North Cyprus Border Crossings
There has never been an easier way to cross over into a different country than crossing between the borders of North and south Cyprus. In 2004, the North Cyprus government took the first step and opened the Nicosia border. The border crossings are very frequently used by the locals on both sides of the island, for visiting friends, old neighbourhoods and shopping. It is equally easy for tourists to cross the border as it is for the Cypriots, all you have to do is show your passport (and visa if required) at the Turkish Cypriot passport control booth, who will in return give you a white slip in which you must write down your name and passport number and nationality. When you have written down that down, the authorities will stamp this paper. You must show this paper again on your return from South Cyprus at the Turkish Cypriot Passport control. When you have passed the North Cyprus border and have reached the south Cyprus passport control booth, you will present your passport only. Don’t worry about any limitations, as you may cross the borders as many times as you want for 24 hours a day and stay however long your heart desires. Keep in mind that it is forbidden to take a North Cyprus hire car across the border and there is a limitation of 50CYP on goods being taken across the border.
North Cyprus Border Crossings – where to find them
The most frequently used border crossing is the Metehan (also called Agios Dometios) border point situated in Nicosia, where people cross on regular basis to shop, socialise or just to enjoy a day trip. Another popular border crossing is the Ledra Palace crossing, also in Nicosia. It is important to remember that you are not allowed to go across this border with a car, although diplomatic cars are the exception. A lot of people opt to use a bicycle when using this border; however, if you plan to walk, the shops are only a 10 minute walk away! If you are staying in a resort in the west of the island, use the Güzelyurt (known by many names: Astromeritis, Morpho, Morfu, Omorfo or Zohdia) border crossing, where it is possible to cross with a car. The other two border crossings are in the British Eastern Sovereign Base Area and are known as Black Knight crossing (or Akyar, Azios Nikolaos and Strovilia) and the Pergamos crossing (or Beyarmudu and Dhekelia). The latest border crossing to open was the Lokmacı border crossing, situated in the heart of Nicosia, on the main shopping street. This border crossings opening was a much anticipated event by the Cypriots and especially the shop owners in the area.
Crossing the Cyprus Border by Car
Even though you are not allowed to bring across your North Cyprus hire car to the south of the island, it is permitted that you bring a south Cyprus hire car in to the north as long as you purchase the additional insurance while at the border crossing, which is necessary as there isn’t an insurance company on the south of the island which covers any accidents that may occur in the north. To reach the Metehan border crossing, follow the road signs for
Keryneia (Kyrenia) once you reach Nicosia. All you need to do is show your passport and fill in a white slip with your name, passport number and nationality at the North Cyprus checkpoint, where you will also purchase the car insurance.
Private Turkish Cypriot cars can cross over to south Cyprus once they buy the additional insurance required, which is sold with a choice of monthly or annually.
Why cross the North Cyprus border?
As northern Cyprus has so much to offer those who visit the island, you may not even get the chance to visit the south side of the island! If you love exploring all things ancient with an exciting history, then you must cross the Nicosia border crossing to fully experience the entrancing Venetian walls of Nicosia. As Nicosia is a divided city, these ancient walls are also divided and the only way to experience it as a whole would be to see from both sides of the border.
North Cyprus Border Restrictions
There are strict restrictions regarding the amount of goods you can take with you when you are crossing the border, such as cigarettes and alcohol. If you are caught going against these rules, your goods will be confiscated and you will receive a fine. It is best not to carry any documents regarding property in the north, especially if you are planning on purchasing a North Cyprus property, as it has been known that the Greek Cypriot authorities have confiscated these documents and also asked people to make a statement to the police. Even though it is not technically in practise, it is wise to know that entering south Cyprus from North Cyprus is illegal and the Greek police are authorized to give you a fine.
For further inquiries about border crossings in Cyprus, you can call the Metehan Border Gate: 00 90 392 223 6318.