Last updated 2022, October 13th: What do Leonardo da Vinci, Homer, Walt Disney, and Cleopatra have in common? They are all connected through Cyprus. Cyprus is rich in history, and culture. Myths and legends are inspired by the island, which is today ethnically divided into a Greek and a Turkish part. Influences from Persians, Egyptians, Arabs, and Europeans have contributed to the today's Republic of Cyprus.
To reveal the famous stories, da Vinci bought Lefkada lace in Cyprus and brought it back to Italy, Walt Disney's story of Snowwhite & the 7 Dwarfs is inspired by the picturesque island, and Cleopatra once received the island as a love gift from her Roman lover.
To enter the Republic of Cyprus, the south part of Cyprus, which is a member state of the European Union, please make sure you either have a valid Schengen visa or exemption or you are a citizen of the EU Schengen zone providing a valid ID card or passport.
- Valid visa: visa for non-Schengen citizens or a national ID/passport for Schengen citizens who need a visa to travel to Cyprus. Additionally, passport holders from Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway can travel to Cyprus visa-free, too. Please note that this article is about the southern part of Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus.
- Travel health insurance: If you need a Schengen visa to enter the EU, you also need health insurance to match the Schengen requirements and minimum coverage of €30,000. Check out Genki's health insurance and tick this off your list.
🌱 Travel health insurance for Cyprus
🏡 How to find a place
- Hotels: If you chose to book a hotel, make sure you check beforehand where it is located. Cyprus can be under heavy construction and the noise level is immense in some parts. Make sure to check if there is construction nearby at least at the same block as construction is not just loud it also starts early.
- Facebook: There are several groups listing houses and apartments for rent in bigger cities. Check out Nicosia Rent Flat Sales and Rentals or For Rent Property in Limassol.
- Airbnb: The go-to booking system for rentals in many places. However, I did not find Airbnb helpful in Cyprus as prices are high and the photos often do not match reality. The rental prices are completely off and don't match the quality you get. Especially when coming in the winter months, having an apartment without heating makes your stay miserable. Check carefully.
- Coliving spaces: This type of accommodation is for you, if you want to integrate a social aspect in your accommodation and if you are okay with having accommodation and workplace all in one location.
✈️ How to get to Cyprus
- Plane: Most important airport in Cyprus is Larnaca International Airport (LCA), serving the cities of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, and Ayia Napa. Paphos International Airport is located in the west part of the island and 6km outside of the city of Paphos. Both airports are connected with several European by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, Easyjet or also British Airways, and Lufthansa. There are no direct flights from or to Cyprus for visitors coming from Australia or the US.
🚌 Public transport
Aside from riding a bike or renting a car/scooter, you can take the Bus or taxi to get around. Cyprus does not have a train or underground transport infrastructure.
- Bus: The bus system connects major cities, towns, and airports. One-way tickets are available to the driver and cost not more than 2 Euro. You can also purchase a rechargeable smart card for 2 Euro and top up the card with a 30-day ticket for 30 Euro. Several bus lines connect the airports of Cyprus with major towns. One way ticket is 1.50 Euro.
- Taxi: Cyprus transport ministry has set fixed fares for taxis, traveling from and to airports.
- Uber: There is no Uber in Cyprus, check out this CABCY app to get a taxi ride.
🏘 Where to stay in Nicosia
- Chrysaliniotissa: The area is full of rich cultural and architectural sites and reveals the historical past of the island. Cobblestone streets and picturesque buildings are still carrying their 18th-century charm.
- Kaimakli: The neighborhood is very local and a good mix of old-fashioned Cyprus and hipster coffee shops and eateries.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Nicosia
- AtWorks: The coworking space has 2 central locations in Nicosia, one inside the Karantonis building and one located in Strovolos, approximately 3 km outside the city center of Nicosia. Both spaces are good choices for focused working sessions. Membership is available for 250 Euro per month.
- A κχoffee project: The cozy coffee shop is centrally located and attracts coffee lovers with its freshly roasted blends and coffee specialties. The café welcomes nomads and offers free wifi and working stations.
