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Things to do in Limassol: tourist attractions, activities, beaches, museums, monasteries and restaurants

Things to do in Limassol: tourist attractions, activities, beaches, museums, monasteries and restaurants

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How to spend time in Limassol? What to do and where to go in the second largest city on the island? Our review is about the most important landmarks and museums, local cuisine and beaches, kids-friendly places and more. You will find out where to drive quad in Troodos, which of the Limassol museums features a mirror maze and which is dedicated to the Byzantine art, where to play bowling, what one of the famous abbeys has to do with cats and how to eat meze.

Cultural sites: archaeological monuments, museums and abbeys in Limassol

Archaeological monuments are what most of the tourists coming to Limassol keep in mind. There are ruins of ancient buildings and a medieval castle next to the city, and one of its main museums, the Medieval Museum, features art and household items from the past centuries.

Kourion is an ancient town located in the Episkopi village not far from Limassol. It was built by Mycenaens in the 12th century BC. Such archaeological remains as the Graeco-Roman theatre, the Baths and House of Eustolios, the House of Achilles, the open agora (Forum), the Staduim and the early-orthodox basilica are available to the visitors. A huge collection of antiques – ceramics, coins, crockery, jewelry and household items – is exhibited at the Kourion Archaeological Museum.

Those who want to visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, located next to Kourion, can as well have a look at the ruins of the Kourion Gate and the Pafos Gate.

Colossi castle (Kolossi, Agiou Antoniou, 1) is a former Crusader stronghold in the south of Kolossi village in 11 kilometers from Limassol. It was built in 1210 and had belonged to Hospitallers for many years. Kolossi castle is a wonderful example of medieval military architecture and Gothic style: the main tower of this square three storeyed building is almost 22 meters high and 2,5 meters wide. There is an observation deck on the top of the castle.

The Medieval Museum of Limassol is located at the castle at Richardou kai Veregarias, 1/1. The history of the castle goes back to the 13th century; in the 19th century, during the years of Ottoman supremacy, it was reconstructed. The basement had been used as a jail for a long time. Today there is a museum with collections of art, arms and armor, relics and clothes from the Byzantine epoch, the Middle ages and the Ottoman period at the castle.

There is a number of other museums in Limassol, most of which are dedicated to the culture and history of the island. And don't forget about the Science Museum, which should be definitely visited by those who travel with children.

The Carob Mill Museum (Vasilissis, 11/1) is located not far from the Medieval Museum, at the renovated building of an old factory. Here visitors can see the equipment that had been used to work with carob pods in the beginning of the 20th century: millstones, gear-wheels, steam-engines, boilers etc. Modern interior design along with the exposition create a special eclectic atmosphere the museum is known for. Admission is free.

Who wants to see the very Mini Cooper that belonged to Mister Bin? The Cyprus Motor Museum (the only on the island, address: Ypsonas, 15 Dimitri Papanikoli) was opened in 2014. The oldest automobile in the museum collection is Roadster Ford T 1912. There are also historical cars (such as the Cadillac provided by the US government for Makarios III in 1977) and modern vehicles at the museum.

The Archimedes science museum (Melissovounou, 2) is a space of education with more than 20 devices for kids of different ages. Visitors are invited to get lost at the mirror or the laser maze, fly the air-balloon, lift themselves on a rope, solve various puzzles etc. While playing these games children intuitively get an idea of how fundamental laws of physics work. Excursions, competitions and children's parties are also held at the museum. There is a cafe on the territory of the Archimedes.

Cyprus monasteries are never left without attention of most of the tourists – they are a crucial part of the history and modern life on the island.

Several old monasteries are located to the north of Limassol in the Troodos Mountains. The Holy Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats is considered to be the first monastery in Cyprus. It was built in 327 and deserted in the 16th century. Four hundred years later the old monastery was rebuilt. Cats were brought here by Kalokeros, sent by Constantine the Great, who wanted to make the island free from snakes. Now about 100 cats live on the territory of the monastery, making it even more special and attractive for visitors. The Holy Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats is open every day since 08:00 until 17:00.

The Holy Monastery of the Virgin of Kykkos is located in 20 kilometers from the Pedoulas village, at 1400 meters above the sea level, to the west from Troodos. The monastery was founded in the end of the 11th century by Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Today it is one of the richest and the most famous monasteries on the island. The church in the center of the complex is surrounded by the senior priest's house, cells, the library and the museum, where pilgrims can listen to the Byzantine music and explore some objects of the Christian art: icons, relics, sacred vestments, embroidery, manuscripts and many others.

