Considering a move to Cyprus? It’s easy to see why, as it’s a sun-soaked Mediterranean gem with beautiful beaches and delicious food.
But Cyprus also has a more cosmopolitan side, particularly in its major cities – where good work opportunities, excellent education and healthcare go along with the laid-back lifestyle.
If you’re considering a temporary or permanent move to Cyprus, or of retiring or studying there, it’s useful to know about the cost of living in Cyprus. This guide will cover all of the basics, from rent and transportation to Cyprus prices for healthcare and education. We'll also explain how you can make your money go further with a smart multi-currency account from TransferWise.
So, let’s get stuck in.
If you’re planning to move there, you’ll need to know the best, most cost-effective ways to manage your money in Cyprus.
First things first, the official currency in Cyprus is the euro (EUR). Here’s how it stacks up against other strong world currencies:
- $1000 = 845.15 EUR
- £1000 = 1102.66 EUR
- A$1000 =612.06 EUR
- C$1000 = 644.23 EUR
But when you’re out and about, it’s not always easy to work out in your head the exact worth of your money. One of the quickest and easiest ways to check whether something’s good value or not is to use an online currency converter.
Need to change GBP or another currency to EUR? You might want to avoid banks and money exchange services, as their rates are not always very competitive. This is because many tend to pop a mark-up on top of the mid-market exchange rate, which makes the conversion more expensive for you. Find out more here.
A more affordable way to manage your money in Cyprus is by using TransferWise.
Open a free multi-currency Borderless account and you can send and receive money internationally, hold 50+ currencies at once and convert between them when you need to. There’s no monthly fee to pay, and the fees for sending money or converting currencies are tiny.
You can even spend in euros like a local using your linked TransferWise debit Mastercard.
The best part? You’re 100% guaranteed the real, mid-market exchange rate on every transaction, with no mark-up added.
Cyprus comes in at a very respectable 36th place on the Numbeo Cost of Living Index by Country 2020.¹ But what does this mean in terms of actual living costs, for things like rent, meals out and transport?
Here’s a quick cost of living comparison between Cyprus’ major cities, and the main cities here in the UK:
|Comparing basic cost of living||1 bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)||Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)||Transportation (monthly pass)|
While there are lots of fantastic towns and villages to move to in Cyprus, in this guide we’ll focus on its three major cities – Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca.
Nicosia, the island nation’s capital, is also its largest city. It has a buzzing cosmopolitan feel, with a pleasant Old City and lots of lovely little cafes. It’s also where you’ll find most of the country’s universities.
Interestingly, Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world. Half of it belongs to the Republic of Cyprus (a member of the EU), while the other is in Northern Cyprus (a country recognised only by Turkey).
Life is just as lively in Cyprus’ port towns of multicultural Limassol and tourism-focused Larnaca, both of which make it into the top 100 in the global ranking of cities in the 2020 World Happiness Report.⁸
Is Cyprus expensive to live in – aside from rent? This is a common query among people thinking of moving there. After all, it’s not just housing costs you’ll need to pay as a resident.
To give you an idea, take a look below at the average cost of living per month for a single person and a 4-person family – in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca:
|Total living expenses in Nicosia⁵||Average cost|
|1 person, per month (without rent)||£659.78|
|4 person family, per month (without rent)||£2,356.41|
|Utilities, basic, for 85m² apartment||£115.56|
|Total living expenses in Limassol⁶||Average cost|
|1 person, per month (without rent)||£683.67|
|4 person family, per month (without rent)||£2,420.87|
|Utilities, basic, for 85m² apartment||£148.89|
|Total living expenses in Larnaca⁷||Average cost|
|1 person, per month (without rent)||£625.98|
|4 person family, per month (without rent)||£2,180.86|
|Utilities, basic, for 85m² apartment||£156.56|
Of course, the cost of living in Cyprus isn’t the only thing that’ll affect your bank balance once you move there. You’ll also need to look into how much you could earn if you’re planning to work in Cyprus.
Here’s a quick guide to the average salary⁹ for a range of jobs:
|Salary averages for Cyprus||Average salary|
Rent is always one of the biggest living expenses, wherever in the world you live. But what are Cyprus prices like for housing, and how large a place can you get for your money?