🏘 Where to stay in Limassol
- Old town: Old town is the perfect neighborhood for active people who want to be right in the center of the action. Due to the amount of cultural heritages site, this area is very touristy, but also filled with bars, restaurants, and shops. Prices start roughly from 1,500 Euro per month.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Limassol
- The Business Bar: The coworking space is centrally located in the old town of Limassol and offers a modern, open and bright office infrastructure, with freshly roasted coffee and ergonomic furniture. The monthly price for a dedicated desk is 350 Euro.
- Soho Office: Another stylish work venue is Soho Office Limassol, located in the business district. Soho offers plug n’ play workspace solutions meaning high-end and ergonomic designs combined with served cafeterias and chill-out areas for practicing mental health and sportive exercise. A membership costs 390 Euro per month.
- Paul’s Coffee Roasters: For people out there, who are getting serious with coffee, check out Paul’s Coffee Roasters in Larnaca. The blends get served in a calm and cozy environment, together with a good wifi connection.
- Caffè Nero Mackenzie: The café is a famous spot among digital nomads and serves various hot and cold drinks, sweets, and healthy dishes.
🚊 How to travel around Cyprus
- Bus: The public transport in Cyprus consists of buses, which connect important towns and villages. The network is good and affordable. However, many tourists rent a car to explore the island. There is no railway system on the island, as the last parts were dismantled in the 1950s.
- Car rentals: When renting a car, be aware that you will drive on the left side of the road. Just like in Malta!
- Nicosia Old Town: Nicosia is the oldest, last-divided capital with Lefkosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, and Lefkoşa, the capital of UN-unrecognized north Cyprus. The Green Line slices right through the center of the walled old city district, and you will need to have your passport (and fulfill any of the current border requirements, which change regularly) if you want to cross. This area is also home to several excellent small museums and fresco-covered churches.
- Cyprus Museum: If you are interested in the ancient history of the island, this is the place to be. The museum shows excavated finds from the Neolithic age, and the Bronze Age, artifacts from Ancient Kourion, and a collection of votive figures from the Roman period. The entrance is free.
- Kourion, Limassol: The archaeological park has a history of over 6,000 years and is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Cyprus. Once, it was one of the most powerful kingdoms and you can still see the former theatre, marketplaces, and roman baths. The easiest way to get to Kourion is by car or taxi taking the road towards Pafos.
- Lefkara: The small village is located between Larnaca and Limassol and a beautiful spot for getting to know the rural countryside of Cyprus. The village invites you to marvel at the amazing architecture or head directly to the local producers of silverware or traditional clothing. Once the village was famous for its artsy embroideries which according to the legend, also served as inspiration for the robes of the apostles in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Depending on the season, Lefkara can get very crowded.
- Ayia Napa: The small town is a perfect weekend getaway if you are looking for a night out, parties, bar hopping, or visiting some of the most popular beaches of Cyprus, such as Nissi Beach. The Beach is within walking distance from town, but you can also stop at closer beaches on your way and have a swim or take sunbathe. The most convenient way to get from the Larnaca airport to Ayia Napa is taking a taxi for approximately 50 Euro.
💡Good to know
- Internet: The Internet speed in Cyprus is good with an average download of 30 Mbps and 10 Mbps upload.
- Safety: Cyprus is a fairly safe country, with a global peace index of 61.
- Digital nomad community: Checking on Nomadlist, Cyprus ranks 59 of Europe's most popular digital nomad destinations. Cyprus is often mentioned among the countries which are best to migrate to, due to its tax system, immigration laws, and easy business setup structure. If you are looking for a long-term home base, check out what Cyprus has to offer for your needs. Check out the digital nomad group of Cyprus on Facebook and get to know who else is there.
- Socket Type: Type G
- Welcoming locals: Greek Cypriot people are friendly, open-minded, and welcoming people who truly understand hospitality.
- Climate: Cyprus is characterized by long hot summers and mild winters with a temperature ranging between 31 to 17 degrees Celsius, which makes the island one of the warmest regions of Europe.
- Food: The island is also known for its delicious food. Imagine Greek food with some Mediterranean, Turkish, European, and Arab influences. A good start to indulge in Cypriot Cuisine is the meze platter.
