Looking for a destination to invest or just for a visit? Well, look no further! Northern Cyprus, an island brimming with natural beauty and historical significance, awaits your exploration. But before you pack your bags, there are a few crucial details you should be aware of, such as the Cyprus time zones, the current time in Cyprus, airports in Cyprus, and the currency used. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of Northern Cyprus in this comprehensive guide.

Cyprus Time Zones: When to Travel

Cyprus, geographically located in the eastern Mediterranean, follows Eastern European Time (EET) and Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) in the summer. Therefore, when planning your travel, it’s essential to adjust your schedule according to these time zones.

Current Time in Cyprus: Synchronise Your Watches

As mentioned earlier, Cyprus operates on Eastern European Time (EET), which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). However, during daylight saving time (from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October), it operates on Eastern European Summer Time (EEST), which is three hours ahead of GMT (GMT+3).

Airports in Cyprus: Your Gateway to the Island

Ercan International Airport

When planning your trip to Northern Cyprus, you’ll most likely enter through Ercan International Airport. Situated about 13 km east of North Nicosia, it serves as the primary international gateway to Northern Cyprus. A new terminal building and runway are scheduled to open in July 2023, which will increase both the capacity and comfort for travellers arriving or departing through Ercan. As Northern Cyprus is only recognised by Turkey currently, flights have to transit through Turkey, so expect to change at Istanbul or another airport when using Ercan to arrive/depart from Northern Cyprus. If you have the time, staggering your flights and taking a day or two in Istanbul to do some sightseeing and shopping is always a great way to break up the trip.

Larnaca International Airport

Alternatively, you may opt to arrive via the Larnaca International Airport, located in the Republic of Cyprus. However, remember that crossing the border requires a passport check due to the political situation on the island. The best way to get across to Northern Cyprus is using a taxi transfer pre-booked with a taxi firm in the North. They tend to charge less than taxis from the Republic of Cyprus, and know the best way to get you across the Green Line. Also, you might find that some car hire firms in the North will arrange your transfer to/from the airport in the Republic of Cyprus which may also work out a little cheaper.

Paphos International Airport

Another viable option to consider is Paphos International Airport. It’s the country’s second-largest airport and a popular choice for tourists heading to the Republic of Cyprus. Located on the southwest coast of the island, the airport is well-served by several major airlines offering flights to numerous destinations across Europe. Just like with Larnaca Airport, be prepared for passport controls if you’re planning to travel up to Northern Cyprus from Paphos. With its efficient services and friendly staff, Paphos International Airport promises a smooth start to your Cypriot adventure. Transfers from Paphos to Northern Cyprus tend to cost a little more than from Larnaca, but it is convenient for those staying or residing in the Lefke or Guzelyurt regions as the transfer time is quicker.

Currency in Cyprus: What You Need to Know

Northern Cyprus Currency

In Northern Cyprus, the official currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY). However, you’ll often find that many establishments accept Euros (€), British Pounds (£), and even US Dollars ($), which could simplify transactions if you’re travelling from a country that uses these currencies. Rental property is usually in British Pounds (GBP), or Euro or Dollars, as the Turkish Lira can be a little volatile. Property prices are generally advertised in GBP, although most developers will accept EUR or USD as well as some taking cryptocurrencies to pay for a property purchase.

Republic of Cyprus Currency

In the Republic of Cyprus, on the other hand, the official currency is the Euro (€). For travel in this area, it would be wise to have Euros on hand. Again, most places in the Republic of Cyprus accept other currencies, but the exchange rates offered in shops and restaurants may worse than you can get in a money exchange or bank. Pretty much every restaurant and shop accepts credit or debit cards, we are fans of the Wise multi-currency account and card ourselves, although people also use Revolut and other multi-currency accounts.

Driving in Northern Cyprus: A Quick Guide

Driving in Northern Cyprus provides a convenient way to explore the beautiful landscape at your own pace. However, keep in mind that they drive on the left side of the road, similar to the UK. Car hire services are widely available, but ensure you have your international driving licence for a smoother journey. For hiring a car in Northern Cyprus, a national driving licence is generally accepted, but do check with your hire car firm beforehand to make sure. Most hire car companies have a minimum age of 25 or 23 years old to hire and drive a car. It is important to check with your hire car company to check that you are able to drive across the Green Line from North to South (or vice versa), and you may need to get insurance for the other side of the Green Line when you cross.

Finally, driving standards across both sides of the island can sometimes be rather variable – and do not be surprised to see people parking on roundabouts, ignoring traffic lights and signs, using mobile telephones, not wearing crash helmets on motorcycles, and doing unexpected manoeuvres etc. Expect the unexpected at all times when driving on the island!

Public Transportation in Northern Cyprus

While driving is an excellent way to explore the island, public transportation is also readily available and efficient. Minibuses, known as ‘dolmuş’, run regularly between the main towns – although not 24 hours a day, and taxis are also widely available. However, keep in mind that taxis might not run on meters, so it’s best to negotiate the fare beforehand.

Weather in Cyprus: Best Time to Visit

Cyprus, with its Mediterranean climate, offers warm summers and mild winters. The best time to visit largely depends on your preference. If you love basking in the sun, schedule your trip between June and September. For those who prefer a cooler climate for exploring, the months between October and May are ideal.

Key Attractions in Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus is full of fascinating sights and experiences. Don’t miss out on visiting the ancient city of Salamis, the magnificent Kyrenia Castle, or the charming town of Bellapais. If you’re a nature enthusiast, the Karpaz Peninsula offers untouched beaches and a chance to see wild donkeys.

Culinary Delights

When in Cyprus, indulge in the rich culinary tradition of the island. Treat your taste buds with hellim (halloumi), musakka (moussaka), suvla (souvla), and finish your meal with a delicious piece of baklava. Don’t forget to try the local wines and the famous Cypriot coffee!

In conclusion, Northern Cyprus, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, offers something for every traveller. Whether you’re planning an investment or just a holiday, this guide should help you navigate through the key essentials while you’re in this beautiful island nation.

If you have any questions, please use the comments box below below and we will attempt to answer them for you! Or contact us using the options here.


1. What is the time difference between Cyprus and the UK? Cyprus is two hours ahead of the UK in standard time and daylight savings time.

2. What is the primary airport in Northern Cyprus? The primary airport in Northern Cyprus is Ercan International Airport.

3. What currency is used in Northern Cyprus? The official currency of Northern Cyprus is the Turkish Lira, but Euros, British Pounds, and US Dollars are also commonly accepted.

4. How is the driving in Northern Cyprus? Northern Cyprus follows the left-hand driving system. It’s recommended to have an international driving license if you plan on driving.

5. Can I use Euros in Northern Cyprus? Yes, many establishments in Northern Cyprus accept Euros, although the official currency is the Turkish Lira.