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Moving to Cyprus

Your guide to expat life in Cyprus. Sun-soaked island living

Want to move to Cyprus?

Surrounded by the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers a unique experience of island life. The country has many cultural influences, having been part of the Roman Empire, a British colony and, most recently, being divided between the North and South following the Turkish invasion.

Tradition runs strong through the island’s sun-kissed villages, but Cyprus is open and welcoming to expats – even more so if they make an effort to adapt. Indeed, how expats approach Cypriot culture and whether they want to be part of its local communities will have a significant effect on how they are received by locals.

From its quaint villages and lush orchards and vineyards that stretch boundlessly over its hilltops, to ancient architecture that inspires a sense of a mystical past, Cyprus is a tiny treasure in vast waters.

Basic info about Cyprus

  • Population: About 1.2 million
  • Capital city: Nicosia (also the largest city)
  • Main languages: Greek, Turkish and English
  • Main religion: Christianity
  • Political system: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
  • Time: GMT+2 (GMT+3 from March to October)
  • Electricity: 240V, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three flat blades are used
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • International dialling code: +357
  • Internet domain: .cy
  • Emergency numbers: 112 (European), 199 (local)
  • Road traffic: Drives on the left

Weather in Cyprus

Cyprus enjoys typically Mediterranean weather with an average of between 300 and 340 sunny days a year. Summer is from mid-May to mid-October, bringing hot and dry conditions that are only occasionally punctuated by showers. Clear skies abound, and temperatures through July and August can easily reach 35°C (95°F) or higher.

Winter arrives in December, lasting until February, which is when Cyprus receives most of its annual rainfall. With an average maximum of 16°C (61°F), winter temperatures are considerably lower than in summer – still, winter in Cyprus is much warmer than in continental Europe.

Key phrases in Greek

  • Hello Yia su
  • Good evening Kalispera
  • Goodbye Adio
  • How are you? Ti kaneis?
  • Thank you Efkharisto
  • Yes Ne
  • No Ohi
  • Do you speak English? Milas Anglika?
  • Can you help me? Borite na me voithisete?
  • I am sorry Sighnomi

Shipping to Cyprus

With so much to consider, the process of shipping your personal goods to Cyprus can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are numerous reputable companies ready to assist with customs regulations, paperwork and more.

Air vs. sea

You can ship your personal goods by air or sea. Shipping by air is fast but expensive, while sea freight is a much cheaper but slower option.

Banned items

Banned items include narcotics, weapons, obscene material and counterfeit goods.


If you’re from the EU, you can bring pets with you to Cyprus as long as they have a pet passport or vet certificate. Animals from non-EU countries need to be accompanied by proof of a rabies vaccination.

Top tips for Cyprus

See what people responding to our Expat Explorer Survey think about living in Cyprus.

It's a small place and an island country. So it is more like living in a small tourist town than in a city. So have your expectation set right before you come here.
Rent for your first year to see if you enjoy the environment and the very hot summer weather. You do need to adjust. The people are lovely.

All Expat Explorer survey data and all tips (in quotation marks) are provided by HSBC.

All other content is provided by, Globe Media Ltd and was last updated in September 2021. HSBC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

This information is purely for orientation and to inspire further research, it does not constitute advice and no liability is accepted to recipients acting independently on its contents. The views expressed are subject to change.

Always remember to ensure you're aware of and comply with any laws in your host country or country of origin that apply to gift giving and bribery.

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