North Cyprus General Information
There are no longer any restrictions on border crossings for EU citizens in Cyprus, as of 2003. EU citizens are free to cross and spend as much time as they wish on either side of the border by producing their ID cards or passports at crossing points any time of the day (24 hrs). At present, there are seven crossing points where pedestrians can cross at the Ledra Palace and Lokmaci border gates are in Lefkoşa (Nicosia), whilst those who intend to cross by vehicle can use the Metehan (Kermia) border gate in Lefkoşa, Beyarmudu (Pile) near the British Sovereign bases at Dhekelia and the Akyar border gates near Gazimağusa (Famagusta) on the Larnaca-Famagusta road, Bostanci near Guzelyurt and Yesilirmak west of Lefke.
Visitors to North Cyprus can drive using a valid international driving license or a valid British driving license for an initial 12 month period. Car rental is relatively inexpensive and is widely available through tour operators, hotels or car hire companies across North Cyprus. Visitors are advised to check when booking as both left and right hand drive cars are available for hire. Please note driving is on the left, as in the UK, and all North Cyprus rental cars carry a distinctive red licence plate.
If you arrive at Larnaca airport in South Cyprus, you can hire a car and drive across the border, but you will need to purchase extra insurance at the border. Please note that it is not currently possible to drive a car hired in North Cyprus to the South of the island.
The local currency is the Turkish Lira ( Turk Lirasi, TL). Major credit cards are widely accepted.
There is a British government Representative in North Cyprus, in addition to diplomatic representation from other country representatives.
Duty Free Allowance:
Adults are permitted to bring with them up to 400 cigarettes, 1 litre of wine or spirit and 100cl of perfume to North Cyprus. All kinds of cameras and one pair of binoculars are permitted as personal effects. Duty-free shops can be found at Ercan Airport and the ports at Girne and Gazimağusa.
Power is supplied at 220/240 V AC, 50 Hz and wall fittings are generally the U.K. square three-pin type.
Ambulance 112, Fire 199, Police 155, Forest Fire 177.
North Cyprus has two international airports. The larger of the two is Ercan Airport near Lefkoşa, and the other is Geçitkale Airport near Gazimağusa. Due to international requirements, all flights into North Cyprus (Ercan Airport) have to touch down, in transit, at any airport in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya or Dalaman). The stop-over is about 30-45 minutes and there is usually no change of aircraft. Luggage will usually be checked in straight through to Ercan airport. Scheduled and charter flights operate from Manchester, Birmingham, Stansted and London Heathrow airports to Ercan via a stop-over in Turkey.
There are scheduled ferry services from Gazimağusa to Mersin, situated on the southern coast of Turkey. In addition to daily sea-bus and ferry services from Taşucu in Turkey to Girne, there are extra services from Girne to Alanya in Turkey during the summer months.
The official language is Turkish, but English is also widely spoken as a second language.
Medical and Health Services:
The Central State Hospital is in Lefkoşa and there are other smaller hospitals in Girne, Gazimağusa, Güzelyurt and Lefke. There are also clinics in smaller towns and some villages. Health services are on duty 24 hours a day. Visitors can obtain free emergency treatment at state hospitals, but treatment at private clinics or hospitals is subject to a consultancy and/or treatment fee.
For traditional Turkish night life, you will find that most hotels and restaurants have regular live Turkish music nights. There are also many pubs, bars, clubs, casinos and discos, many of which are open-air during the summer months.
Passport and Visas:
No visa is required for British or EU (European Union) citizens wishing to visit North Cyprus. The only requirement is a valid passport at the time of travel to North Cyprus. If you prefer not to have your passport stamped on arrival, you can ask at passport control for a separate piece of paper, which will be stamped instead. The only nationalities which require visas for North Cyprus are Nigerians and Armenians. For further information visit www.trnclondon.com
New Year`s Day (1 January), Children`s & Sovereignty Day (23 April), Labour Day (1 May), Youth and Sports Day (19 May), Peace and Freedom Day (20 July), Victory Day (30 August), Turkish Republic Day (29 October), North Cyprus Republic Day (15 November). The dates of religious festivals vary from year to year. In 2013 they fall from 7-10 August (Eid – celebration of the end of the period of fasting, during Ramadan) and October 14-18 (Feast of Sacrifice).
An inexpensive network of buses and minibuses operates between all the main towns. There are no formal timetables in operation, but the services are frequent. In addition, there is a dolmuş service (Shared taxis) operating on the same routes.
Taxis are widely available in the towns and most carry meters as in European cities. If you are arriving independently to North Cyprus, taxis are the most convenient way to travel into the city, where they operate fixed rate fares. Many North Cyprus taxi firms take bookings over the web, so it is convenient to book your journey in advance. During your stay in North Cyprus, you can call a taxi from your hotel or flag them down on the road. However, in rural areas, find your taxi from a taxi stand – most taxis don’t have meters in these areas but there are fixed prices for certain locations, so be sure to agree on a price before setting off.
The international dialling code 00 90 392 should precede the seven digit local telephone numbers when calling landlines from abroad. Mobile numbers are simply preceded by 00 90 and then the mobile number with the code, taking off the first zero. Mobile numbers usually start 542 or 533. Public telephone booths are available and telephone cards can be purchased from the Telecommunications Office.
GMT + 2
Driving is on the left and traffic and road signs are international.
Maximum speed is 100 km/hr. Vehicles entering North Cyprus must be insured upon arrival. Seat-belts must be worn at all times. Drinking and driving is illegal, as is using a mobile phone whilst driving.