Located about 40 miles off the coast of Turkey, Cyprus is one of the largest and most popular islands in the Mediterranean. Here are some suggestions to help you figure out where to stay when you visit this picturesque destination.
Why You Should Visit Cyprus in 2023
Cyprus is known for its diversity. From the beaches of Limassol to the hip, young neighborhoods in Nicosia, there’s something for all types of travelers.
Over four million people visit the island country each year to explore the variety of natural attractions and historic architecture. The island of Cyprus is easily divided into two — the Turkish North Cyprus and the Greek Republic of Cyprus in the south.
Both parts of the islands are friendly and welcoming to visitors and offer access to a wide range of activities and things to do. The southern part of the island includes a coast lined with sandy beaches, resorts, and charming old cities.
Northern Cyprus has more rocky coves and the Kyrenia mountain range. Depending on which of these features appeals to you, one area may better fit your idea of a good vacation.
The 5 Best Parts of Cyprus
Cyprus is a fairly large island split in two, which can make choosing the right place to stay a little challenging. So if you’re trying to plan your trip, try focusing on the following highly recommended areas:
- Limassol: First-Time Visitors and Beach Goers
- Ayia Napa: Nightlife and Resorts
- Larnaca: Foodies and Romantic Getaways
- Paphos: Families and Historic Attractions
- Nicosia: Culture and Hip Neighborhoods
The Best Areas and Hotels in Cyprus
Before booking tickets, you’ll need to decide where you want to spend most of your time on the island. Paying attention to the different features of each area can help you find the perfect fit for your travel style.
Here’s a detailed look at the best areas and hotels to stay in when visiting Cyprus.
Limassol is a major city in the southern part of the island. It’s the second-largest city overall and one of the most popular destinations in Cyprus. There’s also plenty to see and do, which helps make it a top choice for first-time visitors.
It’s a coastal city with a large, busy harbor frequently lined with all types of ships and yachts. The old town area extends from the harbor and includes several historic sites, including the remains of Limassol Castle.
Beyond the narrow stone roads and charming little cafés, the city has a variety of shops, restaurants, and residential areas.
However, one of the biggest draws is the selection of beaches. About five different beaches and a large waterfront promenade line the coast of the city. You can snorkel, dive, or simply splash in the water.
While people often want to spend time on the beaches, Limassol also has access to several great hiking trails. You can explore some of the surrounding land to see more of what the island has to offer.
Things to Do in Limassol
- Explore ancient treasures at the Archaeological Museum of the Lemesos District.
- Walk the old halls of Limassol Castle for a glimpse back in time hundreds of years ago.
- Take a stroll along the Molos Limassol promenade for views of the sea, shopping, or dining.
- Get closer to wildlife at the Limassol Zoo, which is next to the sprawling municipal gardens.
Where to Eat in Limassol
- The Local Fish & Meat for fast, affordable seafood dishes near the harbor
- The Modern Kitchen for pizza and filling appetizers at a popular restaurant
- Pier ONE for upscale dining featuring views of the sea
- Tapper Bar for craft beer and a relaxed atmosphere below an art gallery
Limassol Budget Hotels
- Kapetanios Odysseia. Located near the zoo, this low-cost hotel is a great choice for families, as it has a large pool and playground. It’s also a short walk from the castle museum and several other popular attractions.
- Harmony Bay Hotel. This affordable hotel is just a few yards from the beach and has its own outdoor pool and terrace. Some of the rooms also feature balconies and views of the sea.
Limassol Mid-Range Hotels
- Old Port Hotel. Found in one of the trendier parts of the city, this mid-range hotel has an onsite bar and restaurant on the ground floor with outdoor seating, allowing you to sit and watch people visiting the Old Town area. The rooms include terraces with outdoor furniture.
- Ajax Hotel. This four-star hotel is in the heart of the city and features elegant furnishings and modern décor. It’s a stylish place to stay and a little further from the beach for a little quieter environment.
Limassol Luxury Hotels
- Royal Apollonia by Louis Hotels. Featuring large outdoor pools, two tennis courts, and a sauna, this luxurious hotel has plenty to keep you entertained. It’s also right on the beach, giving you convenient access to everything that Limassol has to offer.
