Moving to Cyprus?
Expat Hotspots in Cyprus
As with most other countries in the world, expats usually choose one of the larger, economically vital cities to settle in. For an island of this size and population, it might surprise newcomers how many options they have when it comes to picking a new home.
Of course, individual factors — such as coming to Cyprus for a foreign assignment vs. retirement — will influence your decision, apart from personal preferences. Below, we have focused on two of the largest expat magnets in Cyprus. However, expats can be found in virtually every city on the island.
Nicosia: Cyprus’ Vibrant Capital
By moving to the nation’s largest city and the capital of Cyprus, you will find yourself in a truly special place: Nicosia — or Lefkosia, as it is known locally — is the world’s only remaining divided capital. One half belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, and the other part is occupied by military troops in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Despite the division, the city has become the country’s major financial hub and business center. Nicosia boasts a highly international and cosmopolitan atmosphere due to the large numbers of expatriates. Therefore, the city administration has made it easy for newcomers to quickly find their way round after their move. The Official City Portal offers a wealth of information on any topic that might be of interest to new arrivals.
In terms of economic prowess, Nicosia is the heart of economic activity in Cyprus, as well as the educational, commercial, religious, and cultural center. The capital is home to the headquarters of all Cypriot banks as well as the headquarter location of some international firms. You will also find a large student community in Nicosia thanks to the eight universities located in the city, including the University of Cyprus (UCY).
Nicosia has a lot more to offer. Culture enthusiasts should definitely get to know Nicosia’s past, which reaches back to prehistoric times. Even if history is not of particular interest to you, there are various other things to appreciate — may it be looking at the beautiful sights that you come across when going for a stroll in the Old Town, enjoying an afternoon in the A.G. Leventis Gallery or watching a play at the Theater Odin.
Limassol: A Southern Gem
The city of Limassol is the second-largest urban area in Cyprus and one of the busiest ports in all of Europe. We have pointed out the city’s importance as Cyprus’ main seaport and trade center in our article on working in Cyprus.
This is, however, not the only aspect that makes this city of 185,000 interesting for expats, Cypriots, and visitors alike. Limassol has grown into a major hotspot for tourism. The numbers of tourists in Limassol is on a constant increase, compared to former years, with approximately 36% of tourists coming from the UK.
Limassol is one of the island’s focal points for internal migration and urbanization, too. It is partly responsible for the high percentage of city dwellers in Cyprus, which is currently at 67% of the total population.
Last but not least, the city is also a major center for education in Cyprus, with more than 100 educational institutions of all levels located in the municipality, such as the Cyprus University of Technology. Whereas in the past, most university graduates in Cyprus went abroad for their studies, the country has stepped up and closed this important gap in their education system. This has, in turn, helped create a highly educated and bilingual workforce.
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