I have just spent 2 months in Cyprus so here is the lowdown for anyone else planning on doing the same. Cyprus was an awesome country to spend some time in and extend my love for anything Greek. As far as being a digital nomad in Cyprus is concerned I found it easy and a great experience. If you can live with a slightly lower quality of internet compared to most countries and you like sunshine then Cyprus is a country worth visiting. So here is the lowdown on being a digital nomad in Cyprus.
Cost of living in Cyprus.
I found the cost of living very reasonable and easy, but I have spent most of my life in Ireland so that is where I am making this comparison too. Others may not find Cyprus as cheap.
Here is a breakdown of my accommodation costs etc.
8 days in a very nice 1 bedroom holiday apartment off booking.com: €130.
7 days in hotels booked online: €20 – €25 per night.
4 weeks in an one bedroom airbnb apartment with a balcony looking out over the Mediterranean sea and Paphos town. Probably the best airbnb bargain I ever got! €320.
2 weeks in a studio apartment also off airbnb: €240
Total spend for 2 months accommodation: €845 which is not exactly rock bottom prices but averaging out at €105 per week with no bills is not a bad deal either!
As for shopping I found it cheap and quality, there are plenty of little supermarkets selling fresh locally grown produce which were really great. It was hot so I was living out of these places making salads and eating lots of fruit. It’s not expensive to be healthy here and it is really top quality! There is also the usual bigger chains such as Carrefour and lots of little 24 hour kiosk shops.
Eating out also did not break the bank with a Greek meal costing anything from €5 – €15 if you shop around a bit. Then there is the compulsory Souvlaki and Greek Kebab shops, €4 – €6 was getting me a decent fix in these places with a drink. If you like eating crap then there is also plenty of Mc Donalds and BK options catering for the package holiday maker’s idea of sampling local culture.
Another thing I found really cheap was the dentist, I knew I needed work doing but had been putting it off. I got a loose tooth in Cyprus so went to get it investigated and ended up getting everything that needed doing done for a very good price compared to back home.
Finding accommodation in Cyprus.
One of the reasons I did not stay another month (I also got sick so came home) was because the availability of accommodation was thinning out big time coming up to June and what was left was expensive. In the main summer months it is apparently quite tough to find a place to stay but outside of these months it is a breeze and as I already said it is cheap.
If you are planning on staying longer term you can rent an apartment for as little as €250 a month. Even cheaper out in the sticks.
Airnbn was my agent but I did call in to a few agents’ shops to get an idea of cost. I could have walked out of a couple of them places with the keys to an apartment by the sea for €400 – €500 a month without contract.
Internet access and places to work from.
This is where Cyprus failed and the only complaint I would have about the country. It is not great, slow and laggy connections are the norm. Landlords don’t seem to care about it and it can be frustrating to the point where I could not work on Skype but I survived and always had some kind of connection.
4g is stupidly expensive here without contract. It was actually cheaper for me to use my Irish and Maltese sim cards with roaming deals for data on my phone than it was to buy a local sim card.
I only worked in a couple of cafes, mainly Costa Coffee and did not see anyone else working out of cafes the whole time. The internet in cafes was as good as it can be by Cypriot standards. I also know of no co-working spaces but to be honest I did not really go looking for them.
Entertainment, things to do and eating out.
If you like drinking, which I do but unfortunately am not allowed to do for health reasons then Cyprus would not disappoint. Especially Paphos where there is literally hundreds of bars catering for everyone’s tastes. There is also a big expat community, a mix of British and Russians. The British expats frequent a few of the bars in Paphos and around Larnaca but as expats do they complain a lot about the place they are living in.
If you like Greek food then you are pretty much spoilt for choice in Cyprus. As you can expect with the mass tourism there is no shortage of places to eat out, some are mouth wateringly good and some are terrible. Kind of hit and miss but if you’re there for a while you will find the places that suit.
There is loads to do and see here. It is an island rich in historic sights and scenery. Hiring a car and taking a trip around the island is a must. I have written about that here driving round Cyprus in a hire car.
Also no visit to Cyprus would be complete without a trip to the Turkish occupied republic of northern Cyprus crossing the famous line in Nicosia.
More info about Cyprus for digital nomads.
Cyprus looks small on a map but is surprisingly quite a big island, especially when you try to cross it on public transport ha. There are 2 main airports which are very well service with plenty of daily flights, one in Larnaca and the other is on Paphos.
The 4 main towns are Nicosia (The capital), Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. I stayed in all of them but spent most of my time in Paphos. If you want to be more central then Limassol is probably the best option. Rents in Limassol seemed to be higher than the rest of the island though.
Cyprus is a very safe country (As long as you’re not an idiot) and I never felt in any danger bar the occasional lunatic driver. I was a bit curious of this subject given its proximity to Syria and all the other turbulence in the Middle East but it is absolutely nothing to worry about!
Greek is the main language but just about everyone speaks really good English and I only had one language barrier in 2 months. That was with a shop keeper who was about 80 years old but she called her son and solved that. A few courteous words of Greek won’t go amiss though so learn you please, thank you and hello etc. and you will get more smiles. The currency is Euro, they drive on the left and the plugs are UK style 3 pins.
The Cypriots are warm and genuinely friendly people, always ready for a chat or to help and give advice. There is also a massive amount of expats of many nationalities living all over the island.
So if you’re thinking about Cyprus as a digital nomad destination then I would say go for it, just don’t expect 2016 quality internet connections. Feel free to ask any questions below if you need further advice and happy travels. J