Essential Info for Cyprus

Population: About 1.18 million

Capital city: Nicosia (also the largest city)

Other major cities: Limassol, Larnaca

Neighbouring countries: Despite its association with Greece, to the northwest, Cyprus is much closer to Turkey, its northern neighbour. Syria and Lebanon are to the east, while Israel is to the southeast and Egypt is to the south.

Geography: Cyprus is an island nation located 47 miles (75km) south of Turkey. The island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Mountains, and the central plain, the Mesaoria, between them. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The narrow Kyrenia Range extends along the northern coastline.

Political system: Presidential republic, although largely not recognised by the island’s northern part, which declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 and is still only recognised by Turkey.

Major religions: Christianity (Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus) and Sunni Islam

Main languages: Greek and Turkish (official); English, German and French are spoken in more developed areas

Money: Cyprus uses the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Expats can open a bank account in Cyprus, but require proof of identification (passports are acceptable) and proof of residence. ATMs are widely available, although there is a limit on withdrawals out of a Cypriot account. 

Tipping: A service charge of 10 percent is sometimes added to bills, but no additional tip is necessary

Time: GMT+2 (GMT+3 from March to October)

Electricity: 240 volts, 50Hz. Three square pin plugs, as used in the UK, are standard.

Internet domain: .cy

International dialling code: +357 

Emergency contacts: As with other European countries, the general emergency number is 112. For local services, dial 199 for police, an ambulance or the fire department. Calls in English are generally facilitated without issue.

Transport and driving: Traffic in Cyprus drives on the left-hand side. There is no railway system, so almost all transport on the island makes use of its road network. Public transport in Cyprus almost exclusively consists of buses and taxis.

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