Life in Cyprus

The beautiful island-nation of Cyprus is located in the south-eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, covering an area of 9,251 sq. km. with a population of 780,000. Cyprus offers a modern cosmopolitan society amidst a superb scenery of high mountain ranges, pine forests and fertile plains. Breath-taking coastlines and sunny beaches, and a historical and archaeological heritage of ten thousand years make the island the ideal place to live and study.

Cyprus enjoys warm dry summers with an average temperature of 35°C (960 F) and rainy mild winters with an average temperature of 12°C (520 F). Summer begins in mid-May and continues up to mid-September; winter begins in December and continues up to March. Spring and autumn are mild and pleasant.
Because of its geopolitical importance, Cyprus has attracted many foreign conquerors, from Cleopatra and the Venetians to the Ottomans and the British, each leaving their mark on the island. Cyprus was declared an independent sovereign republic in 1960. In 1974, Turkey invaded, and continues to illegally occupy the northern 37% of the sovereign territory of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth of Nations, and other international bodies.

Cyprus enjoys a free-market economy based on services (banking and shipping), tourism, light manufacturing (food, wine, clothing, footwear, tobacco, chemicals), cement production, electricity generation, mineral exports, agriculture and farming, oil and gas.

Modern telecommunication facilities connect Cyprus with almost every part of the world. The postal, banking and professional services meet the high standards of the European Community. The remarkable development of Cyprus as an international financial, commercial and maritime center is attributed to its strategic location, good infrastructure and the availability and efficiency of services. Cyprus provides for a high standard of living while at the same time remains a fairly inexpensive country.

Above all, Cyprus is characterized by the warmth and hospitality of its people. This quality, along with the aforementioned factors, makes the island an attractive destination to tourists, businessmen and students from around the world.

Cost of living

It is estimated that, on average, a student spends about 600 Euro per month for private accommodation, utilities, food and transportation. Of course, a budget is a very personal thing, depending on one’s preferences. The following list includes the prices of some basic goods that determine the cost of living. These prices aim to provide an indication:

Item Price in Euro
Restaurant meal 12,00-15,00 €
Bread loaf (0,5 kgr) 1,75 €
Milk (1 lt) 1,25 €
Chicken (1 kgr) 4,00 €
Filter coffee (250 kgr) 2,70 €
6-egg pack 1,45 €
Cinema ticket 7,50 €
Concert ticket 35,00 €


Currency

The currency of the Republic used to be the Cyprus pound - CY£. As from 1st January 2008 the Cyprus pound has been replaced by the Euro as the legal tender money of Cyprus.

Ensure that your bankcards and credit cards are usable in other European countries. If stay duration in Cyprus is more than 3 months, it is suggested that a bank account is opened in Cyprus.


Local Time

Cyprus Time is GMT +2.


Eating Hours

Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 10:00 in the morning. Lunch is served in restaurants between 12:00 and 15:00. Dinner is served from 19:00 till late in the evening.


Public Holidays

The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus. All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays though many shops and certain services remain open in resorts and coastal areas. Banks are closed on Easter Tuesday but not on Christmas Eve.

- January 1st - New Year's Day
- January 6th - Epiphany Day
- March 25th - Greek National Day
- April 1st - National Anniversary Day
- May 1st - Labour Day
- August 15th - Assumption of the Virgin Mary
- October 1st - Cyprus Independence Day
- October 28th - Greek National Anniversary Day
- December 24th - Christmas Eve
- December 25th - Christmas Day
- December 26th - Boxing Day
- Variable - Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)
- Variable - Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Pentecost - Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)


Transportation Information

Cyprus offers many direct flights to Larnaca or Paphos International airports. One can commute to Nicosia or Limassol by bus or taxi, from the airport.
Bus information to/from the airport:


For bus information to/from the airport please visit

 
Buses

There are three types of buses in Cyprus that can help you move around:

- Transurban buses that link all towns on a daily basis and with frequent routes
- Rural buses that link almost all villages with the nearest city but with limited frequency once or twice daily except Sundays.
- Urban buses that link different areas within the cities and operate frequently during daytime. In certain tourist areas, during summer period, their routes are extended till late in the evening.


Taxis

There are three types of taxi services available, covering the entire island:

- Transurban service which offers the opportunity to share a taxi with 4 - 7 other passengers. It provides connection between all major cities of Cyprus, every half an hour, from Monday to Friday starting at 06:00 in the morning until 18:00 in the evening. On Saturdays and Sundays the service finishes an hour earlier at 17:00. Seats can be booked by phone or online from the providing companies.
- Rural service operates in village areas and can only be hired from and to their base station. These taxis are not equipped with taximeters and charging is based on kilometre/tariff rate.
- Urban service is a 24hours service provided in all cities. Taxis can be booked or hired on the street. Urban taxis are obligatory provided with taximetres and charging commences upon the entering of a passenger in the taxi.