- Crowne Plaza Limassol. This stylish resort has two pools and a private beach area for those who prefer a more secluded getaway. You can also enjoy fresh meals from the onsite bar and restaurants or check out the view of the sea from your room’s balcony.
2. Ayia Napa
Located on the southeast coast of the island, Ayia Napa is the nightlife capital of Cyprus. It’s where you’ll want to go to cut loose. The beaches are often the site of late-night parties, while the nearby bars frequently host live music.
Along with a party atmosphere, Ayia Napa has many miles of coastline with well-maintained beaches and a busy beachfront promenade where you can find many bars and shops.
Swimming and other water activities are also popular in Ayia Napa. Many visitors head over to the nearby caves, which are accessible by land or sea, and offer prime spots for cliff jumping. There are several resorts in the area and a great selection of hotels.
Ayia Napa is less than an hour’s drive from Larnaca Airport, making it easy to get to. It’s a bit more touristy compared to some of the other destinations in Cyprus, but perfect for those who want to party or sit back and relax in a resort.
Things to Do in Ayia Napa
- Sprawl out in the sand at the wide-open Glyki Nero Beach, which is also near the sea caves.
- Enjoy a breathtaking view from the top of a Ferris wheel at Parko Paliatso Luna Park.
- Browse the unique contemporary sculptures of deities and mythical beasts at Sculpture Park.
- Shop or eat at the Plaza Shopping Center or any of the other shopping complexes on Nissi Avenue.
Where to Eat in Ayia Napa
- Raphael’s Restaurant for fresh seafood with generous portions and a friendly atmosphere
- Café Central for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, featuring casual fare and low prices
- Farmer’s Tavern for large family meals with a seafood menu
- Tommy’s Pub for drinks and a taste of the city’s vibrant nightlife scene
Ayia Napa Budget Hotels
- Mon Repos Hotel. This affordable hotel is about a five-minute walk from Makronissos Beach, which places it further from the action but also gives you lower prices. The hotel was recently renovated and has clean, modern designs with rooms that have kitchenettes and fridges.
- Zoi Ayia Napa. Located a few blocks from the beach, this budget hotel has comfortable rooms with living areas and balconies. Other features include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, and bar.
Ayia Napa Mid-Range Hotels
- Chrysomare Beach Hotel & Resort. This beachside hotel has carefully landscaped gardens, three restaurants, and three bars, virtually eliminating the need to travel outside the property. However, it’s also got a great location near the main shopping thoroughfare.
- Limanaki Beach Hotel & Suites. With views that overlook the harbor and four onsite restaurants, this hotel is a popular choice for foodies and those wanting convenient access to the beach. The rooms are spacious and available at a variety of price points to suit most budgets.
Ayia Napa Luxury Hotels
- Nelia Beach Hotel & Spa. Located a few hundred feet from Limanaki Beach, this hotel includes a long list of amenities, including outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, balconies, and 24/7 room service. It’s also one of the most highly rated hotels in the city, known for its quality customer service and excellent location.
- The Nines. This hotel perfectly blends luxury and Mediterranean influences, resulting in an exquisitely elegant atmosphere. You’ll feel like royalty and enjoy access to an outdoor pool, bar, fitness center, and nearby restaurants.
Larnaca is in the southeast corner of the island, next to the bay of the same name. It’s considered the most romantic spot in Cyprus and popular with couples.
It’s also another port city with beautiful beaches, luxurious restaurants, and many shops. The main airport is in Larnaca, which also helps make it one of the most popular tourist spots in Cyprus. Many people arrive at the airport and choose to stay in the city.
St. Lazarus Square marks the center of the city. The surrounding area includes a mixture of old and new buildings, along with more cafés and boutique shops to check out.
It’s a highly walkable city. Most of the attractions and things to do in Larnaca are within walking distance, whether you stay near the center of the city or further out. Larnaca also has cuisine to suit everyone’s tastes, which is why it’s one of the top places for foodies to visit in Cyprus.
Things to Do in Larnaca
- View the excavated remains of temples and tombs at the Archaeological Site of Kition.
- Hike the Larnaca Salt Lake Trail for a leisurely trek around the lake and a break from the city.
