Finding a place to live in Cyprus
Moving to a new place might be a difficult task. But moving to a new country is even more challenging. Before you decide to move, you need to consider many factors that are essential to your everyday life, yet that you may be taking for granted in your home country. Such things include the economy and politics, the weather, migration paperwork or costs of living, to name just a few.
And that’s why Cyprus should be at the top of your list if you’re evaluating a decision to move to another country. Cyprus offers newcomers business-friendly economic policies, fantastic weather, and a good quality of life with affordable costs of living. In fact, that’s why so many foreigners decide to move here - either temporarily or permanently - each year.
Let’s say, however, that you’ve already made up your mind and are coming to live in Cyprus. What should your next step be? While Cyprus’ countryside has a lot to offer, you will likely want to move to one of the island’s cities first. What factors should you take into consideration to figure out which city is best for you to settle in?
In the following sections, you will find the most important information about Cyprus’ 5 major cities. While these are not the only places you can move to, they are the most popular choices among the new arrivals on the island. Keep on reading to learn why!
Which City Is the Best (For You)?
To make an informed choice about the place to settle in, many find it helpful to do some research about each location, and then make a list of pros and cons. In this way, you will be able to see which of Cyprus' cities best suits your needs and wants. Here, we will present helpful details on what’s life like in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, and Ayia Napa.
Located in the very heart of the island, Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus. As capitals often are, Nicosia is a vibrant, lively city but at the same time, it may appear hectic and crowded. In any case, this is definitely the Cypriot centre of business and commerce. Most of the accounting, legal, and financial operations take place in Nicosia which is the reason why many international brands and companies (especially leather and textile factories) as well as the highest-ranking universities are located in this part of the island. This, in turn, makes the capitol a fantastic place for those who are on the lookout for exciting professional opportunities.
Nicosia is not just all about the hustle and bustle, though. You will find historical gems here that are worth visiting, like the Venetian walls, museums and art galleries. You can also visit the old centre of the town where the border divides the Southern from the Northern Cyprus. On the whole, most visitors agree that Nicosia allows you both to take advantage of modern opportunities as well as to experience the true Cypriot culture and traditions.
If you like the so-called city life (including busy streets and noisy crowds) and appreciate having easy access to well-known brands and a variety of business services, then Nicosia should be your first choice.
The biggest advantage of Limassol is its strategic position and its harbor which makes it an important shipping hub connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa. So, as you can imagine, if you choose Limassol as your new home, you will be living near the beach which is a huge selling point for many who decide to move to Cyprus.
On the other hand, moving to Limassol doesn’t mean compromising on business opportunities. The city has a bustling commercial area as well. If you move here, you will be able to connect with expats from many different countries who decided to settle in Limassol precisely because of job opportunities it offers.
To sum up it all up in one sentence: whether you are looking for innovation, modernity, the latest fashion trends or energetic people, Limassol is the city for you.
Larnaca is an old coastal city. Nowadays, it’s perhaps best known for its wide selection of bars, restaurants and entertainment options and that’s why it is popular with those who like to socialize and party.
However, good food and great cocktails are not the only things the city has to offer. Living in Larnaca can give you the full taste of the island’s rich and complex history as the city is truly saturated with architectural landmarks from all of the country’s historical periods. Historical details are hidden even in the name of the city which comes from the ancient Greek word larnax.
Larnaca is an ideal place for those who plan to live a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, spend a lot of time on the beach, and enjoy the charms of its nightlife.
Paphos is known as the “cultural capital” of the country. Additionally, the city has a lot to offer in terms of education opportunities. Among both locals and foreigners, it is known for its good hospitals offering high standards of healthcare. Generally speaking, if you move to Paphos you should be satisfied with what it has to offer both in terms of business and leisure.
When living in Paphos, you will be near the beach, forests, and hills (which is great if you are an active person and like trekking or trail running). And if you want to get out of the city and explore other parts of the island, Paphos is also well connected to other places on the island through as it features its own airport.
Importantly, Paphos is a city perfect for families with children. The varied landscapes around it as well as educational opportunities and easy access to quality health care all make it a place welcoming of foreigners regardless of their age.
5. Ayia Napa
The last city we will describe in this article is Ayia Napa. It is a small town located in the southeast of the island. Its name was taken from the monastery of Ayia Napa, which means “holy forest”.
Ayia Napa used to be known as a tourist place suitable for the whole family. However, in the last couple of years, it has become popular for its nightlife and parties. Every year, lots of young people visit the city looking for entertainment and fun.
Ayia Napa‘s main tourist attractions are its beaches and historic landmarks such as Ayia Napa Monastery, the Roman aqueduct, Makronissos’ tombs, and the Paralimni Historical Centre.
Other highlights of Ayia Napa include the close proximity to white-sand beaches with crystal-clear waters you will fall in love with if you are an enthusiast of windsurfing, water skiing or scuba diving. Each beach has a sports centre which will allow you to enjoy water sports even if you don’t own professional gear.
As opposed to Paphos, Ayia Napa is for the young souls who want to practice different water sports during the day and enjoy an attractive and varied nightlife throughout the whole year.
Should You Rent or Buy?
Once you have decided which city you would like to live in, you will have to take the second important decision: Should you rent or buy a place?
Admittedly, this is not an easy choice either. What you’ll choose will depend on your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Below, we present some of the most important factors you may have to consider.
When Is It Better to Rent?
While your initial impression may be that the rent is cheaper than in many other Europeans cities, this isn’t always the case. Consider the following data:
- Nicosia is probably the most expensive of the 4 main cities in Cyprus. You may pay as much as €600 a month for a one or two-bedroom apartment. Plus, a large apartment or townhouse can cost around €700 and a detached house up to €1200.
- The rent in Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos averages between €380 to €460 per month for one or two bedroom apartment and around €500 to €600 for a townhouse.
- The prices above reflect rates for long-term rentals.
- Options for a short-term lease in Nicosia may be very limited if you can find any at all.
So, it’s usually better to rent in the following situations:
1. When you first move to Cyprus: Even if you are sure you want to buy a place in Cyprus, it is wise to rent in any given area before purchasing a property. In this way, you will be able to see and experience what it is like to live there. When you are done testing the waters, you can find a place to buy in the area where you enjoyed living.
2. When you are not sure if you will stay long enough: If you don’t picture yourself living in the area for more than 5 years, and you don’t plan to buy a property as an investment, then you should rent a place for the time you will stay there.
3. When you can’t afford to buy: Although this statement might be self-evident for some, you should not jump into buying a real estate property if you do not have the money for it. It is better to rent for a while until you get enough cash than find yourself up to your neck in debt.
If you decide to move to Cyprus, you can choose a place to settle in from a variety of different locations, each offering its unique set of features, advantages, and benefits. We hope that this article will help you make the most adequate choice for yourself and your family. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact us and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team of Cyprus expats.