North Cyprus is known for sandy beaches, fantastic nature, hospitality and good food. But there is much more you should know about this place before coming here.
We have compiled a list of facts worth knowing to bring you a little closer to this beautiful country.
Some of these facts are probably already known to you, others may surprise you, and still other facts will make you dive deeper into the history and culture of Northern Cyprus.
- Cyprus has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, which makes this place full of historical events.
- Cyprus is a former British colony, which brings many traditions, such as lefthand traffic, British law and a commonly used currency – the British pound.
- The latter does not detract from the fact that the official currency of the country is the Turkish lira.
- Even though Northern Cyprus, unlike Southern Cyprus, is not a member of the European Union, this has another advantage: the cost of living here is somewhat lower.
- Turkish is the official language, but since it is a former British colony, English is very common.
- Islam is the official religion in Northern Cyprus with 98% of the population.
- Northern Cyprus makes up one third of the island and the area of the country is 3355 km².
- There are no trams, subways, or railroads in Turkish Cyprus, although the latter were built by the British in the XX century but were discontinued due to unprofitability.
- Upon arrival in Northern Cyprus, you may request a stamp not in your passport, but on a separate sheet of paper.
- The Othello Tower is actually located in Famagusta, a city in Northern Cyprus.
- Cats have been living in Cyprus for centuries and even today you will see these cute pets everywhere on the streets, in cafes, etc.
- All cities in North Cyprus have 2 names – one Turkish and one Greek.
- Pekmez is a traditional syrup made from the buds of the carob tree.
- Cypriots believe that a teaspoon of pekmez a day keeps away colds and flu!
- Wherever you go in Northern Cyprus, you are likely to see the Nazar amulet – blue beads embedded in houses, cars, stores, restaurants and even walls and arches. 🧿 Since ancient times, people believe that Nazar protects its owner from “evil eyes”, misfortune or disease.
- Northern Cyprus is known for the ghost town of Varosha, which was once one of the most famous European centers for entertainment and tourism.
- After 1974 the town was abandoned and today it attracts many tourists.
- Northern Cyprus has the largest flag in the world, painted on the Kyrenia Mountains. Thanks to the backlight it offers an impressive sight even at night time thanks to the backlight.
- 100.000 students study annually at more than 20 universities in Northern Cyprus.
- There is no water heating in most houses. Instead, Cypriots install water tanks on the roofs that are heated by the sun. To heat the water in winter, they use special heaters installed in the tanks.
- Turkish Cyprus has the most sunny days a year in the entire Mediterranean region.
- There are no toll roads in Northern Cyprus.
- The locals have a funny expression – “yavash-yavash”, which means “no hurry – you will have time”. This explains their mentality of not rushing things.
- Every year sea turtles come to the beaches of North Cyprus to lay their eggs. In May you can observe this process under the supervision of volunteers.
- There are five beautiful medieval castles preserved in Northern Cyprus.