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Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you're as excited as we are to be celebrating our big day out in sunny North Cyprus!

With only a couple of weeks to go, we appreciate that you may have all sorts of questions and we wanted to make your trip as easy and enjoyable as possible.

  • What language do the locals speak in North Cyprus?
    Cyprus is essentially split into 2 countries - The Republic of Cyprus (South) where Greek is the local language and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (North) where Turkish is the local language. English is pretty commonplace - especially in hotels, restaurants and bars - so you can usually keep your Google Translate companion safely in your pocket when travelling around.
  • What are the prices like compared to the UK?
    Prices are pretty cheap in North Cyprus compared to the UK so you don't need to worry about breaking the bank during your stay. GBP tends to perform strongly compared to the Turkish Lira (TRY) so the exchange rate often works in our favour. Eating out in restaurants is about 50% cheaper than eating out in London with a 3 course meal for 2 costing the equivalent of £34.04. Groceries cost about 30% less when compared to buying them in London. And the good news for those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage, a pint of local beer costs the equivalent of just £1.50! If you want to find out more about prices in North Cyprus compared to your home town, take a look at this comparison tool.
  • How do I exchange money?
    For the best conversion rate, we advise withdrawing cash from a local ATM. If you have a bank card with one of the 'challenger' banks e.g. Monzo, Revolut, Starling etc., you get a very good exchange rate - just remember to reject the exchange rate offered to you at the ATM! NOTE Limissol Bank and Turkbank ATMs do not charge a fee for withdrawing cash in Turkish Lira (TRY). If you're looking to convert Pounds Sterling cash, then you can head to any currency exchange in North Cyprus. The vast majority of exchanges are in Girne (a.k.a Kyrenia) and this will likely be the place where you have the best chance of finding a reasonable exchange rate.
  • Can I use my phone in North Cyprus?
    Data Roaming First and foremost, we advise turning your data roaming off before coming off airplane mode! The last thing we want is your stay to be tainted because of a hefty roaming charge. NOTE even if you have EU data roaming as part of your package, this will still not be valid as Northern Cyprus is not part of the EU. Internet Access When it comes to wifi, the good news is that it's widely available. Whether you're staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, you can almost guarantee that you'll be able to access the wifi free of charge. Furthermore, the vast majority of restaurants, cafes and bars will have have wifi so all you need to do is ask for the password and you'll be good to go! This means you'll be able to communicate with others via social media / WhatsApp / iMessage / FaceTime and browse the internet without issue. Calls, Texts & Data While wifi is convenient when you're chilling by the pool or grabbing a bite to eat, we advise that at least one person per couple / group purchase an eSim in case you need to make a call or send a text on the move. You can grab a local sim from a shop but we advise purchasing an eSim from Airalo which means you can use both your own sim card and a Cypriot one at the same time without having to faff around trying to swap them around. You can get a 5GB eSim valid over 30 days for less than £9.00. NOTE you should to check whether your phone is compatible with eSims before purchasing one!
  • What currency is used in North Cyprus?
    So the currency used in North Cyprus is the Turkish Lira (TRY). At the time of writing this FAQ (May 2024), 1 GBP was worth 41.07 TRY but feel free to look at the current exchange rate when you're out there. When you're trying to figure out how much something is in GBP, just divide the cost by ~40 TRY to get a rough idea. NOTE due to the instability of the Turkish Lira, restaurants / bars / hotels / transfer companies are quite often happy to take GBP or EUR so feel free to ask the question if you'd rather pay in GBP. For larger transactions, vendors may not accept TRY altogether; here you'll usually see prices quoted in GBP or EUR.
  • Can I pay by card in North Cyprus?
