Live in Cyprus: The Lowdown on the Expat Lifestyle

Life in Cyprus

What does it take to live in Cyprus*? Expats weigh up many factors – cost and comfort, lifestyle and legality. Our guide gives you the quick lowdown on island life as an expat, real estate, community and practicalities of moving and settling. Read the facts here and dive deeper into the good life Cyprus has to offer.

Quick Facts

  • Southern Cyprus is an expat favorite with a great quality of life thanks to EU membership, location, climate, history and business friendly environment.

  • Financial benefits like low corporate tax rates, tax relief for individuals and affordable property prices make Cyprus a good option for personal and business investments.

Why Cyprus for Expats

With its Mediterranean charm and a blend of European and Middle Eastern cultures, Cyprus is the number one expat destination in most European countries. EU membership means freedom of movement and trade, and its location in the Middle East at the crossroads of continents is a bonus for global thinkers. Add to that a business friendly environment and a good healthcare system. You see: It’s no wonder Cyprus is a pull for those who want the good life.

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has around 300 days of sunshine a year, so the sun is always near. The Mediterranean climate is a paradise for outdoor lovers, from the sandy beaches on the south coast to the hiking trails of the Troodos Mountains. The island’s lifestyle is as warm as the climate, with the Mediterranean Sea warm enough for swimming in autumn.

In addition to being a feast for the senses, Cyprus is a treasure trove of history, with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and landscapes dotted with ancient ruins. From the archaeological wonders of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paphos to the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Cyprus is a living museum where history comes alive today. The island takes its heritage seriously, and expats can walk in the footsteps of the past.

You’ll get a warm welcome wherever you go, and English is widely spoken due to the island’s history with England. That’s also why it’s often a perfect choice for a British expat. This linguistic convenience, combined with a multinational population, means expats won’t feel too far from home. Socializing is easy with online platforms and forums full of activities for expats to meet and greet over coffee, dinner, or a hike in the great outdoors.

Cost of Living in Cyprus

Cyprus, a member of the European Union, has many perks for expats too:

  • Business friendly environment with many tax benefits

  • Investment opportunities in growing sectors like tourism and renewable energy

  • Emerging investment fund hub in Europe

All of this makes Cyprus a tax haven. The Cypriot government doesn’t hold back either, as it supports foreign owned businesses, including those from the USA and other countries.

Moving to Cyprus with me

Just as the island’s blue waters captivate the senses, Meinhard Bundschuh and the BS Holding thrive in an environment enriched by a favorable 12.5% corporate tax rate. This creates an optimal landscape for businesses to flourish. Innovators particularly benefit from the IP Box regime, which offers substantial tax exemptions on profits derived from research and development activities.

Lifestyle in Cyprus

Putting down roots in Cyprus comes with the added benefit of affordable property. Whether you want a city center apartment or a quiet retreat in the countryside, property prices are low compared to the average of the EU. Property ownership costs are much lower than in urban centers, and mortgages are available at reasonable rates. Cyprus is open to those who want to call this island home. Also consider the annual property tax.

For outdoor lovers, Cyprus is a big playground. The island’s varied landscape invites you to hike, cycle, or simply enjoy the great outdoors. From the mountains of Troodos to the blue waters of the Mediterranean, there’s no shortage of things to do in your free time. And where social life often revolves around outdoor activities, there’s a sense of community among British expats and other expats.

Cypriot cuisine is a mix of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot cuisine. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have influenced each other’s cuisine, and you can see this in the fusion of Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern and African flavors. Try the local favorites meze and moussaka or the unique taste of halloumi cheese. Dishes are made with the freshest ingredients. Food in Cyprus is more than just sustenance, it’s a celebration of life’s simple pleasures wrapped in tradition.

Outside the cities, the pace of life in Cyprus is very relaxed. This can be lovely, but also means that administrative tasks are not as fast-paced as some expats are used to. Take your time and enjoy the slower pace of life.

Settling Down: Residency and Community Integration

Cyprus has a very accommodating migration policy, so settling down on the island is easy. The island rolls out the red carpet for those looking to start a new life in the sun with a warm welcome to newcomers; including support for your business, establishment, and family relocation.

Residence Permit

The residence permit is available for expats and can be obtained in 4–6 weeks. EU-expats need to apply for the Yellow slip. Meanwhile, Non-EU citizens have several ways to get permanent residency:

Major Cities and Where to Live

Cyprus’s cities are:

  • Paphos
  • Limassol

  • Nicosia

  • Larnaca

Each city has its own character and lifestyle. Paphos is perfect if you are looking for the feeling of holidays. Maybe you rather like Larnaca’s quiet winters or Limassol’s urban vibe. There’s a Cypriot city to suit every taste. And with housing prices varying across these cities, there’s a home for every budget.

Services and Amenities

Cyprus has everything you need: top-notch healthcare, education systems meeting international standards, and up-to-date connectivity to keep you in touch with the world. All this makes life on the island as easy as it is lovely.

Ranked high for its healthcare services, Cyprus has access to specialist medical care from IVF to cardiology. The healthcare standards are very high and expats can be sure their well-being is in good hands.

For families moving to Cyprus, the education options are plentiful. International schools are numerous, with different curricula and internationally recognized qualifications. With the Ministry of Education and Culture overseeing everything, educational standards across the island are top-notch.

Cyprus doesn’t have a train system, but has plenty of other options to get around the island. Here’s how to get around Paphos or the capital, Nicosia:

  • Yellow Buses: a fun and affordable way to see the city

  • Bus networks: cover the whole island

  • Car rental services: for flexibility and convenience to see the city and beyond

Working and Business

Like the sun, Cyprus’s economy has:

  • Stability

  • Resilience to bounce back from crises

  • Diversified economy

  • Sectors to explore

The island is a great place for job seekers and entrepreneurs.

Job Market

For those looking to work in Cyprus, job opportunities are plentiful in tourism, hospitality, and ICT. With a small labor market, though, career advancement may require more effort than in bigger economies. Limassol and Nicosia are the main hubs for jobseekers with different lifestyles and job markets. The best place for business owners is Paphos.

Starting a Business

Entrepreneurs will find Cyprus conducive to new business, with development and accelerator programs for startups. With a clear regulatory framework and many funding options, starting a business is a smooth process with its own set of legal requirements.


What are the advantages of living in Cyprus for expats?
Living in Cyprus as an expat means warm climate, rich history, strong community, financial benefits like low taxes, affordable property, good healthcare and lower cost of living. It’s a good option for those who want these benefits.

Is it hard for non-EU citizens to get a residency permit in Cyprus?
It’s not very hard for non-EU citizens to get a residency permit in Cyprus. There are several options available including investment, marriage, long term employment and owning a company.

Are there any safety concerns expats should be aware of in Cyprus?
Expats in Cyprus should be aware of political instability and natural disasters like earthquakes, flash floods and wildfires. It’s generally a safe place, but being informed and prepared is important.

How does the cost of living in Cyprus compare to other European countries?
The cost of living in Cyprus is lower than in Germany, making it a very attractive option for expats. Keep in mind that costs can vary greatly across the island.

Where can expats work or start a business in Cyprus?
If you are an expat looking to work or start a business in Cyprus, you will find jobs in tourism, hospitality and IT. There are programs and regulations in place to help you start a business on the island.

*We are talking about South and not Northern Cyprus.