Gay travel to Cyprus was very different from what I had envisaged before leaving. I mean Cyprus in a country within the EU and both it’s bigger neighbours, Turkey and Greece have somewhat established and growing gay scenes.
Even the gay scene in Turkey is quite diverse in bigger cities like Istanbul and guys are quite open-minded. Athens has an entire gay out good in Gazi with multiple clubs and bars. Cyprus has not reached there yet or even close. It is a very closed, closeted and paranoid space for gay Cypriots.
Check out my country guide for Cyprus for all your questions answered.
Gay Neighbourhoods in Cyprus
Well you might have guessed by now, Cyprus is a very conservative and closed society and there are no gay neighbourhoods or gaybourhoods in any cities from Larnaca to Paphos.
Gaybourhood in Larnaca
There is no gay neighbourhood/gaybourhood in Larnaca.
Gaybourhood in Paphos
There is no gay neighbourhood/gaybourhood in Paphos.
Gaybourhood in Nicosia
There is no gay neighbourhood/gaybourhood in Nicosia.
Gaybourhood in Limassol
There is no gay neighbourhood/gaybourhood in Limassol.
Gay Bars in Cyprus
In bigger cities, you will find a gay bar in Cyprus. These bars are tailored for tourists rather than locals and most locals consider them to be a no-go. You can find an updated list here.
Gay Bars in Nicosia
Nicosia has one venue that hosts a gay night every Friday called Ithaki. It is a bar and nightclub and does LGBT nights on Friday. I, sadly, visited Nicosia on a weekday so I could not enjoy the night out.
Gay Bars in Larnaca
There’s only one gay bar in Larnaca which is called Lube Bar. It is located a little bit outside the touristic heart of the city and in a rather residential looking street. I wasn’t even sure when I was heading there if it was the right address to google was taking me to but it turned out to be correct. It is a two-storey building with a small garden at the back.
The lower floor has the bar and dancefloor as well as karaoke. There is a dark room upstairs. The music was quite lively and the staff is very friendly But there were very few people and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. This could be possibly because it was off-season.
Lube bar is only open from Wednesday to Sunday and on the weekends to do are for karaoke which was great. Funny enough they also serve food as well as Shisha to make the experience more interesting. It is a quiet and interesting mixture of a gay bar with a Mediterranean/middle eastern hangout spot.
Gay Bars In Limassol
There is no gay bar in Limassol but there is a gay-friendly venue which you can visit. Despite being the most vibrant city in Cyprus Limassol has no LGBT venues.
The gay-friendly bar is called Sousami, but don’t expect to see a lot of local visitors there and it is mostly full of visitors in high season.
Gay Bars in Paphos
Paphos has one gay bar is well located in the touristy area near the harbour and the beach on the bar street. It is called Different Bar.
Based on my conversation with a couple of locals no one actually visits this bar except for tourists and high season. This is probably why it was already dead in October. Things did not look so great for Different Bar.
Gay Bars in Ayia Napa
Perhaps it was Ayia Napa which was most surprising for me because it has a lot of bars and clubs but it does not have any LGBT venue or any gay bar or club. The only LGBT Space is a beach which is not exclusively gay or LGBT either. Considering how many LGBT and gay visitors Ayia Napa gets it is really weird that there is no gay establishment here at all.
Gay Beaches in Cyprus
Cyprus is full of beaches on all sides and you’re never far away from a beautiful beach and those beautiful clear Mediterranean waters. Luckily some of the beaches have been designated for LGBT or gay people. Admittedly these are not the most beautiful beaches and I have to admit for this reason I chose not to visit any of these places but if you want to enjoy your time on a gay beach I would recommend the three beaches below:
Located between Larnaca & Limassol, This is perhaps the most beautiful beach out of the three gay beaches on the island.
The area around the White Rocks is designated as the gay area. It is quite a popular beach and a lot of locals and tourists both visit this beach. It’s around 25 minutes drive from Limassol.
This beach is located halfway between Limassol and Paphos. It is a favourite of locals and it is also a nudist beach. The beach itself is not that great and has dark sand and muddy waters.
This beach is located near Ayia Napa. Unlike the gorgeous beaches of Fig Tree Bay and Nissi, This is an average beach and probably the only gay venue on the side of the island. It’s also quite a small beach.
Gay Scene in Cyprus
The gay scene in Cyprus is very different from what I had imagined. In my head based on my visiting of all Cypriot neighbouring countries, I thought people would be a bit more liberal and open-minded but despite warnings from my Cypriot friends, I kept an open mind. It turned out that my friends are right and surprisingly the gay scene in Cyprus is extremely limited with most guys deeply Stuck in the closet.
The biggest problem I saw during my visit was the toxic masculinity. Almost every profile I saw had the words ‘masculine required’ on it. Since it’s a small island it is very easy for news to travel. Couple this with Gossip culture and you have the perfect mix for a closeted deeply homophobic culture. Most gay guys have internal homophobia Deeply in bedded in their psyche.
Like I said I was quite surprised because even their Conservative neighbours, Turkey and Lebanon have much more open gay scenes than Cyprus despite the dubious legal status of homosexuality. Despite being an EU member and vowing for equality, Discrimination is rife.
Even Greece has a much more liberal culture and while Cyprus looks to Greece In most other respects they are not following their example here.
It is also quite surprising that gay people from surrounding countries especially Israel come to Cyprus for their weddings Since it is legal to get married here as a gay couple.
Is Cyprus Safe for Gay Travel?
Cyprus is generally a safe country and legally there should be no discrimination against gay people and the crime rate is very low.
Check out the full status of homosexuality in Cyprus on Equaldex here.
I do want to warn you about PDA in public. I heard stories about getting kicked out of bars and clubs because of gay guys kissing and one guy told me his story of getting punched by the bouncer when you kissed a guy in the club. PDA is a no-no in Cyprus.
Gay scene and culture have a long way to go In Cyprus. It will be a long time Before Cyprus can be touted as a gay destination. It is a deeply conservative society.
It is usually very easy for me to find locals to hang out with and I really like it because it gives you a chance to understand their challenges as gay people gives me a chance to get to know the culture from the perspective of locals. I was really surprised at how difficult this was.
I spoke to a few locals on Grindr but none of them actually wanted to meet or hang out and I got excessively questioned if I was masculine and discreet. I ended up hanging out with other visitors only as well as expats. It was very strange for me And I did not expect this from a European country. Usually, it’s a mix of closeted and openly gay people but Cyprus seemed to be quite an extreme place.
I really hope this changes soon. In short, the gay scene in Cyprus is closeted homophobic full of toxic masculinity and very limited.
Which Gay Dating Apps Are Most Commonly Used In Cyprus?
Grindr is the main app that most people use in Cyprus with very few people on scruff as well as a hornet. I was quite surprised to find very few people with Any sort of photos at all on their profiles. Most of the profiles are blank and the ones which have photos I almost never of faces I don’t remember seeing any locals with a face picture on the profile on any side of the island.
Catfishing and blank profiles are a norm in Cyprus. I was also told about this by locals that a lot of guys use fake profiles to get pictures and ask for nudes. Despite clearly stating that I won’t reply without clear face pictures, Most of the messages I got were from blank profiles.