    Yes you can - you'll have no problem using your card in North Cyprus. If you have a bank card with one of the 'challenger' banks e.g. Monzo, Revolut, Starling etc, you get a very good exchange rate (essentially the inter-bank rate) and don't get charged a fee when making purchases. This is our preferred method of paying when out there. While the vast majority of places will accept card, there may be certain vendors who prefer cash (just as you have in some parts of the UK). Furthermore, you may prefer using cash for things like tips / gratuity. You can use your bank card to withdraw money from ATMs. For the best conversion rate, again we advise using a bank card with one of the 'challenger' banks - just remember to reject the exchange rate offered to you at the ATM! NOTE Limissol Bank and Turkbank ATMs do not charge a fee for withdrawing cash in Turkish Lira (TRY).
  • Is it customary to leave a tip in North Cyprus?
    We'd say that the tipping culture in North Cyprus is similar to that in the UK. It is not expected but a 10% tip is a great way for you to show your appreciation after a good meal or being provided a great service.
  • Do I need travel adapters for my devices?
    By and large, the answer is no. The vast majority of hotels / Airbnbs in North Cyprus use the same plugs and sockets as the UK. However, there may be the odd venue that uses European plugs. It's best to ask your hotel or Airbnb host and maybe bring an adapter or two just in case!
  • Is it safe in North Cyprus?
    Yes it is. Like any country, you get some petty theft (e.g. pickpocketing) but in all the time that the Wiltshires have spent in North Cyprus, we've never had an issue. We'd advise you follow the usual advice when travelling - don't be stupid and make yourself an easy target.
  • Which supermarkets do you recommend?
    North Cyprus is similar to the UK - and most other countries. You'll have smaller 'express' stores which are convenient but may cost slightly more and the selection will be smaller. On the other end of the scale you have the bigger supermarkets which are usually located on or near the main highways. These offer better prices and a lot of variety - this makes all the difference if you wanted to visit a deli to try out some of the local delicacies such as dolmas or sigara boreks. While there aren't any supermarket chains that are head and shoulders above the rest, here are a few we've been to previously: Macro (previously LeMar) Supreme Tempo Starling
  • What should I wear to the Friday Welcome Dinner?
    We're not setting a dress code for the Welcome Dinner but I'm sure there'll be plenty of photos taken so our advice is to treat it like a Summer BBQ. Guys, think shirt / polo and chino shorts. Ladies, a nice summer dress would be perfect.
  • What should I wear on the Wedding day?
    What to wear The best way to summarise the dress code for the big day is Summer Cocktail. We encourage you to wear light, breathable fabrics and pastel colours but we're not enforcing this so choose what works for you. There'll be photographer and videographers around the whole day so don't be afraid to dress to impress. What to avoid In case we need to state the obvious ladies, please do not wear white!! If in doubt about what you're planning to wear, please reach out to us. Gentlemen, please can you avoid wearing shorts. Photos just don't look right with one person in shorts next to another in a three-piece suit. We promise that while it'll be warm, there'll be plenty of refreshments and the temperature cools down in the evenings at this time of year. If you're worried about the heat, linen or linen blends are the way to go!
  • When does the Wedding day finish?
    While this is the last thing we want to be thinking about before the big day, we know our guests not staying on site will need to arrange transport. The bar closes at 01:00 so we advise booking transport between 12:30 and 01:00 at the latest.
  • Is there a gift registry?
    Your presence on the day is all we could wish for as a wedding gift. However, for those who are adamant on giving us something, we'd be delighted with a contribution towards the Honeymoon. We will have a card box which you'll be able to deposit cards into on the day.
  • What time do I need to arrive for the Friday Welcome Dinner?
    Please arrive at Gillham Wine Bar between 18:00 and 18:30. Food and drinks are on us between 18:30 and 21:30 so don't be late!
  • Is it ok to wear sunglasses on the Wedding day?
    Yes! It's bad enough that you have to get suited and booted in the heat - making you half blind in the sunshine on the day seemed like a step too far.
  • What time do I need to arrive on the Wedding day?
    We have a drinks and canapés reception from 15:30 and guests will be seated for the ceremony at 16:30. If you're travelling to the venue on the big day then please arrange a taxi / travel to arrive at 15:30.
