Famagusta

4.3/5 - (3 votes)

In the past this was the most well-known tourist place in Cyprus. Once the Turks entered the country and started to conquer the north of Cyprus the city became a ghost town. Now no one besides the Turkish army can enter the city. Of course parts of Famagusta are still accessible, but most parts aren't. The rest of the city has expanded to the north in a tangle of little streets and alleyways. Most of them not paved. Famagusta is a great daytour from Ayia Napa, Nicosia, Limassol or Larnaca. You really don't need to stay here longer than one day.

Salamis Famagusta

Salamis, close to Famagusta.

  Average costs

Stay – There is accommodation in Famagusta, but it’s better to just search a place at the southern side of Cyprus (The Greek Cypriot side). These accommodations are far better and there’s a lot more alternatives.

Eat – Food in and around Famagusta is less expensive than at the other side of the border. A wrap will be the cheapest food you can find. Around three, four euro’s ($3,5 to $5). For a bigger meal expect to pay between €8 and €15 ($9 to $16,5).

Transport – The best way to see Famagusta is by arranging your own transportation. The cheapest is to rent your own car, because when you book in advance you can find cars for less than €15 a day ($16,5). Do keep in mind that you need to buy extra insurance to visit the Turkish side of Cyprus.
Day trips to Famagusta are possible, but you’ll pay thirty euro’s for a single ticket ($33). Most of the times the trips are even more expensive.
Taxi’s are another option, but these are a lot more expensive so don’t even think about these.

Famagusta omwalling.

The walls of the old city center of Famagusta. This part is still completely accessible.

  Saving money

Driving yourself –  Book a rental car from the airport in Paphos or Larnaca. You can also rent cars from nearby cities such as Ayia Napa. This costs anything between 15 and 30 euro a day (for the cheapest cars). When renting a car, you can easily visit Famagusta on your own and spend as much time as you want at the many sights of this once important city. Try driving around the narrow, unpaved streets too if you can. Around these streets you’ll see how the Turkish people live in Cyprus.

Kerk in Famagusta.

Church in Famagusta.

  Do’s

Palm Beach – The best spot to see the post-apocalyptic Famagusta is Palm Beach. Besides the Palm Beach hotel there is a small beach that you can walk on. If you’re not scared of the eagle eyed guards, you can even make some sneaky pictures of the ghost town.
During summer there are boats who give you a close-up of the shielded city.

Salamis – Ten minutes away from Palm Beach you can see the best archeological site of Cyprus. A bathing house, amphitheatre and more are in excellent condition and thus a must see when you’re in the neighbourhood! The entrance cost is three euro’s ($3,5) for an adult and 1,5 euro ($2) for students.

Palm beach in Famagusta.

Palm beach in Famagusta.

  Don’ts

Making obvious pictures – Making photographs from the army controlled city is not appreciated at all. Try to keep your camera out of sight, because I read stories of guards who ask to delete all of the pictures you’ve made. If you really want to take pictures, don’t be obvious.
The best way to make pictures is to take a small camera with you. A GoPro for example.

Forget your passport or ID – To cross the border to Famagusta you need to show your passport or European ID. You don’t have it with you? Then you can’t cross the border.

Het afgesloten gebied in Famagusta.

The closed off area in Famagusta.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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