- Travel to Larnaka Medieval Castle on your way through the Old Turkish Quarter for food and shopping.
- Watch the sunset or check out the beachside establishments near the Larnaca Marina.
Where to Eat in Larnaca
- Souvlaki.gr for Mediterranean cuisine at low prices from a traditional Greek restaurant
- Royal Ris Restaurant for margaritas and Mexican cuisine near the beach
- Zephyros Restaurant for seafood cuisine and an upscale atmosphere
- The Fort Café Bar for cheap drinks and sandwiches with views of the medieval fort
Larnaca Budget Hotels
- Frangiorgio Hotel. With a rooftop pool and spacious rooms, this hotel hardly seems like a budget choice. It’s also a short walk from Finikoudes Beach, St. Lazarus Square, and several cafés and bars.
- The Josephine Boutique Hotel. This budget hotel has bright, modern décor and an outdoor pool with a view of the sea. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar, and snack bar, so you’re never far from a fresh meal or an adult beverage.
Larnaca Mid-Range Hotels
- Best Western Plus Larco Hotel. Located a short distance from the beach and the airport, this is a convenient and comfortable place to stay. It’s got everything you’d expect from a mid-range hotel, including well-maintained rooms and reliable guest service.
- Leonardo Boutique Hotel Larnaca. This boutique hotel has an excellent customer rating and a prime location closer to the center of Larnaca. All rooms include family rooms, terraces, or balconies with outdoor furniture so you can sit outside and enjoy the views of the city’s landscape.
Larnaca Luxury Hotels
- Radisson Blu Hotel. Located on the main road that cuts through the city, this five-star hotel has a convenient location for those who want to explore more of Larnaca. It’s also got everything you need for a relaxing stay, including an onsite spa center with four separate treatment rooms and a fitness center, along with a long list of room amenities.
- Hotel Indigo Larnaca. This four-floor hotel is in the historic part of the city and offers fantastic views of the sea from its beautiful rooftop pool. It’s also a short walk from St. Lazarus Church and the medieval castle for those who want to check out the historic sites.
Paphos is popular among families, history buffs, and those wanting to get away from the more crowded touristy areas to the east. It’s a city on the southwest coast and includes several archeological sites dating back to the Neolithic area.
Kato Paphos is the main tourist area and home to most of the shops, restaurants, and hotels. Paphos Old Town is on the other side of Kato Paphos and where you’ll discover some of the historic sites.
Paphos was also the capital of Cyprus for hundreds of years, and as such, it has many historic attractions and old buildings, including Roman villas and the ruins of an amphitheater.
The Blue Lagoon is another major attraction near Paphos, featuring clear waters that offer great views of the reefs and marine life. It’s one of the best destinations in Cyprus for snorkeling and diving.
As with most of the coastal cities in Cyprus, Paphos has several beaches, including the secluded Polish Beach, which gives you a little more privacy compared to the beaches in the previous cities. It’s also one of the most affordable places to stay, which should appeal to budget travelers.
Things to Do in Paphos
- Take a day trip to the Blue Lagoon in Akamas National Forest Park.
- Step back into history with a tour of the Archaeological Site of the Tombs of the Kings or the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park.
- Go underground during a trip through St. Solomon’s Catacombs.
- Sit back and relax on a lazy river ride at the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark.
Where to Eat in Paphos
- Fat Mama’s for Mediterranean cuisine and a vibrant atmosphere with live entertainment
- Melania Restaurant for family meals at an authentic Greek restaurant with friendly staff
- Olivetio Restaurant for fish dishes in a cozy little restaurant on the main street of the city
- Mr. Tippler for cocktails and street food with outdoor seating so you can watch people as you eat
Paphos Budget Hotels
- Pyramos Hotel. Hop on over to the beach or stay at the hotel and enjoy the onsite restaurant and bar. It’s also near some of the most popular bars and restaurants for those interested in exploring the local nightlife scene.
- Paphos Gardens Holiday Resort. This beautiful resort is surprisingly one of the most affordable places to stay in Paphos. It’s a little over 1500 feet from the beach and includes indoor and outdoor pools where you can spend more time swimming.
Paphos Mid-Range Hotels
- Queens Bay Hotel. This hotel is set in a secluded bay, giving you more privacy compared to some of the other locations. It also offers sweeping views of the sea and the sunset.