  • Can I hire a car in (South) Republic of Cyprus and drive it in North Cyprus?
    The short answer is we advise not to. From what we've heard, it is possible but you may be limited in the number of car rental companies who will provide insurance that's valid when you cross the border e.g. you may only have 3rd party insurance when you travel into North Cyprus. We advise getting a transfer over from the South and hiring your car in the North.
  • What's the best 'maps / travel' app to use to get around?
    If you're hiring a car or simply keen to explore on foot, you'll most likely want a handy 'maps' app to help you get to where you want to go. We advise using Google Maps as we've never had a problem using this to get around. While we haven't used any other apps extensively, it's worth noting that the Apple Maps app does not have any of the local street information for North Cyprus so it's worth making sure you download an alternative if you have an iPhone!
  • How easy is it to get over the border between the (South) Republic of Cyprus and North Cyprus?
    It's a breeze. Like any other border crossing, make sure you've got your passport to hand and be aware of the customs restrictions when transporting certain types of products e.g. large quantities of tobacco and alcohol. More often than not, you'll simply need to hand over your passports to the border guards (at both border crossings) and then you'll be waved through. Don't be alarmed if your vehicle is flagged over for an inspection - these checks can occur at random.
  • Can I hire a car in North Cyprus?
    Yes you can. See our Travel & Stay page for more details
  • Is there anything I should know about staying in an Airbnb?
    There's one extra thing you should be aware of if you're staying in an Airbnb. Like everywhere in the world, energy prices in North Cyprus have skyrocketed over the last few years. As a result, you need to be careful about your energy usage! Check the fine print of the villa you've rented to see whether they've added a limit to the amount of energy that's included in the price. If they have, the biggest risk to going over the limit will be your use of air conditioning. We've been stuck with a hefty fee (£100s extra) because of our frivolous use of air con over a 2 week period so be careful! Usually, the Airbnb host will share a 'starting' energy usage as well as your 'closing' usage if they've informed you there's a limit. However, you an also check your usage yourself if you ask where the meter is.
  • How do I get a taxi / Uber in North Cyprus?
    Uber does not operate in Northern Cyprus. BOLT officially operates in Famagusta but not in Girne (a.k.a. Kyrenia). However, you'll have no problem using taxis to get around. If you keep an eye out for taxi stands there are plenty of taxis about to take you wherever you need to go in Girne. If you're looking to get a taxi from somewhere outside of town, we advise you reach out in advance and book. There usually isn’t a metre in the car so it’s wise to check with the driver how much the journey will cost before setting off. A 'dolmush' service can also still be found in some places, which acts sort of like a bus, sharing the taxi between different passengers all going to the same destination. The price is then split between everyone, which works out as a very affordable way of getting from place to place (though your journey may be longer than usual due to multiple stops). Here are some local taxi services but feel free to ask your hotel or Airbnb host for others: Ozy's Taxis: +90 533 865 6305 (WhatsApp) - 24/7 (Alsançak) Muti Travel: +90 533 852 5077 (WhatsApp) - 24/7 (Lapta & Alsançak) Bellapais Taxi (Bellapais)
  • How do I get around in North Cyprus?
