Cyprus travel advice
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- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
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Cyprus - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Cyprus
Northern Cyprus - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in northern Cyprus. Canada does not recognize the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Our ability to provide consular assistance in this area may be limited.
Safety and security
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into a northern and a southern part.
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the only internationally recognized authority, controls the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island.
An autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration controls the northern area. Canada does not recognize the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” or its administration. It is illegal to enter the island of Cyprus through the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. If you conduct certain activities in the northern part, you may subject to scrutiny and face legal issues in the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island.
Our ability to provide consular assistance in this area may be limited.
If you travel to the northern part:
- exercise a high degree of caution
- only enter through legal and designated crossing points
- be aware of laws and restrictions that may lead to legal issues
UN Buffer zone or “green line”
The northern and the southern parts are divided by a buffer zone or “green line”, which is controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). There is a military presence on both sides of the buffer zone and certain areas are mined.
You must request an authorization from the UNFICYP to enter the buffer zone, except for the areas designated as “civil use areas”. Crossing in both directions is only allowed at designated crossing points.
Incidents in the vicinity of the buffer zone do occur. While the situation is generally calm, confrontations can’t be ruled out.
About the buffer zone - United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs, particularly in urban areas.
Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs.
When using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Demonstrations and strikes take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Always obey warning flags at beaches.
The main warning flags used in Cyprus are:
- Green: calm waters, swimming is allowed
- Yellow: agitated waters, swim with precautions
- Red: dangerous waters or presence of dangerous aquatic species, swimming is prohibited
In marine areas, coral, jellyfish and other aquatic life found along reefs can poison, sting or cause infection if touched or stepped on.
- Ask local authorities about the presence of dangerous species and immediately seek medical assistance if you get hurt
- Avoid visiting beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
- Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion and falling rocks
- Don’t dive into unknown waters, as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
- Exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities
If you are planning to go boating:
- know the capacity of your boat (people and weight) and don’t exceed it
- know the navigation rules
- follow safe practices for all activities on the water: personal watercraft, water-skiing and towed devices, diving or swimming, fishing, etc.
- equip your boat with a VHF marine radio that will generate your position in case of emergency
- be prepared for emergencies
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.
Modern highways link the major cities. Traffic is usually highly congested in Nicosia. Rural and mountain roads could be narrow, winding and poorly maintained.
Running red lights, speeding and tailgating are common causes of accidents.
Sidewalks are narrow or non-existent. As a result, pedestrians often walk on roadways, which poses a major safety hazard. Drivers and speeding motorbikes do not always yield to pedestrians.
There are public buses connecting most areas of the island.
Routes and timetables - Cyprus Public Transport
Taxis are generally safe.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Cypriot authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry to Cyprus
It is illegal to enter the island of Cyprus through the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Authorities may not let you go through checkpoints at the United Nations Buffer Zone if you have previously entered through Ercan International Airport or the Port of Famagusta.
Crossing the UN buffer zone or “green line”
If you need to cross the UN buffer zone or “green line”, make sure you do so at one of the designated crossing points. It is illegal to do so elsewhere.
- East: Pergamos, Strovilia, Deryneia
- Nicosia: Agios Dhometios, Ledra Palace (for pedestrians only), Ledra Street (for pedestrians only)
- West: Lefka-Apliki Kato, Kato Pyrgos-Karavostasi, Astromeritis-Zodhia
Green line regulations - Customs and Excise department of the Republic of Cyprus
British sovereign base areas
There are two sovereign British military bases on the island of Cyprus, one in Akrotiri and the other in Dhekelia. These bases are under British jurisdiction. Entry of civilians is restricted in certain areas.
Be aware of entry restrictions if travelling in the vicinity of the base areas.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Cyprus.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: required
If you plan on residing in Cyprus, make sure you apply for the right visa or residency permit.
Visas or residency permits issued by the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” are not recognized by the Republic of Cyprus.
- Visa information - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus
- Temporary residence permits - Civil Registry and Migration department of the Republic of Cyprus
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
If you’re aged 16 or over and a dual citizen or eligible for Cypriot citizenship, you may require an exit permit to leave Cyprus.
Contact the Ministry of Defence of Cyprus to obtain more information on this process.
Exit permits - Ministry of Defence of the Republic of the Republic of Cyprus
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country and offered at government hospitals and private clinics. Upfront payment may be required.
Medical services in the northern part of Cyprus can be more basic than those available in the southern part of Cyprus. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation may be necessary.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Transfer to a Canadian prison
Canada and Cyprus are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Cyprus to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Cyprus authorities.
This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
There are restrictions on photographing:
- military installations in both the north and south
- military personnel
- UN buffer zone
English-language signs are generally posted in sensitive areas advising of the restrictions.
- Refrain from photographing military installations or personnel even if no signs are posted
- Comply with all requests from local authorities
The Republic of Cyprus enforces restrictions and prohibition on the importation of certain items proceeding from the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Confirm these regulations before crossing the UN buffer zone or “green line”.
Good subject to restrictions - Customs and Excise Department of the Republic of Cyprus
If you plan on purchasing or renting a property in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, make sure you seek legal advice before committing to any transaction. Transactions may be illegal under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus since most of the properties belong to owners displaced in 1974 by Turkish military occupation.
If you illegally rent or purchase one of these properties, you may face civil lawsuits from the legitimate owners and legal issues in the Republic of Cyprus.
You should also avoid entering the Republic of Cyprus with advertisements or brochures promoting these properties. They could be used as evidence in a lawsuit.
Accommodations in the northern part
If you stay in a hotel or any other type of commercial accommodations in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, you could face legal issues if the building or land lawfully belongs to owners displaced in 1974 by Turkish military occupation.
Seek accommodation in establishments lawfully owned by Turkish Cypriots.
Ownership status of hotels and other accommodation facilities - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Cyprus.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Cyprus, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Compulsory military service
Canadians with dual citizenship or who are eligible for Cypriot citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other national obligations.
Confirm this requirement before travelling to Cyprus.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Cyprus.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Cyprus, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Cypriot court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Cyprus to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a vehicle in Cyprus.
You can use your valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 6 months. You should carry an international driving permit.
Traffic drives on the left.
Liability insurance is mandatory. Vehicle insurance purchased in the Republic of Cyprus is not valid in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. You must have a separate insurance policy when driving in the northern part, including when driving rental cars.
The currency of the Republic of Cyprus is the euro (EUR). The Turkish lira (TRY) is in circulation in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:
- banknotes and coins
- bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
- bonds, shares
- gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
- gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
- any other convertible asset
This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
EU cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Cyprus is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur regularly.
Forest and maquis fires
Forest and maquis fires may occur, particularly during the summer.
The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a major fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- follow the advice of local authorities
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Fire safety guide - Department of Forests of the Republic of Cyprus
Heavy rains and seasonal storms can cause severe flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Weather forecasts and alerts- Department of Meteorology of the Republic of Cyprus
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
For police or emergency roadside assistance, dial:
- 199 in the Republic of Cyprus
- 155 in the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”
Nicosia - Honorary consul of Canada
Athens - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate of Canada in Nicosia or the Embassy of Canada to Greece, in Athens, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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