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Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Living in Cyprus

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Cyprus: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What do I need to know about living in Cyprus?

Live in Cyprus? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Cyprus, they said:

"This is a great place to live - quiet, safe, with all the shops you need without leaving the village," commented one expat who made the move to Frenaros.

"If you are retired I would recommend Protaras all year around, but if a family would advise they settle in Paphos, Limmasol or Larnica as there are more schools and job opportunities," remarked another expat living in Protaras, Cyprus.

"If you love peace and quiet and a safe environment, this is the place. If you want an active life full of parties and events and need a lot of cultural variety (like museums, theaters, etc.), this is not the place for you," added another expat in Frenaros.

"Be prepared to have sufficient funds to last for up to 2yrs without an income. The initial setting up costs can be quite expensive as white goods are not cheap because everything has to be imported. Rent a property first to find the right location in line with work. A lot of offices or shops work "split shifts" so you are expected to go home for a couple of hours at lunchtime then go back and work till possibly 8pm during Summer hours. Salries cannot be compared to UK at all and a good salary of CYP 600 or 1025pm is not so easy to come by. You may be expected to work 40hrs a week and for that on split shifts, sometimes working at weekends with a half day off mid week. Second hand cars hold their value really well in Cyprus so are not cheap to purchase and there is a lack of public transport - except along the main tourist road. A car is a necessity and Cyprus is not the place to come if you do not or are not willing to drive. Traffic can be horrendous during the weekly rush hour and we have at least 3 rush hours per day. Be prepared to sit in your car over lunchtime rush hour in temperatures of above 40 degrees! Winters are fairly short, starting in January till March but lack of insulation in the properties here mean you freeze in winter and boil in summer. Also, the humidity in July & August is VERY sweaty! Government office usually close for 2 weeks in August due to the heat when most workers escape to the mountains to cool off. Electricity costs are comparable to those in UK, but we get free hot water for about 9 months of the year from the solar systems. Telephone calls are extremely cheap, although internet or broadband service is more expensive than UK and many other European countries. Currently there is a real monopoly on the telephone service provider but slowly, things are changing and more competitors are coming in. Don't expect everything to happen overnight because it won't. There is a saying in Cyprus "siga, siga", which means "slowly, slowly" - believe me, it is very true! But that is why we chose to come to live here in the first place. We have a much more relaxed lifestyle and less worry, financially or otherwise than we ever had in UK. It isn't a place to come to if you have a get rich quick attitude. But, if you are comfortably off with some funds behind you and are prepared to work or change your worklife balance, leading a simpler lifestyle - then this is definitely the place," remarked another expat who made the move to Limassol.

"Think about why you are coming here, and if you want to do it and want to contribute to Cyprus - Welcome! There's lots of positives about the place for people who are seeking a better life than suburban England or America," explained one expat living in Nicosia, Cyprus.

"Be prepared for a very slow pace and people who are not interested in hustle and work. It is a great place to relax," said another expat in Limassol.

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How do I meet people in Cyprus?

Live in Cyprus? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Cyprus about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There is a selection of British and Cypriot bars, these are a good meeting place. Also, the local garden centre which offer tea & coffee at the weekend," mentioned another expat in Frenaros.

"Initally contact with expats living around you. I have not joined any clubs but have a lot of leisure contact both with my Greek and expat neigbours," commented one expat who made the move to Protaras.

"The expat population is mainly British and so there are many pubs. I know of no organizations in my area. I do volunteer at the Argos Animal Sanctuary. The is a walking group in the area. There are large Russian and eastern European poulations in Limassol and Larnaca," remarked another expat living in Frenaros, Cyprus.

"Join online forums such as BFC Trading Post Cyprus Limassol Living and also Cyprus-AngloInfo as they are full of information - before you move to Cyprus. We also have the UKCA club in the town which is frequented by UK ex-pats. If you are an animal lover, there are loads of sanctuaries that are seeking voluntary help and we also have the Samaritans who regularly need assistance," added another expat in Limassol.

"Anglican Church Ladies Guild (for older women 45+), Birdlife Cyprus (for environmentalists), School PTA (for parents), University groups (for younger people)," remarked another expat who made the move to Nicosia.

"Cyprus is a free and easy place where 90 percent speak English. Most of Cyprus life reveolves around small cafes and bars," explained one expat living in Limassol, Cyprus.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What is life like in Cyprus?

Live in Cyprus? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Cyprus what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"This is a family village. Most people work in nearby Paralimni or in the shop and farms around the village. Many work in the tourist resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras, which are close by," commented one expat who made the move to Frenaros.

