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Is Cyprus Safe to Visit in 2024? (Our Expert Opinion)

Is Cyprus Safe to Visit in 2024? (Our Expert Opinion)

Is Cyprus safe to visit in 2024?

Cyprus is generally a safe destination with typical tourist-related crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching. However, it’s important to be aware of the political situation, with the island divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

While this division is unlikely to affect tourists directly, avoid demonstrations and be cautious when discussing the sensitive topic of reunification. Overall, exercise normal precautions and stay informed about local conditions when visiting Cyprus.

The beautiful island of Cyprus is surrounded by crystal-clear Mediterranean waters, beautiful beaches, and plenty of opportunities for swimming.

However, if you just stick to the beach in Cyprus, you are definitely missing out. There are so many other things to see, such as ancient Greek ruins at Nea Paphos (you’ll understand why the ancient Greeks thought Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, was born near here).

Explore thousands of years of history at the forts, charming cities, and villages of the island. But while this storied destination is rich in history, culture, and amazing beaches, is Cyprus safe to visit? Here’s our expert take.

Is Cyprus Safe to Visit in 2024?

Bird's eye view of Goudi Village in the Polis Chrysochous Valley pictured for a piece titled Is Cyprus Safe to Visit


Yes. For the most part, Cyprus is a safe destination, with the normal levels of tourist crime that you would expect at any similar destination, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching.

You should be aware of the political situation on the island and avoid demonstrations, but for the most part, the tumultuous recent history won’t affect visitors.

You should know at least a little bit about the history of Cyprus to avoid bumbling into an unsafe area (or putting your foot in your mouth when talking to locals). Cyprus contains two major ethnic groups: Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Tensions brewed on the island during the 20th century as it passed from British rule to independence. 1974 was the tipping point.

Then, military officers backed by Greece organized a coup to promote the unification of the island with Greece, something the Turkish Cypriot population obviously opposed. The Turkish government invaded the island in retaliation.

Ever since then, the island has been divided into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is not recognized internationally, and the Greek-majority Republic of Cyprus.

The two are divided by a buffer zone called the Green Line, which is patrolled by the United Nations. For decades, the division has been a very painful topic for locals.

Almost all Greek Cypriots have relatives who were expelled from the North, and almost all Turkish Cypriots have relatives that were expelled from the South. The situation has been getting slightly better in recent years.

In 2003, the first crossing between the two countries in decades was reopened, and talks have been going on for the past few years (although chances of success are slim).

The crisis is a frozen conflict that is unlikely to affect tourists, but protests sometimes break out, which can turn aggressive, so you should avoid them. The Cypriot military is in a constant state of alert, so they won’t take kindly to tourists taking photos of military installations.

Be careful when moving around the Green Line, the dividing zone, and which ports of entry you choose since some are not recognized in the Republic of Cyprus.

Finally, be careful when bringing up this topic with local friends, as it is still a sore topic for many. Besides the frozen conflict, Cyprus doesn’t have many other threats to tourist safety.

The United States just tells its citizens to exercise normal precautions and not to break the law around the UN buffer zone (for context, Germany has a higher travel advisory alert).

Obviously, you might encounter some common tourist crimes such as:

  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Scams
  • Sexual harassment

However, rates of crime are fairly low, and you can avoid most incidents by taking basic precautions.

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Crime in Cyprus

For a post on whether or not Cyprus is safe to visit, a man walks down the street in a blue shirt between gorgeous old buildings

October 03 2020 – NICOSIA in Cyprus: People walking around the Ledra street. It is is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia/Dynamoland/Shutterstock

Even though most people are worried about visiting Cyprus due to the conflict, the conflict is unlikely to affect tourists. You are far more likely to be affected by typical problems faced by tourist destinations everywhere, such as scamming taxi drivers and quick-fingered pickpockets.

The Canadian government tells citizens in its government advisory for travel to Cyprus that petty crime is likely, especially in big cities and popular tourist destinations.

These crimes of opportunity are common throughout the world. Wherever you have a lot of people packed together, you’ll have at least one person looking to make a quick buck by taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists.

Petty crime is inconvenient and embarrassing, but it is easy to get over. A bigger worry when it comes to crime is violent crime. Luckily, Cyprus has fairly low rates of violent crime.

According to local media, Cyprus only recorded five homicides in the entire year of 2019! Violent crime in Cyprus is about a quarter of the rate that is average for the whole continent of Europe.

The only violent crime that is present at concerning levels in Cyprus is sexual assault. In 2019, reported sex crimes increased by 40% compared to previous years.

Unfortunately, many of the incidents involved tourists. Sadly, female visitors to Cyprus do have to take extra precautions that their male counterparts don’t have to worry about.

