Thinking about heading to Cyprus? In this roundup guide, I will tell you all about the best places to stay when visiting Cyprus whether you are looking for budget, mid-range or luxury options. The truth is that Cyprus is so small we all know about the reputation of each place so I’m here to share my opinion with you. To make the article more reliable, I have asked relatives&friends, checked on local’s forums and read reviews.
When to visit Cyprus
In Cyprus, half of the year it feels like summer. At least from May to October, the weather is over 25 degrees. Therefore, If you are seeking for sunshine and beautiful beaches, that is the most suitable period. However, during May and October, the seawater could be a bit breezy.
If you decide to visit Cyprus any other time of the year, you have other benefits. For instance, there are many nature trails and hiking routes that are not advisable to do under the strong heat. Also, Cyprus has a really rich culture, so even If you decide to visit during any other time, you will surely enjoy it.
Getting around in Cyprus
🚌Public Transportation: Even If there is public transportation in Cyprus, chances are you will be quite disappointed to depend on it If you are planning to see many places. There are some buses that run frequently in the most touristic spots, (and by frequently I mean every 15-30 mins) and intercity buses (green buses) that can take you from city to city. However, travelling with public transportation in Cyprus is unreliable. Many times buses don’t arrive on time, intercity buses could get packed and then you have to wait for another hour to hop on the next one.
Tip: Check out the airport shuttle buses that take you directly from the airport to any other cities.
To Limassol: Limassol Airport Express
To any other cities: Kapnos
🚕Taxi: Taxis on the other hand, are really expensive. Expect to pay at least €50 If you are travelling from city to city. So unless you are sharing the taxi with more people, it won’t really be worth it.
🚘Car: By far the most convenient way for those who like road trips and want to explore every part of Cyprus. Usually, it costs €20-50 depending on the season, the company and the type of car you are going to rent. Honestly, as a local, I would 100% recommend you to rent a car as it gives you complete control of where you want to go. Also, it’s quite easy to find parking almost everywhere.
Note: Keep in Cyprus we drive on the left and we are not really known to be good drivers.
Where to stay in Cyprus: Limassol
✓Family Friendly ✓Dining & Nightlife ✓Luxury Hotels
I might be biased because this is my hometown but I find Limassol to be the most interesting city on the island. There is a combination of elements that make it so interesting; its buzzing local nightlife, the contrast between traditional architecture and modern, the diversity of people that come from every background and seemingly never-ending coast.
What’s also cool is that Limassol is in the centre of Cyprus which makes it ideal for people who want to explore other areas too or head for a hike on Troodos Mountains.
|Where to stay in Limassol|
|Pefkos City Hotel||Mediterranean Beach Hotel||Amathus Beach Hotel|
|For those who are looking for a budget option while visiting Limassol, the newly renovated Pefkos City Hotel is a great choice. It is in the heart of Limassol, only some minutes away from Limassol old city, Limassol’s castle and Marina. It also has facilities like a pool, pool bar and a restaurant despite being a relatively small hotel.||Situated right in the middle of the tourist area just by the beach, Mediterranean Beach Hotel is a nice choice for those looking for a place to relax.||Amathus Beach Hotel is one of the top-rated hotels in Cyprus and has been awarded many times for its high quality service and facilities. If price is not a concern for you and luxury is what you are seeking for, that’s the hotel for you.|
Things to do in Limassol:
- Visit the historical Kourion amphitheatre in Episkopi
- Take a seaside stroll at Molos
- Visit Lady’s Mile for some of the best beaches in Limassol
- Explore local nightlife
- Stop by Limassol’s Castle and then walk around the surrounding area
Where to stay in Cyprus: Paphos
✓Budget-Friendly ✓History&Landmarks ✓Nature
Paphos has been growing in popularity in the last few years especially since it has been selected as the European Capital of culture in 2017. Expect to travel back in time by visiting the popular archaeological sites such as Thombs of The Kings (Ana wrote a very informative blog) and dwell back to Greek Mythology by admiring Petra tou Romiou; the legendary rock where they say Goddess Aphrodite was born. Paphos is one of the cheapest places in Cyprus, so If your travelling on a shoestring, that’s the city I’d definitely recommend. Don’t miss out on the popular Blue Lagoon which can take your breath away!
|Where to stay in Paphos|
|Axiothea Hotel||Louis Phaethon Beach||Olympic Lagoon Resort|
|A very humble option for those with a low budget as this hotel is perfectly situated in the centre of the city. Has quite a traditional setting, is run by a family and has nearby public transportation.||Louis Phaethon is recommended especially for those travelling with kids. There’s also small waterpark which is open during the summer months and animators to keep you entertained all-day around.||If money is not an issue for you, Olympic Lagoon is the most luxurious hotel in Paphos. It’s relatively new (2011) and is suitable for all type of travellers, so whether you’re considering a romantic getaway or family vacations that could be the hotel for you.|
Top things to do in Paphos:
- Visit the harbour in Paphos and see the view from the historic castle of Paphos
- Take a wine tour to explore local vineyards and taste some of the most delicious wines on the island
- Take a day trip to Akamas which is one hour away and is one of the largest national parks in Cyprus. Don’t miss out on visiting Lara Beach too
- Travel back in time by visiting the historic Tombs of the Kings
- Don’t miss out on seeing the sunset right by Aphrodite’s Rock
- Swim at Coral Bay’s dreamy beach with soft, white sand and clear water
Where to stay in Cyprus: Protaras & Ayia Napa
✓Crystal Clear Water Beaches ✓Water Sports ✓ Partying
Ever since I was young, we would go to Ayia Napa or Protaras every a couple of years with my family as it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cyprus. It is really crowded however during the summer months and therefore If you want to stay there, consider bookings months in advance. Ayia Napa is also a really popular party city and can get really busy during the night. You will also notice that most people visiting Ayia Napa are young adults between 18-35. Therefore, If you are on the quiet side or have small kids travelling with you, I’d definitely recommend Protaras over Ayia Napa.