"The majority of ex pats I find are retired like myself. Of the younger families the younger children seem to go to Greek schools and very quickly adapt to the Greek language. The older children tend to go to fee paying British schools. Socialising I find is the vocal point during the winter months as Protaras is very quiet in the winter. Many of the younger couples tend to find some kind of work, for example, looking after expat properties in between rentals, house painting, hedge cutting and bar work etc but mainly during the summer months," remarked another expat living in Protaras, Cyprus.

"Lives revolve around family and socializing. Family is very important in Cypriot culture," added another expat in Frenaros.

"Limassol is in the centre of the island, so is ideal for access from both airports and makes it an easy place for visiting the East & West coasts within a 2 hour drive to visit Ayia Napa (if that's your cup of tea). Limassol is probably the most cosmopolitan city in Cyprus and there are many nationalities living & working here. It's the hub of numerous off-shore companies and also the main container shipping port. Cruise ships come into Cyprus via Limassol new port. It's a city that covers a multitude of things so yes, it's a living & breathing city for work or play. With a long tourist sea front covering almost 12km nobody can complain they are short of things to do," remarked another expat who made the move to Limassol.

"Cypriot life revolves around family. Beyond that, in Nicosia, it is very materialistic. In the villages, life has a more fundamental quality, still family focused but more associated with culture and what is readily available eg good food, time, tradition," explained one expat living in Nicosia, Cyprus.

"Most lives revolve around the family. The work ethic is non-existant. After an hours work they need an hours break to recompose themselves. For sun, sand and rest it is ideal. For business it is a joke," said another expat in Limassol.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Cyprus accepting of differences?

Live in Cyprus? Answer this Question

"The village is mainly Cypriot, but has a growing English population. Everyone gets on well together. It's a very peaceful place to live," explained one expat living in Frenaros, Cyprus.

"I find different nationalities mix frequently but in general each nationality tends to live in an area of their own nationality. In terms of religious diversity most nationalities attend their own church but some,like myself, also attend service of a different religion such as Greek orthodox," said another expat in Protaras.

"Mainly Greek Orthodox for religion. In Frenaros, there is a mix of British and Cypriots. I find the Cypriots very accepting - all my neighbors are Cypriots," added another expat who made the move to Frenaros.

"The ethnic groups in the town range from Greek, Cypriots, UK citizens, Sri Lankan, Phillipino, Russian, Polish, Croatian and Ukraine, etc The Cypriots mostly follow the Orthodox religion, so Easter does not always fall at the same time as UK Easter. There are still Turkish mosques here even after the Turkish invasion of 1974. It's a multi-racial city and fairly accepting of others views and beliefs," explained one expat living in Limassol, Cyprus.

"City Cypriots are snobs, every one else is there to do them service. All declines in Cypriot society are attributed to the influx of foreigners. However, if you are a foreign investor, money launderer or job provider rather than a maid or other low paid worker, you are welcome and will find somewhere to live, school your kids, etc albeit at exorbitant rates," mentioned another in Nicosia.

"Because Cyprus lives on tourism there is a wide diversity of people and almost anyone is easily accepted," explained one expat who made the move to Limassol.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Is the cost of living in Cyprus high?

Live in Cyprus? Answer this Question

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Cyprus, they wrote:

"This is not an easy question as we all have different levels of living. We live a comfortable live on State pensions and some savings. Our budget is approx €1500.00 PM," commented one expat who made the move to Poli Chrystopiou.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Cyprus GuideCyprus Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Cyprus.

Cyprus Forum Cyprus Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Cyprus on our Cyprus forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Cyprus Index Cyprus Index
An index of all of our site's Cyprus information.

Contribute to Cyprus Network Contribute
Help others in Cyprus by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Cyprus.

Expat Healthcare Advice in CyprusHealthcare & Health Insurance in Cyprus

Expats in Cyprus offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Cyprus.

Real Estate in CyprusReal Estate in Cyprus

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Cyprus.

Cost of Living in CyprusCost of Living in Cyprus

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Cyprus.

Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Cyprus GuideCyprus Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Cyprus.

Cyprus Forum Cyprus Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Cyprus on our Cyprus forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Cyprus Index Cyprus Index
An index of all of our site's Cyprus information.

Contribute to Cyprus Network Contribute
Help others in Cyprus by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Cyprus.

Expat Healthcare Advice in CyprusHealthcare & Health Insurance in Cyprus

Expats in Cyprus offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Cyprus.

Real Estate in CyprusReal Estate in Cyprus

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Cyprus.

Cost of Living in CyprusCost of Living in Cyprus

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Cyprus.

Guides to Cities in Cyprus
Frenaros Limassol Nicosia
Country Resources
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