Road Conditions and Safety: While in Cyprus, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States, though modern motorways link the major cities.
- Traffic moves on the left side of the road ? the opposite direction most U.S. citizens are used to. Pedestrians should be extra careful and look both ways before crossing roads.
- Secondary roads, especially in mountainous areas, tend to be narrow and winding, and not as well maintained as major highways.
- Speeding, tailgating, overtaking, and the running of caution lights, though illegal, are common and are major causes of accidents.
- Road safety conditions in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots are similar to conditions in the south, except that the road network is less developed.
- Insurance purchased in the government-controlled area is not valid in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, but insurance for that area may be purchased at the UN buffer zone checkpoints.
- Traffic laws, signs, and speed limits are consistent with the standards used throughout Europe.
- The use of seat belts (in front seats) and child car seats is mandatory.
- The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited unless used with some form of hands-free kit.
- Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.
- You must have liability insurance.
Public Transportation: There are few public buses and no rail lines in Cyprus. Taxis are widely available.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Cyprus, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Republic of Cyprus?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning to travel to Cyprus should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.
We do not pay medical bills, and U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas claims.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend obtaining supplemental insurance for medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Republic of Cyprus to ensure the medication is legal in Cyprus. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription. You should similarly confirm with authorities in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots to ensure any medication you are carrying will not present problems. The police there can be contacted at 00903922283411 and the ?Drug and Pharmacy Office? at 00903922284156 or 00903922284001.
Be aware that the dry air on the island may aggravate respiratory ailments and allergies.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business. Possession of a U.S. passport will not prevent you from being detained, prosecuted, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
Travel in the Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:
- See Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements above.
- The Embassy?s ability to provide assistance to you in this area is limited.
- Immigration officials at Larnaca Airport have occasionally turned around non-EU citizens who announce their intention to stay in hotels or villas determined by the Republic of Cyprus to be on land belonging to displaced Greek Cypriots. For more information on this issue and a full list of such properties, visit the webpage of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in the United States.
- Car insurance purchased in the government-controlled area is not valid in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. If you travel north of the UN buffer zone, you must have separate car insurance that can be purchased at the crossing points.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in the Republic of Cyprus or in the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots. Despite broad legal protections, LGBTI individuals sometimes face societal discrimination and few are open about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although public attitudes tend to be socially conservative in Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy has not received reports of violence against LGBTI travelers.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:
- The People with Disabilities Law mandates that public buildings and tourist facilities built after 1999 be accessible to all.
- Older buildings frequently lack access for persons with disabilities.
- Narrow or nonexistent sidewalks and lack of transport, parking spaces, accessible toilets, and elevators all pose problems for persons with disabilities.
- Republic of Cyprus law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or in the provision of other state services.
- For information on accessible travel in Cyprus, visit the Accessible Cyprus page of the Cyprus tourist office website.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
Safety and Security
U.N. Buffer Zone:
- Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to enter the United Nations buffer zone at any place other than a designated crossing point.
- Never photograph military installations or anything that could be perceived as being of a security interest. Pay particular attention to areas marked with ?no photography? signs. Police on both sides of the island strictly enforce these restrictions.
Terrorism: Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. Terrorist groups, including their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack — including edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles ? to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Cyprus generally has low crime rates.
- Be alert and always aware of your surroundings and of your personal belongings. Criminals often target those who are distracted, alone in an isolated area, or impaired.
- Do not leave any valuables unattended or out in public view.
- Avoid so-called ?night clubs? (topless bars), as they reportedly employ women trafficked to Cyprus for sexual exploitation. Night clubs have presented foreign patrons with grossly-inflated bar tabs, threatening customers who refuse to pay.
- Scams: Financial crimes conducted over the internet have increased as scammers attempt to convince you to send them money. These fraudulent schemes can include:
- Claims that make it appear you are helping a loved one or a friend who has been injured or is in trouble
- Online dating/social networking services
- Inheritance notices
- Work permits/job offers
- Bank overpayments
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy by dialing 22-393939. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Provide general information regarding the victim?s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion.
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, and Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus website for the most current visa information.
Traveling Through Europe: The republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union but is not a party to the Schengen Agreement. However, if you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
- Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay if you plan on transiting a Schengen country. Review our U.S. Travelers in Europe page.
- You will need sufficient proof of funds and a return plane ticket.
- You may enter the Republic of Cyprus for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes without a visa. For stays longer than 90 days, you will need a temporary residency visa.
Since 1974, the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part of Cyprus, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the ?Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus? (?TRNC?) in 1983. The United States does not recognize the ?TRNC,? nor does any country other than Turkey. A buffer zone patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus separates the two sides. For U.S. citizen travelers:
- Enter and exit the Republic of Cyprus ONLY at Larnaca and Paphos airports and at the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos. The Republic of Cyprus does not consider entry at Ercan Airport in the north to be a ?legal? entrance into Cyprus.
- You cannot receive a residency permit from the Republic of Cyprus to reside in the area north of the UN buffer zone.
- You can cross the buffer zone and enter the Turkish Cypriot-administered area by showing a valid U.S. passport at one of the recognized checkpoints. You can stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for less than 90 days. The Republic of Cyprus does not recognize residence permits issued by Turkish Cypriots. If you stay in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area for over 90 days, you may be detained by Republic of Cyprus immigration or police, or denied entry into the government-controlled part of the island.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Republic of Cyprus. There are no restrictions for short-term tourist stays and no HIV testing on entry. Authorities will not grant a residence permit for work or study to a U.S. citizen who tests positive for HIV. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus before you travel.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Cyprus for information on U.S.-Cyprus relations.