday, and especially a North Cyprus holiday, is shopping! Forget international malls and big brand names, and explore the shops, markets and bazaars of North Nicosia for everything from clothing to jewellery.

The Bazaars of Nicosia, Northern Cyprus

At the beginning of the 20th century, Nicosia had no fewer than 26 bazaars across the city, but the number have dwindled over the years. Today, the main shopping area in North Nicosia is around Arasta Sokagi. The word "Arasta" means a bazaar attached to a mosque, either physically or though association. In this case, the Arasta bazaar was probably originally associated with the Selimiye Camii.

photo by: Sinem Tulipa Turcica
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On Arasta Sokagi, you can browse and haggle for clothes, especially cheap jeans. If you fancy making your own, head for the part of Girne Caddesi known as the Eski Kadinlar Pazan, or "Old Women’s Bazaar" for great bales of cloth in bright colours, alongside more mundane household items. Just remember, whatever you buy has to go into your suitcase for the flight from North Cyprus home, or be posted instead! (Your North Cyprus hotel may also able to help with shipping arrangements, just ask at reception.)

Remember, the Büyük Han arts and crafts centre is also just off Arasta Street. For more shopping, read more about the Municipal Market, or Bandabulya.