Limassol, Cyprus has been a destination for me and my family since I was the age of 3 years old. Since my family lived here, we would always focus our trips around family. Because of this, we would usually spend most of our time with them at their home instead of venturing out and exploring the city. Granted, we would take day trips out to the beach, or take a trip up to my grandfather’s village in the mountains, but that wasn’t very often. It wasn’t until James and I started coming to Cyprus by ourselves that we started to go out and see more of what Limassol has to offer. We compiled a list of what to do in Limassol, even if it’s only a short amount of time.
Limassol is the second-largest city of Cyprus with a population of about 185,000 people. The city is known for its castles, museums, and palm tree-lined boardwalk. Throughout the year, you can check out the many festivals and events that Limassol has to offer. The biggest of which is the annual wine festival held at the Limassol Municipal Gardens at the end of August and the beginning of September. You can find major festivals to celebrate Easter, and events such as ‘Kataklysmos’, meaning flood, to celebrate the sea and Aphrodite and Adonis. Apart from these events, you can also find yourself enjoying the amazing Cypriot food throughout the city.
What To Do In Limassol
Things To Do
#1 Explore the Boardwalk
You can’t go to Limassol and not walk along the sea. The good thing about the design of the boardwalk is that is built right beside the sea and connects with Molos Park, where there is an outdoor gym, a skate park, art exhibits, and winding trails through the trees and landscape. Additionally, there are bicycle rental spots along the boardwalk so you can pedal your way along the beach.
You can enjoy an unobstructed view of the Mediterranean Sea along a 5km path while soaking in the warm sun. There are also plenty of beaches, cafés, and restaurants along the boardwalk, which are ideal when you want to take a break from walking or biking with the relaxing sea in the background.
#2 Go to the Limassol Castle
This castle is located in the center of Old Town Limassol. The castle has been converted to a museum, while still maintaining its old-world charm. Originally dating back to as old as the 4th Century, the castle was where Richard the Lionheart married his wife and crowned her the Queen of England.
With 3 levels of history and artifacts, along with a rooftop level where you can see the city and mountains on one side and the sea on the other, this is a can’t miss spot in Limassol. The castle will have you daydreaming of the days of knights and queens with all of the ancient remains and beautiful detailing throughout the castle.
#3 Kolossi Castle
You can’t go to Limassol without checking out the beautiful Kolossi Castle which dates back to the 1200s. It’s a short 20 min drive from Old Town Limassol, and just outside of the Akrotiri base which is a sovereign British base and technically not part of Cyprus. It used to be a Crusader stronghold with horse stables and a moat around the castle. You’ll learn about why this castle was heavily contested throughout it’s history being taken by many different groups including the Knights Templar and the French House of Lusignan.
On the bottom floor is where the dungeons used to be. You can still see the iron rings that people were chained to. As you work your way up to the middle level, you can see where the living chambers were as well as the kitchens and other necessary things during that time-period. From there, the only way is up which will take you to the ramparts. On the roof of the castle, you can get an incredible view of the Limassol region.
#4 Swim in the Sea
This is a no brainer, but you have to swim in the sea on your trip to Limassol. If you have a car, we highly suggest going to Ladies Mile beach. It’s a relaxing, quiet beach that consists of a rock beach instead of sand. It’s one of my grandfather’s favorite beaches, and after one visit there, you will understand why.
If you can’t make it down to Ladies Mile don’t worry, there are plenty of other beaches we can recommend. One at the end of the Molos Park on the boardwalk is incredibly easy to get to. Miami Beach (yes that’s really the name) is a 2 km walk along the boardwalk from the Molos Park if you’re looking for a little less busy, and a little more space. Aphrodite’s Beach is a little further up the road, but it’s a little more lively and they have jet ski’s available for rent.
The good news is that all of these beaches have little cafe’s. These cafe’s are the perfect spot to enjoy an iced coffee, a cold beer, or some small snacks, like our personal favorite: honey pita
#5 Check out the Kourion ruins
Just outside of Limassol are the Kourion ruins. The site of the ruins is quite vast with amazing views, so wear your walking shoes. At the Kourion ruins, you can find the Temple of Apollo, the House of Achilles, ancient aqueducts & baths, and many more historic sites and sights. Additionally, you can explore a covered ruin site with ongoing excavation work, along with open ruins and an old amphitheater.
Amazingly, there is very little red tape as you can pretty much wander around wherever you please. It can be a bit windy near the ruins. So be prepared for your feet getting dusty because it is worth it.