|Where to stay in Ayia Napa & Protaras|
|Pernera Beach Hotel||Pernera Beach Hotel||Grecian Park Hotel|
|Really popular among the locals as a budget option when visiting Ayia Napa. If you are travelling on a budget. Just minutes away from the main street and a 15 min walk away from Nissi Beach.||A charming hotel that developed into a resort, located in “Pernera”, a small and relatively quiet area on the outskirts of Protaras right by the sandy beach.||The hotel stands at the top of a hill and has the most breathtaking views from all hotels in the area and is overlooking at Konnos Bay.|
Things to do in Ayia Napa and Protaras:
- Visit Cape Greco for stunning views
- Go on a boat ride
- Spend a day at Waterworld Waterpark, one of the largest waterparks in Europe
- Head to beautiful sandy beaches and try water sports
- Visit Ayia Napa sculpture park right by the sea
- Experience Ayia Napa’s nightlife
Where to stay in Cyprus: Troodos Mountains
✓ Tranquillity ✓Ski Resorts ✓ Beautiful Nature
If you are looking for a place to clear your mind, get some fresh air and relax, then you might want to look into Troodos and surrounding areas. Troodos is really popular for outdoor recreation in Cyprus so If you are into nature and hiking you might appreciate that area. Troodos is really popular during the wintertime among locals as it’s the only place in Cyprus you can see snow. If you are visiting during the summer months, expect it to get really quiet. You can also consider Troodos as a day trip.
|Where to stay in Troodos|
|Elyssia Hotel||Troodos Hotel||Casale Panayiotis|
|For prices as low as €30 per night, Elyssia Hotel is located at Pedoulas and is run by a family. Expect local hospitality, breathtaking views and traditional food without breaking the bank.||Located in the centre of Troodos, Troodos Hotel is a mid-budget solution for those who want to be in the heart of the mountains. Its central location makes it easy to explore Troodos and the nearby villages.||If you are looking for a combination of luxury and tradition including a spa experience consider staying at Casale Panayiotis which is located at Kalopanayiotis – only 15 minutes away from Troodos.|
Top things to do at Troodos Mountains
- Go for wine tasting at the local wineries
- Explore nature trails, enjoy breathtaking views and waterfalls
- If it’s winter, go skiing
- Try cypriot cuisine at local taverns
- Mingle with locals
Where to stay in Cyprus: Nicosia
✓Culture ✓History ✓Business & Conferences
Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus. But did you also know that it is the last divided capital in the world? That’s right. Half of the city belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, the other half is under Turkish occupation. Most people visiting Nicosia usually do it for business purposes or to explore the surrounding areas while staying in the middle. There are no beaches in Nicosia and expect crazy temperatures (over 40 degrees) in summer. I would recommend avoiding Nicosia for the summer for that reason. If you are visiting Nicosia don’t miss out on Ledra’s shopping street (there are boarders so you can check out the other side of Cyprus too only a short walk away) and the incredible history museums.
|Where to stay in Nicosia|
|Sky Hotel||Centrum Hotel||Hilton Hotel|
|A humble hotel which is located at the heart of the old city. Around you can find some of the nicest restaurants in Nicosia and nightlife is only some steps away.||Tradition meets modernity in this beautiful Located a short breath away from Ledras street (old city center), central bus station and many landmarks.||By far the most luxurious hotel in Nicosia with all the expected facilities of a 5-star hotel, Hilton lives up to its brand. Really close to the highway and most conference centres and makes it ideal for a business stay.|
Top things to do in Nicosia
- Wander around Ledras street and cross the border to the other side
- See the view from the top of Shakolas Tower
- Taste homemade cakes and cyprus coffee at Yiayia Victorias cafe
- Explore Athalassa’s National Park
Where to stay in Cyprus: Larnaca
✓Local life ✓Salt Lake ✓Layovers, short trips
The international airport of Cyprus is located in Larnaca hence why some people prefer to stay in this area. If you want to visit Cyprus but do not want to go very far from the airport, or If you have a short layover, that’s the city to be. Also, Larnaca is cheap considering it is not as touristy as any other cities in Cyprus. Don’t miss out on Mackenzie Beach and the salt lakes nearby (you mıght even see flamingos If you are visiting during the winter months).
|Where to stay in Larnaca|
|Opera Hotel||Lebay Beach Hotel||Radisson Blu Hotel|
|A modest perfectly located hotel, really close to the beach and overlooking the main square of the Church of Saint Lazarus. Could be perfect for a layover stay as it’s only 10 minutes from airport too.||A really modern hotel boasting an elegant swimming pool and located right by the beach. Perfectly situated, only 10 minutes from the city centre and really close to salt lakes.||Radisson Blu is a brand new hotel in Larnaca and has been operating since October. It’s modern with great style, offers great sea views and a really nice rooftop pool and bar.|
Top things to do in Larnaca
- Stroll around at Finikoudes and visit the castle
- Hit the beach bars and restaurants at the Mackenzie Beach
- Admire a scenic sunset at the salt lakes ( might see pink flamingos during winter time too!)
- Visit a traditional restaurant and eat “meze”
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