10 TIPS WHEN TRAVELING TO CYPRUS
Planning a trip to Cyprus?
As a local here I thought I would give you all a few tips to have in mind before your visit here.
Firstly, Cyprus is a beautiful island found in the Mediterranean. It has wonderful weather all year round and you will find so many crystal clear beaches along the shoreline.
So no matter when you decide to come I am sure you will be greeted by great weather and lovely beaches.
However this is the only country to date that part of it remains under occupation illegally by the Turks. Since 1974 the northern part of the island is illegally occupied by the Turks but nowadays we can all go and visit the upper part of Cyprus.
There is a catch though; in order to visit you must show either ID or passport. It doesn’t get stamped as it is not a recognized country or state, but the UN (United Nations) keeps track of who enters and leaves the northern part.
Anyway enough about this history stuff and onto my tips…
TIPS FOR WHEN YOU ARE VISITING CYPRUS
As mentioned above all year round we have amazing Mediterranean weather. From mid-May until mid-October Cyprus has warm, dry weather (summer). From December to February we have winter. Autumn and spring are short and in between the summer and winter months.
Hottest month is August (with temperatures as high as 45◦c)
The coldest month is January (with temperatures as low as 7◦c at coastal areas and up in the mountains is gets way colder as it also snows)
For all of you who are not accustomed to such high temperatures please:
- make sure to wear sunscreen and do not forget to re-apply
- If possible also wear a hat!
- Keep yourself hydrated!
The local language is Greek but English is widely spoken and understood too.
The currency used in Cyprus is Euro. Shops and cafes will not take anything other than Euro. You will have to go to an exchange office or a bank to exchange your local currency for Euro or just use your visa card.
Have in mind that cash is widely used whereas visas not so much.
OPENING HOURS OF BANKS
Banks are open from 8am until 1:30pm from Monday to Friday. So if you would like to exchange currency through a bank keep these hours in mind.
OPENING HOURS OF SHOPS
During the summer months shops are open as follows:
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday from 9:00 is to 1:00 then they have lunch break and re-open at around 3:00/4:00pm until 8:00 pm.
Wednesday and Saturday they open from 9:00am and close at 3:00pm.
Sundays are closed unless they are in a tourist area or if they are a big chain store.
However in winter shops are open from 9:00am until 7:30pm with no break in between.
The opening hours are the same as above for all days. Also for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday the hours remain the same as in the summer.
Now this is the general rule that is followed however in some areas, such as tourist areas, the shops stay open even longer.
You could always look up specific shops on the internet to see their opening hours.
Now this might sound strange to you all but in Cyprus there is a law regarding the quiet hours. This means that there are hours were you should be quiet and not make too much or loud noise.
These hours are between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm. People who are usually home or are on their lunch-break tend to take a nap during these times.
Cyprus gets really hot during these hours and that is why we have these breaks and quiet times.
There are public buses in Cyprus that are widely used and are very cheap. The cost is €1.50 per route for adults and €0.75 per route for children. Children under 4 years of age are free.
Tickets can be bought from the bus drivers.
Check the schedules of the buses to see if you can use them from the airport to your hotel.
You can find more info on routes of each city and ticket prices on the website of each company by chosing the city below.
Larnaca (ZHNON BUSES LTD)
Limassol (EMEL BUSES LTD)
Ammochostos (OSEA BUSES LTD)
Pafos (OSYPA BUSES LTD)
Nicosia (OSEL BUSES LTD)
Intercity Buses (INTERCITY BUSES LTD)
Taxis are not widely used by locals as most have their own car or we use the public buses. A taxi from the airport to a hotel within Larnaca is around €12 – €18.
Try to book a taxi before arrival to get better rates or just use the bus upon arrival.
If you will be eating out during your stay in Cyprus then you will be happy to know that food and drinks are reasonably priced. You can also find expensive places but Cyprus also accommodates those traveling on a budget.
Breakfast can range from €2 to €10 per person, depending on what you will eat.
You can buy a scrumptious pastry and a coffee to go from one of the many bakeries we have for around €4. Or you could go to a café where you buy your coffee and get a free pastry with it. Read more about these cafes in Larnaca here.
Breakfast (at cafes and restaurants) is usually served from 8am till 11:00am, some cafes and restaurants will go until 12:00 noon too.
Now for lunch you could always get a kebab, a sandwitch or a pastry from the bakery and sit down at a park or along the beach and eat. This will cost you anything from €8 to €15 each.
If however you prefer to sit down at a restaurant and have a traditional Greek lunch it will cost around €14 to €20 each including a drink. If you are going to pair you lunch with wine or other alcholic beverages then this may go up slightly.
Lunch is eaten by locals around 12:00 noon and 1:00pm. Then after lunch they usually have that nap I told you about in tip no.6.
As for dinner, well this can be a bit more expensive or it can be the same as lunch. It all depends on you and what you want to eat and do. Again the prices can be from €14 to €20 each including your drink. Again if you plan on having alcohol then your price will go up slightly.
Locals usually have dinner around 9:00pm, which to me is late but anyhow I stick to my own routine.
The kitchens (restaurant kitchens) usually close at 10pm and some even at 11pm.
General Prices of Food and Drinks
Water – Supermarket 0, 50 cents, kiosk €1, 00, and some places even have them €1.50. (TIP = buy from a supermarket a pack of 12 small bottles and refridgerate them in your hotel)
Coffee – ranges from €2 – €8. (TIP- try going to the cafes that are not chain coffee shops and yo will get it cheaper)
Beer – Supermarket €2 large bottle, cafe/restaurant €4 – €8
Hot Sandwitch from trucks – around €7
Greek Pastires – €2
Ice-Cream – €1.10 a scoop
DISTANCES BETWEEN CITIES FROM LARNACA TO…
Limassol is 45 mins
Ayia Napa is 40 mins
Nicosia is 40 mins
Pafos is 1hr and 20 mins
Troodos Mountains 1hours and 30mins
The above times given are for those who will be renting/using cars and not using the buses. As you can imagine by bus it would take longer.
(I know I have given you the distance from Larnaca to each city but if you have any questions from other cities drop me a message)
A BIT ABOUT EACH CITY
LARNACA – Known as a quiet city with a lot of history, great beaches and a great night life scene at the beach during summer. You can read here my top 10 things to do and see in Larnaca.
AMMOCHOSTOS – Known for the crystal clear beaches and also for the night life. This is a more touristy location and usually for single people.
LIMASSOL – Night life! Locals come here for the clubs, bars and the night life. This city has rapidly expanded in all areas that it is thriving. The fairly new marina has also made an impact and drawn many tourists and locals to eat, drink and shop here.
PAFOS – Was known as a touristy city for the older generation but now it is picking up. Also they too have great beaches but you must be very careful as they can go very deep very quick and there tends to be a rougher sea on that side of the island.
NICOSIA – This is the capital city of Cyprus. Busy streets, sky-rises, shops and anything else a capital city has, Nicosia has. Here you can find a lot of history, museum, galleries and more.
Yes this is a bonus or extra point to the 10 I have just mentioned. Here in Cyprus it is not mandatory to tip but we all usually round up the bill to the next euro or two. Otherwise we may leave 1 or 2 euros tips. But this is only if we feel that the service provided was great!
I hope these 10 tips really help you get a better feel of some of the customs, prices and places of Cyprus.
If you are vising Larnaca for the first time I recommend you read about the top 10 things to do here.
If there is anything else you would like to ask or would like me to cover please leave your comment below.