Living in another country is not such a big step when you have the most favorable conditions. Life in Limassol in Cyprus is the best option for those who look for a beautiful and convenient place to live.
At the same time, doing business in Cyprus offers the most favorable tax policy in the entire EU. But why is life in Limassol so attractive? Find out the top reasons in this week’s Property Experts Cyprus blog article.
What makes Limassol special
Limassol is a fabulous city in the south of Cyprus, perfect for everyday life. Its unique location is in the very center of the southern coast. Limassol is a comfortable 1.5-hour drive away from the 2 cities with an international airport – Paphos, and Larnaca. The capital of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicosia, can also be reached at the same time. This is why many expats choose Limassol as a convenient place to stay.
And it’s more than convenient. TripAdvisor has previously ranked Limassol as the 3rd up-and-coming destination in the world, in its “Top 10 Traveler’s Choice Destinations on the Rise”. Now, let’s discover Limassol!
It is the major business center of the whole country and an attractive hub for expats from around the world. Most companies and bigger businesses are located in Limassol, which is why many expats relocate there. In the Foreign Exchange Market (Forex), in particular, there are many jobs available.
Now, there are many reasons for living in Cyprus, and in Limassol in particular. You will love this city and district if you like history, nature, and beautiful views. Apart from Nicosia, Limassol is the only city in Cyprus, where the stores are open all year long. In Famagusta, Paphos and Larnaca most places close temporarily during the off-season when there are not many tourists.
History and Culture
The town of Limassol has been inhabited since ancient times. Some graves found there date back to 2,000 BC while others date back to the 8th and 4th centuries BC.
Therefore, Limassol is full of sightseeing places left by ancient Greeks. Limassol’s historical center, known as Old Town today, is located around its medieval Limassol Castle.
A large marina is also located near the old town. The large international port serves not only industrial vessels but also passenger ferries and tourist cruise ships. The most popular cruises are to the nearby destinations Greece and Israel.
Today, Limassol has a city population of just over 100,000, an urban population of over 180,000 and almost 240,000 people live in the metropolitan area.
The best way to visit the old part of the city is a walking tour. Did you know that the municipality of Limassol offers free walking tours? This allows you to get to know the city and its main sights free of charge! Compared to other cities in Cyprus, you can actually go for walks in the city much more easily, even if the streets might be narrow – especially in the old town, thanks to the pedestrian walkways and zones.
Just like everywhere, there are a lot of street cats in Limassol. But did you know that locals value cats for keeping the island’s cities free from poisonous snakes? That’s why street cats are appreciated and accepted in the cities.
With plenty of historical sights, Limassol allows you to enjoy the cultural heritage of Cyprus. Make sure to visit one of Cyprus’ most spectacular archaeological sites – the ancient city-kingdom of Kourion This “small” theater for 3,500 spectators was built in the 2nd century. The views over the jagged coastal cliffs and out to the Mediterranean Sea are mesmerizing from here.
Another jewel of the island’s historical heritage is the Kolossi Castle near Limassol. It was the start of the active development of the wine industry on the island, which dates back to 4,000 BC.
The culture of Limassol began with winemaking in Cyprus, thanks to the fertile land and a well-established maritime transport system. The cultivation of grapes within the Limassol district has a long history, and today winemakers still distribute wine for locals and tourists in clay jugs and amphorae.
Besides traditional winemaking, Limassol is also known for its beautiful and versatile landscapes. Let’s find out more.
Nature in Limassol
The nature in Limassol is diverse – from mountains to beaches. Troodos is the largest mountain range on the island and the majority of the impressive Troodos mountain range is located in Limassol. Including the highest peak, Mount Olympus at 1,952 meters.
You will also find the Sun Valley and North Face ski areas with their five ski lifts there. Yes, you can go skiing in Cyprus in winter! The Troodos area is also home to the old winemaker villages like Omodos. Besides, there are many waterfalls and hiking paths in the mountains.
At the same time, Limassol is home to beautiful beaches. White Rocks Beach is among the top 5 hidden beaches in this district. The chalk coastline, formed many million years ago opens up to gorgeous pebbly coves. It is a great spot to relax and enjoy the sun almost by yourself.
Schools and universities
For those who wish to move to Cyprus for permanent residence, Cyprus provides excellent conditions, also for the next generation. The government prioritizes the education of children and young adults. Therefore, there are several English-language schools, such as English in Cyprus, Plato Educational Services, and The Grammar School Limassol.
