North Cyprus Border Crossings
Since 2004, when the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU, it has become much easier to cross the border between Northern Cyprus and the south. The locals cross the Cyprus border daily to shop, do business or just visit either half of Nicosia. If you are a tourist visiting North Cyprus, all you need to do is present your passport (and visa, if you need one for South Cyprus) at the Turkish Cypriot passport control, who will give you a white slip to fill out with your name, passport number and nationality. It is this white visa form that will be stamped by the Northern Cyprus border authorities, NOT your passport. Once over the North Cyprus border, your passport will be checked again by the Greek Cypriot authorities. You can cross the Northern Cyprus border as many times as you like, and stay as long as you want. The border crossings are open 24 hours a day. You cannot take a North Cyprus hire car south of the border, nor can you take goods worth more than CYP50 either way.
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North Cyprus Border Crossings – where to find them
The most popular Northern Cyprus border crossing is at Metehan in Nicosia. This crossing is also known as Agios Dometios, and you join the flow of locals on bikes, vehicles and on foot who cross the border daily to shop, do business or just for pleasure. At the Ledra Palace border crossing in the west of the city, you can only cross on foot or by bicycle unless you have a diplomatic car! Further west again, you can cross the border with a vehicle at Güzelyurt, which is known by a causing assortment of names; Astromeritis, Morpho, Morfu, Omorfo or Zohdia, depending which community you come from! The two remaining border crossings are contained within the British Eastern Sovereign Base Area; the Black Knight crossing (also known as Akyar, Azios Nikolaos, or Strovilia) and the Pergamos crossing (also known as Beyarmudu, or Dhekelia).
A sixth Cyprus Border Crossing?
There are hopeful signs that one of the longest-lived barriers between Northern Cyprus and the south might be lifted. The Lokmaci barrier has been in place since 1958, way before the 1974 division, and its removal would have great significance. If this barrier in Northern Cyprus is lifted, along with its counterpart in Ledra Street on the other side of the border, this would open up the main shopping street in Nicosia once again. The Turkish government have pledged money to build a new pedestrian bridge, forming a very special sixth border crossing.
Crossing the Cyprus Border by Car
You are not permitted to take a Northern Cyprus hire car into south Cyprus. However, you can take a south Cyprus hire car into North Cyprus, but you will need to purchase additional insurance at the border crossing. This is because there is no insurance company in the south that covers accidents in the north. To cross the border at the Metehan crossing, simply drive into Nicosia and follow the signs for Keryneia (Kyrenia). You will only need to present your passport and complete a white visa slip once you arrive at the Northern Cyprus border authorities’ checkpoint. This is where you will buy your car insurance. Check out our driving directions from Larnaca Airport to North Cyprus.
Northern Cyprus private cars can cross from North Cyprus to south Cyprus, and again have to purchase additional insurance, sold by the month or the year. This is why your Northern Cyprus taxi can collect you from Larnaca airport and take you into Northern Cyprus –and back again!
Why cross the North Cyprus border?
Certainly, with so much to see and do in Northern Cyprus, you may not feel the need to cross the border at all! However, if you are visiting Nicosia for the first time, you cannot really get a complete picture of the city from just the Northern Cyprus side. The magnificent Venetian walls of Nicosia contain a wealth of treasures and ancient sites, and it would be a shame to miss half of them. Also, there is the feeling that a city so divided for so long should now celebrate the opportunity to cross into either side at will. As a visitor to Northern Cyprus, you can help to celebrate and cement this new freedom simply by walking across the border.
North Cyprus Border Restrictions
There are limits on the amount of goods you can cross the border with, including limits on items such as cigarettes. Breaching those amounts can result in goods being confiscated and a heavy fine imposed. If you are considering buying a North Cyprus property, be aware that in theory the Greek Cypriot authorities can confiscate any related documents and ask you to make a statement to the police. Also, technically, if you enter south Cyprus from the north, it is deemed an illegal point of entry by the Greek Cypriot authorities, and you could be fined, but in practice the policy is not enforced.
If you have any further questions about border crossings in Cyprus, you can ask them to other members in our forums or call Metehan Border Gate at 00 90 392 223 6318.