Cyprus is home to a mix of traditional and modern cultural wonders and is fast becoming an enticing world destination for foreigners interested in moving abroad.
Expats in Cyprus are attracted to the island’s stable sunny weather and the range of lifestyle options available. One particularly fast-growing community of expats comes from Germany.
This week, Property Experts Cyprus covers German expats in Cyprus and the reasons so many continue to be enticed to emigrate to this Mediterranean paradise.
Expats in Cyprus
A sovereign nation and part of the EU since 2004, Cyprus is an advanced global destination with a high Human Development Index. Expats in Cyprus can expect to find a fascinating culture that blends ancient and modern civilizations with European, Middle Eastern, and African influences thousands of years in the making.
The main language is Greek, but English is widely spoken by everyone. Other languages such as Russian, German, and French are also found throughout the island.
Today, expats in Cyprus make the country the second-highest in terms of percentage of foreign citizens in the EU. About 13% come from other EU countries, and 7% from non-EU countries. The largest group of expats in Cyprus are from the UK. Approximately 110,000 foreign permanent residents call this eastern Mediterranean island home.
As a tourist destination, Cyprus is among the favorites for Germans. In 2019, it ranked fourth with around190,000 German citizens visiting the island. This trend has halted due to the global Covid-pandemic.
Bilateral Relations between Germany and Cyprus
In 1960, Germany and Cyprus established diplomatic relations and since have had close relations. The two nations have signed several agreements and treaties regarding the flow of goods, people, and double tax.
One of the industries with the closest cooperation between the two countries is the shipping sector. Mostly based out of Limassol, the shipping sector comprises more than 7% of Cyprus’ GDP and operates more than 2400 vessels, making it the 10% largest fleet in the world.
One of the hallmarks of the cultural relationship between Germany and Cyprus is the Goethe Institut in Nicosia, which re-opened in July 2011. German expats in Cyprus are also involved with the German-Cypriot Cultural Association and the German-Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association, which both work closely with the Goethe Institut and the German Embassy in Nicosia to showcase German cultural events around Cyprus.
Since joining the EU in 2004, Cyprus signed an agreement for mutual recognition of university degrees designed to enable greater admissions of Cypriot and German students to degree programs in the two countries. Recently, Cyprus has become a more attractive study destination for German students, with many public and private higher education institutions offering exchange programs with partner universities.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cited Cyprus as a safe destination for German citizens and congratulated President Nicos Anastasiades for the handling of the pandemic situation. The two underlined the significance of bilateral relationships to support tourism and immigration, key sectors of the Cypriot economy.
Germany vs Cyprus: The Cost of Living
One of the benefits of moving to Cyprus is the low cost of living. Consumer prices in Cyprus are nearly 10% lower than in Germany and many grocery prices are about 6% less as well. Eating out at restaurants is comparable between the two countries. German expats in Cyprus also find that rent prices are 24% lower than properties in Germany. Likewise, properties for sale are less expensive compared to Germany.
In Cyprus, almost everyone drives and it is rare to find people walking to their destinations around the cities. Yet, transportation costs are less than in Germany, especially the costs of fuel and public transportation such as buses.
Education is another area in which German expats in Cyprus save on the cost of living. International primary schools are 50% cheaper than those in Germany and cost an average of 6000 Euros per child annually.
In comparison, Germans making the move to Cyprus can find an affordable and high quality of life for their families.
Where are Most German Expats Based?
Expats in Cyprus are spread throughout the major cities: Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, and Famagusta.
The German expat community can mostly be found in the city of Larnaca. Located on the southern coast of the island, Larnaca is the third-largest city in Cyprus. The population of the city is 140,000. Larnaca is only about 30 minutes away from the capital city Nicosia by car.
There is also the German Lidl supermarket found throughout the island which carries many German products. German bakeries and butcheries can also be found in major cities with bread and meat products with similar qualities and ingredients as in Germany.
Cyprus is also known for its medical care, with many doctors receiving degrees in Germany and able to provide services in German in the country.
The city of Larnaca is known for its wine and exotic Mediterranean cuisine. Larnaca is more relaxed than the other big cities, such as Nicosia and Limassol, but there are still plenty of places to enjoy.
Activities German Expats Enjoy in Larnaca, Cyprus
One of the nicest areas of Larnaca is the Finikoudes beach and boardwalk. With warm waters and clean sands, Larnaca provides German expats in Cyprus a more traditional experience of Cypriot life.
Many German expats enjoy the scenic landscape and the many outdoor recreational activities that Cyprus offers. There are places to go mountain hiking or biking as well as hit the beach for some paddleboarding. As a country with over 340 days of sunshine annually, Cyprus is a nature-lovers oasis.
Larnaca also boasts one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. The Zenobia shipwreck is not far from the city and attracts many experienced divers every year.
If you have ever seen the beautiful photographs of pink flamingos in Cyprus, then you understand why many expats in Cyprus travel to the nearby Larnaca Salt Lakes to see the colorful birds in winter and spring.
Yet German expats don’t have to spend all their leisure time in the stunning outdoors. Larnaca has many local shops to explore with Cypriot handicrafts such as homemade lace, jewelry, pottery, and silverwork. Lefkara village is just 40km from the city and is renowned for its local handicrafts. The city also has plenty of museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the year to keep residents entertained.
Business and Education in Larnaca
There are many international companies located in Larnaca and more relocating every year. As a result, there are plenty of job opportunities in the city. With a competitively low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, Cyprus is an ideal location for foreign entrepreneurs. Moreover, income is tax-free up to 19,500 Euros, which is more than double the income tax exemption in Germany.
Further, the education sector is expanding and several institutions for higher learning are found in Larnaca. Four internationally recognized universities are in Larnaca and German expats can find a variety of local and international schools, both public and private, for school-aged children to attend.
Moreover, Larnaca has become a goldmine for retiring expats seeking the benefits of stable weather, a vibrant, yet relaxed lifestyle, and a range of financial and healthcare advantages in the country. Retirement real estate and investment opportunities are quickly growing in Larnaca and Cyprus in general.
The Larnaca Marina, one of the biggest real estate development projects in the works in Cyprus, is set to expand the city’s economy and enrich the opportunities for greater developments moving forward. Read more about it here.
German expats in Cyprus experience the luxuries of world-famous attractions while in a relaxed Mediterranean paradise. From the wide range of beaches, outdoor recreational escapes, local handicrafts and cuisine, and historical landmarks, Cyprus is a thrilling foreign destination for its expat community.
Larnaca, the city with the largest German expat population, combines stunning seafronts with welcoming community activities. The lifestyle opportunities are endless for Germans excited to move abroad and the many real estate properties make it easy to find the best place to live for residents in Cyprus.
Since Larnaca is not a popular tourist destination, German expats don’t have to worry about sharing the city scene with many others. The cost of living in Larnaca is more ideal than other cities on the island and as a whole, Cyprus is financially favorable to Germany.
Interested in learning more about the German community in Cyprus? Contact the professionals at Property Experts Cyprus to find out about the lifestyle advantages and economic benefits of relocating from Germany.
Our team can help you with figuring out the best immigration program for you and aid in real estate investment opportunities. We can also find you the perfect real estate for your new home and assist with business set-up, educational or healthcare needs through our partners, or connect with you with other Germans expats in Cyprus.