The Trooditissa Monastery is located on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains. It was founded approximately in 1250. The complex was twice destroyed in forest fires, so most of the buildings we can see today were built in 1854. The main relics kept at the monastery are the icon of Virgin Mary in the silver riza and the holy belt decorated with gold and silver that is believed to help childless women.

Limassol attractions: the waterpark, the zoo, beaches and kids-friendly places

The waterpark of Limassol is the place definitely worth visiting, especially for those who travel with kids. It is called Fasouri and located at Konstantinou kai Evripidi, 1z. There are different types of slides, several swimming pools (including a toddler's pool), an interactive area with fountains and other attractions, a wave pool, a massage parlour and a tattoo studio, a gift shop, a Fish Spa and other services at the waterpark.

You will see no cages at the Limassol Zoo (28 Oktovriou, 307/7). More than 300 animals live in spacious enclosures; even the smallest visitors can see them behind low fences. Crocodiles, lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys, moufflons (local endangered species), as well as birds and reptiles from all the continents, reside at the zoo. Kids can also visit a petting zoo with goats and other domestic animals, and a children's playground. There is also a Flamingo family cafe overlooking the sea at the zoo.

Limassol beaches are an essential part of any summer vacation in this city. There are 18 beaches in the Limassol area: spacious and narrow, sandy, rocky and beachy, noisy and quiet, popular and wild. The Loures and the Vouppa beaches are famous for their scenery views, the Pissouri beach is close to numerous restaurants, and at the Panagies beach holiday-makers can get active and try some water sports.

The Lady's Mile beach is 8 kilometers long and is located not far from Limassol. There are restrooms and showers, changing stalls, sunshades and sunbeds here. Diving and other water sports are also offered. There are some walking trails for those who want to catch a beautiful view of the sea.

The Kourion pebbly beach in Episkopi village is located close to the ancient town ruins. The beach is known for the perfect quality of the water. Beach rescue team is present at the beach all day long, all the necessary services are provided along with such additional options as diving.

The Miami Beach, a sandy spot on the seashore, surrounded by hotels, restaurants and shops, is located almost in the center of the city.

Those who want to play bowling in Limassol can have a wonderful time in the Space Bowling club at Irakkleous, 1. Both small and big groups of people are welcomed here: the place can even be booked for a competition when all 16 lanes are needed. There are also billiard tables, video games, a restaurant and a bar in the club. Supporters can watch the game on the giant screen.

The Arizona Luna Park is an indoor amusement center, located at Episkopi, Odos 6, 15. There is a children's motor-racing track, a playground with slides and bridges, and slot machines with video games here. Kid's birthday parties and other events are held at the restaurant of the Luna Park.

Where to find escape rooms quests in Limassol? At Exit Factor (Ellados, 7) a team has 60 minutes to find a way out from the locked room. Each participant has to be very attentive and try to find some of the hacks and codes, hidden within the room. To solve the puzzle team members should go beyond familiar logic and prove their ability to work with each other. Visitors can choose between a couple of mysterious plots.

K Cineplex is the cinema in Limassol, where kids and their parents can come every day to watch a movie or an animation or hold a kid's birthday party with cinema spirit. The address of the cinema is: Ariadniz, 8.

The MYMALL shopping mall, located at Fragklinou Rousvelt, 285, is another place in Limassol where children and adults can have fun. The Aliens Bowling club is open every day since 11 in the morning until midnight, and the Kids Land offers daily workshops and games for preschoolers. There is also an indoor ice rink and the Playplanet’s Arcade video games center at the mall.

We also recommend to visit the Galactica Entertainment center in Limassol (Leoforos Archiepiskopou Makariou III, 53). The restaurant here has a special «Healthy Menu» for kids, developed by a professional nutritionist. It is possible to order a 3D-cake with the images of cartoon characters on the official website of the center. There is also a Bowling Academy, a Luna Park with merry-go-rounds, bouncing castles, an area with video games and an educational zone where workshops and free lectures are held at the Galactica center.

