With one of the highest car-ownership-per-capita rates in the world, driving will most likely be an expat's primary mode of transport in Cyprus. The island has no operational railway network, and public transport is largely restricted to private bus services and taxis, so options are limited – especially when travelling between urban centres.
Public transport in Cyprus
There are several kinds of bus services in Cyprus. Rural buses between villages and cities are the most limited, since they only leave once or twice a day. Inter-urban buses link larger cities and towns with each other and are far more frequent, while bus services that run within cities are generally the most frequent and reliable public transport service in Cyprus.
Different bus companies operate in each part of the country, such as the OSEL buses that run in Nicosia and OSYPA’s buses in Paphos. Because of this variation, buses in Cyprus don’t all look the same but most of them have their destination displayed on the windscreen.
Because buses in Cyprus are independently operated, expats should check the bus routes of individual operators with their respective companies or at tourist offices. Services often cease in the early evening and are limited on weekends, while some are extended in tourist season and run until midnight.
Taxis in Cyprus
There are several taxi services in Cyprus. Urban taxis are the most widespread and offer 24-hour services in all major cities. While expats are recommended to book in advance, taxis can be hailed from the street.
Inter-urban share taxis provide a cost-effective link to other towns. Taxis are shared between a number of people with the cost being evenly split between all passengers.
Driving in Cyprus
Driving in Cyprus is the most effective way of getting around. The distance from Paphos to Nicosia, for instance, can be driven in two hours. Road signs in Cyprus are often in English and Greek, roads are generally well maintained, petrol stations are widely available and traffic is less congested than in other European cities. Cars are also easy to hire and readily available.
About a third of the roads on the island are unpaved, however, and while normal passenger vehicles should be able to drive on most of them, it may be best to ask locals before going for a drive through the country.
EU drivers can drive until their foreign licence expires, while licensed drivers from a list of pre-approved countries can legally drive for up to six months. These countries include the US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Non-EU expats can drive for a maximum of 30 days, or with a valid international driving licence.
Cycling in Cyprus
Cycling in Cyprus is practical, considering the short distances between places. It isn't allowed on major motorways, but there are usually ordinary roads running parallel to them. Nicosia is one of the friendliest cities for cyclists, with its smartbike-sharing scheme and dedicated cycling lanes. There are more than 40 stations across the city in an effort to get residents to use bicycles as an alternative form of transport.
►For more on adapting to life on the island, see Culture Shock in Cyprus
Are you an expat living in Cyprus?
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