#6 Explore museums
A hop and a skip from the Kourion Ruins is the Cyprus Wine Museum. At the museum, you can learn about the history of wine in Limassol and Cyprus, and specifically, the Commanderia wine that is well known in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Wine Museum is located in a traditional Cypriot building with a beautiful outdoor seating area. Once you finish the tour of the museum, you can have a tasting of the Cypriot wines and liquor they offer.
Places To Eat and Drink
#1 Meze Taverna – Get your appetites ready because this meal will test the capacity of your stomach, but don’t take that as a challenge, fatties. You can’t go to Cyprus without getting a meze, which is a selection of cold and hot dishes that seems to be never-ending. Think of tapas with larger servings, and 10+ dishes. This meal gives you a unique experience to taste a large array of Cypriot dishes that you might not normally try otherwise.
#2 Proedrikon – Located in the heart of Old Town Limassol, this place is the closest thing to Cypriot street food that you’ll easily find. Don’t expect Michelin star service, as this is a quick bite, cheap eats place, especially if you are in the mood for some of the best gyros. It’s a must with gyros priced less than €4. Also, they’ve got vegetarian options that can easily be made vegan with a little effort. You can sit at some of the tables right outside the entrance or take it with you on your walk around Old Town.
#3 Le Chat – One of the cutest coffee shops in the city is located in a nook between two buildings in Old Town Limassol. Take a break here from shopping or from walking the promenade. With a bohemian flair and easy-going staff, this is one of our favorite coffee shops in Limassol. Here, you can buy a Cypriot coffee for €1 and enjoy the atmosphere with friends and/or family.
#4 Bike & Bean Coffee Station – We love any shop that has anything to do with coffee or biking, so of course we are going to love the combination of the two. Right off the Limassol Boardwalk, and a stone’s throw from the beach, this place is in a perfect location. The owner at this shop is passionate about coffee and is a master when it comes to specialty coffee. If you’re looking for something to go with your coffee, you can choose from a selection of raw vegan items, juices, or smoothies. This coffee shop is a must-visit, especially if you find yourself riding a bike along the boardwalk.
#5 ΡΩ / RAW – If all of the Cypriot food has you feeling sluggish, make your way over to this raw vegan restaurant. They have everything from chocolate-covered stuffed dates to raw vegan pizza. Not only will you feel good about what you’re eating, but the owners are warm and welcoming. Located in a secluded spot between two large buildings, it’s quiet and local atmosphere will have you wishing you could come more often.
Areas to stay
Now that I’ve told you all the good things about Limassol, let’s dive into where you should stay. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong anywhere you stay in Limassol. Unless you don’t have access to a car and you happen to pick a place too far inland. But the good news is that there are plenty of areas close to the seafront to choose from.
The areas of Old Town and the Marina are ideal for just about anyone. The new marina is perfect for those looking for a modern stay with the buzz of nightlife. The marina also has lots of big restaurants and cafes to make even the pickiest eaters happy.
Old Town is great for anyone looking for the historic experience with local eateries within a short walking distance. But don’t worry, if you chose a place in either location, you can still walk to the other area and enjoy the unique qualities of each place.
Potamos Germasogeia (Tourist Area)
If you head East from the Marina, you’ll find yourself in this area. There has been an abundance of development going on lately, resulting in plenty of things to do. This is also where you’ll find most of the resorts and hotels. If you find yourself staying at one of the resorts in this area, you might not want to leave. However, the beaches in this area are nice, especially if you stop at one of the beachside cafes. Frappés by the sea, what else could you want?
Limassol, Cyprus holds a special place in my heart. My family is not only from there, but James and I have recently spent a couple of months there. For us, the central location in Europe is ideal and allows us to easily and cheaply travel around Europe. Not to mention, the beautiful landscapes, delicious food, warm weather, welcoming people, and the low cost of living. It can be easy to see why TripAdvisor named Limassol as the third up & coming destination in the world.
Limassol is not only a seafront city, but it holds so much history, along with shopping, eateries, and more. If you only have a short amount of time to spend in Cyprus, we suggest staying in this beautiful city. We may be a little biased, but it’s a city that we love. We hope this article on what to do in Limassol convinced you to take a trip to this underrated Mediterranean island. If you happen to have a longer stay in Cyprus, we suggest wandering over to Ayia Napa.
View this post on Instagram