Let’s compare the average monthly rent for small and large apartments in Nicosia⁵, Limassol⁶ and Larnaca⁷:
|Rental cost in Nicosia||Average monthly cost|
|1 bed apartment in city centre||£466.79|
|1 bed apartment outside city centre||£406.92|
|3 bed apartment in city centre||£796.07|
|3 bed apartment outside city centre||£682.73|
|Rental cost in Limassol||Average monthly cost|
|1 bed apartment in city centre||£733.16|
|1 bed apartment outside city centre||£609.05|
|3 bed apartment in city centre||£1,275.02|
|3 bed apartment outside city centre||£1,047.22|
|Rental cost in Larnaca||Average monthly cost|
|1 bed apartment in city centre||£459.01|
|1 bed apartment outside city centre||£369.65|
|3 bed apartment in city centre||£790.39|
|3 bed apartment outside city centre||£653.39|
Cyprus has a co-payments General Healthcare System (GHS), where both the state and patient contributions cover the costs.
Healthcare isn’t free in Cyprus, but costs are extremely reasonable. For example, you can expect to pay around £5-22 to see a specialist (depending whether or not you have a GP referral) and around £9 if you need to go to Accident & Emergency.
The good thing about Cyprus’ healthcare system is that it gives each resident a number of free GP visits every year. If you use all of these up, you can expect to pay around £13 for every additional GP appointment.
You can get emergency-only healthcare if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and are only in Cyprus temporarily. If you live and work in Cyprus though, you’ll need to register with the Cyprus Social Insurance Service in order to get registered with a GP and access state healthcare.¹⁰
The most popular mode of transport in Cyprus is car, as around 70% people drive to get to work or school. This is likely to be because Cyprus has no working railway, so public transport options are limited to bus routes.¹¹
If you do want to use public transport to get around your chosen city (and there are suitable bus routes available) a monthly pass will cost you around £36.
If you want to travel across the country and between cities in Cyprus, the best option is to use a car.
There are a number of well-respected universities in Cyprus, including the University of Nicosia – the largest in the country.
There are also three public higher institutions, including the University of Cyprus (UCY), also in Nicosia. UCY was included in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020.¹²
There’s also a branch of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Larnaca, making it the first British university to open a campus in Cyprus.
Tuition fees to study in Cyprus vary depending on the institution and the course. But to give you an idea, tuition fees for international undergraduate students start from £7,708 a year at UCLAN Cyprus¹³ and £8,270 a year at the University of Nicosia.¹⁴
Costs are lower at the University of Cyprus, where tuition fees¹⁵ start from £3,174.
The cost of living in Cyprus is pretty reasonable compared to some other European countries. However, it’s still really important to make sure you’re getting the most from your money.
This is where money-saving solutions like TransferWise come in really handy. With your multi-currency account, you’ll have an easy, affordable way to send, spend, convert and receive money in Cyprus and throughout the world.
It’s particularly useful when you want to send money back home to the UK from Cyprus, or whizz cash across the world to friends and family in other countries.
With bank-beating fees and the real, mid-market exchange rate on every transaction, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re always getting the best deal.
After reading this guide, you should now be all clued up on the cost of living in Cyprus. We’ve covered rent, transport, healthcare and everything in between, including how much it costs to study at a university in Cyprus.
So you should be all set for the big move – good luck!
- Mercer’s cost of living 2020 ranking list
- Numbeo - cost of living in London
- Numbeo - cost of living in Manchester
- Numbeo - cost of living in Edinburgh
- Numbeo - cost of living in Nicosia
- Numbeo - cost of living in Limassol
- Numbeo - cost of living in Larnaca
- World Happiness Report rankings
- Salary Explorer - average salary in Cyprus
- Gov.uk - healthcare in Cyprus
- Numbeo - traffic in Cyprus
- Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities
- UCLAN - tuition fees
- University of Nicosia - tuition fees
- Low Tuition Uni - University of Cyprus tuition fees
All sources checked on October 13, 2020
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