Nicosia is the capital and biggest city in the island nation of Cyprus. It is located on the banks of the Pedieos River, close to the heart of the Mesaoria plain. The city covers an area of 111 km2 and as of July 2014, it is home to 1,172,458 people.
Nicosia has a rich history which goes back to the Bronze Age. It is completely surrounded by a circular wall meant to deter Turkish invasion. Today, it brilliantly combines its historic past with the hustle and bustle of a modern metropolis that features ancient churches, museums, and other medieval structures.
Nicosia has no official red-light district, but historically, three streets are popular for prostitution, namely Soutsou, Tempon, and Pentadaktylou. Until recently, Tempon and Pentadaktylou have seen a significant number of prostitutes. This is in sharp contrast to Soutsou, where some shop owners claimed that only a transvestite and an old prostitute are still working in the area.
History of the RLD
Prostitution appears to have flourished in Cyprus during the Classical period when young girls served at the Temple of the Goddess or roam the coastline to offer themselves to customers in order to collect money for their dowry. The island rose to fame and drew local and foreign travelers, spawning a rather ‘specialized’ form of ‘tourism’, as well as the term ‘ierodoulos’ which refers to a woman who renders sexual services in exchange for money. Today, the island nation is completely removed from anything associated with organised religion, but still, the main form of the sex trade is female prostitution.
Two types of entertainment venues closely related to the evolution of prostitution practices in Cyprus are the Cabaret and the Tavern. Both featured live music and the former developed into two forms depending on whether the establishment served food or not. Those serving food eventually went out of business while cabarets that didn’t serve food catered mostly to men who needed dance partners.
Prostitution started as a main feature of the cabaret when customers paid for the companionship of dance partners and when the electronic music system replaced live music. With the absence of live music, dancing with clients stopped as well and the shows were replaced by striptease and various types of sex shows.
Stay Safe in the RLD
It is safe to walk around Nicosia. However, the streets in the Old City, especially those near the Green Line, can be quite dreary and threatening at night. Always be street smart and be aware of what’s happening around you, particularly in crowded places like shopping malls. Stay away from demonstrations and other large public gatherings.
You’ll find a number of bars and adult clubs in Nicosia, though it is a little more difficult to find strip clubs with live striptease shows, lap dance, and other forms of adult entertainment. If you wish to combine nightlife with a bit of wellness, try to visit a massage parlor for a good, and sometimes sensual, Thai or Nana Nuat massage.
Street walkers from Eastern Europe are typically found in Lidras Street. They are actually the same women who work in the cabarets and they simply hang out during their spare time in front of the places where they live. The average rate is 20€ per hour and that’s for one-time sex only.
Cypriot law does not ban prostitution itself, and the age of consent has been set at 17. However, pimping, brothel ownership, organising prostitution rings, living off the profits of the sex trade, coercing an individual to engage in prostitution, and promoting prostitution are all considered illegal activities. Prescribed penalties include up to 20 years imprisonment, which is strict enough and comparable to those prescribed for serious crimes.
As for the LGBT community, same-sex sexual activity is legal and civil unions were legalised on December 9, 2015. This means same-sex couples are allowed to enter into civil cohabitation. However, the current law recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman; hence, there is still no official recognition of same-sex marriages.
Nicosia provides a varied urban scene. The majority of the entertainment hotspots are in Laiki Ytonia and along George Grivas Avenue. There is a ten-lane bowling alley behind Ledra Hotel, and just a stone’s throw away is the Nicosia international fairground.
Nightlife in Nicosia is characterized by glitz and glamour. It is a journey into the innards of clubs, lounges, and party venues. Nicosia is home to a wide selection of bars, pubs, and discotheques. Most of the clubs feature live bands that perform popular international hits. In Engomi, a little more than a mile from the city center, there are two popular disco houses: Africana Disco and Scorpios Disco. Young people gather here to dance the night away, often till the break of dawn!
For those who want a more subdued setting, go to a theater and enjoy a play or watch a movie at a cinema hall. The options available are many, just pick one or two and have a wonderful evening in the city.
Homosexuality has long been banned in Northern Cyprus, but it seems the tide has turned and it was officially decriminalised in 2010. However, gay life remains very discrete with only a handful of openly gay venues. There are no organised support groups for gays and lesbians, but there are some gay forums.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Nicosia still exudes a conservative attitude, and blatant displays of affection are still frowned upon. Nonetheless, open-air cruising is a popular activity in these hotspots:
Other venues where gays congregate include the following:
Gay Prostitution in Nicosia
Gay and transsexual prostitutes are present but a majority, if not all, advertise their services online. Do some research and find some reputable websites so you can find exactly what you are looking for before visiting the city.