Useful facts about Cyprus
In general, and as a member of the European Union, Cyprus follows European norms and standards. English is widely spoken, as are other European languages, especially in the resort areas.
Cyprus Time is GMT +2.
Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities. English is widely spoken. French and German are also well spoken within the tourist industry.
Cyprus enjoys an exceedingly high level of freedom of worship. While the majority of Greek-Cypriots are Greek-Orthodox Christians, other denominations are represented on the island, including Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics.The Turkish-Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim.
Cyprus joined the Euro as from 1st January 2008. More details can be obtained at the Euro website for Cyprus.
All banks operating in Cyprus offer foreign currency exchange services and quote the exchange rates of the Euro against all major foreign currencies daily. Foreign currency can also be exchanged at hotels. More detailed information concerning exchange rates can be obtained from the Central Bank of Cyprus.
Forms of Payment
Large shops and restaurants accept credit cards, travellers' cheques, Eurocheques and banknotes of major foreign currencies.
Public service working hours during the period September 1st – June 30th are 07:30 – 14:30 from Monday to Friday and on Thursday from 15:00 – 18:00. During the period July 1st – August 31st working hours are 07:30 – 14:30 from Monday to Friday. Private sector working hours are 08:00 - 13:00, 15:00 - 18:00 Monday to Friday for the period September 15th - May 31st and 08:00 - 13:00, 16:00 - 19:00 Monday to Friday, for the period June 1st - September 14th .
Shop opening times vary depending on their type and location, though shops normally open between 07:00 and 09:00. During the period November 1st - March 31st shops close at 19:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 15:00 on Wednesday, and at 19:00 on Saturday. For the period April 1st – October 31st shops close at to 20:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 15:00 on Wednesday and, at 19:30 on Saturday. During the period June 15th – August 31st there is an optional three hour afternoon break from14:00 - 17:00.
Special shopping hours apply for Christmas and Easter. From December 1st to December 31st , shops may remain open until 20:00 throughout the week, but must close by 18:00 on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Shops can also remain open until 20:00 10 days before Easter Sunday, but must close by 18:00 on Good Friday.
Since a 10% service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants, tipping is not obligatory but is always welcome and appreciated.
Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 10:00 in the morning. Lunch is served in restaurants between 12:00 and 15:00. Dinner is served from 18:00 till late in the evening.
The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus. All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays though many shops and certain services remain open in resorts and coastal areas. Banks are closed on Easter Tuesday but not on Christmas Eve.
- January 1st - New Year's Day
- January 6th - Epiphany Day
- March 25th - Greek National Day
- April 1st - National Anniversary Day
- May 1st - Labour Day
- August 15th - Assumption of the Virgin Mary
- October 1st - Cyprus Independence Day
- October 28th - Greek National Anniversary Day
- December 24th - Christmas Eve
- December 25th - Christmas Day
- December 26th - Boxing Day
- Variable - Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)
- Variable - Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)
- Variable - Pentecost - Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)
Communications - Making Phone Calls
In order to make a phone call to Cyprus from abroad, dial 00357 and then the eight-digit phone number.
If you wish to make a phone call abroad while in Cyprus , dial 00, followed by the country code and the telephone number. International calls can be made from public telephones available at various central locations in all cities and villages, as well as at international airports, harbours and elsewhere. There are three types of public telephones – coin phones, outdoor card phones and indoor card phones. Public payphones can be used for both national and international calls. Dialling instructions as well as rates are displayed in all payphones.
Calling within Cyprus simply requires dialling the eight-digit telephone number.
Many establishments including phone centres, internet cafes and hotels offer internet connection services of various speeds and types. Depending on the establishment, the service offered is wired or wireless and is usually charged by the hour.
The electricity supply in Cyprus is 230 volts, a.c. 50 Hz. Sockets are usually 13 amp, square pin in most buildings. More than one low current rating appliance may be operated from the same supply point by using an adaptor (i.e. radios, electric clocks etc.). The use of adaptors for operating high current rating appliances is not recommended (i.e. electric heaters, toasters, irons etc.). Many hotels provide adaptors upon request from the reception. Adaptors can be purchased from electricians, supermarkets, grocery shops, etc.