Cyprus is divided into two parts — northern and southern. This is not just a geographical division, these are two separate states, so the monetary unit there is also different.
The northern part of the island is controlled by Turkey. The southern side of Cyprus is the independent state of the “Republic of Cyprus”. The single monetary standard of this region is the euro. Nominal banknotes are bank notes from 5 to 500 euros, as well as cents in denominations of 1,2,5,10,20 and 50. But many local merchants also accept dollars.
What was the currency in Cyprus before the euro?
On January 1, 2008, Cyprus, or rather only the southern side of the island, joined the euro zone. Up to this point, the monetary settlement was carried out in its own currency, it was the Cypriot pound, which was equated to English sterling. They asked for $2 for 1 pound.
In 2017, the Cypriot authorities issued a decree on the deadline for the exchange, it ended in 2017. Some residents of the island, who for some reason did not have time to exchange old lira for euros, are trying to slip them to tourists in the form of change at markets or in small shops, so you should be careful.
Currency of Northern Cyprus
The northern side of the island is Turkish, and the national currency there is the Turkish lira (TL). Along with it, payment can be made using euros, dollars and British pounds. This is convenient, because upon arrival you will not need to look for an exchange office and worry about an unfavorable rate. And if there is a need to exchange for the national currency, then the big plus is that almost everywhere the exchange is interest-free.
There is a rule for entering the Turkish part of the island — according to the law, only 500 units of money can be imported there, it does not matter whether it will be dollars, yuan or hryvnia. This decision of the authorities appeared due to the crisis in 2013 and still remains in force. Customs may ask you to declare the available amount, so a card for traveling in this region is a more convenient and safe option.