Budget Wise :: Cyprus

8 10 2008

During our Cyprus adventure we had the pleasure of staying with a friend, which brought our expenses down of course but, we made up for it with all the money we spent on food, day cruises, car rentals, etc. We were based in Nicosia, so our budget is focused mostly in that area, but we did take trips to other areas and will note any major price differences that we noticed. So, here is Cyprus, budget wise:

Our 12 day daily average :: $50.29 USD (for two people: one couple) :: 1 USD = 0.714 Euros

Since we didn’t have to pay for accommodation, the above can’t be considered an all-inclusive budget for traveling to Cyprus, however, you can use this daily average to estimate your expenses outside of the hotel/hostel while visiting this country. Also, we normally specialize in budget travel, but since we were staying with college students this time, our party budget was well above what we would call normal. So you can easily spend less than we did if you don’t plan on drinking much. Good luck.

Now with that said, here is how we managed our budget:

CouchSurfing :: If you want to save money on accommodation and would like to meet people from the culture your visiting, then you need to look into CouchSurfing. For those not familiar with the concept, it’s an organization run through the couchsurfing.com website which connects travelers with people who are willing to let travelers crash at their place. It basically saves you the cost of the hostel during your stay, plus sometimes they let you do your laundry or use their kitchen for nice home-cooked meals. The best part is that you get to meet some locals and learn about their life and culture. We stayed with a friend here who we met through CouchSurfing in Poland.

Eating :: Meal avg 3-8 Euros/person (12-17 Euros for Meze/person) :: Cyprus isn’t as clear cut in the food budget area as some other countries can be. You could get away with spending 1 Euro on a Turkish pizza, 2-4 Euros on kebab, 3-5 Euros on bakery food or you could sit down at a local cafe or restaurant for anything from 4 Euros to 20 or more.

If you’re traveling budget style, we recommend kebab stands, bakeries, and markets for quick, tasty meals. The kebab on the Turkish side was cheaper, and a different experience that you must try. It comes with a salty yogurt drink to aid in digestion and to kill some of the heat of the spicy kebab. They also usually put a small bowl of extra hot peppers on the table for those who can stand the heat. The Greek kebab seemed to come with more food, more ingredients (some places let you chose what you want), less heat and a bigger price tag. Both are a great value. The bakeries are a wonderful experience as well. My wife kept trying to get us to eat there and I was hesitant because I figured it would just be bread and baklava – but, oh how I was wrong. They have tons of food, good prices, and the best part is that they are often open longer and sometimes around the clock. (A lot of stores and restaurants close early on weekends and sometimes mid-day during the week for siesta.) Then of course there are the markets and grocery stores. You can find some good meals there for just a few Euros, like hummus and amazing pitas, some bakery foods, produce, etc.

Now, if you do want to go out for a nicer meal, we would recommend trying the Meze. It’s a traditional Cyprus meal that comes out as many smaller meals (tapas, appetizers, etc), and we mean many, they just keep coming. It includes a whole selection of local foods and must be ordered with at least two people. Many restaurants offer different styles of Meze, some with mostly meat, some include desert and drinks, so look around and find the style you prefer.

Drinking :: Beer avg 1-2 Euro/at the Market :: We did a lot more drinking in Cyrpus than we have anywhere else so far, but we did it college style – pre-parties then bar/club. Therefore, we didn’t purchase many drinks in the bar/club or at restaurants. The group we went out with did, however, often purchase bottles of Vodka at clubs which you can split 10 ways for 5 Euros a glass, The bar then provides any mixers you want for free. The rest of our drinking was done before the club at house parties or on the way to the club buying beer or wine at the markets. The beers at the market usually ran about 1-2 Euros for local brew in a big bottle.

Day Trips/Car Rental :: Rental avg 35 Euros per day/ 2-day minimum :: There don’t seem to be many traditional tourist sites like big monuments or amazing architecture that you have to see in Cyrpus but, it is a relatively small Island, so you can feasibly see a lot of the country if you rent a car. We looked around and it seems most rental companies in Cyprus charge about 30-40 Euros a day, with a two day minimum. The company we used required 100 Euro deposit on a credit card and a driver with a license that has been valid for at least 3 years. We drove a compact car around for two days and spent about 50 Euros on gas (a little over one full tank). If you plan on crossing the border into North Cyprus, the Turkish side, you have to buy car insurance for 20 Euros, good for 3 days. The insurance from your rental company is void in the North side. With a car you can find beautiful water falls in the mountains, old ruins in Pafos, and even wild donkeys on an empty beach way out on the North-East tip of Cyprus. It was worth every penny.

Extras :: Bus avg 5-8 Euros/one way :: Buses: from the Larnaca Airport to the center of Nicosia, the bus costs 5 Euros per person; from the border crossing in the old town Nicosia to the North coast city of Kyrenia, the bus cost us 6 Euros. Art supplies were pretty easy to find at the ‘Rainbow’ art store – the prices were a little above average. You can take a Day Cruise up the coast from Kyrenia that lasts about 6 hours with 2 stops for swimming/diving for about 20 Euros, which includes a really nice lunch.

We hope this helps your travels and please feel free to ask us any Cyprus budget questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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2 responses

8 10 2008
Ragnar Þór

i see gege is feling betters hi most be drinking a shit lod of beer heheh. when are you coming to Iceland

have a good trip

your friend from Iceland, we met in Sibu Somania

8 11 2008
esmeralda Tassin

Interesting Read! Very detailed blog,thanks for sharing

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