Cyprus- the most famous island in the Mediterranean Sea, is definitely a must see place for people all over the world, one of the reasons giving the fact that it connects two continents: Asia and Europe. With its Mediterranean climate with hot weather, humid summers and wet winters, Cyprus is one of the most interesting countries of the European Union and cities such as Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaka and Paphos are definitely worth visiting and enjoying.
If Cyprus seems appealing to you and you think of embarking on a journey to this wonderful country, you also ask yourself whether this destination will be safe for you and your travel companions. The good news is that you came to the right place. How safe is Cyprus to visit and how to stay safe in Cyprus you will find out from out Cyprus safety guide. You can then decide whether this jewel of the Mediterranean is safe for you or not.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Cyprus
Even if Cyprus is one of the most famous countries in Europe, you might be surprised to find out that it has not always been so well-perceived by the others, due to the political turmoil, the bitter conflict between Turkey and Greece. Because these two countries could not agree on who to claim the territories, the country remains nowadays divided. Could this affect your trip to this beautiful country? Is Cyprus safe to travel to? Could you get in trouble if you decide to travel there? And most important: How can you stay safe while you are there? Read on to find out.
Overall Risks in Cyprus: LOW
You won’t find Cyprus in any top containing the most dangerous places on Earth and this is because we are speaking about a civilized country, which welcomes thousands and thousands of people during summer. Because of these and many other reasons which make Cyprus a safe place to visit, authorities advise to keep a normal degree of caution when deciding to embark on a journey there.
Even if crime, petty theft, violence, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are not common threats that should cross Cyprus off your list, such unpleasant events can still happen and you should know exactly how to stay safe in Cyprus.
In order to stay safe in Cyprus, you should keep a normal degree of caution during your journey, as unpleasant things can still happen wherever you might go. This is why you should never leave your goods unsupervised, pay attention to the people around you and not trust anyone you have just met. These simple tips can save you a lot of trouble and can let you enjoy this experience fully.
Violence Risk in Cyprus: LOW
In the last period of time, minor demonstrations have taken place and this is one of the main events in which violence can appear suddenly and without any warning. Large gatherings and isolated places at night can be some of the most common circumstances in which violence can take place, so make sure you are well informed about the political situation and about the places you should avoid before embarking on a journey, as it is the first step to keep safe in Cyprus.
If you happen to notice large gatherings and demonstrations, decide to walk at night or get lost in isolated places, there are things that you can keep in mind when you find yourself in trouble. First of all, try to stay away from trouble by not resisting the attacker. In case you are the victim of violence, you should know that resisting the criminal will not do any good. What is more, keep important telephone numbers at hand. In such cases, the attacker is sure to be caught and justice can be made for you faster than you could imagine.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Cyprus: LOW to MEDIUM
When speaking of crime in Cyprus, you should know that it is not very common and very rarely it is directed against tourists. What is more, personal attacks and sexual attacks might happen, but again- such cases are very infrequent. As in any other place, petty thefts can happen when you expect it the least, so make sure you are well informed about how to protect your goods and stay safe in Cyprus before planning your trip.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Cyprus?
If you want to avoid crime in Cyprus, there are a few simple tips. First of all, do not leave any valuable objects such as expensive cellphones, jewelry or cameras unattended and make sure you are attentive when it comes to the people around you. What is more, make sure you have the so necessary common sense, as people in Cyprus tend to be very friendly and welcoming to their tourists. With the proper precautions taken, you can stay safe in Cyprus.
Scam Risk in Cyprus: MEDIUM
Every country comes with its own scams - this is a thing any traveler must remember, especially if they want to keep themselves and their belongings safe. Naturally, there are scams in Cyprus as well. While common scams may be practiced as well, there are two that are most noteworthy, namely the "Shady Cabaret" and the tobacco scams.
