Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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Cyprus Shopping

In Cyprus you can shop till you drop. Either in the North or South, the island is supplied with stores catering for all tastes and requirements. Quite a lot of Cypriot products can be bought here, either at large Cyprus hotels or in the shops, even at kiosks lining the roadside. Nicosia in particular has smart fashionable boutiques, as well as British chain stores such as Marks & Spencer and Woolworths. Hyper - market style shopping malls are beginning to take off in Cyprus, mainly in the South and the major cities will have at least one of the shopping centres in the suburbs. If you want to get a souvenir from Cyprus, there are certain items that are worthy to look out for. Handicrafts - ceramics, basketry, weaving, wood carving, silver and copper products all represent the souvenirs from Cyprus. If you are lucky, you can make some really good bargains. Local spirits such as zivania (raki in the North), brandy or Commandaria liqueur wine and other better-quality Cypriot wines are also good purchases.

Bargaining in Cyprus

It is not a regular feature of Cypriot life, except in the case of any souvenir purchase where price is not labelled. However, you should not expect the vendor to cut down the price more than twenty percent from their opening bid. Cyprus hotels and pensions in the South have prices clearly visible and the price is generally respected. At slow times you can get rooms for twenty to forty percent less than posted rates; the same applies to car hire, at least within local chains and one-offs. In the North products and their prices are more flexible. You can agree on prices, but again expect only small discounts.

Shopping in South Cyprus

The South Cyprus shops are usually open from 8.00 – 13.00 and 14.30 – 17.30 in winter (October 1- April 30) and from 8.00 – 13.00 and 16.00 – 19.00 in summer (May 1 – September 30). On Wednesdays and Saturdays shops are open from 8.00 – 13.00. In tourist areas of South Cyprus the souvenir shops and supermarkets remain open until late in the evenings. To be more assured, check the opening times at your local resort. There are lots of fine manufactured and worthy items that you can buy in Cyprus.

Shopping in North Cyprus

Although there is rather less on offer in the North, the visitors can find extensive range of consumer goods and services available here. Many of the popular imported brand names are readily available and can be found in local supermarkets. Fresh local produce can be purchased from a wide variety of North Cyprus markets and small stores and there is wide range of wines and spirits at very low costs: For example, local brandy retailing at approximately £1.10 per bottle. VAT (KDV) is levied on most goods and services with rates ranging from 20% down to 2%. The biggest supermarket chain in Northern Cyprus is Lemar and Astro.
Kyrenia and Nicosia have the best selection of shops. Alcohol and cigarettes can be bought cheaply in North Cyprus, but remember to check the customs allowance.

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