    The country is pretty small. The area of North Cyprus is roughly twice the size of Greater London and width of the coast (excluding the pan handle towards the North East) is ~60km (37.3 miles). As a result, there aren't many places you can't get to within an hour or two (by car / taxi). It's worth pointing out that if you're staying for longer than the Wedding weekend, you'll most likely want to hire a car; this is because the best restaurants, hotels, beaches, cafes and bars are distributed around the coast predominantly between Lapta, Girne and the mountains (towards the South). Car Hire Hiring a car will give you the most flexibility to get around - particularly if you're hiring an Airbnb where you'll likely need to grab some groceries. Driving out there is pretty safe plus they drive on the same side of the road as the UK so no risk of accidentally driving the wrong way around a roundabout! There are several car rental companies that offer a range of cars to suit your needs - check out our Travel & Stay page for some hire company recommendations. Taxis Taxis are are probably about the same price as they are in the UK. A 15 minute taxi journey could cost ~£10-£15 depending on the time of day. There usually isn’t a metre in the car so it’s wise to check with the driver how much the journey will cost before setting off. A 'dolmush' service can also still be found in some places, which acts sort of like a bus, sharing the taxi between different passengers all going to the same destination. The price is then split between everyone, which works out as a very affordable way of getting from place to place (though your journey may be longer than usual due to multiple stops). Here are some local taxi services but feel free to ask your hotel or Airbnb host for others: Ozy's Taxis: +90 533 865 6305 (WhatsApp) - 24/7 (Alsançak) Muti Travel: +90 533 852 5077 (WhatsApp) - 24/7 (Lapta & Alsançak) Bellapais Taxi (Bellapais) Public Transport For getting around the major cities and towns in North Cyprus you can rely on regular buses and mini-buses. An efficient bus service runs from bus stations about every 15-30 minutes, depending where they’re headed to. Fares are usually very cheap, though could be more expensive if travelling further out of town. Public transport also tends to be slower after 5pm and on weekends. Oh, and be sure to bring cash if you're planning to jump on the bus! Airport Transfers Booking an airport transfer is straight forward. If you're staying at a hotel, they'll be able to organise a transfer from Ercan, Larnaca or Paphos airports. If you're staying in an Airbnb, then you can ask your host for contact numbers for transfer companies. Alternatively, if you're hiring a car, the rental companies all provide transfer services too so you can be chauffeured straight to your car. We've provided details of car rental companies on our Travel & Stay page who all offer airport transfers. Alternatively, here's a list of Tripadvisor's Top 10.
  • Do you have any good restaurant recommendations?
    There are new places to eat every time the Wiltshires have been to North Cyprus but we've compiled a list of our favourites for you so you can maximise your time when you're out there. These restaurants are great for lunch and dinner with some also offering breakfast too. Be aware that it's quite common for North Cypriot restaurants to not have websites so if you want to do some research, Tripadvisor is your best bet! NOTE if you have food allergies or intolerances, we strongly advise you talk to the restaurant ahead of time to confirm whether they can cater for you.
  • What's the local cuisine?
    North Cyprus sits on the crossroads of three continents and with its rich history, Cypriot cuisine has been influenced by many cultures. The cuisine is quite varied, with many dishes featuring meat and vegetables to encompass the healthy Mediterranean diet. Here's a few local delicacies that we strongly recommend you try: Meze Meze is part of the eating culture in North Cyprus - think of it as the Turkish equivalent of tapas! consists of a variety of small dishes, such as dips, salads, and other appetizers, that are typically served with drinks, such as raki, ouzo, or wine. Some common meze dishes in North Cyprus include hummus, cacik (pronounced juh-jook - the equivalent of Greek tzatziki), babaganoush, dolmas, sigara boreks, grilled halloumi cheese, and a variety of salads made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. NOTE If you're eating out with a large group, a restaurant will often serve you up Meze whether you've ordered it or not! Lacmaçun (pronounced Lahmajoun) Think of Lahmacun, as super thin, crispy pizza topped with a flavor-packed mixture of minced meat (usually lamb but can also be made with beef) with diced peppers, tomato, fresh herbs and earthy spices. These are a delicious for lunch but are equally great as a late night snack after a few drinks. Yalanci Dolma Dolmas are essentially a combination of rice, tomatoes, herbs and sometimes minced meat wrapped in vine leaves. While dolmas are an exceptional starter / side dish option when eating out, we prefer to grab a box full from a local supermarket and enjoy eating them at home as a snack around the pool. Sigara Borek These crispy, herby-cheese-filled rolls are often served as part of a Mezze but you can buy them from any restaurant serving local cuisine or from most local supermarkets from the deli counter.
  • Where can I find a nice place to have drinks?
