Places in Cyprus
Stay – For similar prices of hostels you can actually already find a one- or two persons room in Cyprus. There are hostels, just not that many. And most of the time they’re only opened during high season.
For a two persons room you pay something around 23 euro’s ($25) and for this price it often already has two stars and a swimming pool included. The same price is charged for studios or apartments.
Luxurious hotels cost a little more, but still not as much as in Belgium or any other western European country. For a chique, luxurious hotel expect to pay something between 100 and 150 euro’s a night ($110 to $165).
Nicosia (the capital) is, in general, the most expensive place to find accommodations in Cyprus.
Eat – Cyprus got hit by the banking crisis quite hard, but that doesn’t always mean you see that on pricing elsewhere. Costs of restaurants are (in most places) quite similar to what is considered to be normal. Most of the time a little cheaper. A single main dish costs you about €9 to €15 ($10 to $16,5). More expensive ingredients like steaks cost €20 or more ($22). Een enkel hoofdgerecht kost je tussen negen en vijftien euro. Duurdere ingrediënten zoals steaks kosten je twintig of meer.
The traditional Cypriot mezze is an must eat and only costs between thirty and forty euro’s for two persons ($33 to $45).
Drinks will probably cost most. In the touristic areas the cheapest soda’s you’ll find are about €1,5 each. ($1,8), but sometimes prices rise til three or four euro ($3,5 to $4,5) for a coca cola. Once I paid five euro’s for a coffee ($5,6).
Transport – The public transportation in Cyprus is pretty good. With a single ticket for only €1,5 (and 75 cents for students) you can’t complain. If you want to see more than one place, it is best to hire a car. These are really cheap in Cyprus. In any case, they are a lot less expensive than what you would pay for tours and you can decide yourself where you want to go. For nine days I paid just a little over €90. An extra, full insurance costs you another €90 extra ($100).
Do take notice that most rental companies only rent cars on the Greek Cypriot side. If you cross the border to the Turkish republic of Cyprus, you need to buy extra insurance. For three days, this costs twenty euro’s ($22), for one week thirty-five ($39). Call your rental company to make sure, because sometimes they don’t accept the Turkish insurance. Thus it always is at own risk… At the Turkish side the roads are in worse condition and the drivers aren’t as friendly either.
If you’re scared already, let’s make you even more scared! In Cyprus they drive on the left side of the road, just like in the UK.
Rent a car – A day trip or tour will cost you a minimum of thirty euro a day. More realistic is rather fifty, sixty euro a day ($55, $67). If you book well in advance with a cheap company, you might be able to rent a car for less than €15 a day ($17). With a full tank for an extra $45 ($50) you can pretty much cruise through the whole country. Likewise, you can choose your own speed and stay longer wherever you want to be.
Taxi’s or transfers from the airport to your accommodation will cost at least 15 euro a person.
Don’t stay too long – If you plan to see most of the sights around Cyprus, one week is more than enough. You really don’t need longer than one day to visit bigger cities. Maybe two days in Nicosia. If you want to get your tan on, or want to go party, nine to ten days might be better.
Book a studio or apartment – If you want to save money on accommodation, a studio or apartment is your best option. They often are very spacious and multiple people can sleep in them. Moreover, they are a lot cheaper than budget hotels and you can cook in them yourself. This of course also saves money on food and drinks! Definitely if you decide to go party in Ayia Napa or Larnaca you will save some extra money. Who is up at 09:30 AM for breakfast anyway?! Way too early!
Wander around – With your car, bus, day tours, … It really doesn’t matter. Go to Paphos, to Limassol, to Nicosia to Ayia Napa, to Larnaca, to … There is something to see everywhere! Not everything is as spectacular, but if you do a little research in advance to know what you really want to see so that you can plan your own route. Don’t stay too long in one city if you just want to do sightseeing. I personally liked Nicosia most of all.
Cross the border – From Nicosia you can cross the border by walking. You’ll head to a completely different country! You’ll visit the side of the Turkish occupier; The Turkish Republic of Nicosia.
Definitely go take a walk outside the old city of Nicosia. You won’t believe your eyes! It looks like a warzone. Did you know that Nicosia is the only capital in the world which is still split in two parts?
You must go to some of the Turkish cities too. Famagusta and Kyrenia are probably the most well-known.
Cape Greco – Completely in the south east of the country there lies a beautiful landscape with blue, see-through waters and rough cliffs and rocks. Spend some time relaxing in this divine natural domain. It only is a ten minute drive from Ayia Napa.
Tours to the Middle-East – In the high season you can visit the Middle-East from many of the coastal cities in Cyprus. You can choose to fly or sail to the countries. Popular destinations are Jerusalem and Palestina. One day is possible, but very tiring. Better pick a multiple day tour.
See wild flamingo’s – From november until march you’ll notice thousands of Flamingo’s who drop down in Larnaca to spend their winter there. The Hala Sultan Tekke mosque is surrounded by a salt water lake where the animals parade in.
Drive on the right side – Cyprus was colonized by the British in the past. One of those remainders is that everyone drives on the left hand side. The streets in Cyprus aren’t too busy, so you have time to adapt.
Forget an English power outlet – Another remnant of the British are the English power outlets. Buy one in advance, because you won’t find them very often in the little tourist shops. When you find them, they’re not from a great quality and usually overpriced.
Changing money – In Cyprus they pay with euro’s, but they also accept British pounds and Turkish lyras. In the northern part (Turkish) the most used coinage is the Turkish lyra. However, they also accept euros. Just watch out for their conversion rates. They aren’t always right and sometimes it is better to pay in Turkish lyra. When they give change, they only give back lyras.