- Beachlife: Beaches, beaches, beaches. For example, the pebble stone beach of Aphrodite with the famous Aphrodite rock, named after the Greek goddess of Love is one of many magnificent beaches to check out. Additionally, don't miss the Blue Lagoon of Cyprus which is ranked one of Europe's most beautiful beaches.
- Wintersports: Did you know you can go skiing in Cyprus' Troodos Mountain range? The Sun Valley and the North Face areas host 5 ski lifts.
- Culture: UNESCO World Heritage sites, for example, the Tombs of the Kings in Paphos which date back to Roman and Hellenian times in the 4th century BC. The Painted Churches of Troodos, date back to the Byzantine Empire. And the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the Eastern Mediterranean.
🚧 What to avoid
- High cost of living: You can not really avoid the cost of living. But Cyprus is not cheap, in fact, it is on average 22% more expensive than Spain. The cost of living in Cyprus highly depends on where you stay, how you want to live, and how much time you want to invest in researching a place. It is recommended to book a hotel for the first nights and then search around locally. In Paphos, for example, you can find small studios for 700 Euro and bigger apartments for around 1,200 Euro per month. So all in all, you might need around 2,000 to 2,500 Euro per month for one person living alone and when researching for a good accommodation deal. Airbnb per month can cost easily up to 1,800 Euro per month. Places like Limassol are more expensive than for example Paphos.
- Cold winter months: Talking about accommodation: When coming in the winter months, be aware that apartments and houses most likely do not come with an integrated heating system. It can get pretty chilly at the night during winter. Make sure you have warm blankets, electric heaters, and/or a hot water bottle.
- Air pollution: Air quality in Cyprus is reported to be rather bad than good. According to the World Health Organization guidelines, the air quality in Cyprus is considered moderately unsafe. Contributors to the poor air quality of the island include power generation, food processing, cement production, and vehicle emissions.
- Walking: Something we mentioned already in our Malta article is walkability. Some cities such as Paphos for example are not pedestrian-friendly. Many expats, locals, and tourists go around by car.
- Confusion in traffic: Another similarity to Malta is left-side driving. Don't get confused if you are used to right-side driving.
🚴🏻♀️ How to stay healthy
Cyprus' diverse climate and landscape are the perfect condition for a great variety of outdoor activities. Local markets are a reliable supply of fresh produce, and the island's rich culture offers many occasions to meet new people and make friends.
- Hiking in the Troodos Mountains: Whether you wish for a break from the gorgeous beaches and lagoons, or you are looking for a chilled campsite, the Troodos Mountain range is the best hideout. You camp in the Troodos Mountains all year round, and different trails offer hikes from easy to advanced levels.
- Skiing in the Troodos Mountains: Yes, you are reading correctly. Although Cyprus sounds like the perfect beach and summer destination, in winter you can actually enjoy snow-covered mountains with wonderful pistes which are named after Greek Gods and Goddesses. You can check this website which piste is open.
- Hiking the Avakas Gorge: An 8km long moderate trail brings you to the natural wonder of the Avakas Gorge. The hike starts in Peyia, in Paphos, and is accessible all year round.
- Adonis Baths: Why not spend a relaxed afternoon in the waters where Aphrodite and Adonis once met? In the small village of Koili, in Paphos, you find this waterfall that pours down to a small lake, called Adonis Bath. You hike from Aphrodite's Bath along the Adonis Natural Trail to the Adonis Bath. This moderate hike is 7.5 km long and takes 3 to 4 hours.
- Cape Greco: Stroll around the most eastern point of the European Union and visit Cape Greco and its beaches. The bay has been recognized as an important bird area, especially for the migration of raptors, and many other bird species such as falcons, the Cyprus Wheatear, and black francolins.
- Walking to Millomeris waterfall: You find a beautiful waterfall near the Platres village, which with a height of 15 m is the tallest waterfall in Cyprus. The Millomeris waterfall is also the starting point of a trail network.
- Cycling Cyprus: Although some towns might be less pedestrian-friendly, Cyprus is a wonderful destination for cyclists and mountain bikers. Check out this website and find your individual cycling path.