Pros and cons of retiring to Cyprus

By George Konstantinou

Updated: February 21, 2024

Cyprus is a popular destination, not only for holidays but also for retirement. The sunny climate, good food and relaxed atmosphere make Cyprus particularly attractive. Is there anything that may prove worrying, though? In our guide, you will find all the pros and cons of retiring to Cyprus.


Warm climate

The climate is warm, with mild and short winters. Expect some heavy rainfall and cold during January and February; other than that, the weather is usually very good. There are about 340 days of sunshine a year.

Laid-back lifestyle

In Cyprus, the lifestyle is laid-back because of the short distances between places and the overall cultural attitude towards rest. There is always some free time and things to do.

Closeness to the sea

Even if you live inland, you are never too far from a sandy beach. The sea in Cyprus is clean, and many beaches boast a blue flag. There are 350 km of coastline in the unoccupied area of the Republic. Retiring to Cyprus brings the glittering Mediterranean to your door!


Cyprus has a long and rich history. You will love the museums and living so close to ancient ruins and old, fascinating architecture!

Expat Community

The sunny climate and relaxed lifestyle have created a large and active ex-pat community in Cyprus. Most ex-pats come from the UK, but you will find US citizens, Russians, and people from all over the world.

Outdoor activities

There are plenty, especially related to the sea and water. Note that some forms of entertainment may stop during the winter months and start again in spring.

Low crime rate

The crime rate is low, and generally, Cyprus is considered a safe place to live. However, this does not mean that crime is non-existent. Act responsibly by guarding your possessions and avoiding any unnecessary risks.

Member of the EU

Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004. This guarantees a stable government and a system that operates by European standards with respect for human rights and freedoms.

Access to Healthcare

Living in Cyprus, you can access the GeSY (General Health System, GHS). The GHS is a public sector and is available for citizens and residents of Cyprus. The European Commission, in the report State of Health in the EU – Cyprus– Country Health Profile 2021, writes that the Cypriot population is among the healthiest in the EU. Also, life expectancy in Cyprus is well above the average for Europe as a whole. The report commends the effort put into making the GHS a fully functioning and efficient system.

Additionally, the private health sector in Cyprus is of a very high standard. Cyprus boasts a number of excellent private hospitals, clinics and medical centres.

Process of buying real estate

The process of buying real estate can be complex. However, if you engage a real estate agent and a lawyer, it should seem easy enough. Professionals in Cyprus are all English-speaking and offer services of a very high standard. If you are a third-country national, you cannot buy property in Cyprus without permission from the Council of Ministers. However, the Council will not deny permission to good-faith individuals.

Low taxes

There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus and no immovable property tax. If you are not a resident of Cyprus, you will not be taxed on any income from abroad. You will only be taxed on any income you get from Cyprus.

The income tax rate for residents is zero for up to EUR 19,500 per year, and there is no tax on dividend income. You are considered a resident of Cyprus for tax purposes if you stay 183 days a year in Cyprus or 60 days a year and you are not a tax resident anywhere else. Read more about the Cyprus tax system.

Visa or residence permit

EU nationals can live in Cyprus and buy property without restrictions. Concerning third-country nationals, some types of permits are very well-suited for pensioners and retirees. One such permit is the Category F permanent residence permit. This requires the applicant to have a secured annual income and not need to work. With a Category F permit, your spouse and underage children can join you in Cyprus.


Price of real estate

Real estate in Cyprus is getting pricier, according to the Land Registry (2023). This is confirmed by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) residential property price index for the third quarter of 2023 (latest available information). The rise is 2,2% from the second quarter and 7,6% from the previous year.


According to the Association of Scientific Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants of Cyprus, the amount of rent for property can be high, though not as high as in other areas of Europe. Note that Eurostat reports an overall rise across the EU.

For Nicosia, an apartment with two bedrooms is 650-800, in Larnaca 500-600, and in Limassol 700-1000. House rentals are 1,200-2,000 in Nicosia, 900-1,700 in Larnaca, and 1,200-2,200 in Limassol (all prices in euros per month). However, amounts may be higher, as reported by the Real Estate (Akinita) newspaper in August 2022, issue 241.

If you are looking to rent, you should check matters such as area and location, condition of the property, amenities (for example, air conditioning) and communal charges (for apartments).

Cost of living

Although the cost of living in Cyprus remains relatively low, prices are rising, as reported by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on 15 April 2022. In March 2023, for example, milk (2L full fat) was 3,02 on average, large sliced white bread 1,92, eggs (12) 3,45 and bottled water (12x500 ml) 2,74 (all prices in euro, source - https://consumer.gov.cy).

Lack of public transport

Living without your own car is difficult in Cyprus because public transport is limited in all areas, while it is entirely lacking in other areas. There is no train system at all. Often, without your own car, you will need to hire a private taxi, which can be expensive. The good news is that Cyprus has signed agreements with a number of countries so that you can bring your car and have your driving licence recognised without much difficulty. There is no tax for bringing your car from the EU or the UK to Cyprus (“zero import duty”).


Retiring in Cyprus is an excellent decision despite some drawbacks. Through relatively easy procedures, you will be able to buy your own place and pass your retirement close to the sun and the beach!

Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of retiring to Cyprus?

The advantages of retiring to Cyprus are several. They include the fine, sunny weather and closeness to the sea, healthy food and proximity to nature, relatively low cost of living, and good healthcare. Moreover, crime is low, a range of properties to buy is available, and English is spoken widely. Because of EU membership, you can find goods and quality merchandise easily. Citizens’ rights are well established under the Constitution and EU Treaties, so expect to live there free from discrimination and interference.

What are the disadvantages of living in Cyprus?

The disadvantages of living in Cyprus are relatively minor. Public transport, though improving, is not as good as in other parts of the EU, so you will need a car. Electricity is expensive, which might be a problem in the summer months when air-conditioning is necessary. Summers in Cyprus are quite hot. If you are not tolerant of high temperatures, make sure you spend some days in July-August on the island before deciding to live there permanently. Another issue is that the government machinery tends to be slow. Apart from these, Cyprus is pleasant, with an easy-going lifestyle that suits most people.

Is Cyprus a good place to retire?

Cyprus is a good place to retire because of its mild weather, healthy climate, closeness to nature and the sea, and the availability of fresh food. The cost of living is not high compared to other parts of the EU, and there is good healthcare. The banking network is efficient, so you can receive your pension from abroad. Because of numerous double-taxation treaties, you will most likely avoid being taxed twice. The flat rate for foreign pensions is 5% for any amount over EUR 3420 (but you may choose to be taxed at the normal income rate, which begins at 20% for an income of EUR 19,501 to 28,000).

Can a UK citizen retire to Cyprus from the UK?

They most definitely can. You can come to Cyprus visa-free for 90 days, during which time you will apply for a residence permit, temporary or permanent. A local lawyer can greatly help in this regard, so make sure you contact one.


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