Crossing the Cyprus Border to the North: Everything you Need to Know
When the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, crossing the border between the disjointed North and South Cyprus became much easier.
If you are a tourist visiting Northern Cyprus, you can cross the border at the Turkish Cypriot passport control by presenting your passport and visa, if you need one for travelling to Southern Cyprus. You will then be provided with a white slip to fill out with your name, nationality and passport number.
This white visa form will be stamped by the Northern Cyprus border authorities, rather than your actual passport. Once you have crossed the border headed North, your by passport will be checked again by the Greek Cypriot authorities.
There are no restrictions on how many times you cross, and you can stay as long as you like. The border crossings are open 24 hours a day and you may be stopped for a routine check of your vehicle, where you will be asked to open the boot of the car for Officials; or your bag if you are crossing by foot.
Crossing the Cyprus Border by Car
It is not permitted to take a Northern Cyprus hire car into Southern Cyprus. You can however take a hire car from the Greek side into the North, however additional insurance must be paid at the border crossing. This is because no insurance company’s documents are valid after crossing on either side and will not cover accidents.
To cross the border at the main crossing point: Metehan, this is located in Nicosia and can be easily located by following the signs for Kyrenia. This is where you will buy the additional car insurance, prices are relatively cheap and you can choose how many days cover to take according to your stay.
There are limitations on the volume of goods you can cross the border with, especially duty-free items such as cigarettes and alcohol. Any person found to be violating these restrictions often result in the goods being confiscated and a heavy fine imposed. If you are travelling North with animals make sure they have all the required documents for travel and be aware that on your return to the South side you may be denied entry if you cannot show their country of origin.
The Turkish side is famous for the markets where you can find cheap watches and knock-off designer bags. Be aware that these items are forbidden in the South, and if found with any large number of contraband items, again the goods will be confiscated and the individual imposed with a fine.