- Anemi Hotel & Suites. Located near the beach and many of the city’s pubs, shops, and restaurants, this mid-range hotel has a great location and many wonderful amenities. Guests tend to praise the ocean view and onsite facilities, including a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar.
Paphos Luxury Hotels
- Atlantic Golden Beach Hotel. This four-star hotel is one of the most luxurious places to stay in Paphos, featuring large rooms with balconies that look out over the sea. It also has a sprawling outdoor pool and a wide range of amenities, including a fitness center, a fridge, and 24/7 room service.
- Regency Boutique Hotel Holiday Suites. Located near Vrisoudia Beach and the Paphos Municipal Baths, this place is conveniently located. It also has elegantly furnished rooms with balconies and a private kitchen area.
Nicosia is the only remaining divided capital city in Europe. Since 1974, the Turkish Cypriots have lived in the north side of the city while Greek Cypriots moved to the south. Yet you’re free to roam both sides, giving you a chance to immerse yourself in the culture of this unique island.
As the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia is also a major city with lots of shops and restaurants that tend to attract a younger crowd. If you’re looking for hip, trendy bars and clubs, Nicosia is a top choice.
You can get to most places on foot. It’s another highly walkable city with several pedestrian streets lined with stores and a more crowded old town with windy roads. Ledra Street is the main shopping thoroughfare and links the north and south sides of the city.
Things to Do in Nicosia
- Learn more about the history of the region with a trip to one of the many museums, such as The Cyprus Museum.
- Climb to the top of the Shacolas Tower Observatory for a sweeping view of the city.
- Walk around the Kyrenia Gate, which is a historical landmark found at the northern edge of the city.
- Shop and stroll through the Ledra Street Crossing Point in the center of the city.
Where to Eat in Nicosia
- Mathaios Restaurant for cheap, traditional meals at a restaurant near Ledra Street
- MIMAS Restaurant for BBQ and Mediterranean cuisine that won’t break your budget
- Tocayo for fine dining and a cozy atmosphere in the center of the old city
- Palaia Pineza Bar for drinks and live music at a trendy bar near the dividing line between the two sides of the city
Nicosia Budget Hotels
- Delphi Hotel. This budget hotel is near the center of the city and across from the square of Solomon. The rooms are relatively small and sparsely decorated but don’t cost very much.
- NAGAS Hotel & Restaurant. This hotel is near some of the historic sites. It’s also a step up from some of the cheaper hotels and has an onsite restaurant with authentic Turkish cuisine.
Nicosia Mid-Range Hotels
- Centrum Hotel. This mid-range hotel is located in the middle of the city, giving you a convenient spot from which to explore nearby attractions, such as the museums and the Shacolas Tower Observatory. The rooms are spacious and include free kids’ meals.
- BAZ Tower. This condo hotel has large rooms with all the amenities of a home, including a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher. You can also enjoy drinks or meals out on the balcony with views of the city.
Nicosia Luxury Hotels
- Hilton Nicosia. Located in the center of this city, this luxurious hotel comes from one of the top brands in the hotel industry. It’s a reliably great place to stay for those with the right budget, as it offers rooms with large balconies and all the amenities you could need for an unforgettable stay.
- Gate Twenty-Two Boutique Hotel. This highly-rated hotel is a short walk from the Cyprus Museum and the Liberty Monument. Some of the other highlights include city views, an onsite restaurant and bar, and free breakfast.
So, Where Should You Stay in Cyprus?
|🏆 Best for First Timers||Limassol|
|🎉 Best for Nightlife||Ayia Napa|
|🍽️ Best for Food||Larnaca|
|👪 Best for Families||Paphos|
|🏹 Best for Cultural Experience||Nicosia|
Cyprus is a Mediterranean paradise with a diverse range of features across its landscape. The southern coastal cities, including Limassol and Larnaca, offer sandy beaches and touristy developments, such as resorts and shopping districts.
Families often flock to Paphos on the southwestern side of the island, while young, hip travelers often head to the capital city of Nicosia or the party city of Ayia Napa.
So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing areas in which to stay, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Cyprus has to offer. Happy travels!