The first one relies on you, the traveler, not knowing how things are in this foreign country. Basically, you may be approached, by either men or women, and invited to enjoy the experiences Cyprus has to offer - in a pub, bar, or night-club. You will engage in conversation with whoever approaches you and, without knowing it, you'll wake up in one of the aforementioned locations. Nothing seems wrong so far, right? Well, after a couple of drink and maybe a meal, your mystery guest will excuse themselves, stating that they either need to go to the bathroom or take a call.
However, don't expect them to return back. Instead, you'll be receiving the entire bill. What makes this bill special is that the person that approached you most likely works hand in hand with the place's owner and, as result, you may end up paying a couple hundreds of dollars for just a couple of drinks and a dish.
Now, the latter scam, which refers to tobacco, is basically a way for the locals to make some extra money by selling you bootleg cigarettes. They would take the pack of a reputable tobacco company and put low-grade, so to say, cigarettes in it. Naturally, if you are a tobacco enthusiast, you will most likely feel drawn to such things, as they are much cheaper as well. However, you should not fall for such a scam - you can do so by checking if the pack you are going to buy has been tampered with.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Cyprus?
In order to avoid the two mentioned scams, as well as any other scams you might be subject to while in Cyprus, it is recommended that you avoid contact with strangers/ locals. In the case of the second scam, it is advised that you rely on larger stores and such, if you really want to buy tobacco.
Obviously, you should also get familiar with the currency, exchange rates, and anything else that implies the use of money. Always double-check the change you receive after making a purchase and never trust any locals/ strangers when it comes to handling money or items. In short, with just some basic safety measures, you can visit Cyprus without getting scammed at all.
Kidnapping Risk in Cyprus: LOW
When it comes to kidnapping, such cases are not linked with common crime, so to say. The majority of kidnapping reports are usually linked with organized crime and, luckily, they don't usually target tourists/ travelers. Kidnappings are also linked to online gambling but, again, such attacks are not targeted towards the common tourist.
In this respect, you don't have to worry that much about being kidnapped, especially if you stick to the areas that are meant for tourists.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Cyprus?
As mentioned, sticking to the areas that are meant for tourists and staying away from any bad-reputed or remote areas is the best thing you can do to avoid getting kidnapped or robbed. Naturally, as you are in a foreign country, you'll want to stay within major cities and do your best to stay out of trouble.
This means that you have to keep an eye on your surroundings, avoid displaying any valuables or large sums of money and try not to stay outside during the night. When leaving from or returning to your accommodation, it is recommended that you rely on a reputed taxi service.
Terrorism Risk in Cyprus: LOW
Even if recent history has not registered any terrorist attacks in Cyprus, this does not mean that they need to be ruled out. The threat of terrorist attacks is global and must be taken into consideration by any tourist who plans a visit abroad. Such attacks can be indiscriminate and can be directed towards tourists. Usually, they take place in very crowded places such as shopping centers, museums or even busy streets. With the proper precautions, you can indeed stay safe in Cyprus.
- How to avoid terrorism in Cyprus?
In order to avoid being stuck in the middle of a terrorist attack, you should learn to be vigilant and to observe any sudden changes that might occur out of nowhere. Keep away from large gatherings, try not to stay in one place for too long and, in case you notice something disturbing, do not hesitate to announce the local authorities, which can interfere and prevent these situations.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Cyprus: LOW to MEDIUM
Even if the crime risk is not very high here, there are still dangers that can follow you whenever you go if you are a woman traveling alone in Cyprus. You should know to be alert of the possible use of drugs, commonly known as ‘date rape’ used by scammers who might want to trick you.
What is more, even if sexual assaults are not very common, they still happen if you are not alert enough and walk at night, by yourself, in isolated areas. With the proper precautions, staying safe in Cyprus is not difficult at all.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Cyprus?
If you’re a woman traveling solo in Cyprus, make sure you pack your vigilance with you and never stop using it while you walk on the streets of ‘the jewel of the Mediterranean’. In order to avoid being a victim of rape, try not to accept drinks bought by an admirer, do not keep sight of your drink when you are in local pubs or bars and avoid splitting up from your group. Keeping safe should be one of your priorities.
