Cyprus Basics

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The Basics

Time: GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

Electricity: Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. UK-style three square-pin plugs are used.

Money: The official currency is the Euro (EUR). Major credit cards are accepted in most establishments. Money can be exchanged at banks, open from Monday to Friday. There are ATMs spread throughout the island, operating 24 hours a day.

Currency Exchange Rates

EUR1.00 = USD 1.11GBP 0.86CAD 1.45AUD 1.62ZAR 16.16EUR 1.00NZD 1.75
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas.

Entry requirements for Americans: US nationals must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Cyprus. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British passports must be valid three months beyond period of intended stay. For holders of passports endorsed British Citizen, no visa is required for 90 days. No visa is required for a touristic stay of up to 90 days for holders of passports endorsed British National (overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizen (and containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom and UK residence stamp), British Subject (and containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom and UK residence stamp), or British Overseas Territories Citizen issued to residents of Gibraltar.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian nationals must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australian nationals must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals must have a passport valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay. A visa is required, except for those carrying multiple-entry Schengen C visas that have already entered the Schengen area or been issued by Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania or a Schengen Member State. This exemption lasts for 90 days.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand nationals must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals must hold a passport valid upon arrival. No visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: Travellers, except EEA nationals, should hold an onward or return ticket and documentation necessary for that journey, as well as sufficient funds for the period of intended stay in Cyprus. It is also advisable to have a hotel reservation. Extensions are available to visa-exempt nationals. Travellers should note that foreigners entering Cyprus north of the UN-patrolled 'green line' are deemed by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to have entered illegally, and can be fined when crossing to the south (EU). Policies and procedures are subject to sudden changes, and visitors should check on the current situation before departing for Cyprus. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: No vaccinations are required for travel to Cyprus but hepatitis A and B vaccinations are always recommended for travellers by health authorities. Health services on Cyprus are of a good standard. UK citizens should bring with them a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables them to receive free emergency medical treatment. Medical fees are reasonable in Cyprus, but supplies are expensive and it is probably a good idea to take with you any important prescription medications you may require (with the appropriate notes from your doctor to get them through customs). Travel insurance is advised.

Tipping: A 10 percent service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants so a tip is not obligatory, but small change is always welcome. Taxi drivers and porters appreciate a small tip.

Safety Information: Crime against tourists is rare and the area is generally safe.

Local Customs: Avoid taking photographs near military establishments. Religious customs such as Ramadan should be respected, particularly in the north where most of the Turkish Cypriots are Muslim; avoid eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public during the holy month. Women should dress modestly.

Business: Business in Cyprus is best conducted face-to-face, as developing a working relationship based on trust is important. Business is conducted formally, and dress should be smart and conservative (a suit and tie are the norm). Greetings are usually made with a handshake, and business cards are exchanged. It is common for women to hold high positions and they are generally well respected in the business world. Punctuality is important, but meetings may not begin on time. Business hours can vary according to the season, but are usually 8am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday in summer, closing at 5pm in winter.

Communications: The international access code for Cyprus is +357. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Area codes are required.

Duty Free: Travellers to Cyprus over 17 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco; 1 litre spirits with higher than 22 percent alcohol volume or 2 litres spirits or aperitifs with less than 22 percent alcohol volume, or 2 litres of wine; 50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette; 500g coffee; 100g tea; medicines for personal consumption; and other goods to the value of €175. Prohibited items include fresh fruit, meat, and dairy products.


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