    There are a few places which we strongly advise heading to for a few drinks to watch the sunset over the Med. Drinks are pretty cheap wherever you go and a lot of the restaurants & cafes operate as bars as well. Girne a.k.a Kyrenia Girne is a large coastal town with plenty of places to grab some food or drinks. We advise you head down to the Liman (the harbour) and grab a table right by the water - any restaurant / hotel will let you sit there and drink to your heart's content. There's also a lovely market that sets up most evenings. There are other pubs and bars dotted around the town. One of our favourites is the Black Penny which is a cafe by day and bar by night - it does great cocktails and also has pool tables! Bellapais Bellapais is a village, centred around the Abbey ruins, that sits further back from the coast, halfway up the mountain. It offers a more authentic Cypriot experience with cobbled streets and spectacular views. There are some lovely restaurants in the area. We advise exploring and finding a few places you like the look of. Having a few drinks at Kybele before heading down to Bellapais Gardens or Bella Moon for dinner is our idea of a perfect night in North Cyprus. Kybele is a Mediterranean / Steak restaurant sits right next to the Abbey and has phenomenal views over North Cyprus and the sea. Bellapais Gardens and Bella Moon are fantastic for food with the former boasting similar views to Kybele whereas the latter provides a more intimate courtyard setting. Lapta & Alsançak We have to hold our hands up here and say we've not ventured much into Lapta or Alsançak for drinks. However, we have heard that it's a very 'vibey' area and a great place to venture out for a few. Kervan Terrace Cafe in Alsançak is well worth heading to for a cocktail while watching the sunset over the Med and we've heard that Driftwood is a lovely restaurant / bar overlooking the beach. The 'Lapta Strip' is where you'll find most of the restaurants / bars in the area which stretches from Driftwood to Suna's Beach Club.
  • Where can I watch sports?
    So the good / bad news (depending on who you are) is that the Premier League season is over now so there won't be much football on. However, if you want to watch the Champions League final or watch other sports, there will be places dotted around which show sports. These are the two places we recommend: The George - Situated just back from the harbour in Girne a.k.a Kyrenia, The George is the main sports bar where you'll find plenty of expats drinking beer and watching sports. Montenegros - This is a sports bar located in Lapta on the mountain side of the main coastal road. It has a lots of screens and has a wide selection of beers to choose from to enjoy while watching a game.
  • Which hotels are worth spending the day at?
    Whether you're interested in chilling on a quiet beach, soaking up the atmosphere at a beach club or want to enjoy a change of scenery around a different pool, there's a hotel that will meet your needs. The good news is you can pay 400 - 600 TL (£10 - £15) per person for the day which usually includes a sun bed and access to the majority of the facilities. We've got details of some good hotels on the 'Travel & Stay' page but feel free to do your own research. Kaya Palazzo & Lords Palace are our personal favourites. They have everything you could possible want - a family friendly pool, access to a sandy beach, and a beach club atmosphere in the afternoon.
  • Where can I find the best beaches?
    Cyprus is situated in the Mediterranean and, as a result, it offers lovely warm water and golden, sandy beaches. Here's a few beaches we'd recommend: Escape Beach (Club) is situated West of Girne a.k.a Kyrenia. The water is shallow and safe for children who want to dive into the water on their rubber rings or lilos and there is an island, known as Golden Rock (or ‘Island of the Free’) which you can swim to! Acapulco Kervansaray Alagadi (often referred to as Turtle Beach) is a favoured spot for loggerhead turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs! Volunteers try to keep the beach clean and access is limited in nesting season to guided turtle-watching groups between 20.00 and 08.00. As well as the beaches mentioned above, it's worth mentioning that there are long stretches of beach all across the Northern coast. Choose a beachside hotel that you like the look of and odds are that you'll be able to pay (£10-£20pp) to spend the day by the pool & beach with complimentary access to most of the hotel facilities! We've got another section in the FAQ that covers our favourite hotels but some of our favourites for beach access are Lords Palace (Girne), Acapulco (East of Girne) and Kaya Palazzo (Karaoglanoglu).

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