With so many beautiful and unusual museums to visit in Cyprus, there’s plenty to inspire you in the most unusual places, from the backstreets of Old Nicosia, into villages forgotten by time, and on to buzzing city centres. Join us on a fascinating journey!
1. The Cyprus Museum, Nicosia
It’s one of the island’s most popular and well-known museums for good reason: it’s not just the largest archaeological ‘treasure trove’ in Cyprus, but this place houses really fascinating artefacts discovered during a great number of excavations on the island that you quite simply won’t get to see anywhere else. Prepare to be dazzled by a whole array of ancient items, ranging from tools and figurines from the Chalcolithic period, to jewelry and glorious statues from the Bronze Age.
Photo: Athanasios Athanasiou
2. Leventis Museum, Nicosia
Right in the middle of the cobbled streets of Laiki Gitonia in Old Nicosia, you’ll be taken on a whirlwind journey through Nicosia’s colourful and intricate 6000-year history at the Leventis Museum. Set out beautifully, there’s heaps of interesting info to sink your teeth into, with countless exhibits bringing the past to life in the most magnificent fashion, from old maps and medieval ceramics to embroidered lace, woven work, silverwork and other photographic material. Be sure to also pop into the really lovely gift shop on the ground floor on your way out, to take home a beautiful keepsake.
3. Medieval Museum of Cyprus (Limassol Castle)
Set right in the centre of the Limassol hub, this castle is said to have been erected on the spot where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre in 1191, crowning her Queen of England. There’s plenty to take in here, housing the Cyprus Medieval Museum with exhibits which reflect the historical evolution of modern Cyprus, from its economic, social and cultural development, to the many customs and traditions of the island from the 3rd to the 18th century AD.
4. Kouklia Museum, Paphos
It’s the setting of this museum that makes it incredibly magical, with the Kouklia Archaeological site linked to the worship of the Goddess Aphrodite. As history comes to life every step of the way, this museum is housed in the eastern wing of a Lusignian Medieval Manor House, and presents finds from the site itself and the area’s two cemeteries. You’ll be particularly impressed by the Roman mosaic on the floor of the first room, as well as a terracotta bath, stone tools, pottery, jewels and more, dating back to the 2nd millennium B.C. until Roman times.
5. Oleastro Olive Park and Museum, Anogyra village, Limassol district
Deep in the Cyprus countryside, a little place known as the Oleastro Museum beckons, where you’re given the chance to discover all the glories of the juicy olive. Nestled amidst trees in the Oleastro Grove, the building takes visitors back in time, with information and exhibits on just about everything olive-related imaginable. To start with, you’ll get to see various extraction methods used over time, from pressing olives with one’s feet, to the latest state-of-the-art ecological pressing methods. You’ll also familiarise yourselves with various farming activities related to the olive tree and professions that go with it, while also getting to grips with the role of olives and olive oil in the Cypriot house and the Mediterranean diet, as well as all related customs, traditions and history.
6. The Cyprus Railways Museum, Evrychou village
Housed in an old railway station near Evrychou village in the Troodos Mountains, the Cyprus Railways Museum (pictured in cover photo) is really unique little place providing insight into Cyprus’ old railway system, in operation from 1905 to 1951. Once extending from Famagusta in the east, to Morfou in the west, passing through Nicosia, the current Railways Museum stands where the main building of the southern terminal of the third section of the CGR once stood. At the museum, you’ll have the chance to take a good look at original documents, drawings, photos and various objects related to the old railway, as well as scale models of the main stations and rolling stock. What’s great, is that everything on show is accompanied by plenty of information in both Greek and English, really giving visitors insight into the ins and outs of how the railway functioned in times past.