Rape Risk in Cyprus: MEDIUM
Back in 2015, Cyprus had a rape rate of 1.7 cases per 100,000 population, an increase of 42.15% compared to 2014, when the rape rate was of 1.2 cases. Therefore, while rape cannot be taken out of the big picture in terms of risks, it is still not something that should worry you too much. Reportedly, in most of the cases, the locals were the targets of such crimes and rarely tourists.
Sexual assault cases are labelled as infrequent, but with the warning that they do occur. Moreover, there have also been cases telling of the use of "date rape" drugs. Thus, visiting a night-club, pub, or bar, should put you on your toes and make you keep your drinks under surveillance.
Furthermore, important to remember is the fact that most alcoholic drinks server in Cyprus are stronger than in the rest of Europe/ World and, therefore, you might want to limit your alcohol intake, especially if you are alone or not accompanied by too many tourists/ friends.
- How to avoid getting raped in Cyprus?
In order to avoid getting raped in Cyprus, we recommend you to be always aware of your surroundings. Stay within major cities and avoid venturing into bad-reputed or remote areas, especially if you are not accompanied by friends or a tour guide. It would also be a good idea if you approached a decent dress code for the duration of your stay, in order to avoid catcalling or any other forms of harassment.
Naturally, you'll want to avoid displaying any valuables or carry large sums of money with you. As you know, a simple robbery can turn into much more, depending on the type of criminal you happen to deal with. Do not accept any drinks or company from strangers, especially when you are in a pub or a bar, as they might try to either get you drunk or drugged.
Risks for People Traveling with Children in Cyprus: LOW
As you may already know, Cyprus is, overall, a friendly country with a friendly environment as well. Most sources report that crime of any sorts against tourists is not usually common. Basically, while petty crime is a thing, more serious crime is usually conducted by organized crime and targeting locals, and not tourists.
Therefore, the risks for people that are traveling with children are rather low, assuming that they will still take some basic safety measures in order to keep the small ones safe and sound.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
Given the fact that Cyprus is quite the popular destination, for both Europeans and US citizens, it is safe to assume that you will encounter large crowds of tourists. This also means that your children may get lost easily if left unattended. In this respect, we recommend you to keep an eye on them at all times, making sure that they don't get any crazy thoughts - like running through a crowd or exploring their surroundings.
Make sure that they are always within reach and, if you cannot keep an eye on them, have someone that can do so. Also, you should pack up a first-aid kit with any medicine or such that your children may need during the trip.
Natural Disaster Risks in Cyprus: LOW
Fortunately, Cypriots are lucky people when it comes to weather. This is because, apart from earthquakes, no other natural disasters interfere in the state of well-being promoted by the local people. Minor earthquakes might happen during your stay in Cyprus, but with the proper precautions this will not interfere in your well-being during your stay, as well.
Transportation Risks in Cyprus: LOW
Because the Cypriot road system is very good and the rules are similar to those in Europe, you can be sure that your travel from one place to another when in Cyprus will be trouble-free. Unfortunately, when it comes to road travel, the driving standards tend to be poor and road deaths in Cyprus revolve around 40 people per year. If you decide to drive, chances of encountering an accident can be high, but if you exercise a normal degree of caution and make sure you follow the rules, no unpleasant events will ruin your journey.
In order to avoid the risks imposed by the Cypriot road travel, you should definitely make sure you are well prepared to drive in another country, where you do not know the route. Get a map or a GPS system, make sure your phone’s battery is fully charged and do not forget to have the common sense needed that will get you out of trouble right away.
If you decide to hire a vehicle, make sure you check it first. It should be roadworthy and have the proper equipment and insurance. In this way, you can be sure you’ll stay safe in Cyprus.
Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Cyprus: HIGH
As mentioned above, night-clubs, pubs, and bars come with a lot of risk in Cyprus. First of all, you risk being scammed by the owners, waiters, or even by your new local friend, so to speak - as stated in the "Shady Cabaret" scam. This is why you should visit such locations only when accompanied by a friend/ fellow traveler.
