Cyprus Tourism Travel Essentials

All the tourism facts and figures you’ll need if you’re planning a break in Cyprus:

9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km is in the Turkish North)

792,604 (estimate July 2008)

The divided city of Nicosia Cyprus is the capital of both the Greek Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Close historic links with the UK mean that English is widely spoken, particularly in the Greek Cypriot South. Otherwise the main languages are Greek in the South and Turkish in the North.

As of January 2008 the official currency of Cyprus was changed from the Cypriot Pound to the Euro. In the North the Turkish lira (TL) remains the unit of currency. There are no coins and notes are issued in denominations of 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, 1 million, 5 million and 10 million Turkish lira. It's easy to change money and traveller's cheques and hard currency is frequently accepted in shops and restaurants. There are also plenty of ATM's around that issue currency.


Visas aren't required for EU citizens, just a valid passport. Nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Singapore can stay for up to three months without a visa. South Africans can stay up to 30 days. When entering the North it is advisable to get customs officials to stamp your entry visa on a separate piece of paper as you might have late difficulties entering Greece or the South. See the ListList of Countries that are required to have a visa for entry to Cyprus

Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%

Cyprus is normally two hours ahead of GMT but has daylight saving time during the summer. Clocks go forward one hour on the last weekend in March and back one hour on the last weekend in October.

The current is 240V, 50HZ. Plugs are the same as in the UK.

In the South for the emergency services call 199 or 112. In the North the police are on 155, the ambulance service is on 112 and the Fire Brigade is on 199.

To dial the Republic of Cyprus from the UK call: 00357 + number
To dial within the Southern Republic call: 0139 + number.
To dial the Turkish North from the UK call: 0090392 + number
To dial within the Northern Republic call: 0123 + number

Postal services on both sides of the island are generally fairly reliable. Post offices are located in all the major towns and villages and post boxes easy to find.

Internet and email
Cyprus is well connected to the Internet and there are plenty of cyber cafés

Business hours
In the South shopping hours vary according to the time of year. In summer (June September) shops open from 8.30am 7.30pm. They close earlier the rest of the year. In the North shops close for lunch from 1.00 2.00pm and shut around 5.00pm. Banks tend to close earlier.

Further reading
See our list of recommended books and websites herehere