Shopping and Eating in Cyprus
Cyprus is one of the countries in Asia.
Shopping in Cyprus
Cyprus defined by AbbreviationFinder is by no means a paradise for shopping enthusiasts, but prices are generally low on locally produced goods and you can make some warps. Cyprus is, as is well known, an island, and most of it has to be imported and transported by air or boat, and transport costs push up prices on imported products.
You will find local craftsmanship everywhere, and the most classic and traditional product you can bring home is lace and embroidery. For centuries, the women of the mountain village of Lefkara have been sitting outside their houses, enchanting the most beautiful patterns of tablecloths and cloths.
Here is the exception to the rule that imported is more expensive than locally produced, but then you also get the best possible quality. Lefkara, located a few miles west of Larnaca, also produces silverware and ceramics. You will find Lefkara products on sale throughout Cyprus.
Of other typical goods from Cyprus, you have leather products, baskets, terracotta products, stoneware, copperware, shoes and jewelry. And not to forget the sweet wine Commandaria that has been in production for many centuries.
Cypriot opticians have also found their niche in tourists and can offer good quality glasses and well-known brands for up to half the price of what you get at home in Norway. Visual tests are almost always included in the price.
Cyprus stores are generally open from 9am to 6pm, but often close for lunch a few hours in the afternoon. Also, many businesses close earlier on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Sundays are almost all closed.
Warehouses in Cyprus
There are some department stores and shopping centers in the larger cities. In the capital Nicosia you will find international chains such as Marks & Spencer and Woolworths, and feel free to visit Cyprus’s oldest shopping center Capital Center on Makarios Avenue.
Close to the Capital Center is the City Plaza, which has three floors of shops selling everything from books, plates, clothes, shoes and sports equipment. Also, get with the semi-legendary Zako store which opened as early as 1946, located at 95 Evagora Pallikarides Street.
In Limassol you will also find Zako, and chains like Marks & Spencer and Woolsworth. In Agios Andreou Street is the modern arcade of Agora with over fifty shops, where you can buy clothes, shoes and crafts. A little further down the street is the Marios Shopping Center.
In Paphos and Larnaca, there is probably a Woolworth and a Marks & Spencer, and you will find branches of Zako. In Larnaca you also have the department store Forum.
Click here for an overview of all kinds of stores in Cyprus, from supermarkets to brick-and-mortar sales.
Do not forget that you pay Cypriot VAT and that on all purchases over a certain amount you can get a refund of the VAT on departure.
Not all stores have a VAT refund scheme, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance to buy expensive products. Remember to bring a completed and stamped form and receipt.
Eating in Cyprus
Like most island nations, the restaurant offerings in Cyprus are dominated by seafood, although there is no problem getting meat or vegetarian food. Cyprus is naturally very influenced by the food culture of its mother states, Greece and Turkey, and dishes like moussaka and souvlaki abound.
The Cypriots, on the other hand, have the habit of seasoning the food with mint, unlike what you get in Greece. In Northern Cyprus, grilled kebabs on skewers apply.
The Cypriots have become very driven to deal with hordes of tourists who would like what they are used to from their home country, so there are plenty of English pubs serving fish and chips as well as German and Scandinavian restaurants.
Like everywhere else in the world, you will always find Chinese and Indian eateries, American fast food chains and countless pizza restaurants.
Local food in Cyprus
In real Cypriot eateries you get very large and filling portions made from fresh ingredients. Try the marathon meal meze, which is a series of many light meals that are usually shared by several. Here you get a taste of most of what Cyprus has to offer of culinary treats. But be prepared for up to 30 dishes on the table, so make plenty of room and be hungry before you start! Also test the local calamari, small squid delicately cooked in red wine sauce. As an accessory you get vegetables such as potatoes in olive oil, parsley, cauliflower and asparagus. And of course good and cheap local red wine.
If you want an authentic, Cypriot dining experience without mass produced tourist menus, head to one of the small villages further inland and find the local tavern where the locals dine. Here you should not expect white tablecloths, headmasters, silverware or even a menu. But ask for today’s dish and you will be guaranteed scented food with fresh ingredients.
A renowned little hidden gem is Kouppas Stone Tavern in the small village of Neo Chorio on the Akamas Peninsula to the west of Cyprus. Especially recommended is the Cypriot specialty Afelia, which is tender pork in red wine with coriander.
Another very special experience is spending Sunday driving to the small village of Phyti, which is high up in the mountains above the Evreto Valley in western Cyprus. From The Phyti Tavern you have a panoramic view of the valley that will completely take your breath away, and the Sunday lunches here with meze are very popular with the locals. Call 00357 99138573, pre-book a table and start enjoying yourself.
Dessert in Cyprus
For dessert you can expect fresh fruit and sweet cakes that are often filled with cheese, figs or honey. This includes the Cypriot coffee, a powdery sweet brew served in small cups, often with a glass of water.
Many restaurants are closed in the afternoon, serving dinner from 20:00 onwards. Only from 21:00 the restaurants start to fill up.
Beverages in Cyprus
The Cypriots have been making wine for thousands of years, and most agree that they master that art. The most famous wine is probably Commandaria, a sweet amber dessert wine that has been produced for over two thousand years. Richard the Lionheart, who married a Cypriot princess during one of the 1100s crusades, must have been excited about this drink. Commandaria is to be the world’s oldest wine that has been in continuous production under the same name.
Of common red wine, Maratheftiko and Onoufrios are among the best, and of the white wines you should try the Vasilikon.
If you prefer beer, the local brands Leon and KEO are light and tasty pilsners that should preferably be served ice cold. If you order meze, you will probably be offered locally produced brandy, with an alcohol percentage of almost 40%.