Best place to live in Cyprus
Thinking about moving to Cyprus? From Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia, and Kyrenia, you’ll find a diverse range of cities that have very different types of expat communities. So, how do you decide where is the best place to live on the island?
Here is your guide to the differences between North and South Cyprus, along with tips to help you to choose the best place to live in Cyprus.
The History of North vs South Cyprus
You could get a doctorate degree studying the North vs South Cyprus conflict in university so let’s keep it simple. The Cyprus dispute (also known by a range of different names like the Cyprus conflict, Cyprus issue, and Cyprus problem) is a conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
It started with a nineteenth-century division between the British Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It escalated to a military invasion in 1974 by Turkey. This led to Turkey calling claim to the northern third of the island. The 1974 Cypriot coup d’état is a central part of the island’s history and a very good point for familiarizing yourself with the local history and culture.
Starting from scratch on your Cypriot history? Here is a quick lesson on YouTube that will go a long way in helping you to understand it all:
North vs South Cyprus: Life Today
In Cyprus today, you will find that around 70 per cent of the country is Greek Cypriot while about 10 are Turkish Cypriot. The remaining 20 per cent of the island is foreign-born. Not only is the bigger percentage of the population Greek Cypriot, but the Greek side of the island covers a wider geographic area. In terms of sizing, you will see that what is considered southern Cyprus covers 9,251 km2 while the northern side is 3,355 km2 of the total island.
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The Border North and South Cyprus
While the northern part of the country is not internationally considered a separate state, there is a border between the two regions. As a foreigner, you will need to bring your passport for crossing the border. On arrival, you will be given a form that will be stamped and you won’t be allowed to bring more than 150 euros worth of goods across the border.
It is well worth noting that, despite the conflict, the border is very safe. In fact, the capital city and largest metro area on the island, Nicosia, is located on the dividing line. Nicosia’s pedestrian border crossing Ledra Street is a popular throughway with tourists and locals alike. With a simple scan of your passport, you can travel between the Greek and Turkish regions.
Best Place To Live In the Republic of Cyprus
While it is true Nicosia, the capital and largest city is the most popular place to live in Cyprus, it is far from the only option. Now that you’ve got a better sense of the history, let’s take a quick look at the best place to live in Cyprus.
What Is It Like to Live in Nicosia?
If you love vibrant city life, Nicosia should certainly be at the top of your list of places to live in Cyprus. The capital city is the business and financial centre of the island.
You’ll find the widest range of employment options here, as well as great nightlife, restaurants, and shopping. While the primary language of the city is Greek, you will find that 90 per cent of the residents here speak some level of English.
Life in the centre of the island has its perks as well as some drawbacks. Since it is about an hour drive from the coast, you will find that the weather is much hotter than near the sea. For this reason, however, you will find fewer tourists in the city, which gives you a prime opportunity to interact with the local culture.
What Is It Like to Live in Paphos?
Paphos has been consistently ranked as the very best place to live in Cyprus. Particularly popular with British ex-pats, this city has a sizable foreign population. Located on the Mediterranean coast on the southern side of the island, you can enjoy the perks of the laidback island while still getting adorable housing.
Since being named a European City of Culture in 2017, Paphos has made a serious investment in their already-incredible public spaces so it is a prime spot for culture lovers.
What Is It Like to Live in Limassol?
Another stunning seaside town in the south, Limassol is a cosmopolitan city with ex-pats and immigrants from every corner of the globe. A centre for shipping and a cruise ship spot, this is a popular centre for tourism and business of all kinds.
While a bit more expensive than Paphos, it has everything and everything that you could want and maintains a strong sense of Cypriot culture.
What Is It Like to Live in Kyrenia/Girne?
Northern Cyprus’ cultural and economic centre is called Kyrenia in Greek (and commonly in English) or Girne in Turkish. The capital city of North Cyprus is a major tourist hotspot. It is home to some of the very best beaches in the country.
Home to a notable ex-pat community and the key English educational centres of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC as it is often called, it is a quiet and safe place to call home. Well, connected to the rest of the island, most locals spend their weeks in the city then head to Nicosia for a wider range of shopping and nightlife.
If you are considering moving to the northern half of the island, be sure to look at the local visa requirements on the government’s official page.
Ready to start seriously planning your move? You need our complete (free!) Guide to Moving to Cyprus. From visas to healthcare, cost of living to schooling, we cover absolutely everything that you will need to know to create a new home in Cyprus.
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So there you have it… our take on the best place to live in Cyprus. We hope this article has been some use to you, (why not share this with someone you know), and we wish you all the best of luck.