Varosha, the ghost town from Cyprus

Varosha, the ghost town

Find out how much time you need to visit Varosha, the ghost town, and what you will find there. See what you can and can’t do on the streets open to the public.

Varosha is like a sinister, open-air museum.

Varosha is a tourist attraction.

Varosha is living proof of what politics really is.

Varosha is home to many people who grew up there and now go with a broken heart to look at the places of their childhood.

Varosha is the well-being that some have had and lost.

Varosha is sadness, it is curiosity and… it just is.

Varosha, the ghost town, opened in 2020

The first time I arrived near Varosha, it could only be seen from behind the fence. It could NOT be photographed because you risked spending at least one night in jail.

Now you go through the turnstiles, rent a bike or a tuk-tuk with a guide and go around. It was reopened by Erdogan during the pandemic and can be visited by anyone who wants. As long as you stay on the paved road, everything is ok.

There are cameras and police or law enforcement that take care of it. They will also direct you to the exit before closing time to ensure no one stays there overnight.

You need more than two hours to visit the city!

I’ve been three times this year, and I’d still go for a stroll through those streets. I was always on the run, because it’s closing, because we still have to get to the old city…

To walk in Varosha you need at least three hours. If you want to stay at the beach there too, put in the whole day. Because the two beaches you have opened and where you can sit in the sun and bathe are gorgeous, you certainly won’t be able to tear yourself away from them easily.

DON’T bother to bring cash with you, because you can only use the card to pay there.

What you can find in Varosha

Empty hotels, without windows, without doors, without a master. Abandoned, empty houses with no furniture and no personal belongings inside. Stores where at most you will see a few empty shelves left over the years.

In the entire accessible area, I saw only one car left abandoned after the occupation.

Everything can only be seen from the newly paved street. In a way, it’s not to blame, because it wouldn’t be safe at all to walk around the buildings left abandoned since 1974.

If the wind blows a bit, there are still noises that seem to be from things that are still falling through the buildings. Maybe a door, a window… who knows. During the last walk through Varosha, we had a companion dog who followed us for almost two hours.

Maybe he knows more, but he can’t tell us.

UN base in Varosha, the ghost town

Somewhere in the middle of the resort, you will find an area where you are not allowed to enter. It is a UN base and is only accessible to military personnel and their families.

Not even the puppy was allowed in the perimeter delimited by barriers and fences… Another building belonging to them is near the entrance to the resort, and it is signposted that you are not allowed to take photos. I would suggest that you follow all these indications because the situation can become complicated for nothing.

They are there to make sure there is … peace.


1 bicycle – 2 hours – 30 TL

1 electric scooter, scooter – 2 hours – 300 TL

1 Buggy – 40 minutes – 300 TL/3 people, 500 TL for 5 people

Admission to the ghost town is free and hours are from 8 am to 7.30 pm during the summer.

In May, one euro is more than 21 lira at the exchange offices. More than 6 years ago, one euro was about 4 lira.

See here how we end up with a ghost town on the island – Katehomena – the occupied territories

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