Currency Matters: What Currency Is in Cyprus Today?
In the heart of the A sea steeped in legend, the island of Cyprus presents a captivating view and feel. However, one key question often arises for travellers planning a visit to this unique destination: What currency is in Cyprus?
This article is your comprehensive guide to the currencies in Cyprus, helping you navigate the financial aspects of your journey and make informed decisions about your money while exploring this enchanting island.
Table of Contents
In 1879, the British introduced the Cypriot pound, which was on par with the pound sterling and replaced Turkish currency at a rate of £C 1 to 180 piastres. This parity with the pound sterling continued until 1972, following Cyprus’s independence from the United Kingdom.
The introduction of Cypriot pounds in 1879 was contentious because Cyprus was technically a province of the Ottoman Empire, and only the Ottoman Sultan had the authority to issue currency.
However, this issue became irrelevant on the island after Britain annexed Cyprus in 1914 due to the Ottomans supporting the Central Powers in World War I.
The British takeover of Cyprus in 1914 led to a complete British colonial government in 1926, along with a local legislative council. This council then created a Cyprus Currency Board in 1927 to oversee the issuance of Cypriot currency.
The Currency Board could issue notes and coins, initially denominated in pounds, shillings, and piastres, and later, after decimalisation in 1955, in pounds and mils.
However, the Cypriot pound maintained a fixed exchange rate with the pound sterling. Fiscal control ultimately rested with the Bank of England and the British government.
The connection was maintained through the requirement that for every pound issued by the Currency Board in Cyprus, the Government of Cyprus had to deposit one pound sterling issued by the Bank of England with the Crown Agents in London.
In 2006, the Republic of Cyprus became a part of the European Union. Two years later, in 2008, Cyprus became one of the Eurozone countries. It resulted in the euro replacing the Cypriot pound (lira) and becoming the legal tender of Cyprus.
They made the exchange at an irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 1 euro equivalent to 0.585274 Cypriot pounds.
What currency is Cyprus using now?
Today, the official currency of Cyprus is the euro. Cypriot government recognises it for all financial transactions, including buying goods, paying taxes, and settling debts. No other currency has official acceptance in Cyprus.
However, North Cyprus uses the Turkish lira (TRY) as its currency. However, Northern Cyprus is not internationally recognised as a separate country and does not have its own legal tender.
Therefore, the Turkish lira is the official currency of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and is widely accepted across the region.
Key facts about the official currency of Cyprus:
|Official Cypriot currency||Euro|
|Euro banknotes||5€, 10€, 20€, 50€, 100€, 200€, and 500€|
Spending money in Cyprus
Navigating the banking system and financial customs in Cyprus can pose a challenge while you spend money. Therefore, here is an overview of the most popular payment methods.
Debit and credit cards
Cyprus embraces card payments, especially in tourist areas. In Cyprus, you can pay with credit cards at various locations, including stores, restaurants, supermarkets, and petrol stations.
However, it’s worth noting that Cyprus generally exhibits a more credit card-friendly atmosphere than Northern Cyprus. While larger venues in Northern Cyprus may accept card payments, it’s practical to carry cash as a backup.
Major credit cards, particularly Visa and MasterCard, feature prominently in major towns and tourist destinations. Travellers holding these cards can contact their respective banks for cash withdrawals.
Even though it looks like a particularly convenient payment method, using a credit card abroad may involve fees. Some cards charge overseas purchase fees, while others reduce the standard 3% charge that most credit cards impose.
On the other hand, debit cards linked to your bank account facilitate point-of-sale purchases and cash withdrawals.
It’s always a good idea to have some travel money in euro banknotes for shopping at the local market, leaving a small tip, paying taxi drivers, or in case of an emergency.
Therefore, it is often advised to exchange some money at a bank or currency exchange office before or upon arrival.
It is also advisable to bring enough local currency for your first days and exchange the rest once settled. This way, you can benefit from better local exchange rates.
Yes, in popular areas and major cities, businesses and restaurants accept cards and other payment methods. However, keep some cash for places off the beaten path where cards might not be as widely accepted.
Mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay have gained popularity due to their convenience and security. However, it’s essential to check if the place accepts mobile payments before visiting it.
Although businesses in major cities and tourist areas in Cyprus may welcome mobile payments, it’s not a universally available option.
Therefore, it’s advisable to maintain alternative payment methods, such as cash or conventional credit or debit cards, for situations where mobile payments might be inapplicable.
You can find ATMs in banks, supermarkets, and hotels throughout Cyprus, particularly in larger towns and tourist areas.
However, when using ATMs, be cautious about paying in your currency. It can result in higher costs. Always select euros to minimise expenses and secure the best available exchange rates.
Cyprus currency exchange rates
Banks in Cyprus offer foreign currency exchange services and provide daily exchange rates for the euro against major foreign currencies. Hotels also offer currency exchange services.
However, it’s worth noting that currency exchange desks at airports and hotels often inflate their exchange rates and may include hidden fees. To avoid these costly options, seek alternative exchange sources whenever possible.
Moreover, to ensure a fair rate without hidden fees and get the best deal, learn about the mid-market rate, which represents the actual exchange rate.
Before your trip, use an online currency converter to understand the value of your money when exchanging it.
Daily fluctuations in euro exchange rates result from various factors. Nevertheless, currently €1 is priced at £0.87.
What is the best currency to take to Cyprus?
Euro is an official Cyprus currency. Therefore, it is the best currency to take to Cyprus.
Can you use British pounds in Cyprus?
Cyprus uses the euro as its official currency, not the British pound. You can easily exchange British pounds for euros before your trip or withdraw euros from ATMs once you arrive.
Does Cyprus use euro currency?
Yes, the euro is an official Cyprus currency.
Does Cyprus use Turkish currency?
Only North Cyprus uses the Turkish lira.