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Northern Cyprus Travel Information

The Basics

Time

GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

Electricity

Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. The UK-style three square-pin plugs are used.

Language

The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas.

Travel Health

No vaccinations are required for travel to Cyprus but hepatitis A and B vaccinations are always recommended for travellers by health authorities. A typhoid vaccination is also recommended but only for travellers who intend to eat and drink outside of restaurants and hotels or mean to travel off the beaten tourist track. Travellers are advised to avoid eating fruits and vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked and to avoid meat that is raw or undercooked. Travellers should also always be wary of food sold by street vendors.

Health services on Cyprus are of a good standard. UK citizens should bring with them a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables them to receive free emergency medical treatment. Medical fees are reasonable in Cyprus, but supplies are expensive and it is probably a good idea to take with you any important prescription medications you may require (with the appropriate notes from your doctor to get them through customs). Medical insurance is advised.

Tipping

A 10 percent service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants so a tip is not obligatory, but small change is always welcome. Taxi drivers, porters etc, appreciate a small tip.

Safety Information

The terrorist threat is low, and crime against tourists is rare.

Local Customs

Avoid taking photographs near military establishments. Religious customs such as Ramadan should be respected, particularly in the north where most of the Turkish Cypriots are Muslim; avoid eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public during the holy month. Women should dress modestly.

Business

Business in Cyprus is best conducted face-to-face, as developing a working relationship based on trust is important. Business is conducted formally, and dress should be smart and conservative (a suit and tie are the norm). Greetings are usually made with a handshake, and business cards are exchanged. It is common for women to hold high positions and they are generally well respected in the business world. Punctuality is important, but meetings may not begin on time. Business hours can vary according to the season, but are usually 8am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday in summer, closing at 5pm in winter.

Communications

The international access code for Cyprus is +357. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Area codes are not required. Mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators, but not the United States. There are public phones in all towns and villages and can be used for domestic and international calls. Phone cards can be purchased from shops, banks and post offices. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.

Duty Free

Travellers to Cyprus over 17 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco; 1 litre spirits with higher than 22% alcohol volume or 2 litres spirits or aperitifs with less than 22% alcohol volume, or 2 litres of wine; 50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette; 500g coffee; 100g tea; medicines for personal consumption; and other goods to the value of €175. Prohibited items include fresh fruit, meat and dairy products.

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