The Oazis amusement park in Limassol is located at Vasileos Georgiou I, 109a, in the tourist center of the city. There are motor-racing tracks with electric cars, merry-go-rounds, bouncing castles, a maze, a Free Fall attraction, an observation wheel, a pavilion with amusement machines and many other attractions here. After all this draining activities one can have a rest and a good meal at the restaurant on the territory of the park.

Vacation in Limassol is a perfect reason to go on safari in the Troodos, on the Mount Olympus and next to the Argos village. The most popular quad tours are 1,5 hours, 3,5 hours, one or two days long. Such trip is an unforgettable way to learn more about the history and culture of Cyprus, see some beautiful places of hard access and enjoy the nature. To learn more about safari in Cyprus you can connect with the Agros Quad safari company.

Cuisine: traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, restaurants in Limassol

Thanks to geographical location of the island, Cypriot cuisine soaked Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cooking traditions. Olives, fresh vegetables and fruit, Feta, Halloumi and other kinds of cheese, dolmades (rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves), seafood, smoke products, grilled meat and sauces based on yoghurt, eggplants or beans make foodies from all over the world dream about Cyprus.

There is a simple way to get to know most of Cypriot cuisine more quickly: try meze – impressive sets of appetizers, that may include up to 30 different dishes (but just for one bite). Some restaurants serve fish-only, meat-only or vegetarian meze.

Most common ways of preparing meat in Cyprus are roasting, grilling and stewing in the stone oven. If you want to try fish, you are unlikely to be let down by tuna, sword fish and calamaris.

Where to try traditional dishes in Limassol? Here is our guide.

Neon Phaliron is a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in Limassol, located at Gladstonos, 135. Here visitors can try traditional salads and appetizers made from local vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and fish. Seafood meals and special dishes from the chef (marinated pork, chicken penne, Carribean turkey and many others) are also served here. There is also a wine room with more than 350 wines from all over the world, but mostly Greece, Italy and France.

Want to try famous fish meze in Limassol? Go to La Mer at 28 Oktovriou, 295, where taramosalata – a caviar salad, tahini – chickpeas with garlic, olive oil and lemon, fried mullets and calamaris, ink-fish in red wine, grilled pomfrets, home-made sweets and more are served.

The Karatello Tavern is a Greek cuisine restaurant in the Limassol city center with a view on the Medieval Castle and the Carob Mill Museum and classical interior. Traditional and unusual meze sets are served here.

The H Kamara tavern in Omodos village is a good place to try Cypriot home-style cooking. Guests are likely to be impressed by the size of portions, taste of lamb meat and kebab and quality of local meze.

The Meze tavern is located next to the Old Port in Limassol (Agiou Andreou 209). Home-baked bread, several types of sauces (including hummus and tahini), fish and seafood meals, kebabs, «musaku» — a Cypriot baked pudding with potatoes, eggplants, turkey and cheese, beef stifado and other meat meals are on the menu, along with fish and meat meze. The owners, a married couple, have been in business for more than 30 years.

The Cleopatra Cypriot and Lebanese cuisine restaurant in Limassol can be found at Christiana Court, Shop 2&3. Fresh salads and appetizers (for example, eggplants with walnuts and pomegranate juice), grilled chicken wings, Lebanese pickled shashlik, lamb ribs and such Lebanese delicatessen as rice with lamb and nuts, fresh minced beef with cuscus and spices and roasted chicken liver are served here.

Guests of the Ladas Fish Restaurant can order calamari, octopus, ink-fish, shrimp, mullet and oyster appetizers and meals from pomfret, perch, sea bass, lobster and other local fish. The address of the restaurant is Siafi, 1.

The Four Seasons hotel (67-69 Amathus Avenue) houses 5 restaurants. The Mavrommatis is known for new interpretations of traditional Greek dishes (classical meals are prepared and served in French style), the Vivaldi is the six-time winner of the Time Out award as the best restaurant (Italian cuisine), the Seasons Oriental is an authentic place with Chinese cuisine, the Cafe Tropical is where tourists can finally enjoy buffet lunch. The Colors Café is responsible for home-made sweets, salads and scones, and the Mavrommatis & Vivaldi summer terrace is open since July until October.

The Vinarte Bar is a wine bar in the center of Limassol (Saripolou, 31), where visitors can carry out a tasting of local wines and rare wines from all over the world. Cheese, meat and fruit appetizers are served along with the drinks. In the evenings guests often enjoy live music – piano, guitar and jazz.

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