Moreover, there have been reports of "date rape" and similar drugs being used in order to rob and/ or take advantage of tourists. It is recommended that you buy your own drinks and keep them under surveillance at all times. Do not, under any circumstances, accept drinks from strangers. Also, as mentioned, keep in mind that alcohol here is usually much stronger so, if you plan on having a wild night, we recommend you to switch to non-alcoholic drinks after a couple of regular ones, so to say.
You should be accompanied at all times and refuse the company of any strangers/ locals. When leaving for your accommodation, you should rely on a trusted/ reputed taxi service and avoid getting in taxis with another person, unless they are your friends, obviously.
Health Risks in Cyprus
There are no outbreaks, epidemics, or diseases that you should consider when traveling to Cyprus. Therefore, you should only work on getting the recommended vaccines - listed below - and on preparing a first-aid kit of any medicine that you might need during your trip. However, remember to get informed as to what medicine you are allowed to take with you in Cyprus, as the legal regulation and status of certain prescribed medicine can be different here.
Other than that, it is recommended to travel with proper travel health insurance and with enough money to cover the costs of any treatment or medicine that you may be subject to. In short, it is important that you have spare money available, so to say, in case something goes wrong and you are in need of medical assistance.
In case of an emergency, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. In case you are referred to a medical facility - for treatment or any other things -, you should contact your medical assistance/ insurance company as soon as possible.
List of Vaccines You Need in Cyprus
Safety is always connected to health and visiting another country should definitely be preceded by a visit to your medical care provider, who can advise you properly regarding the measures to be taken before going on a journey. Since we are speaking of a country that might be different from the one you are used to in yours, make sure you are prepared to embrace the change of weather and that you really enjoy it. Otherwise, headaches and some other symptoms might appear during your stay.
Make sure you have a health insurance available in Cyprus, as well, and be up-to-date with the vaccines recommended. You might be exposed to diseases such as Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Typhoid and Rabies. Your health is a priority that you need to consider carefully before planning your trip to this wonderful country.
Most Dangerous Areas in Cyprus
As a whole, this country does not pose any high risks to its visitors and this is why you should not be afraid to discover every street on foot, without fearing attackers, thefts and other unpleasant encounters. Most neighborhoods in Cyprus are trouble-free, but there might be situations in which you can encounter such unpleasant events. Areas such as Neapolis and Agios Yiannis might be notorious, but they do not pose extreme risks that should prevent you from taking a glimpse there, especially if you desire to see the local color and find out more about this country’s culture and habits. With the normal precautions taken into account and with the proper knowledge about this country and the common sense needed, you can really experience great adventures in a country that is very welcoming and warm with its tourists. Make sure you’re well-informed and that you have a good schedule and everything will for sure be unforgettable.
Concluding Remarks: Is Cyprus Safe to Visit?
With our Cyprus safety travel tips in your mind, you’re all set to embark on this wonderful journey. Even though some of the threats mentioned above might have made you think twice before deciding how safe is Cyprus for tourists, you can still enjoy everything this jewel of the Mediterranean has to offer if you keep our tips in mind, which are in fact based on a normal degree of precaution:
- Make sure you have a medical insurance and the vaccines needed in order not to get exposed to dangerous viruses;
- Do not carry valuable objects with you and, in case you do, do not let them unattended;
- Do not trust everyone you meet and try to be skeptical about the help you are offered;
- Avoid isolated areas and very crowded areas, especially when you travel alone;
- Do not forget about common sense, as local people really appreciate it;
- In case of trouble, do not resist the attacker and ask for help to the local authorities;
- Always be aware of the surroundings and keep a normal level of precaution at all times.
People there will for sure be excited to meet you, as a tourist eager to discover their amazing country. Make sure you have the right Cyprus safety tips in your mind and you’ll get to enjoy everything this country will offer you.