Larnaca, although the capital, is not usually the destination for travellers to Cyprus. In a small country with gorgeous places like Ayia Napa and Paphos, it is often overlooked. That does not mean it’s void of nice spots, though.
Especially if you fly into Larnaca, set aside at least half a day to explore the area. Here’s a walking itinerary covering the must-see Top 5 Attractions in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Start at the Church of Saint Lazarus. Built in the late 9th century over the tomb of Lazarus of Bethany, who, in the New Testament, was raised from the dead by Jesus. Orthodox tradition has it that he was appointed Bishop of Kition (nowadays Larnaca) by Saint Paul after fleeing Judea and settling in Cyprus. After living for another 30 years, he was buried here for the second and last time.
- Mar 1st – Oct 31st: Mon-Sat 08:00-18:30, Sun 06:30-12:30/15:30-18:30
- Nov 1st – Feb 29th: Mon-Sat 08:00-12:30/14:30-17:30, Sun 06:30-12:30/15:30-17:30
You can also visit the Byzantine Museum of Saint Lazarus, featuring icons from the Church itself, as well as old books and gospels, sacred utensils, wood carvings, vestiments and other objects from the 16th to the 20th century. It costs only €1 per person.
- Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 08:30-12:30/15:00-17:30
- Wed and Sat: 08:30-12:30
- Sun: closed
#2 Larnaca Pier
After leaving St. Lazarus Church and Museum, walk less than 300m until the Larnaca Pier. From here you have beautiful views of the promenade and Larnaca Castle nearby. It’s a popular meeting point.
#3 Larnaca Medieval Castle
Next to the Pier, on one end of Finikoudes Beach, you’ll find Larnaca Castle. Its building started at the 12th century to protect the new main port of the Kingdom of Cyprus, after the Genovese occupied Famagusta. By the 18th century it was abandoned and has been used as a prison during British rule and the Cypriot Civil War.
Within the castle, you can freely roam around the open courtyard and visit a small museum. Go up to the walls for the best views of the promenade. Entrance costs €2.50.
- Apr 16th – Sep 15th: Mon-Fri 08:00-19:30, Sat-Sun 09:30-19:30
- Sep 16th – Apr 15th: Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 09:30-17:00
- Closed on public holidays
#4 Finikoudes Beach
After seeing it from the walls of the Castle, it’s time to stroll along Finikoudes. This is the main beach and point of reference in the center of Larnaca., a popular spot with calm waters, varied sports options and rental of umbrellas and loungers. Athenon Road, parallel to the promenade, is lined with restaurants, both local and international chains.
Due to its central position, it’s the ideal place to find your accommodation, as you’ll have easy access to the intercity bus station, where the touristic line also stops — check the flyers, as companies come and go and there’s no reliable info online.
#5 Larnaca Marina
Finikoudes Beach ends at the Larnaca Marina. This is where you can find boat tours to explore the surroundings, some even with glass bottoms.
Bonus: The Marina is right in front of Europe Square, a cute square with the first British colonial buildings in Cyprus. Here you find the Municipal Art Gallery, featuring art exhibitions by artists from the island and abroad. Admission is free.
- Summer: Mon-Fri 10:00-13:00/16:00-19:00, Sat 10:00-13:00
- Winter: Mon-Fri 10:00-13:00/15:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-13:00
- Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Here’s hoping you enjoy the Top 5 attractions in Larnaca on your visit to Cyprus! Let me know in the comments which is your favorite!
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