Beyond the museums and picturesque cafes of the busy Ledras and Onasagorou streets in Nicosia, lies a treasure trove of local street art; and though it rests quietly on the capital’s walls, it makes a loud statement. Here’s your ultimate guide.
Displayed publicly for passersby to enjoy, following the trail of street art in Nicosia leads to a unique a exploration of the Old Town.
The street art scene is relatively fresh in Cyprus and has spread mainly across the old walled town of Nicosia. Carrying cultural and socio-political messages, the street art here will give any curious traveler an insight into the country’s culture, while also showcasing the city’s edgier side.
If you want to see Nicosia beyond its main attractions, hunt down these pieces for an insight into the local underground art scene and hidden streets of the city.
Street art is still an emerging art form in Cyprus, and exploring the town’s street gallery can prove to be a unique way to see the capital and learn about local culture and society. So if you’re looking for an alternative tour of the city through its ins and outs, follow its urban art.
Just before entering the Old Town, on Stasinou Street, is this large piece which brings to life the tall white buildings that surround it. Though nearby streets have been filled with roadworks, this wall art brings more colour into the area and sets the mood for discovering Nicosia through its street art.
Inspired by the Netflix series, “Peaky Blinders”, the artist created this mural in the area of Engomi, near one of the university campuses of Nicosia.
Artist: Twenty Three
Buried at the end of Talou Street along the Green Line sits another big street art piece inviting visitors to dig deeper through the town’s corners. To find it, you have to head towards the craft-worker’s area, pass by an unconventional bar and so experience a real local feel of the region. From there, head to Ermou Street to interact with the few remaining craftsmen of the Old Town and see artists at work.
This impressive work of art can be found in Kyrenias Avenue in Aglantzia. It depicts a woman who prays.
The mural that can be found in old Nicosia, depicts King Onassagoras, who ruled the Kingdom of Ledra around 672 BC. Next to him is Ledra. In the mural we also see Lefkos, who had rebuilt the city giving it him name (Lefkosia – Greek and Lefkoşa in Turkish). Finally, the artist depicts Nicosia as a woman divided in half.
The artist was inspired by the story of king Onesilus, who joined all the kingdoms of Cyprus in a revolt against Persians (499 BCE). After he was betrayed and killed, his skull became a hive by a swarm of bees. This was an omen that he should be recognized as a hero!