Public transportation is Nicosia is limited to the local public bus system, as there is no national or city rail. The city is well covered by the multiple bus lines that run through it. Some people also use taxis, but they are generally far more expensive.
Tickets can be purchased on buses, with fares for a single city journey running about 1.50 Euros for adults and 0.75 Euros for students.
Passengers may also purchase night tickets, which are slightly more expensive, unlimited daily tickets for multiple journeys throughout the day, weekly tickets, and monthly tickets. Children under 6 and pupils who present their Pupil card travel for free.
The local buses in Nicosia are operated by an organization called OSEL. It's important to check the timetables of the buses that you will use the most, since the operational times of the bus routes in Nicosia are very different.
Most buses start their daily timetable around 6 to 8 AM on weekdays, and finish between 6 and 8 PM, depending on the route. You can check the timetables of buses in Nicosia on the Cyprus By Bus website. Some buses also run throughout the night.
There are plenty of inter-city buses that take you between Cyprus' five biggest cities, and the routes are generally a couple of hours long at most. Intercity buses usually operate between 6 AM and 10:30 PM.
A lot of buses to different destinations throughout the island depart from Larnaca International Airport, which is a central point for the intercity bus system. Other major stops include Paphos International Airport, Finikoudes Bus Stop, and Agia Napa Square.
The popular Limassol Airport Express charges 9 Euros per person, while daily fares for other intercity buses range from 7 to 15 Euros. This makes intercity buses a very popular and budget-friendly way for getting around the island.
Though Nicosia has an airport, the Nicosia International Airport is mostly abandoned, and therefore is not a major arrival point for visitors to Cyprus.
Most travelers arrive via Larnaca International Airport or Paphos International Airport, both operated by Hermes Airports. To access the northern Turkish-occupied part of the island, you can arrive at Ercan International Airport in Tymvou.
Larnaca International Airport is the preferred point of entry for travelers to Larnaca, Limassol, and Nicosia. The airport has been in operation since February 8, 1975.
Annually, over 5 million travelers pass through Larnaca International Airport, using over 30 airlines that serve both domestic and international destinations. Though there is only one primary passenger terminal, with departures on the upper level and arrivals at ground level, there is also a small “VIP Terminal” for private aviation, cargo, and visiting dignitaries.
Larnaca International Airport underwent a 650 million Euro upgrade that was completed in 2006, so the airport's design was modernized and the amenities were expanded. Today, the airport includes 67 check-in counters, 1 VIP room, 3,700 square meters of retail, food, and beverage facilities, 21 boarding gates, car rentals, free Wi-Fi, and 2,440 parking spaces.
Travelers arrive at Paphos International Airport when they wish to visit Paphos or Limassol. The airport is the second biggest in Cyprus and serves almost 2 million passengers annually; it also functions as a hub for European budget airline Ryanair.
Paphos International Airport also underwent a recent renovation in 2008, and now covers an area of 20,000 square meters. The airport includes 24 Check-in counters, 6 boarding gates, car rentals, 1,500 square meters of retail, food and beverage facilities, free Wi-Fi, and 554 parking spaces.
Larnaca International Airport offers a Nicosia-Larnaca Airport Shuttle to get you to the capital city, the Limassol Airport Express to get you to the beach destination of Limassol, and an airport shuttle service to connect you to the other main airport of the island, Paphos Airport.
Both airports include car rental services where you can rent a private car to drive yourself around the island, an option many travelers prefer and many expats opt for during the beginning of their move to Cyprus.
If you opt for the shuttle service instead, look for “Kapnos Airport Shuttle” signs in your arrival airport, which connect Paphos and Larnaca airports with each other and with Nicosia. Shuttles run around 9 to 12 Euros per adult, depending on the route.
Most commuters in Nicosia prefer buses for their lower price, but you can also find taxis throughout the city. The best advantage taxis offer as opposed to buses is 24-hour service in Cyprus' major cities. You can hail taxis from the street or book them in advance. Usually, large cities such as Nicosia have dedicated taxi ranks, for example the major center of Eleftheria Square in Nicosia.
You can also choose to book a taxi for intercity transportation, but this is generally a much more expensive option than travel by bus.
A journey of 3 miles in a taxi will run around 10 Euros, and prices increase by about 1.85 Euros per mile after that. Of course, regulated fares always depend on the time of day and whether or not you are traveling on a public holiday.
Tips are not usually expected by cab drivers, though some people do round up their fare or leave a small tip of 5%.
Services such as Acropolis Transport make it easy to hire a luxury car with a private driver in order to get around the island comfortably, and perhaps take care of business while you are on the road.
Since driving is the preferred method of getting around Nicosia and Cyprus, car hires are easy to find. If you are generally reliant on public transportation, car hires will help you access some of the most beautiful and more secluded natural areas of the islands, including beaches and historic relics.
Use a service such as Cyprus Car Hire Portal or EasyCar.com to find a car hire that suits you, and pick up your rental at one of the major international airports, or one of several car rental services with multiple locations in Nicosia and other large cities on the island.
Defensive driving is always recommended in Cyprus, because while main roads are generally well maintained and traffic is usually not an issue, Cypriot drivers have a reputation for driving aggressively, failing to use indicators and not fully stopping when they are required to do so. Remember that in Cyprus, cars drive on the left thanks to the island's legacy of British rule.
Also, if you are venturing out into more rural areas, it is likely you will come across unpaved roads, though most passenger vehicles should be able to handle them. However, it is always a good idea to ask someone local if your vehicle can handle the terrain.