Residents of Cyprus already know and visitors quickly recognise that Cyprus is a fantastic place to shop due to the variety of products on offer and something to suit every budget. For brand seekers there are hundreds of designer boutiques and jewellers where if you are a bargain hunter, antique shops, open air markets and car boot sales are the places to go.
Cyprus Shopping can be particularly fruitful when buying leather items, designer sunglasses and gold and silver jewellery as these items are generally cheaper in Cyprus in comparison to other European countries.
No shopping trip in Cyprus would be complete without treating yourself or a friend or loved one to a truly traditional and cultural gift:
Cyprus Wine - the iconic local variety known as Commandaria is strong, sweet and somewhat akin to Port.
Zivania - is a strong spirit based alcoholic drink, produced from a mixture of grape pomace and local dry wines. Traditionally served ice-cold with Soutzoukos and dried fruit and nuts.
Cyprus Lace - handmade Cyprus lace tablecloths and napkins are still made today by the women in the villages of Lefkara. This lace-making tradition dates back to at least the 14th century and was influenced by Greek and Byzantine geometric patterns and Venetian courtiers who ruled at the time.
For some women in Lefkara, lace-making is a part of their daily lives and a proud symbol of their identity. Genuine handmade lace is a little more expensive because of the intricate work that it requires.
Cyprus Pottery - this craft goes as far back as the Neolithic age in Cyprus. Traditional Famagusta pottery includes mostly white pots fired in kilns and used as decorative pots, jugs or money boxes.
There are a number of major Supermarkets on the South East coast including Metro, Carrefour, Plus, Smart Discount Stores, Kokkinos and Lidl. You will also find a number of smaller supermarkets in each area with a reasonable selection of drinks, foods, beach items, cigarettes, tobacco and much more.
There are a large number of shops around the South East coast selling Cyprus fruits, salads and vegetables but any local will tell you the best place to source your fresh produce is a Farmers Market or open air market where it is mainly the farmer themself selling direct. Available in abundance at these type of markets are the most sought after local produce including Cyprus potatoes, olive oil and Feta cheese.
Shopping in Ayia Napa
Famous for its night-life and party scene, Ayia Napa also boasts a wide selection of shops, offering a range of products from designer goods to local handicrafts. Designer clothes, jewellery and sunglasses can be available at approximately 30% less than in the UK, electronics such as cameras are reasonably priced too. Shops and outlets tend to be spread out, however a number of clothes stores have now opened on Nissi Avenue and Archiepiskopou Makariou Avenue. More traditional products on offer when shopping in Ayia Napa are Lefkara lace, colourful and decorative rugs and carpets, ceramics and gold and silver. There is also an open air market every Wednesday from 8.00am in Ayia Thekla near Ayia Napa, located at a St. Thekla Restaurant by the sea near the small and picturesque Ayia Thekla Church.
Shopping in Protaras
When shopping in Protaras you can buy almost anything from beach items to souvenirs, as well as lace, leather and jewellery, leather bags and belts are also popular amongst tourists. There are plenty of retail establishments, including supermarkets, clothing stores and jewellers nestled in between the many bars and restaurants.
For more and larger shops offering a wider selection of products, head for Paralimni the largest town in the area, it is approximately 10 minutes away by car from Protaras. Shopping in Paralimni is a great way to take advantage of the many boutique’s selling designer clothing, bags, shoes and unique gifts as well as taking in some local culture.
There are several large supermarkets in Paralimni stocking both local and imported products. If you are on a self catering holiday this may be the best place to source not only a huge range of local products but also familiar branded products which the smaller supermarkets and shops may not stock. Every Saturday from 8.00am, in nearby village Dherynia there is an open air Farmers Market which sells fresh locally grown produce, grown in the surrounding red soil villages.
Shopping In Larnaca
Larnaca has developed many large shopping centres and modern boutiques over the past few years. These Cyprus shops and boutiques offer a wide choice of products including handmade lace, silverware, pottery and jewellery, all of which make shopping in Larnaca a real must on your trip to Cyprus.
Ermou Street is a Larnaca shopping experience not to be missed for those seeking a large selection of fashionable boutiques selling famous designer labels in clothing, bags, shoes, watches, jewellery and sun glasses. Zenon Kitieos Street in is the main area for shopping in Larnaca. A busy road, lined neatly with small shops and down the far end is an interesting arrangement of fruit and vegetable market stalls. On sale are a variety of items such as clothes, silver and locally produced pottery and copper goods.
Every Sunday there is a large open air market in Livadhia located just off the main motorway on the outskirts of Larnaca. Here you can find stalls selling clothes, traditional wines, foods, oils and cheeses as well as rugs, ornaments, unusual gifts and trinkets and a large selection of antiques and collectables.
Because of its size and the vast selection of stalls and variety of products, people travel from all over the island to browse the market isles.
Shopping In Nicosia
No shopping trip in Cyprus would be complete without experiencing the delights of shopping in Nicosia, the island’s capital.
Ledra Street is bustling with shoppers searching for their next bargain, it is located in the centre of Nicosia where the wall divides the city into two parts. Adjacent to Ledra Street are some of the oldest streets where old and new come together to form a shoppers paradise of modern boutiques in old, traditional Cyprus buildings.
Outside the walled city in Dereboyu, you will find international clothing brands, restaurants and cafes. For high street fashion check out Markarios Avenue and Stassicratous Street. You can find the latest high-end boutiques and fashions here.
Cyprus Shopping Tips
Optical goods can be cheaper than in the UK. It is possible to order special items (high-diopter plastic lenses for registered blind persons for example) at a reasonable price and relatively quickly, normally within 24 hours. Look for the Hallmark of the Cyprus Goldsmiths Association when buying gold or silver.
Some jewellery might not be gold or silver, only gold or silver plated.
Whilst browsing the fairs and markets try delicious Loukoumades or ‘honey balls’, fried in oil and covered in honey syrup, ready to eat. Delicious!
Cyprus’ unit of currency is the Euro (€).
Euro notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is often difficult to get change for a €500 note. One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Coins of 1, 2 and 5 cents are copper-coloured; coins of 10, 20 and 50 cents are gold-coloured; 1 and 2 Euro coins are gold-and-silver coloured.
Banks in Cyprus exchange all major currencies in either cash or travellers cheques as do many currency exchange companies.
Most banks now allow you to access your regular bank account directly from an overseas ATM, although in some cases you may have to use your credit card to access cash. It is a good idea to transfer some money to your credit card before you leave home. Be aware that your bank may levy a hefty charge each time you withdraw money from an overseas ATM.
You will find ATM’s in most towns and in most larger villages throughout the Republic of Cyprus.
Just as popular as ATM's, credit cards can be used in stores, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations. In the latter, you can even buy petrol after hours with your credit card from automatic dispensers.
If you need to access your funds, international transfers are possible from your home bank to any of Cyprus’ major banks. While this method is reliable, it is usually slow taking a week or more and not helpful if you need a cash infusion quickly. Telegraphic transfers are nominally quicker (and cost more) but can still take up to three working days to come through.
Private financial agencies such as Western Union are usually the best bet, as you can often obtain your transferred money the same day.
These are not as popular as they used to be, but are a good stand-by in an emergency. Restrictions on their use are naturally greater, though many hotels and larger establishments accept them readily. Always keep the receipts listing the cheque numbers separate from the cheques themselves and keep a list of the numbers of those you have already cashed. This will reduce problems in the event of loss or theft.