The latter was one of the first foreign schools to open in Cyprus and currently has the status of the most prestigious educational institution in Cyprus. Graduates can obtain degrees in statistics, mathematics, computer graphics, design, economics, and others. It allows them to apply for admission to the best higher education institutions in Cyprus, the EU, and the USA.
Besides the above-mentioned schools, there is the renowned L.I.T.C Russian-English Private School in Limassol. It is a secondary school, where children learn all subjects from the educational program of Russia here.
In case you wonder, why there is a Russian school in the small country of Cyprus, we can shed some light on this matter!
Russians in Limassol
Of the several expat nationalities, Russians make up a significant part. Today, around 17% of the population of Limassol speaks Russian, and 8% of the population are Russian citizens, who reside in Limassol. This means, approximately 40,000 Russians are living in the Limassol district in 2019. And most of them have Cypriot citizenship.
Diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Russia began back in the 1970s. At that time, Cyprus declared its independence, and Russia was part of the USSR. Relations between the two nationalities develop until now.
Back in the 1990s, Russian entrepreneurs discovered that Cyprus was a great place to develop international business – not only because of the direct flights to and from Moscow, but also thanks to the sunny weather, which makes everything just a bit easier.
Many Russians, in addition to setting up companies, also purchased property here – for investment and for their own residence. The offshore investment of affluent Russian expatriates and those wanting to keep their wealth safe earned Limassol the nickname “Limassolgrad”.
And when Cyprus joined the EU the interest of Russian migrants to Cyprus only increased, because having the Cyprus passport and/or residency now means an entry ticket into the European Union.
Business opportunities in Limassol
With enough small change, it’s fairly easy to obtain a Cyprus permanent residency. If you have the Cyprus permanent residency, you may hold company shares, and pay yourself dividends. However, you are only allowed to work as an employee in Cyprus if you have a Cyprus passport and citizenship.
Therefore, a Cyprus company set up (for example, Cyprus Ltd.) is an attractive option for many expats. And there is an abundance of business opportunities in Limassol, for example, in the area of Forex, construction, and tourism. Limassol is really the business center of Cyprus.
Most local and foreign companies open their offices there. If you are looking for financial and legal advice, you will also find plenty of businesses in Limassol, which can help you with your taxes and other financial services.
When Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, this increased interest in the island for countries like China, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries.
Limassol Real Estate
Given the business life of the city, property in Limassol is quite costly. You will actually find that the most expensive villas on the island are located in Limassol. While in Limassol city skyscrapers with offices and apartments are booming, the coastline is also rather dense, mainly with tourist infrastructure. Many hotels and large resort complexes shape the views there.
Investors value the real estate opportunities in Limassol because there is a variety of investment villas, houses, and apartments for sale. Buying and renting these upscale properties is a profitable business.
Medical System in Limassol
Cyprus generally offers public healthcare free of charge to all EU citizens as long as they pay for their health insurance in their home country.
The national health system (NHS) of Cyprus or GeSY (Genikó Sýstima Ygeías, English: General Healthcare System – GHS) is the general health insurance system in the country for everyone with a Cyprus residence.
Since March 2019, this program covers out-of-hospital care with a very small own contribution rate. If you are eligible for this program, you don’t need private insurance anymore once you become a resident of Cyprus.
Medical Tourism in Cyprus is gaining popularity, thanks to well-established hospital infrastructure en par with international standards at an affordable price.
Ygia Polyclinic Private Hospital is the largest and one of the best-equipped private hospitals, located in the heart of Limassol. The Limassol New General Hospital offers high-level secondary and tertiary medical care, across a wide range of clinical specialties, diagnostic and laboratory examinations.
International patients, in particular, value the complete scope of services provided by the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus in Limassol.
Limassol is simply a great place to live – from its rich history and culture and traditions to exciting landscapes, as well as job and business opportunities, including real estate investment.
Particularly for business owners and managers, who have many meetings throughout the island, Limassol is a great base. In particular, in the sector of Forex and Russian investment.
Locals and expats alike enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city life in Limassol in Cyprus. Have we sparked your interest? If you want to find out more about moving to Cyprus and starting a business in general, or Limassol in particular, Property Experts Cyprus is here for you!