Petty Theft

As mentioned above, the most common crime in Cyprus is petty theft. This includes incidents such as bag snatching and pickpocketing. Tourists are often victims of these crimes because locals perceive them as being much wealthier, thus making them better targets.

Plus, tourists tend to be more distracted and less cautious about keeping a close eye on their valuables. Incidents of petty theft can occur anywhere, but they are most common in crowded areas where there are a lot of people.

Be careful when visiting popular tourist destinations or bigger cities such as the capital Nicosia. Busy streets, markets, and public transportation hubs are where pickpockets often operate.

Basic precautions are usually enough to protect you from pickpocketing and bag snatching. Always keep a firm grasp on your valuables when you are out and about.

Don’t put important items in the outside pocket of a backpack, and in very crowded areas, wear your backpack and bags on your front. Make sure you have a firm grip on your bag at all times.

Never dangle your bag off the back of a chair or leave your phone on the table in a coffee house or restaurant. Thieves just need a moment of inattention to get away with your valuables.

Although most incidents of theft in Cyprus are minor, there have been a few cases of hotel or vacation home break-ins. Make sure that your room comes with a safe or that you can put your valuables in a hotel safe.

Check that the safe is secure and not easily broken into. When in doubt, read reviews about your accommodations, paying extra attention to people’s experiences of safety.

Finally, you should be aware of common scams and frauds often directed at tourists. The Canadian government warns tourists about frequent credit card and ATM fraud.

Be careful that you only use official ATMs in bank branches, not street ATMs. When you’re paying with a card somewhere, make sure that nobody walks away with your card out of your sight.

Sexual Assault

Although Cyprus has overall low rates of violent crime, the rate of sexual assault is sadly high. According to UN statistics, 15% of Cypriot women experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime.

However, the actual numbers are probably much higher because victims are unlikely to report due to mistrust of the authorities. Recently, there has been an increase in sexual harassment and assault cases targeting female tourists.

Victims probably have good reason to distrust the Cypriot government and not report their violations. Although convictions carry the weight of life imprisonment, conviction rates are fairly low.

One notorious case illustrates the problems with the Cypriot judiciary. A woman from the UK was allegedly gang-raped in 2019, but when she reported the crime, the Cypriot government convicted her for public mischief instead of her rapists.

Although the conviction was overturned in 2022, it shows that Cyprus has a long way to go with punishing sexual assault.

Cases of sexual assault happen most often in areas notorious for their party culture, such as Ayia Napa. The UK government warns its female citizens that date rape drugs such as GHB and liquid ecstasy are sadly common in Cyprus.

If you are planning to go to bars or clubs, always go with a trusted buddy who can take you home safely if something goes wrong.

Never leave drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers, and drink a bit less than what you would at home, as Cypriot alcohol tends to be strong.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Photo of the Green Line in Cyprus pictured with barbed wire on the outside of the compound

20 Feb 2020 – Nicosia, Cyprus: Ruins and barbed wire in the “Green Line” between the North and South of Nicosia, Cyprus/Lensw0rld/Shutterstock

There are not many bad areas in Cyprus, but there are still a few places you should take additional precautions. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not dangerous and actually has lower petty crime levels than the south, according to anecdotal evidence.

However, most foreign governments don’t have a consular presence in the north because they don’t recognize it as a country, so you’ll have less support if you run into legal trouble.

Take extra precautions around the Green Line. Don’t attempt to cross it in any way besides through designated crossing points.

If you do go to a crossing, make sure that you listen to the instructions soldiers give you carefully since they don’t take kindly to disobedience. Neapolis and Agios Yiannis are towns in Cyprus famous for their connections to organized crime, so avoid going there if possible.

Finally, be careful at party beaches such as Ayia Napa, as the rate of sexual assault and other gender-based violence is much higher here than elsewhere on the island. You can still go, but go with a group or at least one other person.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman on the big rock near Ayia for a guide to whether Cyprus is safe to visit


Here are some other questions fellow visitors to Cyprus wanted to ask:

Is Cyprus safe for female tourists?

Female tourists definitely have to take extra precautions while in Cyprus, but traveling safely here is doable. Be careful in party areas such as Ayia Napa, where sexual assaults occur most frequently. Outside of those towns, be ready for lots of catcalling and staring, but not violence.

Which part of Cyprus is safe?

Most parts of Cyprus are safe. You should be careful when crossing the Green Line, but other than that, most areas are perfectly safe.

What shouldn’t you do in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, you shouldn’t ask probing questions about the political situation as it is still a sore spot. Also, avoid being cheeky around military installations as Cypriot authorities are less inclined to take photos and other minor rule-breaking as a joke.

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So, Is Cyprus Safe to Visit?

Yes. Despite its tumultuous recent history, we think that Cyprus is safe to visit. Crime rates are very low, and violent crimes rarely affect tourists. So, with so much to see and do, and a relatively safe environment, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!