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Lefkoşa (North Nicosia)

Getting around

Car & motorcycle

Car

For car hire, try Budget Car Rental (228 2711; www.budgetcyprus.com; Irfan Bey Sokak) or Sun Rent-A-Car (227 2303; fax 228 3700; www.sunrentacar.com; Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi 10). If you are coming from the South, call ahead and see if the company will meet you at the Ledra Palace Hotel crossing. Rates start at around UK£25 per day.

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Bus & tram

Bus

While there are public buses in North Nicosia, they tend to mainly service the suburbs outside the Old City. They are only really useful if you need to get to the Cyprus Turkish Airlines office or the main NCTO office (both on Bedrettin Demirel Caddesi), or a hitching spot, on a shoestring traveller’s budget. Buses leave from near Kyrenia Gate.

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Local transport

Taxi

There are plenty of taxi ranks in North Nicosia, though the most convenient and easiest to find is at Kyrenia Gate. A ride to anywhere in town should cost no more than 2YTL, though as a tourist you may be asked for more, say 2.50YTL. Above that, you are probably being ripped off. Ask the driver for the rate before getting into the taxi.

Among the more reliable taxi companies in North Nicosia are Ankara Taxi (227 1788), Özner Taxi (227 4012), Terminal Taxi (228 4909) and Yılmaz Taxi (227 3036).

When you cross into North Nicosia from the South, you will almost certainly be approached by tourist cab drivers offering to take you on tours of the North. They would prefer to give you the full treatment for around CY£30 (although Cyprus pounds are not generally used in the North, Turkish taxis at crossing points will always quote prices in Cyprus pounds), but in practice you can ask to be taken to wherever you like, such as Kyrenia for the day, and pay less accordingly.

These drivers are not rapacious – though they are keen for your custom – and they will often act as unofficial and at times informative guides.

This is the best solution if you want a taste of the North without the hassles of driving yourself.

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