Since 2003, the north and south of Cyprus have been accessible to each other via several checkpoints along the Green Line, all of which were opened as part of efforts aimed at reuniting the two Cypriot communities.
Today Europeans and Cypriots are able to use several border crossings in Cyprus, whether it’s to shop, trade or work. Currently there are 9 checkpoints open to pedestrians and/or traffic and below we will detail these for you. It’s worth noting that another checkpoint in Yeşilirmak on the far north-western tip of Cyprus could be set to open shortly and we will keep you up to date on that!
Ledra Palace – the first checkpoint to open which is for pedestrians only and which is home to a large UN contingent at the old Ledra Palace Hotel. You can partake of some Cyprus cross-border shopping at Ledra Street in the south, have a Starbucks, McDonalds or look for the latest fashions in Next or Debenhams.
Lokmacı – one of the newest and most significant crossings to have opened and one of the most frequently used by pedestrians being located in the heart of Lefkoşa. This will take you through to the top end of Ledra Street. This particular checkpoint took some determined political negotiating to see it opened!
Metehan/Kermiya – one of the busiest crossings as it allows traffic as well as pedestrians. Located on the outskirts of the city, many cross border workers use this checkpoint as well as parents taking their children to the schools in the south and of course it’s popular for many people wishing to do some supermarket or shopping.
Beyarmudu or Pile – again opened to both pedestrians and traffic although there is not much call for people on foot crossing at this checkpoint and it is mostly used for trade between the two communities.
2.5 Mile or Ayios Nikolaos – this checkpoint is located within the British Sovereign Base so you can take your car or walk through this checkpoint. It’s a different route to get to Larnaca too, so worth a try for different scenery!
Dherynia – one of the more recent crossings, and more for vehicles, with easy access to shops and supermarkets on the south side of the island.
Bostancı or Morfou/Zohdia – this checkpoint allows both pedestrians and traffic and is used mainly by locals who trade with the south. Some also use this checkpoint as an easier route to get to Paphos airport on the west coast in south Cyprus.
Lefke – again a newer crossing for both foot and traffic.
Yeşilirmak – located way out to the west of the north coast, but good for those wishing to visit the Troodos mountains in the south.
Checkpoints are open 24 hours a day and there are no restrictions on how many times a person can cross in any given period. Passports are now checked, with no more white slips to fill in. You can find out more about Visas for North Cyprus by clicking this link.
You can use the border crossings in Cyprus for hire cars coming through from the south of the island, although it is not usual for North Cyprus hire cars from the north to be taken south even though it is allowed. Many tourists and holiday home owners are now taking the opportunity of using Larnaca and Paphos airports and making the drive through the checkpoints to reach their destinations in the north, so you will find they are all well used!
You will obviously need to have your passports handy, and if taking a vehicle through to the south or north you will need to purchase third party insurance for whichever side you are visiting – currently this stands at 25Euros for one months cover at the time of writing which is pretty steep! It’s also worth noting that if you need insurance for your vehicle then it should be obtained before 9pm generally, as the insurance booths don’t stay open 24 hours.
You will also need to obtain a Road Tax document for the south (valid for one year and is free) which will be written for you at the checkpoint. Only registered owners of a particular vehicle are allowed to drive said vehicle too which is worth noting! If you are European you will also be required to have your European driving license for inspection – North Cyprus driving licenses issued to Europeans are not valid.
updated April 2020
Hi there, I’m planning to spend the summer with a retired friend who lives in North Cyprus. I’m flying into Larnaca and planning to hire a car and drive north. I am bringing four electric musical instruments over for my friend to permanently keep at his home – keyboards and suchlike – and I was wondering whether these would cause an issue at a border crossing ? They are not for commercial use – just for tinkering around with at home. Thank you.